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Extraordinary Measures

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Extraordinary Measures

Theatrical poster
Directed byTom Vaughan
Produced byMichael Shamberg
Stacey Sher
Carla Santos Shamberg
Harrison Ford (executive producer
Written byRobert Nelson Jacobs (screenplay)
Geeta Anand (book)
StarringBrendan Fraser
Harrison Ford
Keri Russell
Music byAndrea Guerra
CinematographyAndrew Dunn
Editing byAnne V. Coates
Distributed byCBS Films
Release date(s)January 22, 2010 (2010-01-22)
Running time88 minutes
CountryUnited States
Budget$31 million[1]
Gross revenue$7,826,311[2]

Extraordinary Measures is an 2010 drama film starring Brendan Fraser, Harrison Ford, and Keri Russell. It is distributed by CBS Films and was released on January 22, 2010. The film was shot in Portland and Beaverton, Oregon as well as Vancouver, Washington. It is the first film to go into production for CBS Films, the film division of CBS Corporation.



Brendan Fraser plays John Crowley, a biotechnology executive whose two youngest children were afflicted with Pompe disease or acid maltase deficiency. Along with his wife Aileen (Keri Russell), he raises money for research scientist Robert Stonehill (Harrison Ford), forming a company to develop a drug to save his children's lives. Dr. Stonehill is a composite of the many great scientists and researchers that Crowley worked with over the years, among them Dr. William Canfield and Dr. Yuan-Tsong Chen.[3]

The film centers on the Crowleys' two dying children, aged 9 and 7. In real life, most children with Pompe disease would die before age 2. There is also a juvenile and adult form which can present at almost any age. Those in the real story were 15 months and 7 days old when they got sick. They were 5 and 4 years old when treatment began.

Adapted by Robert Nelson Jacobs from a nonfiction book by the journalist Geeta Anand, the film is also an examination of how medical research is conducted and financed.


John Crowley makes a cameo appearance as a venture capitalist.


Filming took place at several spots in and around Portland, OR, mostly at the OHSU Doernbecher Children's Hospital, Veterans Affairs Medical Center and the Nike campus in Beaverton, OR. This was the first time Nike allowed filming on their campus and they donated the location payment to Doernbecher Children’s Hospital.[4] During filming, the working title was The Untitled Crowley Project.[5]


The screenplay by Robert Nelson Jacobs is based on Geeta Anand's book The Cure (ISBN 9780060734398).[6] The small start up company Priozyme was based on John Crowley's Oklahoma City-based Novazyme. The larger company, called Zymagen in the film, was based on Genzyme in Cambridge, MA[7]


Box office

The film was released on January 22, 2010 in 2,549 theaters. It took in $2,037,966 its opening day, with an average of $800 per theater.[8] On its opening weekend it grossed $6,012,594 with an average of $2,359 per theater.[9] After three days of being released the film has come to gross an estimated $6,012,594 in the United States and Canada.[2]

Critical reviews

The film received moderate to negative reviews from critics. Review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes reports that 30% of 102 critics have given the film a positive review, with a rating average of 4.9 out of 10.[10] Among Rotten Tomatoes' "Top Critics", which consists of popular and notable critics from the top newspapers, websites, television and radio programs, the film holds an overall approval rating of 20%, based on a sample of 25 reviews. The site's general consensus is that "Despite a timely topic and a pair of heavyweight leads, Extraordinary Measures never feels like much more than a made-for-TV tearjerker."[11] Metacritic, which assigns a weighted average score out of 0–100 reviews from film critics, has a rating score of 46 based on 30 reviews.[12]

Ramona Bates MD, writing for the health news organisation, EmaxHealth, stated that the film brings attention to Pompe Disease.[13] Roger Ebert of the Chicago Sun-Times said that the film fails to explain that the cost of the medication is $300,000 a year for life, which limits its impact in the United States, because many American insurance companies refuse to pay for it. While those diagnosed with the disease are treated in other developed countries, it sidesteps the fact that the U.S. Healthcare system makes it unavailable to many dying children.[3] Peter Rainer from the Christian Science Monitor mentions that Big Pharma got a surprisingly free pass in the film and that it will come as a surprise to all those sufferers struggling to get orphan drugs developed.[14]


