Crossing Guard, The

MPAA Rating: R

Entertainment: +2

Content: -3

It's been six years since John Booth (David Morse) was sent to jail for manslaughter. While driving drunk, he had hit a little girl. Having served his time, he's now a free man but he still has to live with the guilt. The child's father, Freddy Gale (Jack Nicholson), has been waiting six years for his revenge. Freddy gives John three days to think about dying, but John's remorse has given him no reason to live. But then he meets JoJo (Robin Wright), an artist who does give him something to look forward to. Freddy thinks revenge will restore some of what he lost in his daughter's death, but he hasn't even visited her grave. Freddy goes after John on the third day, but he's stopped for drunk driving. Fleeing the police, he still chases John, but John may be his only hope. An interesting character study of the lives involved in a drunk driving death, but its slow pace may bore the viewer.

Freddy, divorced from his wife, Mary (Anjelica Huston), spends his nights in a local strip joint with his friends drinking heavily. These scenes frequently include the scantily clothed dancers with bare breasts and rear nudity. Freddy has sex with some of the strippers, which is implied in suggestive bedroom scenes. Also, John and JoJo become sexually involved, which is depicted in one graphic instance without nudity. Mary and her new husband seem tolerant of Freddy, but in sharp contrast to him, Mary deals with her daughter's death through therapy. John is remorseful and talks about the guilt he feels with both his parents and JoJo. He also helps Freddy in the end, even after Freddy tries to shoot him. But the nudity, sex and frequent obscenities drown out CROSSING GUARD'S insights into the way three people deal with one tragedy. A film supported by the Mothers Against Drunk Driving should be recommendable to a large audience. Unfortunately, this film can't because of its language, sex and nudity.

Preview Reviewer: Paul Bicking
Miramax Films, 375 Greenwich, NY, NY 10013

The following categories contain objective listings of film content which contribute to the subjective numeric Content ratings posted to the left and on the Home page.

Crude Language: Few (4) times - Moderate

Obscene Language: Many (32) times (f-word 30, s-word 2)

Profanity: Several (7) times - Regular 4 (GD), Exclamatory 3

Violence: Few times - Moderate (man bangs head on prison bars, fist hit, gun threat, one shooting, but no serious injury)

Sex: Few times (implied 3 times in bedroom scenes with nudity; graphic sex once without nudity)

Nudity: Many times (female breast and rear nudity in nightclub and implied sex scenes); near nudity once (revealing t-shirt)

Sexual Dialogue/Gesture: Several times (sexually suggestive dialogue in club; sensual kissing and dancing

Drugs: Cigar/cigarette smoking, excessive alcohol use

Other: Serious treatment of drunk driving

Running Time:
Intended Audience: Adults

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