Knight and Day, (formerly titled Wichita and Trouble Man) is a 2010 romantic action comedy film starring Tom Cruise and Cameron Diaz. The film is directed by James Mangold.
The film went through a period of "development hell"; which included a prior film director and multiple writers that worked on the script. Producers for Knight and Day went through multiple other actors for the lead roles before eventually settling on Cruise and Diaz. Will Smith, Chris Tucker, and Gerard Butler were considered by the film's producers for the male lead that later went to Cruise, and Eva Mendes was initially set for the role that Diaz later portrayed in the movie. The film's investors offset funding costs by paying Cruise a lower advance fee and neglecting to provide him with a share of the revenue until the financiers earn back their initial investment in the production. Filming took place in several locations, mainly in several cities located in Massachusetts, while other scenes were filmed in Spain and parts of Austria.
Knight and Day was released in the United States on June 23, 2010. The film received mixed reviews from film critics; it garnered a 53 percent rating on Rotten Tomatoes based upon aggregated reviews, and a rating of "mixed or average reviews" at Metacritic. Knight and Day performed poorly at the box office in its debut, proceeded to fall nine percent in ticket sales in its second day after being released, and took third place behind films Toy Story 3 and the comedy Grown Ups in its first Friday after release. At $20.5 million, the total U.S. weekend box office take for Knight and Day was the worst result for an action film starring Tom Cruise in 20 years.
However, the film was still a financial success. With a production budget of $107 million (after tax credits) Knight and Day went on to gross $261,924,837 worldwide, of which only an estimated $76.4 million was generated in the United States.
Knight and Day follows the adventures of Roy Miller (Tom Cruise), a spy on the run, and June Havens (Cameron Diaz), a car restorer. Miller is seen watching Havens, and he bumps into her a couple of times as they go through security at Wichita Airport. Havens is making her way back home to Boston from Wichita, Kansas after picking up spare parts for her deceased father's classic Pontiac GTO car, that she is restoring for her sister as a wedding gift. Even though she has a confirmed reservation for her flight, she is told at the gate that it is overbooked. Miller, able to board, whispers to her that "sometimes things happen for a reason". Unbeknownst to Havens, Federal agent Fitzgerald (Peter Sarsgaard) is monitoring Miller's movements and, believing she is working with Miller, puts her back on the flight list.
On board the flight, Havens notices that there are only four or five other people present. She relaxes with a drink, and chats about her dream of someday driving to Cape Horn while Miller checks out the other passengers. She is charmed, and goes to the restroom to freshen up. While she is occupied, Miller is attacked by the remaining passengers and crew. Miller kills them all, including the pilots. After she emerges from the restroom Miller calmly informs her that everyone onboard is dead. Thinking that he is joking, Havens plays along until Miller enters the cockpit. In a spell of turbulence, she notices the dead bodies falling over in their seats, and spilling into the aisle. Miller lands the plane on a highway, but skids off the end of the road into a corn field. Miller gives Havens a drink, and explains that she may be questioned by various officials. She is not to get in any vehicle with them, nor accompany them if they suggest taking her away to a "safe" place. Havens passes out due to a knock-out drug in the drink, but awakes at home amongst clues that Miller brought her there, ensuring her safety.
Havens struggles through the day trying on bridesmaid dresses for her sister, April's (Maggie Grace) wedding. Talking over what to do with their dad's GTO car Havens is shocked to learn that April wants to sell it. She is lured out of the shop and is accosted by a group seeming to be FBI special agents who, with assurances that she will be safe, drive her away. She is shown some files pertaining to Miller, and is questioned by the agents to determine if she is working with him. Suddenly, Miller shows up, and with much shooting and acrobatics, "rescues" Havens.
Havens doesn't know who or what to believe and flees to the firehall, where her former boyfriend, Rodney (Marc Blucas), works as a firefighter. Upon hearing her story he thinks she is merely stressed from the wedding, and takes her out for pie. While they are chatting, Miller arrives and kidnaps Havens. He handcuffs her and shoots Rodney in the leg, telling him this will all turn him into an overnight hero and virtually guarantee his desired promotion to lieutenant.
