Ninth Gate, The

MPAA Rating: R

Entertainment: +2

Content: -3

Famed director Roman Polanski offers this dark drama featuring Johnny Depp as Dean Corso, a "book detective" in New York City. A wealthy, occult book collector named Boris Balkan (Frank Langella) hires Corso for a special mission. Balkan owns a copy of a 7th century Satanic work known as "The Nine Gates of the Kingdom of Shadows". To verify the authenticity of his copy with two others in Europe, he sends Corso on an investigative trip to Madrid and Paris. Corso must locate and compare Balkans copy with the other two. As Corso proceeds, it becomes apparent someone desperately wants the "Ninth Gate" book he carries, putting him in great danger. Even more puzzling, a mysterious young woman (Emmanuelle Seigner) follows him, but they eventually meet and travel together. Their adventures involve many harrowing escapades, including encounters with Satanists, murderers, and hired assassins. Their journey finally comes to a rather vague, unsatisfying end. The film lacks sufficient intrigue and believability to draw large audiences, although the popular star may provide modest attraction.

This occultic-themed drama could have been more sinister and violent, but it has its share of gruesome deaths, including a man hanging himself and another sets himself on fire. Other characters are drowned, choked, beaten or shot to death. On-screen occultic elements are confined largely to a ceremonial rite attended by robed Satan worshippers. One man offers his allegiance to Satan, trying to become supernatural and equal to God. The occult is portrayed as real and evil; and those who practice it are shown as fraudulent or misguided. In addition to violence, the film features other objectionable elements frequently included in similar Hollywood offerings. Extra-marital sex appears glamorous and acceptable as one rather graphic sex scene includes breast nudity. And, of course, vulgar dialogue includes several obscenities and the Lord's name used in vain. So write off this polluted, undesirable R-rated film.

Preview Reviewer: John Evans
Artisan Entertainment, 2700 Colorado Ave., 2nd Floor, Santa Monica, CA 90404

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: Several (5) times - F-word 1, s-word 1, other 3

Profanity: Several (8) times - Regular (C 2, J 1, JC 2, GD 1, MG 1, other 1)

Violence: Many times - Moderate and severe (Man hangs self, man hit on head with bottle, killing victim tied up side down by his leg, car tries to run man down, drowning victim shown in pond, fierce hand fights, strangling victim shown, gun threat, man shoots another, man beaten in head , man chokes woman, man sets self on fire)

Sex: Once - Graphic with breast nudity and movements; Implied Once - man and woman on floor

Nudity: Several (8) times - Breast nudity during sex, rear female nudity, drawings of bare-breasted women in book

Sexual Dialogue/Gesture: Few times - Intimate kissing and fondling, woman seduces man, references to orgies

Drugs: Man drinks whiskey frequently in bars and other places

Other: Man swears allegiance to Satan, man seeks equality with God, Satanic ritual shown, Satan portrayed as evil

Running Time: 130 minutes
Intended Audience: Adults

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