Firm, The

MPAA Rating: R

Entertainment: +3

Content: -2

Young, ambitious Mitch McDeere (Tom Cruise) graduates at the top of his Harvard Law School class. He has worked his way through college, married Abby, a lovely schoolteacher (Jeanne Tripplehorn), and is ready to reap the benefits of all his hard work. He accepts an unbelievably generous offer from an impressive Memphis law firm. Abby is a bit skeptical about them as she learns the firm allows wives to work, at least until the babies start coming. Nevertheless, she and Mitch are ecstatic with a lovely home, new cars and a luxurious lifestyle. Mitch soon begins to suspect the firm has its dark side. Then two mysterious federal agents inform Mitch that the firm is owned by the mafia and that Mitch's house is bugged. Should Mitch cooperate with the government? That would mean going into a witness program; refusing might result in a prison term. Through a very intricate, detailed scheme Mitch figures out a way to satisfy the FBI and outsmart the firm. This thrilling drama is based on John Grisham's best seller. Good performances by a great cast that includes Gene Hackman, Holly Hunter, Hal Holbrook and Wilford Brimley outshine the confusing, complicated plot.

Dialogue bogged down with obscenities and profanities doesn't contribute anything to THE FIRM. Mitch displays high ideals as he struggles with what looks like a hopeless dilemma. He also risks his life in a bargain to win parole for his older brother, who was wrongfully convicted of manslaughter. Although the evil law partners have orchestrated the deaths of others and have no conscience about killing, only one cold-blooded shooting appears on screen. An exciting foot chase through downtown Memphis pits unarmed Mitch against armed hoodlums, culminating in a ferocious fight and a killing. On a business trip to Grand Cayman, Mitch succumbs to the advances of a prostitute working for the firm. Sex is implied as she successfully seduces him. Another time, Abby, trying to help her husband, takes advantage of one of the partner's attraction for her. However, she drugs him before anything happens between them. This could have easily been a PG-13 film with some editing of dialogue and one bloody killing.

Preview Reviewer: Mary Draughon
Paramount Communications Inc., 5 Columbia Circle, NY, NY 10023

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 (19) times - Mild 9; Moderate 10

Obscene Language: Many (25) times (f-word 18; s-word 5; other 2)

Profanity: Regular - Several times (5)

Violence: Few times - Moderate and Severe ( bloody point-blank shooting; ferocious fight; property damage)

Sex: Implied once (no nudity)

Nudity: None

Sexual Dialogue/Gesture: Few times (husband and wife caress; man opens woman's blouse suggestively in seduction scene; women in bikinis)

Drugs: Some alcohol drinking; woman drugs man's drink

Other: None

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