MPAA Rating: R

Entertainment: +3

Content: -1 1/2

This intense psychological thriller, starring Anthony Hopkins and Cuba Gooding Jr., tells the story of Dr. Ethan Powell, who dedicates his life to the study of a family of gorillas in the jungles of Rwanda. Dr. Powell (Hopkins) eventually becomes so close to these gorillas that hes accepted by and lives with them. When poachers attack these gorillas, he kills two hunters and severely wounds several others. Convicted of murder, Powell is sent to a prison for the criminally insane. For years he does not speak or associate with other humans, until a psychiatrist, Dr. Theo Caulder (Gooding), takes on the assignment of evaluating him for an upcoming parole hearing. Caulder must get him to speak and tell what happened in the jungle that led to such violence. The interviews take Dr. Caulder on a fascinating journey into the brilliant mind of a so-called madman. Theo learns from this unlikely mentor about what it means to really live, more than civilized society could ever teach him. The unfolding mystery of Dr. Ethan Powell keeps audiences engrossed. With the combination of action, psychological drama, and two major Hollywood names, INSTINCT is a good bet at the box office.

A thought-provoking drama, INSTINCT raises fascinating questions about mans dominion over the earth. Dr. Powell believes that man has strayed from a world where we exercised dominion over the earth and lived in harmony with nature. Instead of hunters/gatherers, we are now an industrialized civilization of consumers, poachers and capitalists. Greed and lust for control has pitted man against animal and the natural environment. But who is really in control? Is civilization just an illusion or a game of pretend we play where we have dominion over the earth? This film may be an exaggerated assessment of mans condition, nonetheless, it raises some interesting questions. The R-rating is primarily for violence, including a graphic scene in the jungle where gorillas are shot and men beaten to death. Other graphic scenes show guards beating prisoners, fights among prisoners, and a disturbed prisoner beating his own head against a wall until he dies. Two f-words and two 2-words, along with one regular profanity are heard in the dialogue. A thrilling and highly interesting film for adult audiences, the graphic violence and language prevent our recommending INSTINCT.

Preview Reviewer: Cliff McNeely
Buena Vista Pictures, 3900 W. Alameda Ave., Burbank, CA 91521

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: Several (6) times (mild 3, moderate 3)

Obscene Language: Few (4) times (f-word 2, s-word 2)

Profanity: One time (C)

Violence: Many times mild to severe (man slammed against wall/thrown through window, gorillas shot, men killed with club, bloody head banged against wall-man dies, prisoners beaten severely, man strangled-not killed, man shot in leg)

Sex: None

Nudity: None

Sexual Dialogue/Gesture: None

Drugs: Prisoners heavily sedated

Other: Message about man living in harmony with nature

Running Time: 120 minutes
Intended Audience: Adults

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