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Parents' Guide to

Grosse Pointe Blank

By Betsy Bozdech, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 17+

Quirky mix of laughs, romance, strong violence.

Movie R 2000 107 minutes
Grosse Pointe Blank Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this movie.

Community Reviews

age 16+

Based on 3 parent reviews

age 18+

A sassy movie lacks everything!

R: sequences of strong violence
age 15+

Dark comedy never takes things too seriously

One of my all-time favorite movies features hitmen contemplating their lives: "In Bruges," and the instant attraction of the similarity of plots and the four big names headlining the movie made me watch it! I haven't seen a great deal of John Cusack's 80s work: I've seen the better part of "Better Off Dead," haven't seen "Say Anything" and HAVE seen him in "2012." So you'll forgive me when I say I like him but just don't care about him a great deal. "GPB" changed that indefinitely. His charisma onscreen is alarming, his chemistry with his therapist, love interest and rival all share a warmth to them, even if he is quite snarky. He just completely carries this film, and the credits given to him show that he was heavily involved, co-writing and co-producing this as well. It's a passion project for sure. The only one they waste is Alan Arkin as a kind of therapist, he doesn't really go anywhere except to serve as exposition. But oh boy, Cusack's rapid-fire exchanges with Minnie Driver (perfect American accent BTW) and especially his diner sequence with Dan Akroyd, who has a ball here, are electric. My biggest complaint here is that there was fat to trim, and when he interacts with the quirky characters of Grosse Pointe, those are the moments that lose me. But I'm glad I watched it, I recommend it to older movie-loving teens and up out there, and even though it's not on par with "In Bruges" (especially the harshly rushed ending), it certainly deserves an honorable mention.

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (3 ):
Kids say (4 ):

Cusack fans -- and there are many -- are bound to enjoy GROSSE POINTE BLANK, which is a quirky mix of dark humor, startling violence, and banter-filled romance. There are traces of Cusack's iconic Say Anything character Lloyd Dobler in the angsty, quippy Martin Blank -- if Lloyd's relationship with Diane had gone off the rails, you could almost picture the kickboxing underdog channeling his pain into Martin's deadly lifestyle.

Though Cusack, Driver, and the rest of their Grosse Pointe High classmates seem a bit too old to be having their 10th reunion (15th probably didn't have quite the same hook?), the reunion setting offers lots of opportunities for both humor and self-reflection ... amid chases and fights, of course. Cusack's sister Joan has a memorably funny supporting role as Martin's gung-ho assistant, and the movie's soundtrack -- which includes Johnny Nash's "I Can See Clearly Now," the Violent Femmes' "Blister in the Sun," and '80s hit "Take on Me" -- is strong enough to rival a Cameron Crowe film. It may be too offbeat for some, but if you like your comedy pitch-black and your romances full of snappy rejoinders, Grosse Pointe Blank is a fun entry in Cusack's canon.

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