In Dreams

MPAA Rating: R

Entertainment: +1 1/2

Content: -3

Bizarre, confusing and disjointed are the adjectives that come to mind for IN DREAMS. Annette Bening plays Claire Cooper, a wife and mother of a six-year-old daughter. They have a lovely home on the edge of a huge reservoir created many years ago when a flood buried a whole village. Her husband Paul is an airline pilot concerned about Claires frequent nightmares. She dreams about young children being abducted, but when her little girl disappears suddenly, she realizes her nightmares should have warned her. The distraught mother drives her car off a bridge, and wakes up six weeks later in a hospital. Nothing or no one can stop the nightmares which become more frequent and intense. Finally, she is committed to a mental institution where some pieces of the puzzle begin falling into place. This jigsaw puzzle of a movie has a few key pieces missing, however, and will disappoint most viewers.

IN DREAMS, the dark theme of mind control emerges as Claire realizes someone is imposing their sick images into her mind. The psychological horror is excessive but there are only a few gory scenes. The fantasy of her dreams blends into reality, and even she doesnt know whats real and whats not, so how could we? A gruesome scene of a dog devouring a cadaver and a terrifying scene of Claire chasing a dog into heavy traffic and causing several crashes illustrate her mental state. She lashes out at her doctor and is stalked by a psychotic serial killer (Robert Downey Jr.) who holds her prisoner. Off camera, he shoots a policeman in the head. Claires grief over her daughter, plus the nightmares prompt Claire to attempt suicide by cutting her wrists. Visions of people drowning and a young dead girl calling to her mother add to the weirdness of the film. Many obscenities and several regular profanities litter the dialogue, and sex is implied once between Claire and Paul in a bedroom scene. IN DREAMS falls way short of a recommendation because of much foul language and its theme of horror introducing a few exploitive and gratuitous scenes of gore.

Preview Reviewer: Mary Draughon
DreamWorks Distribution, 100 Universal 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: Few (2) timesModerate

Obscene Language: Many (25) times (f word 23, s word 2)

Profanity: Several (5) timesAll Regular (J 2, C 1, G 1, GD 1)

Violence: Many timesModerate and Severe (bloody corpse, dog eating human cadaver, several drownings, woman attacks doctor and bites husband, woman slapped to floor, woman attempts suicide by driving car off bridge and cutting wrists, policeman shot off-camera; woman stalked)

Sex: Implied Once (married couple in bed, no nudity)

Nudity: None

Sexual Dialogue/Gesture: Mental patients escape by suggestively distracting guards

Drugs: Few times (woman smokes cigarettes)

Other: Drowned girl beckons to mother; many surreal fantasies of nightmares

Running Time: 105 minutes
Intended Audience: Adults

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