Abandon

  • Review Date: April 27, 2004
  • Rated: PG-13
  • Genre: Thriller
  • Release Year: 2002
  • Running Time: 98 minutes

Common Sense Media says

It really is almost impressive how bad this is.
  • Review Date: April 27, 2004
  • Rated: PG-13
  • Genre: Thriller
  • Release Year: 2002
  • Running Time: 98 minutes

Age(i)

2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17

Quality(i)

 

What parents need to know

Violence

Dead body Jump-out-at-you surprises, suspense

Sex

Sexual references and situations

Language

Just enough to avoid an R rating

Consumerism
Not applicable
Drinking, drugs, & smoking

College-age kids use drugs and drink; character is an alcoholic

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this movie shows a girl's decision to lose her virginity and her unrealistic expectations about the relationship. There are overheard sounds of a couple having sex. Characters casually drink and use drugs. One intoxicated character is so happy that she says she wishes she could always feel so "connected." Another character struggles with alcoholism.

Parents say

Kids say

What's the story?

Katie Holmes plays a brilliant and beautiful college senior who seems to have everything. She aces an interview with McKinsey, the brass ring of employers. But she is having problems completing her thesis and she has trouble sleeping. And when a detective shows up asking questions about her boyfriend, who disappeared two years earlier, it brings back painful memories and deepens her sense of loss. The detective (Benjamin Bratt) is facing his own challenges, taking on his first case after returning from alcohol rehab.

Is it any good?

QUALITY
 

ABANDON is one of those movies that depends heavily on bonehead plot twists in which people behave inconsistently and idiotically, including that oldest of movie plots -- characters showing up alone in eerie and isolated locations for assignations with potential murderers. There are many shadowy hallways, crumbling walls, and dripping pipes. There are gratuitous scenes of college kids at a debauched party (a throwback to writer/director Stephen Gaghan's scene of teenagers taking drugs in Traffic) and of Holmes changing her clothes. The missing boyfriend is supposed to be talented, arrogant, and electrifyingly seductive, but the flashback scenes of their encounters are clumsily handled. The surprise ending is telegraphed halfway through the movie.

Given the talent involved, it really is almost impressive how bad this movie is. The direction is poor, and the screenplay is awful. Cinematographer Matthew Libatique, whose work in "Requiem for a Dream" was brilliantly innovative, manages to make Katie Holmes and Benjamin Bratt look so unattractive they should consider a defamation lawsuit.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about the jealousy some characters feel. What are "problem people?" Do they choose to be (or not be) "problem people?" What does the title refer to? What do you think about the job interview scene? If you were asked to solve a problem in an interview, how would you respond? What were the students? concerns about "selling out?"

Movie details

Theatrical release date:October 18, 2002
DVD release date:March 18, 2003
Cast:Benjamin Bratt, Charlie Hunnam, Katie Holmes
Director:Stephen Gaghan
Studio:Paramount Pictures
Genre:Thriller
Run time:98 minutes
MPAA rating:PG-13
MPAA explanation:drug and alcohol content, sexuality, some violence and language.

This review of Abandon was written by

Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are conducted by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.

About our rating system

  • ON: Content is age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • PAUSE: Know your child; some content may not be right for some kids.
  • OFF: Not age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • NOT FOR KIDS: Not appropriate for kids of any age.

Find out more

Quality

Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

Find out more

Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

Find out more

About our buy links

When you use our links to make a purchase, Common Sense Media earns a small affiliate fee from Amazon or iTunes. As a nonprofit organization, these funds help us continue providing independent, ad-free services for educators, families, and kids while the price you pay remains the same. Thank you for your support.
Read more

See more about how we rate and review.

What parents and kids say

See all user reviews

Share your thoughts with other parents and kids Write a user review

A safe community is important to us. Please observe our guidelines

Adult Written bydudelydad2 April 9, 2008
AGENot rated for age
QUALITY
 

so stupid

this is one of the worst movies i have seen in a while i would not recomend this to any of my friends this movie is full of sexual contenet and lots of alchohal uses -16 caution
Adult Written bykatherinelea December 10, 2011
AGE
18
QUALITY
 

Painfully sloppy w/ gaping holes left bowing in the breeze and in my face!

no positive role models whatsoever--strictly humans connecting at lowest denominator. 'Katie' independent-seeming (college/exceptionally smart & pursued by BIG-TIME corporation--and ultimate message defies introduction wherein she becomes obsessed, vulnerable and worst of all-- murderous ! Her 'dark side' unfortunately is her most interesting side -- and all these people leave me absolutely cold-no character development past personality disorders -- all assortments of selfish, greedy, 'entitled' EXCEPT the cop--he's the only person I like in this movie. If any message at all it is that NOTHING is what it seems, you can't trust what appears on the outside because inside is a dark and menacing soul ... NOT for kids because what is too deep to engage young ones is also done as badly and provides amplification of dysfunctional people feeding off of other dysfunctional people .... shallow and could be the stuff nightmares are made of since young kids won't be able, necessarily, to see just how BAD this movie really is and may only take to bed with them the idea of a smashed rock on not one but two...possibly a 3rd 'coming soon' bloodied heads. Lousy and disjointed sloppy -- nothing crisp or complete in plot that assumes the viewer isn't paying attention (in other words, 'the gun is NOT put in the killer's hand ...' or paraphrasing what I heard once about a good whodunnit or mystery where the writer MUST put the gun in the killer's hand yet this film skips over reality into nonsense.
What other families should know
Too much swearing
Kid, 9 years old September 14, 2012
AGE
18
QUALITY
 

Mature for a PG-13

My rating to fix it for CSM: R
What other families should know
Too much violence
Too much sex
Too much swearing
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking

Poll

Did our review help you make an informed decision about this product?

Essential School Tools