Josh and S.A.M.

MPAA Rating: PG-13

Entertainment: +2 1/2

Content: -1 1/2

Twelve-year-old Josh Whitney (Jacob Tierney) and his seven-year-old brother Sam (Noah Fleiss) don't get along very well at their home in California. To make life miserable for his younger brother, imaginative Josh convinces Sam that an alien group has programmed him into a S. A. M, Strategically Altered Mutant, and controls his life. He later tries to call the charade off, but Sam is convinced it's true. When Josh and Sam are on a trip, Josh gets involved in a freak incident and thinks he has murdered a man in Dallas. So the two of them take off in a stolen car for Canada. On their cross country odyssey, they're chased by the police and come close to wrecking their auto several times. They are joined by a young runaway woman, Allison (Martha Plimpton), who helps them evade the police, but she eventually leaves. Josh decides that Sam should return home, but since Josh thinks he's wanted for murder, he can't go home. All the fast moving escapades are comical and suspenseful. The film is likely to be popular with the younger set for which it is intended.

During their adventures, Josh and Sam develop a loving bond. Josh feels a strong responsibility for his younger brother, and both are brought closer to their dad. Josh uses his dad's credit and ATM cards to pay for their food and gasoline, and young Sam shouts out crude, abusive words to his dad over the phone. Eventually, though, they see the error of their ways. Both Josh and Sam use crude language right in line with current movie trends and others use several crudities, obscenities and profanity, as well. Two urination scenes take place, but with no nudity. In another uncouth incident, Josh innocently uses a sanitary napkin as a bandage on Sam's injured forehead. A homosexual theme is introduced when Josh is characterized as gay. Like many other films, JOSH AND S.A.M. has some positive elements mixed in with some undesirable, crude ones. Too bad Hollywood insists on polluting so many promising films.

Preview Reviewer: John Evans
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: Several (6) times - Mild 5, Moderate 1

Obscene Language: Several (8) times (s-word 3, others 5)

Profanity: Several (8) times - Regular 3 (J), Exclamatory 5

Violence: Several times - Moderate (striking, fist fight, striking with pool ball and cue, rough treatment)

Sex: None

Nudity: None

Sexual Dialogue/Gesture: Once (crude reference to intercourse and homosexuality)

Drugs: Few times-Beer and whiskey drinking

Other: Sanitary napkin used as bandage; urinating scenes

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