Invasive procedure

Extreme Measures makes medicine sinister and Hugh Grant heroic

What Apted and his screenwriter, Tony Gilroy, set out to achieve is something nearly Kafkaesque in the structure of its paranoia. Occasionally the storytelling devolves into silliness--subtlety is not Apted's long suit--but Extreme Measures succeeds by remembering that half the fun in movies like this lies in making the highly improbable seem possible. When the filmmakers have a wickedly good time doing it, it makes more sense to breathe deeply of the soothing ether than to resist.

--Arnold Wayne Jones

Extreme Measures. Castle Rock. Hugh Grant, Gene Hackman, Sarah Jessica Parker. Written by Tony Gilroy, from the book by Michael Palmer. Directed by Michael Apted. Opens September 27.

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