MPAA Rating: R

Entertainment: +2 1/2

Content: -4

In this adaptation of one of Shakespeares lesser known plays, Roman general Titus Andronicus (Anthony Hopkins) returns from battle to bury 21 of his 25 sons. He has captured Tamora (Jessica Lange), queen of the Goths, her three sons, and her servant. Titus quickly kills Tamoras eldest son in ritual sacrifice. But Titus returns to an even more volatile political situation. The emperor has died and his two sons are fighting for rights to the throne. When the Senate unexpectedly names Titus as emperor, he refuses in favor of the eldest son, Saturnine (Alan Cumming). Saturnine soon marries the seductive prisoner Tamora, and when she realizes her newfound freedom, plans her revenge on Titus. Her servant, Aaron the Moor (Harry J. Lennix), aids in her vengeful plot. The amazing technical elements give the film a distinctive look and feel with unique sets and costumes. From one of the great literary figures of all time, the story is compelling and intriguing. However, Shakespeares works, particularly violent tragedies, dont always bring in the crowds.

TITUS sometimes leaves the drama category and becomes a black comedy. Several times, Shakespeare cleverly weaves jokes and light-hearted moments into the midst of incredibly disturbing circumstances. Like the movie PULP FICTION, this becomes uncomfortable as the viewer is torn between disgust and laughter. Adapting one of Shakespeares most violent works, director Julie Taymor fills the movie with plenty of sickening moments. For example, one scene shows a womans hands cut off and her tongue cut out. When she is found, twigs replace her hands and massive amounts of blood drain from her mouth as she tries to speak. To heighten the appearance of decadence in the imperial court, the movie adds a disgusting orgy scene showing various male and female nudity. More disturbing is the graphic presentation of an unconventional sex act, although without explicit nudity. This incredibly violent, and sometimes sexually graphic, adaptation of Shakespeares classic tale of bloody revenge condemns the evils of warfare, but also fills scenes with unacceptable images.

Preview Reviewer: John Adair
Fox Searchlight, 10201 W. Pico Blvd., LA, CA 90035

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 times Mild 2, Moderate 1

Obscene Language: None

Profanity: None

Violence: Many times Moderate and severe (men punched/ kicked/ cut/ stabbed/ beaten/ shot, stumps shown after hands cut off, intestines shown in bowl, womans neck broken, mouth bleeds after tongue cut out, throats cut)

Sex: Once graphic, implied once (implied rape, graphic orgy scene with female breast, rear, and male rear nudity includes unconventional sex)

Nudity: Several times (in orgy scene, female breast in bed, non-sexual male rear, full male in shower); Near Nudity - several times (low cut outfits, cleavage, woman in underwear)

Sexual Dialogue/Gesture: Many times (crude references to sex and body parts, brothers simulate sex with a woman)

Drugs: Several times (smoking, alcohol)

Other: Mention of praying to the gods common in the Roman period; people seek revenge for betrayal, man portrayed as entirely evil, implied cannibalism

Running Time: 162 minutes
Intended Audience: Adults

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