MPAA Rating: R

Entertainment: +3

Content: -3

From the opening frame, eerie music sets the tone of this dark suspense thriller. Guy (Chazz Palminteri) is the cruel, philandering headmaster of a boys' school. As his beautiful wife, Mia (Isabella Adjani), has a heart attack, he passively stands by watching. Nichole (Sharon Stone), a teacher, bursts into the room and administers Mia's medication. Nichole also happens to be Guy's mistress, but she and Mia agree he should die. After a violent struggle, they kill Guy and hide his body. When a John Doe body appears, Mia goes to identify it, expecting it to be Guy. It is not, and a wily detective (Kathy Bates) begins to poke her nose into the case. This remake of a 1955 French film has surprising twists that keep viewers on the edge of their seats.

Although the film is rich in religious symbolism like crucifixes and stained glass windows, money and sex motivate the characters, not religion. After the murder, Mia has regrets and turns to God for comfort, confessing her sins to a priest. But her confession doesn't really affect her actions. Nichole, the instigator of the crime, admits she has never believed in God. These women consider all men selfish, cruel and crude. Certainly Guy is as he stands by watching Mia in the throes of a heart attack, writhing completely nude on the bathroom floor. He also degrades Mia by name-calling. Violent, bloody crimes include the women's two attempts to drown Guy. In another scene, a man is viciously struck in the head with a rake. A gratuitous classroom scene shows students watching a graphic film on the male reproductive system, using clinical terminology. There is also a prolonged superfluous sex scene between Guy and Nichole. Obscenities and several crudities further pollute the film. More offensive, however, is that the killers do not appear to suffer any consequences for their crime. It is unfortunate that this engrossing mystery includes offensive language, as well as a gratuitous sex scene, nudity and bloody violence.

Preview Reviewer: Theresa Zumwalt
Warner Bros., 4000 Warner Blvd., Burbank, CA 91522

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 (6) times - Mild 2, Moderate 4

Obscene Language: Many (11) times (s-word 3, f-words 6, other 2)

Profanity: Few (2) times - Regular 1, Exclamatory 1

Violence: Few times - Moderate and Severe (degrading name-calling, hitting, women drown man, vicious attack with a rake)

Sex: Once (prolonged without nudity, unmarried couple)

Nudity: Once (full female frontal as woman has heart attack)

Sexual Dialogue/Gesture: Classroom scene detailing male reproductive system

Drugs: Some alcohol drinking

Other: Man urinates in pool; woman's turn to God for help insincere; no consequences suffered for crime

Running Time: Unknown
Intended Audience: Adults

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