Meet Joe Black

MPAA Rating: PG-13

Entertainment: +3

Content: -2

Media tycoon William Parrish (Anthony Hopkins) is about to meet the most influential man of his life. When Joe Black (Brad Pitt), the personification of death in the deceased body of an anonymous man, suddenly appears at Parrish's door, William finds himself at the mercy of this mysterious guest. In exchange for extending his life, William agrees to show Joe the unfamiliar aspects of life that he has always wondered about. Realizing that his life is at an end, William begins to focus more on his family and less on the financial empire he has worked so hard to obtain. But complications arise when Joe falls in love with William's beautiful daughter, Susan (Clair Forlani). This three hour dark drama about death humorously depicts the small and insignificant pleasures of life that we so often take for granted. Although it has a tendency to move at a slow and mellow pace, MEET JOE BLACK is likely to do well in the box office thanks to the fine performance of the very popular Hopkins and Pitt.

It's amazing how quickly William's priorities change when he discovers that he is close to death. It's touching to watch him suddenly place great value on his family and attempt to make things right before he dies. Death possessing a deceased body and experiencing life raises several spiritual questions. But since the film makes no attempt to answer any of these questions, the film's puzzling, fictional phenomena can be Biblically misleading. A scene of black humor creeps early into the film, as an anonymous gentleman is unexpectedly but violently hit by oncoming traffic. And a graphic sex scene with obscured breast nudity discolors the film as Death discovers the pleasures of sex. Four regular profanities, many crudities and 7 s words, accompanied by one f word further tarnish the dark image of this unique film. Although the questionable spiritual elements may disturb some viewers, the graphic sex scene and objectionable language are enough to keep us from endorsing this film.

Preview Reviewer: Rik Wyrick
Universal Pictures, 100 Universal City Plaza, Universal City, CA, 91608

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 (15) times - Mild 9, Moderate 6

Obscene Language: Many (10) times (f word 1, s word 7, other 2)

Profanity: Few (4) times - Regular (GD 4)

Violence: Once Severe (man graphically hit by car)

Sex: Once Graphic (couple in bed with near nudity)

Nudity: None; Near Nudity: Few times (obscured breast nudity as couple undress each other and engage in graphic sex; woman in swimsuit, low cut dresses)

Sexual Dialogue/Gesture: Twice (couple discuss sexual pleasure, man sensually says, 'I love little girls')

Drugs: Wine consumed at party

Other: None

Running Time: 179 minutes
Intended Audience: Adults

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