Miller explains that Havens is safer with him; and Havens agrees to follow him as they go to pick up Simon Feck (Paul Dano), a genius inventor who created a perpetual energy battery called the Zephyr. They arrive at a safe house in Brooklyn where he left Feck. He is missing, but has left clues that he can be found on a train in Austria. The two are immediately ambushed by men belonging to Antonio (Jordi Mollà), a Spanish arms dealer. After Miller again drugs Havens, she drifts in and out of consciousness between their capture and escape from Antonio's men. Miller brings her to an island that is off the grid, which he calls his home. After leaving Miller in frustration to wander the island, Havens notices a message on Miller's cell phone with a Boston address. While studying this, her cell phone rings, showing her sister's caller ID. In answering the phone, she accidentally leads Antonio's group to the hideaway. They try to kill Miller and Havens with a remote drone.
Again knocking out Havens, this time with a neck pinch, Miller transports them to a train heading through the Alps. Havens awakes alone and, missing a message from Miller, leaves to get breakfast in the dining car where she encounters Bernhard (Falk Hentschel), a German assassin whom she believes is Feck. When she finds the message stuck to the bottom of her shoe, she realizes that Feck is with Miller, and Bernhard is someone else. Using tricks learned from Miller, Havens manages to survive, and Bernhard is eventually knocked out of a window by Miller and killed by a train coming from the opposite direction.
Miller puts Havens and Feck up in a hotel in Salzburg, Austria, and heads to a meeting with a mysterious beautiful woman. Havens follows him, and hears him make a deal to sell the Zephyr to Antonio. Havens is picked up by the CIA and meets the director of counter-intel, who confirms that Miller is a rogue agent, and gives her a pen transmitter to signal them when she is with Miller and the Zephyr. Miller meets her back at the hotel, and shows her the Zephyr, which is now showing signs of overheating. Havens uses the pen to notify the agents, which Miller notes "hurts more than I thought it would," but Miller escapes to the roof-tops. After leading the CIA agents on a chase, Miller is apparently shot and falls into the Salzach River. His body is not recovered, nor is the Zephyr.
Havens is sent home by the agents in time to stand at her sister's wedding. When Havens hears the song that Miller used as his ring-tone, she heads to the address she remembered from his iPhone. She meets the people at the address, and realizes that they are Miller's parents. Havens learns that Miller's real name is Matthew Knight and the couple believe their son, a former Army Ranger Captain and Eagle Scout, is dead, and they are fabulously wealthy from winning lotteries and sweepstakes they don't remember entering. They mention that their son was an excellent swimmer who could hold his breath for an amazing length of time, which leads Havens to realize Miller is still alive.
Havens leaves the Knights, and calls her own voice mail, leaving a message that she has the Zephyr. She is quickly captured by Antonio's men and taken to Spain. She is drugged with truth serum, which makes her relaxed and happy and leads her to reveal that Miller feigned his selling of the Zephyr and his death to allow her to return home. Antonio realizes that she doesn't have the Zephyr, and the only way he can get the device is to pay Fitzgerald who has kidnapped Feck. Miller has been following Feck using a tracking app on his iPhone, and stumbles upon Havens in the Spaniard's compound. Havens is rescued as she is being taken out for execution. They pursue Fitzgerald and Feck on a motorcycle, while eluding Antonio's men during the Running of the Bulls, during which Antonio is trampled to death by some bulls.
Fitzgerald is able to escape in an amphibious plane with the now extremely hot Zephyr while Miller is hit in the chest by a bullet as he saves Feck. Feck comments that the battery is unstable. As they watch the plane climb, the battery explodes, killing Fitzgerald.
Miller collapses from the gunshot wound, but wakes in a hospital. He receives an apology from the director (Viola Davis), who tells him that he rooted out a corrupt team. He asks about Havens, and is told that she has returned home. He is warned that he can't be distracted, and must forget her to continue with his job. The Director also explains to Miller that the agency will "transfer you to a secure facility tomorrow, for your safety" using the same wording that he warned Havens about. As they leave, a nurse enters, and gives Miller his medication. Miller realizes that he's been drugged, but then sees that the nurse is Havens.
Miller comes to in the rebuilt classic car that belonged to Havens' father. After he asks what day it is, Havens kisses him and says it's someday. She drives off, traveling along a coastal road past a signpost for Cape Horn. The final scene shows Roy's mother telling her husband that they have just received two tickets to Cape Horn. Though she blames her husband for ordering them by mistake, she insists that they go.
