Flesh and Bone

MPAA Rating: R

Entertainment: +2 1/2

Content: -2 1/2

In the barren plains of West Texas, Arlis Sweeney (Dennis Quaid) lives in a world of monotonous routine, stocking vending machines in surrounding towns. This lifestyle is the complete opposite of that of his childhood. His father, a cheap con artist (James Caan), forced young Arlis to help him break into people's houses until the fateful day his father killed a family to protect his identity. The only witness was a baby too small to remember. Arlis is haunted by this event until he meets Kay (Meg Ryan), a lady running from her abusive husband. The two become romantically involved. In fact, it seems to be true love until Arlis' father returns. Arlis attempts to keep his distance from his father, but the father is interested in Kay's background, which seems to hold a dark secret. The battle between the passive Arlis and the very aggressive father gives a distinctive flavor to this movie. It is a very ugly look at West Texas and criminal behavior. Though some may find this film enjoyable, most will wonder why anyone bothered to make it all.

Overall, FLESH AND BONE deals with the emotional abuse of Arlis by his father, and the physical abuse of Kay by her first husband. Though not condoned, such a subject will make most a little uncomfortable. There is unnecessary brief breast and obscured rear nudity several times. Arlis and Kay become involved sexually and they are shown together once in bed. Violence forms a bookend to the movie as it opens with a gruesome family shooting and ends with another family member being murdered. Blood oozing from wounds and splattered on walls in the first scene is unsettling but not exploitive. Arlis seems to be an honest man caught in terrible circumstances, but this does not explain his amorous adventures nor his offensive language. Kay, on the other hand, is portrayed somewhat sympathetically except for her drunkenness on two occasions and cursing. FLESH AND BONE should be buried at the box office.

Preview Reviewer: Greg Wilson
Tri-Star 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 (42) times - Mild 30; Moderate 12

Obscene Language: Many (30) times (f-word 9, s-word 10 and 11 others)

Profanity: Many (21) times - Regular 14; Exclamatory 7

Violence: Several times - Moderate (three shot at close range; hit in face)

Sex: Once, with side breast nudity, implied twice

Nudity: Several times - Near nudity three times, breast nudity side view; obscured female rear nudity once.

Sexual Dialogue/Gesture: Few times - references to intercourse

Drugs: Alcohol drinking few times, not condoned

Other: None

Running Time:
Intended Audience: Adults

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