MPAA Rating: PG-13

Entertainment: +2

Content: -2

Shia LaBeouf, Carrie-Anne Moss, David Morse, Sarah Roemer. Teen thriller. Written by Christopher Landon, Carl Ellsworth. Directed by D.J. Caruso.

FILM SYNOPSIS: After his fathers death, Kale (Shia LaBeouf) becomes sullen, withdrawn, and troubled so much so that he finds himself under a court-ordered sentence of house arrest. Soon, the walls of his house begin to close in. He becomes a voyeur as his interest turn outside the windows of his suburban home towards those of his neighbors, one of which Kale begins to suspect is a serial killer.

PREVIEW REVIEW: Despite the title, no, this isnt a sequel to the Tom Hanks comedy Burbs. Its a teen version of Rear Window, without the wit, style or inventiveness of Hitchcock. The intended audience, by now desensitized to just about anything that can be portrayed on screen, wont flinch at the excessive content, be it the use of Jesus name, which has become the new damn, or the jolting reality of a sudden car crash. But neither will they be subjected to subtlety found in the Hitchcock thriller. Quite honestly, I think todays teens would be bored with Rear Windows vogue. Certainly they would squirm while viewing the fashions of decades past. That becomes evident when the lead plays a song by Lou Rawls in order to bug the neighbor teen partiers. To them its like nails on a chalkboard.

But its not a bad film. Shia LaBeouf has established himself as a fine actor, one of the best of his generation, Sarah Roemer his romantic interest in the film looks good in a bikini (shes the new Jessica Biel), and David Morse always adds legitimacy to a film, though here hes pretty transparent, like the demonic Robert Mitchum character in Cape Fear. Whats more, the tension-building direction of D. J. Caruso (The Salton Sea, Taking Lives), should satisfy younger audiences. But if Rear Window is filet mignon, Disturbia is hamburger helper.

Video alternative: Rear Window. In this macabre tale of voyeurism and murder, a wheelchair-bound photographer (James Stewart) suspects the neighbor across the courtyard has murdered his own wife. Unable to move about, our hero must depend on his girlfriend (Grace Kelly) to do the investigating.

Preview Reviewer: Phil Boatwright
Paramount 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: A few crude sexual remarks as the teen boys spy on the bikini-clad next door neighbor.

Obscene Language: Around 20 obscenities, mostly the s-word. The lead utters a few of these words, plus the misuse of Christs name even when talking to his mother, which implies this as being acceptable speech in mixed company.

Profanity: Six or seven uses of Jesus name by the frustrated lead. Oh my God is uttered several times by startled teens.

Violence: A graphic and jolting car wreck; we see several dead bodies done in by a serial killer; a teen girl views photos of a rotting corpse, after which she says shes hungry and orders a pizza; there are a couple of brutal fight scenes, a bat hits a teen; several people are seen in perilous situations. A sullen teen hits his teacher. Blood: We see blood splattered, the implication being a woman has just had her throat cut.

Sex: Preteen boys view porn, we see topless women in the video; the teen couple kiss passionately, then are seen a couple of times making out; the camera does several adult video-like close-ups of the teen girl in a bikini. Guys, I felt manipulated by the filmmaker during this scene and felt like a dirty old man as the camera roamed over her exposed body. The exploitive exposure of the adolescent female was included Im sure to satisfy adolescent males. I guess we grownups are supposed to cover our eyes.

Nudity: Porn video viewed by horny preteens has several shots of topless women.

Sexual Dialogue/Gesture: None

Drugs: None

Other: The lead is self-centered and a slob. Infidelity is shown and later implied as the teen girl describes her parents.

Running Time: 104 minutes
Intended Audience: Teens and Adults

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