Professional, The

MPAA Rating: R

Entertainment: +2

Content: -3

Leon (Jean Reno), a professional hit-man, works for Tony (Danny Aiello) in New York's Little Italy. Mathilda (Natalie Portmen) is a 12-year old living in the apartment next door. While Mathilda is at the store, her family is visited by Stanfield (Gary Oldman), a crooked government agent who often deals with drug dealers, sometimes killing them if the deals don't work out. Because of her dad, Stanfield kills Mathilda's family, including her 4-year old brother. When she sees the killers at her apartment, Mathilda goes to Leon. At first, Leon doesn't want anything to do with her, but she gains his friendship by teaching him to read. She also asks to learn to be a hit man. Stanfield is looking for Mathilda so he can clean up loose ends. When she goes to Stanfield's office, Leon eliminates some of his men to rescue her. Stanfield retaliates with a police assault team. Is Leon professional enough to take on all the cops in New York? The escalating violence with no real winners, and a 12-year old befriending a professional killer make this a sometimes tense but depressing film.

When Leon first meets Mathilda, she is smoking a cigarette, but hides it at his approach. Unfortunately, smoking is not her only flaw. A number of the crude, obscene and profane words also come from this young girl. To his credit, Leon tells her to quit smoking and cussing. Mathilda quickly progresses from scared little girl to determined avenger who fires a gun randomly out the window to prove her willingness to learn. She willingly shoots an anonymous jogger with a paint bullet and asks if a real bullet can be used next time. Stanfield abuses his police power to kill uncooperative drug dealers. He takes a pill and cracks his neck to relax before killings. Many of the shootings are graphic. It's also tough to watch Leon sew up his own wound. The excessive violence is more evident than the sexual content. Intercourse is implied twice, but there's neither nudity nor graphic action. Mathilda's father fondles his wife and sex is implied when interrupted by Mathilda. Don't bother to see this story of violence, psychotic drug agents and a 12-year old killer trainee.

Preview Reviewer: Paul R. Bicking
Columbia Pictures, 10202 W. Washington Blvd., Culver City, CA 90232

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: Many (12) times - Mild 3, Moderate 9

Obscene Language: Many (30) times (f-word 19, s-word 11)

Profanity: Many (10) times - Regular (GD 6, JC 4)

Violence: Many times - Severe (graphic shootings, hanging, child slapped, man sewing wound closed)

Sex: Implied twice (man with prostitute, married t nudity)

Nudity: None

Sexual Dialogue/Gesture: Few times (man talks to prostitute; husband fondles wife's breast)

Drugs: Few times (smoking, agent takes pill before shootings, drug deals discussed)

Other: Professional criminal tells girl to stop smoking and cussing; little girl lies

Running Time:
Intended Audience: Adults

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