Before film director James Mangold signed on to Knight and Day, it was previously associated with director Tom Dey. The script originated with writer Patrick O'Neill, a friend of producer Steve Pink, who originally wrote the script as a serious thriller involving an older male character (battery creator) and a younger man (spy) and that the script had the tone of "Terminator 2: Judgment Day" and was titled All New Enemies. There are even rumors that Gene Hackman and Justin Long were attached to that version of the story. The script was later refined and became a romantic comedy action romp titled Trouble Man that had Chris Tucker and Eva Mendes attached. As the script progressed into being Wichita, Adam Sandler became involved but passed. Then, new screenwriters were brought on, beginning with Scott Frank whose draft attracted Cameron Diaz. She became attached and then brought on writer Dana Fox, whom she had worked with on What Happens in Vegas. Gerard Butler was offered the lead, before he passed, and then Diaz sent the script to Tom Cruise and from there, James Mangold became involved, followed by seven more writers. In subsequent drafts, the title Wichita, which had previously not been a part of the script at all, had been worked into the story. However, the obscure title was always being discussed about, being changed. Shortly after production began, Tom Rothman, an exec over at Fox, came up with the title idea of Knight and Day, which they ended up sticking with. All-in-all, over ten writers contributed to the film, and the Writers Guild of America, West decided due to this large number of contributors, to only credit Patrick O'Neill – who was the original screenwriter that wrote and sold the script on spec back in 2004. Despite delays and studio changes, producer Steve Pink pointed to the core concept of a "shifty protagonist" and the film's original script as reasons Knight and Day overcame obstacles to release. Nine other writers who worked on the film's script included Scott Frank, Laeta Kalogridis, Ted Griffin and Nick Griffin, Timothy Dowling, Dana Fox, Don Payne, Simon Kinberg and finally director James Mangold.
The film changed lead cast members multiple times while the production was mired in a period known as "development hell". Prior to the finalization of actors Tom Cruise and Cameron Diaz, comedian and actor Adam Sandler was offered to star in the film when it was titled Wichita, but declined explaining, "I just don't see me with a gun." Wichita was developed under production at Revolution Studios; the film was later moved to Sony Pictures. At Sony Pictures, actors Chris Tucker and Eva Mendes were slated to portray the two lead roles in the film; it was titled Trouble Man and intended as a romantic vehicle film for Tucker and Mendes.
After Tucker and Mendes dropped out of the lead roles, Diaz signed on to the film with Sony Pictures, and actor Gerard Butler met with production staff regarding starring opposite Diaz. Butler instead decided to take on the lead role in the film The Bounty Hunter, opposite actress Jennifer Aniston. Tom Cruise considered accepting a role in the film; at the time he was auditioning for parts in five films including Salt, and The Tourist. Cruise decided he wished to star in Knight and Day, and had a vision for the film which included modifying the male lead character with his own ideas. Other actors cast in the film included Maggie Grace, Peter Sarsgaard, Marc Blucas, Paul Dano, Viola Davis, and Jordi Mollà.
The film's production partners, New Regency and Dune Entertainment, offset financing for the film by paying Tom Cruise a lower advance fee than he normally received. Cruise previously garnered $20 million or higher in an advance fee, but the Los Angeles Times reported he only received $11 million for Knight and Day. Cruise will also not receive "first dollar gross", which was customary for him. This means that Cruise will not receive a share of the film's revenue, until Knight and Day funding investors have first gained back their investment in the production. In total, production costs for the film exceeded $117 million, however with a $10 million tax credit for filming in Massachusetts, the costs were down to $107 million.
Principal photography began on September 15, 2009 in Boston and Bridgewater, Massachusetts. Airport terminal scenes were filmed in Worcester, Massachusetts at Worcester Regional Airport. Filming also took place in Melrose, Danvers, and New Bedford, Massachusetts. Spanish cities Cadiz and Seville, as well as Austrian city Salzburg, were also chosen as locations that were used in filming in November and December 2009.
Filming continued through late January 2010, with filming in Long Beach, California. Filming then moved to the Frenchman's Cove of Portland, Jamaica, where shooting took place for one week in February 2010.
Re-shoots were done in late April 2010, in Long Beach, California, where shots of Tom Cruise riding the Ducati with Cameron Diaz on the back was filmed. More re-shoots were done in late May 2010, at Silver Cup Studios in New York City for a day or two of pick-up shots.
The Black Eyed Peas recorded a theme song for the movie, titled, "Someday". The soundtrack to Knight and Day was released on July 9, 2010. In a review of the soundtrack for Almasry Alyoum, journalist Ahmed Ramadan commented, "The soundtrack, enjoyable and suiting to the film's action sequences, is one of the redeeming factors of Knight and Day, with its theme song 'Someday' by The Black Eyed Peas a cool, up-beat anthem."
