Collateral Movie Poster Image




Powerful but violent thriller -- not for kids.
Parents recommend
  • Rated: R
  • Genre: Drama
  • Release Year: 2004
  • Running Time: 100 minutes

What parents need to know


Extreme and graphic peril and violence, many characters killed.

Not applicable

Very strong language.

Not applicable
Drinking, drugs, & smoking

Drinking, drug references.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this movie is extremely violent, with constant tension and peril and many graphic shoot-outs. Many people are killed. Characters use very strong language, drink and smoke, and there are references to drugs and drug dealing.

What's the story?

In COLLATERAL, Max (Jamie Foxx) is a cab driver who begins his shift by wiping off the dashboard and putting his favorite picture on the visor. He takes his job seriously. Vince (Tom Cruise) offers Max $600 to stay with him all night, through five stops. Max turns him down at first; it's against the rules. But then he says yes. He takes the fare to his first stop. Vince goes inside while Max waits for him. And then a dead body hits the roof of his cab. Vince is a hit man, and the five stops are people he has been hired to kill. Can Max save any of them? Can he save himself?

Is it any good?


As cool as a jazz riff from a tenor sax, this stylish and powerful thriller has it all. It boasts consistently absorbing characters, twisty dialogue and an even twistier story, and action that engages the heart as it thumps a little faster. Director Mann uses a silvery blue palette and spare, reflective, glass-filled settings to keep the mood as cool as moonlight. Both Jada Pinkett Smith and Mark Ruffalo are endlessly watchable, giving their characters subtlety and context to make us care far out of proportion to their time onscreen.

Foxx is turning into a performer of great presence and depth and he makes a convincing leading man. Cruise is a little out of his range but that works oddly well for Vince, giving him a little frisson of uncertainty underneath the Terminator-like singlemindedness of the character. And Cruise has moments of brilliance. He even runs in character, completely focused but so in each moment that he does not try to pace himself. He puts everything he has into each step forward.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about Vince's ability to compartmentalize. He says he did not kill one of the victims, "the bullet and the fall killed him." Notice the way that Vince is always to the left of Max except in one scene. Which scene is that and why? What were Max's options? What is the meaning of the title? Who or what serves as collateral?

Movie details

Theatrical release date:August 5, 2004
DVD/Streaming release date:December 13, 2004
Cast:Jada Pinkett Smith, Jamie Foxx, Tom Cruise
Director:Michael Mann
Run time:100 minutes
MPAA rating:R
MPAA explanation:violence and language

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Teen, 14 years old Written byaidenconvict April 9, 2008

A must-thriller if you like Tom Cruise or Jamie Foxx.

Overall, I was very satisfied with this movie. I did not expect much out of it at first, but it turned out amazing. It is rather simple in a way and might be too slow for some people to watch. This is NOT appropriate for any child younger than 14. There is constant use of foul language. There is also alot of shooting, which can get mildly graphic, such as a shot in the head. But overall it was worth the watch.
Adult Written byfritzsky April 9, 2008
Adult Written byGoodGuy April 9, 2008

Why make this movie?

Ok, a view into the life of a hit man can seem like an interesting concept - but why? Why devote hours of your life to learn about the scum of society. The movie is pretty boring and Jamie Fox's character never hits the right moment and stands out as a real hero. He just seems like a incapable sort of loser. I guess I wonder why people whould pay money to people who produce "downer" movies or movies that glorify the lowest forms of life like the also terrible movie "monster" or "pulp fiction". Why make pseudo-stars or heros of characters who are killers & murderers. Eventhough these characters eventually get theirs, they are still given much more mindshare than people who are actually doing good things in the world. What does it say about us when good dosen't sell? Especially for teenagers, these movies carry no redemming qualities. As a pure escape only, it was just ok.