MPAA Rating: R

Entertainment: +3

Content: -3

In CLIFFHANGER, Director Renny Harlin has fashioned a high impact, bloody action-adventure. It is set in the spectacular snow-covered peaks and canyons of the Rocky Mountains. During a highjacking of a U.S. Treasury jet transporting $100 million of new currency, the money containers accidentally fall into the snow-covered peaks below. The damaged jet crash lands nearby. The survivors are a crew of cutthroat thieves headed by sadistic criminal Eric Qualen (John Lithgow). They trick a national park rescue team into coming to their rescue. Then they become involved in a hit and run battle with the team to see who can find the money cases first. Gabe Walker (Sylvester Stallone) and his rescue partner Jessie (Janine Turner) are pursued by the outlaws. Gabe's other rescue partner, Hal Tucker (Michael Rooker), is held captive by the thugs as a guide. The cat and mouse running battle includes many bloody, brutal encounters, thrilling mountain climbing escapades, high action shooting sprees and explosions destroying helicopters and other property. The mediocre acting and dialogue take a back seat to the intense action and violence. Considering all the hype the film is receiving and its spectacular action shots, it will probably be a box office hit.

There seems to be a conscious effort in this film to push the limits of violence and foul language to outdo current competing films. Criminals and others are riddled with high impact bullets, and the camera sometimes shows the bloody killings in slow motion. Fighting and beatings dominate the action and often become brutal and sadistic. Faces and limbs are battered and bloodied. In a prolonged brutal scene, Hal is kicked and beaten sadistically by a thug pretending Hal is a soccer ball. After being severely beaten by a criminal, Gabe impales him on a natural spike in a cave. Obscenities and profanities pollute the dialogue from beginning to end and occur so frequently they sometimes seem artificial and corny. With so much action and bloody violence, there isn't time for any sexual content or nudity. It's tragic that the trend toward even more sadistic violence and obscenities seems to be accelerating.

Preview Reviewer: John Evans
Tristar 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 (33) times - Mild 18, Moderate 15

Obscene Language: Many (38) times (f-word 32, s-word 6)

Profanity: Many (18) times - Regular 17 (GD, JC, C); Exclamatory 1.

Violence: Almost Continuous - Moderate and Severe (Shoot-kill, fighting, striking, beating, grind face in snow, bone damage, biting, destruction of planes/ helicopters/ bridges, stabbing, impaling, death by falling from heights)

Sex: None

Nudity: None

Sexual Dialogue/Gesture: None

Drugs: None

Other: None

Running Time:
Intended Audience:

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