Knight and Day had been set for a June 25, 2010, release date, but Fox moved its debut up two days to June 23; in the face of poor initial tracking numbers. The New York Observer analyzed the marketing for the film, which included an attempt at pushing a "viral video" of the two main stars; journalist Christopher Rosen commented on the desperation level of the publicity campaign, "the marketing for this thing has seemed more intrusive and desperate than any other big-ticket release in some time." In an interview with the Los Angeles Times, Fox co-president of marketing Tony Sella discussed the publicity strategy for the film. Sella explained that the film was marketed towards older moviegoers, "If you're over 40, this movie was a rock star – the whole concept, the Nick and Nora of it all. It's a grown up film. That was the whole theory behind selling the film, that it was a cool, adult movie, hence the poster and the graphics behind it. We wouldn't have called it 'Knight and Day' if we weren't going for an adult audience." Film producer Don Carmody commented negatively regarding the film's trailer, calling it "dull", and stated the film would not do well because of the age of its two stars, "Cameron Diaz I think was a star, but she's no longer a star. Some of those stars are getting a little up there (in age)." The Hollywood Reporter noted, "potential viewers remain startlingly indifferent to whether they actually end up seeing it. And attention thus far is still drawn mostly by those under 25, which indicates that the fans who grew up with star Tom Cruise have moved on."
Fox attempted to increase word of mouth advertising for the film by showing a sneak preview on June 19, 2010; the Los Angeles Times reported the same day that pre-release surveys determined that the film was likely to become a commercial flop. Projections indicated that the film would only make $20 million at the box office; the film cost $125 million to produce. Fox production President Emma Watts commented of the film's commercial prospects, "We aren't exactly where we hoped we would be." The Los Angeles Times noted, "In addition, Cruise and Diaz are not as popular with younger moviegoers, who often drive big opening weekends in the summer. ... Among teenage and college-age males, the movie is barely registering, according to people who have seen the survey results." New York magazine reported the film was "tracking miserably" prior to its first week. New York magazine reported that an issue with Knight and Day was, "one of the film's biggest handicaps: its star, Tom Cruise". A Fox official commented to New York magazine regarding the film's pre-release polling data, "at those numbers, we can't open the movie right now. Hopefully, they'll change in the next few days."
Upon hearing that tracking data on June 22, 2010, showed the film was not likely to produce revenue over $30 million in its first five days on screen, a Fox executive told TheWrap he was "confounded", and commented, "Tracking says one thing, but our sneak previews this weekend said something totally different. ... but if you look at the empirical data, we're nowhere." New York magazine reported that the day prior to the film's release, a long scene from Knight and Day was made available on iTunes, in an attempt to improve the lackluster 28–31 percent "definite interest" level of the movie. After results were reported from the film's initial debut, Fox distribution executive Bruce Synder commented to The Hollywood Reporter, "It's an adult movie opening on a Wednesday, but we opened it there and snuck it on Saturday because we believe the word-of-mouth will be good, so we're set for a pretty good opening weekend. Remember, it's an original, adult movie, which we expect will run for quite a while."
Knight and Day performed poorly at the box office in its debut, with a take of US$3.8 million the day after its initial June 23, 2010, release in revenue from ticket sales in the United States and Canada. This was less than the film Toy Story 3, which earned $13 million at the box office on the same day. Knight and Day did not place within the top 50 all-time Wednesday film openings. An analysis of the opening day results by Box Office Mojo noted it was the worst attended action film debut for Tom Cruise since his appearance in the 1986 Legend. It was the lowest-grossing opening day for Cruise in a leading role since his performance in the 1992 film Far and Away. Cruise's last starring role prior to Knight and Day, in the 2008 film Valkyrie, generated $8.5 million on its opening day. The previous film with Cameron Diaz and Cruise as the lead roles, Vanilla Sky, garnered $8.9 million on its opening day. Moira Macdonald of The Seattle Times characterized the film's initial revenue results as "a box-office disappointment"; Lou Lumenick of New York Post commented, "Not great numbers"; journalist Roger Friedman noted for Hollywood News, "Bad reviews didn't help. K&D has registered only 52 percent on Rotten Tomatoes. Even those reviews counted as positive weren't so good. They were stretching."; Nicole Sperling of Entertainment Weekly noted, "audiences just aren't showing up the way Fox might have hoped"; and Ben Fritz of Los Angeles Times called the film's debut a "soft" opening, and commented, "It wasn't a good first day or night at the box office for Knight and Day."
