Mary Reilly

MPAA Rating: R

Entertainment: +1 1/2

Content: -2

If you are expecting a remake of the old Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, don't go to see MARY REILLY. This is the demented story of two sad, tormented people. Mary Reilly (Julia Roberts) is the loyal housemaid of Dr. Jekyll (John Malkovich). She is haunted by the past abuses of her drunken father, and finds safety in the confines of the doctor's home. She tells Jekyll about her father's beatings and about being locked in a closet with a rat that gnawed at her wrists and neck. Because of her pain, she becomes sensitive to Jekyll's weaknesses and attuned to his needs. However, her trust isn't enough to spare the good doctor the evils of his assistant, Mr. Hyde. Devoted to Dr. Jekyll and drawn to Hyde, Mary finds herself locked in a secret that only she can unravel to learn the awful truth. Even John Malkovich's great acting can't save MARY REILLY from being much too long and drawn out. It's a love story trapped in the sickening confines of a very gruesome, evil man.

Although there is only one crudity uttered, the constant flashes of murder, blood and gore make MARY REILLY a dark experience. In one scene, a young girl is stepped on and beaten by Hyde. In another scene, the madam of a brothel (Glenn Close) is beheaded off-screen by Hyde, but he holds her severed head up. Yet another victim is clubbed in the face and head. Besides being extremely gory, the film doesn't even follow the original plot of Jekyll drinking a potion that turns him into Hyde. In this version, Hyde comes out of Jekyll as a screaming baby pushing its way out through Jekyll's chest. To show his disgust of Hyde, Jekyll draws pictures of knives going into a mother's womb, killing the unborn baby. This film has nothing to offer but shocking, confusing, disturbing scenarios. Hyde himself says that his fractured soul has left him with a taste for oblivion. And that's where MARY REILLY belongs -- in a state of oblivion.

Preview Reviewer: Sherry Oswald
TriStar Pictures, 9000 Sunset Blvd., #711, Los Angeles, CA 90069

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: Once - Moderate

Obscene Language: None

Profanity: None

Violence: Many times - Moderate and Severe (live eel butchered, cows gutted and butchered, child beaten and put in closet with rat, implied sexual abuse of child, girl kicked and beaten, dead rat gutted, killing implied by bloody aftermath, woman beheaded off-screen - but severed head held up, man beaten with club, drawing of knife, in woman's womb, suicide implied)

Sex: Implied in brothel scene

Nudity: None; Near nudity - women in low cut dresses

Sexual Dialogue/Gesture: Several (men in brothel, obscene drawing of male body, villain grabs maid's breasts and forces a kiss, licks her neck)

Drugs: Few times (alcohol drinking)


Running Time: Unknown
Intended Audience: Adults

Click HERE for a PRINTER-FRIENDLY version of this review.