Abandon

Movie review by
Nell Minow, Common Sense Media
Abandon Movie Poster Image
It really is almost impressive how bad this is.
  • PG-13
  • 2002
  • 98 minutes

Parents say

age 16+
Based on 3 reviews

Kids say

age 17+
Based on 2 reviews

A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this movie.

Violence

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

Sex

Sexual references and situations

Language

Just enough to avoid an R rating

Consumerism
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

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

What 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.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written bydudelydad2 April 9, 2008

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... Continue reading
Adult Written bykatherinelea December 10, 2011

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 &a... Continue reading
Kid, 9 years old September 14, 2012

Mature for a PG-13

My rating to fix it for CSM: R
Kid, 9 years old April 2, 2010

Abandon

Rated PG-13 For Drug And Alcohol Content,Sexuality,Some Violence And Language

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?

Abandon is one of those movies that depends heavily on bonehead plot twists in which people behave inconsistently and idiotically. Included is 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.

Talk to your kids 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

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