The film's revenues dropped nine percent on its second day of release, earning $3.5 million in ticket sales. During the same period that revenues dropped for Knight and Day, ticket sales for Toy Story only fell by three percent, The Karate Kid dropped by six percent; while other films increased revenues at the same time, including, Shrek Forever After, Sex and the City 2, Get Him to the Greek, Killers, and Robin Hood. In its first weekend, Knight and Day was paired up against Grown Ups, a comedy film starring Adam Sandler, Kevin James, Chris Rock, David Spade and Rob Schneider. The Friday of its first weekend after release, Knight and Day took third place at the box office, behind both Grown Ups and Toy Story 3. The film brought in a total of $6.35 million on its third day of release. Regarding the poor performance of Knight and Day in its first weekend at the box office, a Fox executive stated to Nikki Finke of Deadline, "It's an original movie aimed at adults that is really good. It takes longer to catch on with audiences. And this movie is doing that." In its debut outside of the U.S., the film earned $12.6 million. Knight and Day finished its total weekend box office take with $20.5 million – which was the worst result for an action film starring Tom Cruise in 20 years.
Multiple sources had characterized Knight and Day as a "box office bomb" and a "flop". Patrick Goldstein of the Los Angeles Times described the film as "the supposed sure-thing romantic action comedy that did a belly flop at the box office". Writing for Forbes, Dorothy Pomerantz commented, "Tom Cruise's newest movie, Knight & Day, bombed at the box office". Star noted that the movie "flopped" and observed, "Tom Cruise has officially lost his mojo." The New York Post referred to it as "Flop Gun Tom". The Associated Press noted that the film "fizzled" at the box office; Salon carried the AP article with the headline, "Tom bombs while 'Toy Story 3,' Sandler soar". Writing for International Business Times, Marc Espino noted, "Cruise's superstardom isn't working for him anymore as people no longer seem interested in seeing him on the big screen." Senior box office analyst with Exhibitor Relations, Jeff Bock, commented to BusinessWeek regarding the poor performance of Knight and Day: "That's a big disappointment, especially for what was supposed to be a reboot of Tom Cruise's career." In July 2010 Parade Magazine listed the film as the #5 on its list of "Biggest Box Office Flops of 2010 (So Far)."
By its second week of release, Knight and Day fell to fifth place at the box office, behind The Karate Kid. During its second weekend at the box office, Knight and Day remained in fifth place, with films The Twilight Saga: Eclipse and The Last Airbender taking the top two spots. The film's box office take dropped 48 percent in its second weekend after release. With the opening of the film Despicable Me in the top spot at the box office in its opening weekend, Knight and Day subsequently dropped to seventh place in ticket sales.
In territories outside the United States and Canada, Knight and Day grossed an estimated $146.5 million. In an August 10, 2010 report for Box Office Mojo, Ray Subers reported, "Adding $11.3 million in 47 territories, Knight & Day showed few signs of slowing down. It had a decent $3.7 million debut in the UK, though that was less than half of what star Tom Cruise's Mission: Impossible III opened to back in 2006. On Sunday, Knight & Day crossed the $200 million mark overseas." Its worldwide box-office earnings stand at roughly $262 million.
Knight and Day received mixed reviews; Rotten Tomatoes reported a rating of 53 percent "rotten" metric based upon 199 aggregated reviews. Rotten Tomatoes summarized the reviews received with, "Consensus: It's pure formula, but thanks to its breezy pace and a pair of charming performances from Tom Cruise and Cameron Diaz, Knight and Day offers some agreeably middle-of-the-road summer action." Another review aggretator, Metacritic, which assigns a normalized score from 0–100 from reviews from mainstream critics, calculated a "mixed or average" score of 47 based on 36 reviews.
