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Assault on Precinct 13
A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this movie.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that this film has non-stop action violence with some very graphic injuries and many characters are killed. Characters use very strong language. There are some sexual references. Criminal characters include a drug dealer and killers. Characters drink and smoke and one abuses prescription drugs.
- Parents say
- Kids say
What's the story?
In PRECINCT 13, Ethan Hawke plays Jake Roenick, a cop now working a desk job after an undercover operation he was directing went wrong. Jake is uncooperative with mandatory therapy, though drawn to pretty therapist Alex (Maria Bello). It's New Year's Eve and the last night for in the old Precinct 13 building. All of the equipment and computers and staff have been moved to the new location. Jake, along with a secretary with a weakness for "bad boys" and a veteran cop just short of retirement (Brian Dennehy) are shutting everything down. Deadly crime kingpin Marion Bishop (Laurence Fishburne) and a group of bad guys are being transported by bus to a holding facility, but the bus gets trapped in the snow outside the old police station. So they decide to keep the prisoners there until the next morning. And then they get attacked. The attackers want Bishop. Everyone in the station is at risk. Before the night is over, loyalties and alliances will shift a dozen times as cops and prisoners and bystanders have to constantly realign their forces to try to stay alive.
Is it any good?
A juicy premise, a powerhouse cast, and energetic direction combine for a satisfying thriller about a police station under siege. It's a big-budget remake of John Carpenter's 1976 film of the same title. Carpenter wrote, produced, edited, and scored the film with a cast of unknowns for $100,000. This version does not have the original's raw power, but it substitutes a tough, sharp script and glossy production values, and gets the job done just fine.
It is that fluidity of relationships that gives this story extra energy and sizzle that takes it beyond the usual shoot-out and explosion-movie standard. Star power helps a lot, too, with Fishburne, Hawke, and Gabriel Byrne giving depth and wit to their roles and strong support from Bello and John Leguizamo.
Talk to your kids about ...
- In theaters: January 19, 2005
- On DVD or streaming: May 10, 2005
- Cast: Ethan Hawke, Gabriel Byrne, Laurence Fishburne
- Director: Jean-Francois Richet
- Studio: Focus Features
- Genre: Action/Adventure
- Run time: 109 minutes
- MPAA rating: R
- MPAA explanation: strong violence and language throughout, and for some drug content
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