In The Line Of Fire

MPAA Rating: R

Entertainment: +3

Content: -2 1/2

In this action thriller, Clint Eastwood plays Frank Horrigan, an aging U.S. secret service agent assigned to a unit to protect the president during public appearances. He's haunted, however, by the thought that he may not have reacted swiftly enough when Kennedy was assassinated in 1981. When the government starts receiving anonymous calls from a man who says he's going to kill the president, Frank is assigned to the case and pursues it with vengeance. The mystery caller, Mitch Leary (John Malkovitch), starts calling Frank directly and delights in a running cat and mouse game with him. Frank pursues every clue he can dig up to track down Leary, but finds him to be a shrewd opponent. Along the way, he finds time to develop a romantic relationship with Lily Raines (Rene Russo), an attractive co-worker. When the president goes on an extended campaign tour, Frank knows it may be his last. Tension builds as Frank intensifies his efforts to stop Leary. This story is somewhat predictable, but has plenty of suspense, action and plot twists to make it exciting entertainment.

Mitch Leary is a sadistic killer who breaks the neck of one woman and bashes another into the wall. He shoots other victims at close range and tries to strangle and smother Frank's closest companion. Later, he shoots him in the head in a bloody encounter. There are other shootings and fighting throughout the story as well. All this violence is intense and sometimes excessively graphic, but is a valid component of the story. Totally unnecessary, though, are the frequent obscenities and profanities in the dialogue. Also, Frank and Lily are shown in a passionate bedroom scene which almost leads to sex, but is interrupted. She is shown in her undergarments. Frank is a dedicated public servant who has respect for his country and a dogged determination to do his job well. He doesn't hesitate, however, to entice Lily into an affair. IN THE LINE OF FIRE is an engrossing adventure, but it suffers from much offensive language and some excessively explicit violence.

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: Many (34) times - Mild 22, Moderate 12

Obscene Language: Many (36) times (f-word 15, s-word 17, other 4)

Profanity: Many (18) times - Regular 14, Exclamatory 4

Violence: Many times - Moderate and severe (shoot-kill at close range, break neck, bash head, strangle-smother, threatening chases and rough treatment, fighting, property destruction, fall to death, bloody victims shown)

Sex: None, but graphic scene leading to it

Nudity: Near nudity-twice; women in undergarments

Sexual Dialogue/Gesture: Few times - Moderate (slang reference to intercourse, passionate kissing, subtle sexual conversation)

Drugs: Several times - Alcohol drinking (in bars, hotels and home)

Other: None

Running Time:
Intended Audience:

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