Man on a Ledge

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Man on a Ledge
Man on a Ledge Poster.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed byAsger Leth
Produced byLorenzo di Bonaventura
Mark Vahradian
David Ready
Jake Myers
Written byPablo Fenjves
StarringSam Worthington
Elizabeth Banks
Jamie Bell
Anthony Mackie
Ed Burns
Titus Welliver
Genesis Rodriguez
Kyra Sedgwick
Ed Harris
Music byHenry Jackman
CinematographyPaul Cameron
Edited byKevin Stitt
Distributed byLionsgate[1]
Release date
  • January 27, 2012 (2012-01-27)
Running time
102 minutes [2]
CountryUnited States
Budget$42 million[3]
Box office$47.6 million[1]

Man on a Ledge is a 2012 American action thriller film directed by Asger Leth, starring Sam Worthington, Jamie Bell, Elizabeth Banks, Edward Burns, Anthony Mackie, Genesis Rodriguez, and Ed Harris. Filming took place in New York City on top of The Roosevelt Hotel. The film received generally negative reviews from critics and grossed $47 million against its $42 million budget.


In New York City, a man (Sam Worthington) named Walker checks into the Roosevelt Hotel, goes to his hotel room on the 21st floor, and climbs on the ledge, apparently ready to commit suicide. The crowd below calls the police, with Dante Marcus (Titus Welliver) controlling the crowd, while Jack Dougherty (Edward Burns) tries to talk with Walker. However, Walker will only speak to negotiator Lydia Mercer (Elizabeth Banks), who is on a leave of absence, after failing to save a suicidal policeman on the Brooklyn Bridge. Lydia arrives at the hotel room and manages to acquire Walker's fingerprints from a cigarette they share, after his initial resistance to revealing his true identity, going as far as to wipe any surface he touched in the main room to remove fingerprints. Dougherty has them analyzed and discovers that "Walker" is actually Nick Cassidy, an ex-policeman who was arrested for stealing the $40 million Monarch diamond from businessman David Englander (Ed Harris). Nick was given a 25-year sentence but escaped from the Sing Sing Correctional Facility one month before the main events of the film, after being allowed to attend his father's funeral. Nick, however, maintains his innocence and claims that Englander has framed him for the theft of the diamond in an insurance fraud scheme to maintain his wealth, as Englander lost his fortune in a bad business deal and was too proud to sell the diamond.

Unknown to the police, Nick is merely distracting them while his brother, Joey (Jamie Bell), and Joey's girlfriend, Angie (Genesis Rodriguez), break into Englander's vault across the street, using the cover of Nick's theatrics to detonate explosives on the roof to gain entry, in order to steal the diamond and ultimately prove Nick's innocence. Cassidy must make use of double entendres in order to provide instructions to Joey and Angie through an earpiece whilst not revealing their plan to the police. Meanwhile, Dougherty informs Marcus of Nick's identity, and Marcus orders the jewelry store's security to check the vault. Joey and Angie are able to evade them by hiding in a ceiling vent, but do not find the diamond. They deliberately set off the heat-sensing alarms, tricking Englander into retrieving the diamond and ambush him in his office, stealing the diamond at gunpoint and forcing him to handcuff himself to his safe. Meanwhile, Nick's ex-partner, Mike Ackerman (Anthony Mackie), arrives at the hotel with evidence that Nick is planning something and demands to be allowed into the hotel room. Lydia does not trust him, and Dougherty backs her up. Ackerman claims he has found bomb schematics in a storage unit Nick rented and is convinced that he will detonate an explosive somewhere. While the crowd is evacuated by the bomb squad, Lydia, believing in Nick's innocence, calls Internal Affairs and discovers that three of the cops employed by Englander were suspected of being corrupt: Ackerman, Marcus, and a deceased officer called Walker, whose name Cassidy uses when checking into the hotel.

