Without great promotion, the thriller was released on DVD and Blu-ray in the US. Starring Samuel L. Jackson, Carrie-Anne Moss (Matrix-Trilogy) and Michael Sheen (Underworld), it features quite a prestigious cast. That this is no warrant for a cinematic release is nothing new, but often has to with the film's quality. This is really not the case with Unthinkable at all. On the contrary: in this instance, a real gem of the thriller genre was devaluated by its direct-to-DVD release. The reason for this silent release undoubtedly has to do with its subject matter, which is not only late-breaking, but was also put into shape very provocatively. Without any doubt, the story would have proved to be box-office poison in case of a cinematic release. In the more recent past, the US audience deprecated more critical films such as Green Zone or the Oscar-winning Hurt Locker as well and turned them into box office bombs.
The story of Unthinkable: Jackson stars as the obscure torturer Humpries, alias H. He is ordered by the government to make the secretly arrested terrorist Arthur Younger (Sheen) talk. The reason: Ex-soldier Younger, who converted to Islam, announced in an avowal video that he placed atomic bombs in three US cities, which, in 5 days, would go off and kill millions of citizens. Not only Agent Brody (Moss) notices that the methods H is applying are anything else but tender and morally right. Subsequently, she is torn between her moral code and the risk of not being able to rescue the lifes of uncountable American people. Time is running out, and H has to resort to more drastic measures to make Arthur talk...
The US home theater releases are R-Rated (for strong bloody violence, torture and language). Looking at the backcover or the menu, an extended version is offered. The expectation of various extensions at different points in the film is not really fulfilled here. The longer version of the film only offers a supplement to the ending of the original version, which is not particularly satisfying the viewers' curiosity. However, it tops the film off with a very bitter and grim conclusion. This certainly was intended to heat up the discussions, which undoubtedly will be raised by the viewers.
Comparison between the Original Version and the Extended Version (both contained on the US-DVD by Sony Pictures Home Entertainment).
Difference: 1 additional scene = 90 Seconds
1:28:35: The extended version offers a prolonged ending. While the original version fades out when Helen and the children stand in front of the building, the longer version fades to one of the bomb sites. A group of soldiers and FBI experts approach the bomb. An agent manages to dismantle it on time. He then indicates to his collegue that the coast was clear. Of course, everyone is rejoicing, but the camera pans across the room and slowly approaches a well hidden bomb. Its countdown proceeds undeterredly and when it is over, the ending credits follow. It appears, that eventually Arthur won after all.