Brokedown Palace

MPAA Rating: PG-13

Entertainment: +2

Content: -2

When best friends Alice (Claire Danes) and Darlene (Kate Beckinsale) graduate from high school, they plan a vacation as far away from parents and rules as they can get. They change their destination without their parents knowledge from Hawaii to Thailand, which means "land of the free." Their roach infested, $6.00 a night Bangkok hotel leads them to sneak into the pool of a luxurious hotel. They charge their drinks to a hotel room, get caught by hotel security, and are rescued by Nick (Daniel Lapaine), a charming young Australian who becomes their "friend." He invites them to join him in Hong Kong for more partying, but Alice and Darlene are arrested at the airport for carrying heroin in a backpack. Despite the efforts of Hank Green (Bill Pullman), an American lawyer in Bangkok, half-hearted pleas of the American Embassy and bribes, the girls are found guilty and sentenced to 33 years in prison. This heart-wrenching story is based on true experiences of nave tourists innocently caught up in drug trafficking. BROKEDOWN PALACE is both depressing and uplifting, especially as the rebellious teenagers learn what freedom means.

The teenagers suffer intolerable consequences for rebelling and for trusting a charming stranger. Scenes of the prison called Brokedown Palace are grim indeed. Although prisoners live like caged animals with no privacy, violence is limited to Alices hands beaten with a bat once, and some rough treatment. In spite of many timely lessons that might be taught in this drama, theres no excuse for the 6 obscenities and seven regular profanities. Darlene admits to having sex with Nick, but there are no sex scenes. Rear female nudity is shown briefly once in the prison community shower room. In prison, Alice defiantly smokes dope before she accepts responsibility for her destructive behavior. The loyalty and depth of the girls friendship give them the strength to endure their nightmare. Alices new wisdom gives her freedom to become a heroine who ultimately saves Darlenes life. Without its offensive language BROKEDOWN PALACE could have been a meaningful film experience for parents and teenagers.

Preview Reviewer: Mary Draughon
20th Century Fox, 10201 W. Pico Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90035

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 (5) timesMild 4, Moderate 1

Obscene Language: Many (6) times (2 s-words, 1 f-word, finger gesture 1, other 2)

Profanity: Many (10) timesRegular 7 (G sake 1, G 2, GD 3), Exclamatory 3

Violence: Few timesModerate (girls hands hit with bat, pushing and shoving, rough treatment of prisoners)

Sex: None, but implied once (unmarried couple at hotel)

Nudity: Once (rear female nudity in prison)

Sexual Dialogue/Gesture: Few times (girls talk about feelings for man)

Drugs: Several times (teenagers drinking beer at party, girl smoking dope, drug addict suffering withdrawal)

Other: Consequences of lying, inhumanity of foreign prison system, strong friendship gives strength

Running Time: 101 minutes
Intended Audience: Teenagers and adults

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