Saint of Ft. Washington, The

MPAA Rating: R

Entertainment: +3

Content: -3

This film is a tribute to those humans who endure a mountain of difficulties with their spirit intact. When the hotel where Matthew (Matt Dillon) lives is demolished, he finds himself on the streets of New York. He is a diagnosed schizophrenic who hears voices and has been in and out of mental institutions. Jerry (Danny Glover), a Vietnam vet, finds himself homeless after his business partner gambles away their assets. Matthew and Jerry meet at the city-run shelter at the Fort Washington armory. Jerry sees Matthew's innocence and takes him under his wing. By washing windows and recycling aluminum cans, the pair hope to save enough for an apartment. But their plan comes to a tragic end at the hands of a crooked shelter, police department and city regulations. Dillon's portrayal of the schizophrenic Matthew is a career high. Not just about homelessness, THE SAINT OF FORT WASHINGTON is for all who believe in the resilience of the human spirit.

This realistic portrayal of living on the streets is accompanied by a large dose of obscenities, crudities and profanities. Although danger lurks around every corner, the actual incidents of violence are few. The most unsettling violence is a policeman hitting a man in the head with a club. Also a pregnant girl loses her baby when she falls downstairs. One curious sequence shows a young unmarried couple living together in a condemned building. These scenes are neither well acted nor purposeful. Numerous references to Judeo-Christian terminology include the voices Matthew hears compared to God's voice when he spoke to Moses. He also has some kind of healing ability and dies a martyr's death. Jerry even baptizes him as St. Matthew, Saint of all the homeless people. Never really clarified, however, these references are primarily props to carry the story along. The obscurity of whatever spiritual elements are purposeful offers little substance for those truly searching.

Preview Reviewer: Krista Kay Bontrager
Warner Bros., 4000 Warner Blvd., Burbank, CA 91522

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: Several (9) times - Mild 4; Moderate 5

Obscene Language: Many (41) times (f-word 32; s-word 7; other 2)

Profanity: Several (7) times - Regular 2; Exclamatory 5

Violence: Few times - Severe and Moderate (slap in face; implied stabbing; guy's arm broken; hit in head by police with club; pregnant girl falls down stairs)

Sex: None

Nudity: None

Sexual Dialogue/Gesture: Unmarried couple shown in bed together fully clothed; conceive child

Drugs: Smoking; painkillers compared with heaven; drinking once, not condoned

Other: Numerous Judeo-Christian references handled neutrally

Running Time:
Intended Audience: Adults

Click HERE for a PRINTER-FRIENDLY version of this review.