Joey and Angie enter the hotel and hand the bag containing the diamond to the hotel concierge (William Sadler). The concierge pockets the diamond while placing the bag onto the rack. Englander calls Marcus, one of the corrupt cops who helped him frame Nick, and has him capture Joey and Angie as they reach the street. Nick begins to make his escape through the hotel, with a tactical team in hot pursuit, at one point being aided by the concierge who tells him "everyone is rooting for you, kid," while handing him a disguise, with the diamond hidden in one of the pockets. Marcus chases Nick to the roof, where he has Lydia arrested for obstruction, removing her from the rooftop to allow him to deal with Nick alone. Englander brings Joey and Angie, threatening to throw Joey off the roof if Nick does not give him the diamond. Nick turns it over, under protests from Joey, and Englander leaves. Meanwhile, Lydia escapes custody whilst in an elevator and rushes back to the roof. Marcus attempts to force Nick to jump off the roof, but Ackerman arrives and shoots Marcus, who wounds Ackerman. Nick rushes to Ackerman's side, who apologizes and claims that he had no idea that Englander would frame Nick for stealing the diamond. Marcus survives, as he is wearing a bulletproof vest, and is preparing to kill Nick, when Lydia arrives and shoots him. Seeing Englander leaving the area, mocking him with a wave, Nick jumps from the roof onto an airbag set up earlier by the police, catches up to Englander, beats him with the assistance of a crowd member, and pulls the diamond he had only just recently given him from his jacket, proving Nick's innocence in front of both the police and public; Englander is arrested for insurance fraud.

Later, Nick is cleared of all charges and released from custody and meets Joey, Angie, and Lydia at a bar owned by Nick's father, where it is revealed that the bartender, also the hotel concierge, is in fact Nick and Joey's father, Frank Cassidy, who had faked his own death in order to allow Nick to break out of prison under the guise of attending his father's funeral, and prove his innocence. Lydia at this point in the film asks Nick to "explain everything" to her before Joey proposes to Angie with a diamond ring presumably stolen from Englander's vault. She accepts and they all celebrate together.



On September 3, 2010, it was confirmed that Jamie Bell had joined the cast.[5] Filming began on October 30 in New York City. On November 1, it was confirmed that Ed Harris and Titus Welliver had joined the cast.[6]

The first image from the set was revealed on November 2, 2010.[9] The first teaser poster for the film was released on November 5, 2010. The first trailer was released by Summit Entertainment on September 22, 2011.[10] The film was distributed by Summit Entertainment and E1 Entertainment (UK).

During development a large, on-rails prop was used to make the Roosevelt hotel seem taller, so that the hotel would remain consistent with the shots filmed in-studio instead of on the hotel itself. During the scenes where Nick is running along the sides of the hotel, extra floors were added during post-production in order to save the need for a second attachment. In post-production crowds were edited in from other shots so that the crowds would appear consistent throughout the film. The lead actor, Sam Worthington, admitted during interviews that he had a fear of heights that he had to tackle during recording of the film.


Box office[edit]

Man on a Ledge grossed $18.6 million in the United States and Canada, and $29 million in other territories, for a worldwide total of $47.6 million.[1]

The film placed fifth in the box office with $8 million gross on its opening weekend, and made $4.4 million in its second, falling to ninth.[11]

Critical response[edit]

On Rotten Tomatoes, the film holds an approval rating of 32% based on 160 reviews, with average rating of 4.8/10. The website's critics consensus reads: "Uninspired acting and preposterous plotlines defuse Man on a Ledge's mildly intriguing premise."[12] According to Metacritic, which assigned a weighted average score of 40 out of 100 based on 32 critics, the film received "mixed or average reviews".[13] Audiences polled by CinemaScore gave the film an average grade of "B+" on an A+ to F scale.[14]

Roger Ebert of the Chicago Sun-Times said "The movie cuts back and forth between two preposterous plot lines and uses the man on the ledge as a device to pump up the tension." According to Ebert, too much depends on Nick securing a leave from prison, escaping from two armed guards, reaching Manhattan, checking into the correct hotel room on the correct floor and not falling off prematurely.[15] Anna Smith felt that the film "embrace[d] its own lunacy readily enough", but criticised the "ridiculous ending".[16] Similarly, The New Zealand Herald considered the film "a missed opportunity" that doesn't live up to its potential", pointing at the "limited" location Sam Worthington had to work with, praising how he still appeared "suitably terrified".[17]

DVD and Blu-ray[edit]

The DVD and Blu-ray Disc was released in the United States on May 29, 2012, with a rating of PG-13.[18]

The disc contains a 20-minute featurette which shows behind-the-scenes footage, with an explanation of how various shots or effects were achieved. For instance, producer Lorenzo explains how shots of the crowd were composited onto a green chroma keying carpet, laid down underneath the fake ledge used for shots recorded in-studio. A version of the film with voiceover is included for the visually impaired.