The film received a negative review in Variety; critic Justin Chang characterized the film as "a high-energy, low-impact caper-comedy that labors to bring a measure of wit, romance and glamour to an overworked spy-thriller template". Kirk Honeycutt of The Hollywood Reporter summarized his review of the film with, "Bottom Line: Logic and plausibility take a holiday in this nonstop actioner that counts on stars Tom Cruise and Cameron Diaz to sell the nonsense." Honeycutt wrote of the writing, "the script is too lazy to develop any of its characters – and that includes the leads", and commented, "laziness permeates the film from the inexplicable escapes to the neglected romance". Knight and Day received a rating of one and a half stars from a review by Michael Phillips in the Chicago Tribune; which criticized multiple aspects of the film, including its script, directing, cinematography, set pieces, and action sequences. Phillips concluded, "A 21st Century Charade pumped up on all the wrong steroids, Knight and Day may well suffice for audiences desperate for the bankable paradox known as the predictable surprise, and willing to overlook a galumphing mediocrity in order to concentrate on matters of dentistry."
American film critic and professor Emanuel Levy was critical of the film's writing, calling it a "mindless flick"; he noted, "The story moves at a breakneck speed, as if to conceal the incongruities in the storytelling." Levy gave the film a grade of "C", and commented, "Preposterously plotted, the saga is dominated by long, energetic, uneven action sequences, but it lacks any logic and pays minimal attention to characterization. Repetitious in structure, and with humor that more often than not misses the mark, Knight and Day is characterized by nihilistic violence and amoral tone, which wouldn't have mattered had the movie been witty or fun to watch." The film received a rating of two stars out of four from critic Peter Howell in the Toronto Star; the reviewer commented, "There is supposed to be romance in Knight and Day – and Diaz is up for it – but Cruise still looks as if he's taken charisma lessons from Al Gore." In a review for the Orlando Sentinel, critic Roger Moore commented, "The blase plot devices (a gadget, the nerdy guy who invented it), the bland villains, the too-fast dash through exotic locales, don't matter so long as Cruise and Diaz click and spark their scenes – chases and embraces – to life. And Cruise, hurling himself at this as if his Mission: Impossible future and indeed his whole career depended on it, makes sure they do."
The Wall Street Journal critic Joe Morgenstern commented, "Knight and Day woke me up to just how awful some summer entertainments have become. It isn't that the film is harmful, except to moviegoers' wallets and movie lovers' morale, but that it is truly phenomenal for the purity of its incoherence." Writing for the Chicago Sun-Times, Roger Ebert rated the movie 3 stars out of 4 and wrote, "Knight and Day aspires to the light charm of a romantic action comedy like Charade or Romancing the Stone, but would come closer if it dialed down the relentless action. The romance part goes without saying after a Meet Cute contrived in an airport, and the comedy seems to generate naturally between Tom Cruise and Cameron Diaz. But why do so many summer movies find it obligatory to inflict us with CGI overkill? I'd sorta rather see Diaz and Cruise in action scenes on a human scale, rather than have it rubbed in that for long stretches, they're essentially replaced by animation." Ty Burr of The Boston Globe stated, "The movie's a piece of high-octane summer piffle: stylish, funny, brainless without being too obnoxious about it, and Cruise is its manic animating principle." Writing for the Associated Press, Christy Lemire commented, "Cruise's presence also helps keep things light, breezy and watchable when the action – and the story itself – spin ridiculously out of control."
Joshua Starnes of ComingSoon.net gave the film a rating of 6.5 out of 10, and concluded his review, "Instead of watching it, you're better off putting Knight and Day in a time capsule and singing some Don McLean, 'cause this is the day the movie star died." In a subsequent "mini review", Edward Douglas of ComingSoon.net gave the film a rating of 8 out of 10, and concluded, "The entertainment comes from how much fun it is watching [Cruise and Diaz] on screen together and that's what separates Knight and Day from previous attempts at mixing romance, comedy, and action." In a review for CNN, Tom Charity commented, "there's a creeping anxiety about this project, a tendency to over-compensate that speaks to underlying inadequacies." Film critic Kenneth Turan commented on the performance of Cruise, "If you doubt Cruise's skills in the star department, "'Knight and Day' should make you a believer. It's hardly a perfect film, not even close, but it is the most entertaining made-for-adults studio movie of the summer, and one of the reasons it works at all is the great skill and commitment Cruise brings to the starring role." Turan commented on Mangold's efforts as the film's director, "'Knight and Day' is also fortunate to have James Mangold in charge. As he demonstrated in 'Walk the Line' and '3:10 to Yuma,' Mangold is one of the few current directors who has an instinct for reasonably intelligent popular entertainment. His films don't end up on 10-best lists, but you walk out of them feeling you've gotten what you paid for, and that is an increasingly rare commodity."
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