Heaven's Prisoners

MPAA Rating: R

Entertainment: +1

Content: -3

The film opens with Dave Robicheaux (Alec Baldwin) confessing to a priest how badly he wants a drink, but it's a while before we know his background. One day he and his wife, Annie (Kelly Lynch) witness a plane crash, and they rescue the only survivor, a four-year-old girl, whom they take into their home. Dave begins searching for answers to the mysterious plane crash. He's a former policeman for the New Orleans police department trying to live a quiet life running a fish and bait shop. Tragedy strikes as his investigation leads to a low-life criminal named Bubba (Eric Roberts), Dave's long-time friend with mob connections. Mary Stuart Masterson plays a stripper, Robin, who offers to help Dave with the child after Annie is brutally murdered. This disjointed, complicated plot is difficult to follow and the characters will not elicit much sympathy from viewers.

Violence is rampant as the mob attempts to discourage Dave's investigation. We see one man smashed with a pool cue, another hit with a liquor bottle and one electrocuted in a bathtub. One of the gangsters breaks the stripper's fingers. And numerous fist fights, two shootings and a man hit by a car add to the graphic violence. The bloody aftermath of Annie's killing in her bedroom becomes a sacred mourning place for Dave, who refuses to clean it up. He also starts drinking again. Over 52 obscenities and four regular profanities are disgusting. In a brief but shocking scene, Bubba's wife (Teri Hatcher) stands on a balcony wearing only an open robe flapping in the breeze. Annie is shown first in a skimpy bathing suit, and then nude from the waist up. Other breast nudity occurs at a club where a dancer is gyrating suggestively. When Robin moves in with Dave after Annie dies, their relationship appears to be platonic, not sexual. HEAVEN'S PRISONERS' foul language, excessive violence and disregard for the law is more hellish than heavenly.

Preview Reviewer: Theresa Zumwalt
NewLine Cinema, 575 8th Ave., 16th Flr., NY, NY 10018

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 (9) times - Mild 1, Moderate 8

Obscene Language: Many (52) times - F-word 37, s-word 10, other 5

Profanity: Few (4) times - Regular

Violence: Many times - Moderate and Severe (graphic killings by electrocution, gunshots, hit by speeding car; vicious fist fights, woman's fingers broken, slapping, man smashed with pool cue, another hit with bottle)

Sex: None

Nudity: Few times (breast nudity twice, frontal female nudity briefly); near nudity (woman in brief bathing suit)

Sexual Dialogue/Gesture: Few times (man grabs his crotch and makes lewd remark; other crude comments)

Drugs: Several times (alcoholic resumes drinking; cigarette smoking)

Other: : Criminal practices voodoo (not condoned); church referred to respectfully

Running Time:
Intended Audience: Adults

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