MPAA Rating: R

Entertainment: +2

Content: -4

Julianne Moore, Samuel L. Jackson, Edith Falco, Ron Eldard, William Forsythe. Written by Richard Price. Directed by Joe Roth. Crime drama.

FILM SYNOPSIS: A white woman blames a black man for the kidnapping of her son. But the crime detective begins to wonder if it is the mother, herself, who is the guilty culprit.

PREVIEW REVIEW: Perhaps the most intense movie I have ever seen, I found myself so disturbed by the histrionically charged events that I actually stepped out of the theater momentarily. The film is dealing with the kidnapping and death of a 4-year-old child and the setting is in a poor, crime-ridden projects area, its citizenry enraged by their imprisoning poverty and the indifference of the white community. The mother has been a doper, and soon it becomes obvious that she is also struggling with mental disorder. The policeman has his own problems, with a grown son now incarcerated and his community up in arms. And racism, which just doesnt seem to be quenchable, is a theme threaded throughout the main storyline. This subplot may make many audience members feel guilty, while others may find themselves frustrated that there seems to be no viable answer to racial tensions in a country that professes to be overwhelmingly anti-intolerance. Put these elements together and you have a movie thats enlightening, yet emotionally violent.

Well written, expertly directed and movingly acted, the film is quality. It reminds viewers of the need to keep reaching out to those less fortunate. And surprisingly, the male lead professes a belief in God and is motivated by that belief. There are at least two instances where he speaks of God and the need for Him in our lives, as well as putting that faith into action by reaching out to others. He has found redemption and he witnesses this salvation to others. Thats an incredible element seldom found in movie cops. But, oh my, what we have to sit through in order to come face to face with life issues.

TV news manages to feature at least one crime against children nightly. The same is true for cases of prejudice and mans inhumanity to man. Some may be further enlightened by seeing a dramatization of these atrocities. I admit to being moved by this film, and especially the lead characters spiritual confession, but it battered me emotionally. Those looking to escape such painful issues when selecting a movie may want to pass on this one.

Preview Reviewer: Phil Boatwright
Sony Pictures

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: none that I remember

Obscene Language: the dialogue is peppered with the s-word and the f-word throughout

Profanity: at least 6 times Gods name and that of His son are misused

Violence: much emotional and physical violence, including mobs being held back by the authorities, and a couple of physical fight scenes; there is much hostility in this film as people grapple with injustice and substance abuse. Blood: briefly a man is wounded; we see blood on a womans hands

Sex: none

Nudity: none

Sexual Dialogue/Gesture: none

Drugs: a discussion concerning drug abuse, but it does not glorify its use

Other: a great deal of tension as the script deals with child abduction and race relations`

Running Time: 120 minutes
Intended Audience: Adults

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