Taking Lives

MPAA Rating: R

Entertainment: +2

Content: -3

Set in Montreal, Canada, this thriller is about FBI crime profiler Illeana Scotts (Angelina Jolie) investigation of an ongoing serial killing spree that has the French Canadian police stymied. John Costa (Ethan Hawke), the only witness to the most recent brutal killing, is an artist and can therefore provide a detailed drawing of the killer. Detective Scott uses her unique brand of crime-solving skills in addition to her intuition to understand the mind of this mysterious killer. She learns through her investigation that the killer is actually taking on his victims identities and personalities. Through her study of gruesome forensic photographs and her continuing romantic interest in Costa, Illeana believes that she is about to identify the killer. She uses Costa to attract the killer to strike again. Taking Lives, which also stars Kiefer Sutherland, takes its audience through twists and turns that are complex and morbidly fascinating.

Illeana Scott submerges herself into the case as she pours over every grotesque forensic photo available. She places them on the ceiling over her bed and on the walls of her bathroom and kitchen, constantly studying while doing her daily routines. The close-up pictures are disturbing and brutal, as are the corpses that are examined. Many will find these scenes to be disgusting while others may be fascinated by the gruesome details of the investigation. Scott and Costa are mysterious to each other, thus creating a level of romantic tension. The films one sex scene is between them and involves nudity that is unnecessary, although their coupling is crucial to the integrity of the storyline. There is a great deal of blood and shockingly aggressive killing. Due to this graphic content and strong language, including 15 f-words, Preview does not recommend it. But it will likely be popular in the theaters due to its complex and engaging plot.

Preview Reviewer: Brian Hughes
Warner Brothers

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: Few (2) times mild (hell 1); moderate (faggy 1)

Obscene Language: Many (20) times moderate (suck 2); strong (f-word 15, s-word 3)

Profanity: Once moderate (G 1)

Violence: Many times mild (yelling, slapping, beating, scuffling, person is grabbed in bed from underneath the mattress); moderate (innocent man is kicked in front of a speeding car and killed, several strangulations using razor wire, fighting between two men results in a shooting, fighting between man and woman results in a double stabbing with a man getting it in his chest and a pregnant woman in her stomach); strong (many photographs of decomposed bodies that have been severely mutilated, amputated finger shown, bleeding arm shown with wrist cut off, corpses unearthed from graves, dead/decomposed body falls out of a suspended ceiling, people with faces that were smashed with rocks, close-ups of dead bodies with disfigured and bloody faces, people apparently shot in the head and killed)

Sex: Few times mild (kissing); moderate (unclothed and unmarried man and woman sleep together in bed with sexual intimacy implied); strong (one instance of full-body coupling between man and woman with the woman fully unclothed and her breasts shown)

Nudity: Several times mild (man with his shirt off; woman in bathtub with her head, arms and legs shown); moderate (womans bare breasts shown); strong (male cadavers nude body on an examining table)

Sexual Dialogue/Gesture: None

Drugs: Several times mild (beer drinking by two high school or college-aged boys, wine at social function, cigarette smoking, one of the characters is a drug dealer)

Other: One of the characters shows a strange preoccupation with gruesome images, dwells on them and is obsessed with them

Running Time: 103 minutes
Intended Audience: Adults

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