  1. ^ "Movie projector: 'Legion,' 'Tooth Fairy,' 'Extraordinary Measures' won't touch 'Avatar'". Los Angeles Times. Tribune Company. January 21, 2010. http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/entertainmentnewsbuzz/2010/01/legion-tooth-fairy-extraordinary-measures-avatar.html?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed:+newsandbuzz+%28News+%26+Buzz%29. Retrieved January 22, 2010. "That's a very soft start even given the adult drama's modest production budget of $31 million." 
  2. ^ a b "Extraordinary Measures (2010)". Box Office Mojo. Internet Movie Database. http://boxofficemojo.com/movies/?id=crowley.htm. Retrieved January 25, 2010. 
  3. ^ a b Ebert, Roger (January 20, 2010). "Extraordinary Measures Review". Chicago Sun-Times. Sun-Times Media Group. http://rogerebert.suntimes.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=2010100129996. Retrieved January 25, 2010. 
  4. ^ "'Extraordinary Measures,' filmed in Portland and starring Brendan Fraser and Harrison Ford, opens Friday". The Oregonian. Advance Publications. January 21, 2010. http://blog.oregonlive.com/ent_impact_tvfilm/print.html?entry=/2010/01/extraordinary_measures_filmed.html. Retrieved January 25, 2010. 
  5. ^ "On the 'Crowley' set: Boredom, action and a bit of politics". The Oregonian. Advance Publications. June 2, 2009. http://blog.oregonlive.com/ent_impact_tvfilm/print.html?entry=/2009/06/on_the_crowley_set_boredom_act.html. Retrieved January 25, 2010. 
  6. ^ A. O. Scott (January 22, 2010). "Desperate Father’s Plea to a Detached Scientist". NY Times. http://movies.nytimes.com/2010/01/22/movies/22extraordinary.html. 
  7. ^ Jef Akst (January 22, 2010). "A review of Extraordinary Measures". The Scientist NewsBlog. http://www.the-scientist.com/blog/print/57091/. 
  8. ^ "Daily Box Office for Friday, January 22, 2010". Box Office Mojo. Internet Movie Database. January 22, 2010. http://www.boxofficemojo.com/daily/chart/?sortdate=2010-01-22&p=.htm. Retrieved January 25, 2010. 
  9. ^ "Weekend Box Office Results for January 22-24, 2010". Box Office Mojo. Internet Movie Database. January 24, 2010. http://boxofficemojo.com/weekend/chart/?yr=2010&wknd=04&p=.htm. Retrieved January 25, 2010. 
  10. ^ "Extraordinary Measures (2010)". Rotten Tomatoes. Flixster. http://www.rottentomatoes.com/m/extraordinary_measures/. Retrieved January 25, 2010. 
  11. ^ "Extraordinary Measures (Top Critics)". Rotten Tomatoes. Flixster. http://www.rottentomatoes.com/m/extraordinary_measures/?critic=creamcrop. Retrieved January 25, 2010. 
  12. ^ "Extraordinary Measures: Reviews". Metacritic. CNET Networks. http://www.metacritic.com/film/titles/extraordinarymeasures. Retrieved January 25, 2010. 
  13. ^ EmaxHealth. ""Extraordinary Measures" Brings Attention Pompe Disease". http://www.emaxhealth.com/1024/39/35186/extraordinary-measures-brings-attention-pompe-disease.html. 
  14. ^ Peter Rainer (January 22, 2010). "Extraordinary Measures Movie Review". http://www.csmonitor.com/The-Culture/Movies/2010/0122/Extraordinary-Measures-movie-review. 

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