Minus Man, The

MPAA Rating: R

Entertainment: +1

Content: -2 1/2

Vann (Owen Wilson) is a nice young man who seems to fade into the background. Theres nothing outstanding about him other than his almost simplistic demeanor and shyness. But when he move into the empty room at the Derwins, unusual events occur. Doug Derwin (Brian Cox) takes Vann underwing and gets him a job at the Post Office. Jane Derwin (Mercedes Ruehl), at first reserved, even begins to think of Vann as family. Ferrin (Janeane Garafalo), a postal clerk, tries to draw Vann out of his shyness. But unknown to all of them, Vann has another habit. He periodically poisons people, like an alcoholic barfly, the towns high school football star, and a grumpy man in a diner. However, when Jane is found dead, the investigation focuses on Doug rather than the newcomer. The low-key characters and slow-pacing of the story make this film seem longer than its 85 minutes. Vanns voice-over narrative thoughts further add to the tedium. While it may provoke discussion, THE MINUS MAN will more than likely be a minus at the box office as well.

Vanns first victim in the film is a woman from a roadhouse. After drinking all day, she accepts a ride from Vann and offers him drugs, which he refuses. However, when she injects drugs at a rest stop, he gives her a drink of poisoned amaretto, leaving her body at the rest stop. Picking up the football star walking home from practice, he lets the young man have a drink, then buries him on the beach. Observing a grumpy man in a diner, upset by the antics of children, Vann slips poison into the mans drink. Sadly, Vann seems to have no remorse at his killings. However, occassional conversations in his head with two detectives indicate his sub-conscious may be bothering him. Ferrin tries to seduce Vann but they do little more than kiss. One scene seems to indicate an attempted rape as they wrestle, but Vann stops and leaves. Doug drinks heavily and is referred to as a masochist but little violence is shown. Unfortunately, the dialogue contains a number of f- and s-words along with several crude terms. Scenes of drug use, foul language and killing without consequences subtract greatly from THE MINUS MAN.

Preview Reviewer: Paul Bicking
TSG Pictures

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) times - Mild 1, moderate 4

Obscene Language: Many (20) times - F-word 11, s-word 8, other 1

Profanity: Few (3) times - Regular 2 (JC,C), exclamatory 1 (OMG)

Violence: Few times - Mild and moderate (implied hit w/hammer in dream, man has cut near eye, man wrestles with woman in rape-like attack but stops)

Sex: None

Nudity: Nude woman in painting; Near nudity (man in underwear)

Sexual Dialogue/Gesture: Woman flirts with man, sensuous kiss, seduction turns to rape-like attack

Drugs: Alcohol drinking, drunken behavior, drugs injected, cigarette and pipe smoking

Other: Man poisons people without remorse, reference to serial killer Ted Bundy, church memorial service and funeral portrayed neutrally, ashes scattered, painting shows boy w/gun to head

Running Time: 110 minutes
Intended Audience: Adults

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