A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
The movie asks if two people can really love and trust each other amidst a heavy cops-and-robbers atmosphere of criminal deceit (and a half a million bucks up for grabs). Secondary idea of how far Jackie will go to save herself and assure her future.
Positive Role Models
Potentially the most decent person is chivalrous bail bondsman Max, who ultimately seems to decide that romantic prospect Jackie is a little too sneaky for him. Strong, smart characters in this underworld milieu cut across gender and ethnic lines. Police, though not corrupt, are manipulative, bullying, and not the
kind of people to confide in.
Violence & Scariness
Characters shot to death, in some cases with blood resulting, but the actual deed is either at a great distance or just offscreen. Automatic weapons fired at targets in a firearms-fan video.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
Two characters have standing up, partially clothed, spur-of-the-moment sex. One female bare-butt shot. Women in skimpy bikinis.
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Frequent language, including "f--k," the N-word, "s--t," "t-tty," "ass," "damn," and "God" used as an exclamation.
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Products & Purchases
Chain-store names such as Banana Republic, Merle Norman, and Things Rememered on display in a shopping-mall setting. Plug for the R&B band The
Delfonics. A soundtrack album exists, as does the Elmore Leonard source novel Rum Punch.
Mention of car manufacturers -- and gun manufacturers. References to other movies, such as
the Hong Kong action-shootout marathon The Killer.
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Prodigious marijuana smoking via bong by
less-than-admirable characters. Jackie smokes cigarettes (stating she'll gain weight if she quits). She is framed for cocaine possession.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that this crime drama has a quick, half-clad sex scene (only a bare bottom shown) and a handful of fatal shootings, though neither is as explicit as the colorful profanity in the script, which doesn't shy away from the N-word or "f--k." For what it's worth, the "good" characters do the least swearing, though in the crime environment here it's up for debate who is "good" at all. Two characters avidly smoke marijuana, and Jackie Brown unapologetically smokes cigarettes. To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
JACKIE BROWN was Tarantino's much-anticipated follow-up after Pulp Fiction made him a superstar director, but fans expecting another hyper-violent, hyper-hip hyper-flick are in for disappointment. Adapting the novel Rum Punch by Elmore Leonard, Taantino instead delivers a long, thoughtful, restrained, adult crime drama emphasizing emotion and relationships more than cool stunts or gore. It's also quite a career-salute to 1970s "blaxploitation" diva Pam Grier, only instead of having her burn down Watts ghettoes yet again Tarantino lets Grier strut her stuff and middle-aged allure in a nicely three-dimensional characterization (incidentally, in the source novel, Jackie was a white blonde). Hopefully parents can appreciate the seasoned ambiance that has this grooving to a mature, rhythm'n'blues beat, not MTV.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.