Deceiver
R
Entertainment: +2
Acceptability: -2 1/2

The police have discovered the body of a woman. But half was on one side of town at the bus station, the other half was at the harbor. The only clue is a phone number for James Wayland (Tim Roth). Detective Kenesaw (Michael Rooker) and his partner Braxton (Chris Penn) bring in Wayland for a lie detector test. Detective Kenesaw has done over a thousand tests and has a degree in psychology, but so does Wayland. Wayland also has a special form of epilepsy and comes from a wealthy family. Braxton owes a substantial gambling debt and Kenesaw cheated on his wife (Rosanna Arquette) with the victim, a prostitute (Renee Zellweger). As stories and events are told, the three men play psychological games with one another trying to separate the lies from the truth. While the story is intriguing, the disjointed flashback scenes and imagined scenes, which take place only in the men's minds, create more confusion than clarity. With no clear resolution in the end, the audience feels deceived after seeing the film but the psychological dueling by the actors is fascinating. While the film appears to seek the truth in this murder mystery, it merely reveals the lies that the characters hide their weaknesses behind.

The cops are shown as being as corrupt or more so than the suspect. One cop owes a gambling debt he can't pay. The other cop uses prostitutes and can't respond to his wife. He also allows his son to play with his gun at the table. The church fairs no better with a priest that accepts payment from Braxton to pass to a bookie. The priest is even startled when Braxton asks for prayer. Wayland comes from wealthy parents, but shows no respect for them, even embarrassing them at a party. He also imagines stabbing his mother. He also uses medication for his epilepsy to negate the lie detector readings as well as admitting to alcoholism. He is shown drinking various forms of liquor. Although he also knows the prostitute, Wayland only talks to her and she indicates friendly affection for him. The dialogue is awash in objectionable language with many crude and obscene terms including 19 f- and 9 s-words. God's name is used in vain frequently with 21 regular profanities. With excessive foul language, disrespect shown for authority, and sexual content, there's no deception in advising against this one.

Preview Reviewer: Paul Bicking
Distributor: MGM/UA 2500 Broadway St, Santa Monica, CA 90404

Summary
Crude Language: Many (19) times - mild 8, moderate 11
Obscene Language: Many (30) times - F 17, S 9, other 4, finger gesture
Profanity: Many (22) times - regular 21 (Gdm 9, J/C 9, Csake 2, G 1), exclamatory 1
Violence: Few times - moderate & severe - man imagines stabbing, mother, hit with fists, kicks, smothering, man wrestles with prostitute - rape implied, dead body, body cut in half with knife (implied with obscured body)
Sexual Intercourse: Implied twice - couple in bed- no nudity
Nudity: Painting of nude woman in background, Near nudity - woman in underwear
Homosexual Conduct: None
Sexually Suggestive Action/Dialog: Several times - wife tries to initiate sex, woman in underwear at peep show talks with Wayland, reference to prostitution/prostitute, husband cheats on wife with prostitute, reference to wife having affair
Drug Abuse: Cigarette smoking, alcohol abuse, pills taken, reference to being drunk, drunken behavior at party
Other: Cop owes gambling debt, priest takes money to pass to bookie, man uses medical condition to aid lies, child plays with father's gun at table
Running Time: 110 minutes
Intended Audience: Adults

Copyright Preview Family Movie Review (www.previeoOnline.org)