The Steelbook version of the film does not have menus, and as a result is missing the special features present in the DVD and Blu-ray releases.

The 4K UHD Blu-ray was released in April 2019.


The soundtrack to Man on a Ledge was released on January 27, 2012.

1."The Roosevelt Hotel"Henry Jackman3:00
2."The Getaway"Henry Jackman4:52
3."Little Miss Grim Reaper"Henry Jackman1:03
4."Joey & Angie"Henry Jackman2:46
5."Fly-By"Henry Jackman2:27
6."Wire Tapping"Henry Jackman0:50
7."The Diamond Thief"Henry Jackman2:21
8."Make It Rain"Henry Jackman1:42
9."Send in Tactical"Henry Jackman1:38
10."Bird on a Wire"Henry Jackman2:17
11."A Girl's Best Friend"Henry Jackman2:47
12."The Monarch Diamond"Henry Jackman3:42
13."Good Cop Bad Cop"Henry Jackman2:32
14."Stand-Off on the Roof"Henry Jackman4:38
Total length:36:35[19]

Critical reception[edit]

The soundtrack was met with negative reception. James Southall commented that whilst "there is occasionally some reasonably tense action music", he found most of the score "very tired-sounding".[20] However, Jørn Tillnes described it as "succeed[ing] in almost every way", but that he "would prefer more variation", as he found that "as a complete listening experience, you get bored with it".[21]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c "Man on a Ledge (2012) - Box Office Mojo". Retrieved 23 October 2018.
  2. ^ The duration as displayed by VLC when playing the film as well as the back cover of the steelbook release
  3. ^ "Movie Projector: 'Grey' leads 'Man on a Ledge,' 'One for the Money'". Los Angeles Times.
  4. ^ a b "Elizabeth Banks and Sam Worthington to Star in Man on a Ledge". Retrieved 2011-08-01.
  5. ^ a b Fleming, Mike (2010-09-02). "Jamie Bell Joins Thriller 'Man On A Ledge'". Retrieved 2011-08-01.
  6. ^ a b "‘Man On A Ledge’ Adds Ed Harris And Titus Welliver". Retrieved 2011-05-07.
  7. ^ (2010-10-29). "Ed Harris joins Summit's 'Man on a Ledge'" Archived 2012-10-05 at the Wayback Machine. Retrieved 2011-08-01.
  8. ^ Chitwood, Adam (2010-11-05). "Kyra Sedgwick Joins Sam Worthington Thriller MAN ON A LEDGE". Retrieved 2011-08-01.
  9. ^ "First Image of Sam Worthington as a MAN ON A LEDGE". 31 October 2010. Retrieved 23 October 2018.
  10. ^ Good, Ben (2012-02-02). "Trailer Tuesday: Man on a Ledge" Archived 2012-04-09 at the Wayback Machine. Retrieved 2012-02-02.
  11. ^
  12. ^ "Man on a Ledge". Retrieved 20 May 2020.
  13. ^ "Man on a Ledge Reviews". Metacritic. Red Ventures. Retrieved April 5, 2021.
  14. ^ "Find CinemaScore" (Type "Man on a Ledge" in the search box). CinemaScore. Retrieved April 5, 2021.
  15. ^ Ebert, Roger (January 25, 2012). "Man on a Ledge".
  16. ^ "Man on a Ledge (2012), directed by Asger Leth - Film review". Retrieved 23 October 2018.
  17. ^ Francesca Rudkin (17 May 2012). "Movie review: Man on a Ledge (+trailer)". Retrieved 23 October 2018.
  18. ^ "Man on a Ledge". Retrieved 1 June 2012.
  19. ^ Man on a Ledge Soundtrack TheOST. Retrieved January 6, 2014
  20. ^ "Man on a Ledge". Retrieved 23 October 2018.
  21. ^ "Soundtrack Review: Man On A Ledge - Soundtrack Geek V2". Retrieved 23 October 2018.

External links[edit]