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 is a very adult film, with rampant female nudity, scenes that border on soft-core pornography, and a very mature treatment of the standard themes of jealousy and infidelity. All women are naked at some point, and (except for Alice) are junkies, prostitutes, or both. People abuse alcohol and marijuana. One character pimps his young teenage daughter.
- Parents say
- Kids say
What's the story?
The story of Dr. William Harford (Tom Cruise) begins after he and his wife Alice (Nicole Kidman) have a discussion about love, desire, and fidelity. After Alice admits that she had thought about other men, William is floored by her admission and embarks on an adventure that is driven by jealousy-fueled visions of his wife having sex with another man. William encounters a world of sexual desire and betrayal that grossly outweighs his own as he finds himself surrounded by the dire consequences of unchecked sexual desire.
Is it any good?
Director Stanley Kubrick handles all of this with his trademark visual power, and like most of his films, this one is beautiful to watch for its elegance and style. Unfortunately, the dialogue can be a bit stilted, which doesn't help Cruise, who gives his usual stiff performance. On the flipside, Kidman and a host of secondary character actors come shining through enough to somewhat help save the film. Despite the few positives, Kubrick's treatment of women in this film is abhorrent, and the movie should not be watched by children.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about the reaction of the main character, Dr. William Harford, to his wife's admission about a sexual fantasy that she once had about another man. Was his reaction justified? What alternative, perhaps even more productive, course of action could he have taken to deal with how he was feeling? Viewers could also talk about the representation of women in this film. Is it acceptable?
- In theaters: July 16, 1999
- On DVD or streaming: March 14, 2000
- Cast: Nicole Kidman, Sydney Pollack, Tom Cruise
- Director: Stanley Kubrick
- Studio: Warner Bros.
- Genre: Drama
- Run time: 159 minutes
- MPAA rating: R
- MPAA explanation: strong sexual content; nudity; language; drug usage
- Last updated: September 21, 2019
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