Frequency Movie Poster Image




Scary, tense, grisly mystery-thriller.
Parents recommend
  • Review Date: May 20, 2003
  • Rated: PG-13
  • Genre: Thriller
  • Release Year: 2000
  • Running Time: 118 minutes

What parents need to know


Gory violence; intense scenes of peril.




Some strong language.

Not applicable
Drinking, drugs, & smoking

Drinking and smoking, including drinking to drown sorrow.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that there are some very tense scenes, with characters in peril, and that there are some grisly shots of dead bodies. A character drinks to anesthetize sorrow. There is a lot of smoking, though the movie makes it clear that smoking leads to lung cancer.

What's the story?

John (James Caviezel), a policeman, is deeply sad in a way that isolates him from everyone around him, because of the loss of his firefighter father, Frank, 30 years ago. When John is able to talk to Frank (Dennis Quaid) over his old ham radio, John saves his father's life by warning him to turn the other way when trying trying to escape a fire. But in changing history, John and Frank have set into motion a chain of events that will result in an even deeper tragedy. The policeman and the fireman, 30 years apart, try to track a killer before he strikes very close to home. As every event in 1969 has ripple effects into 1999, only John can remember all of the parallel strands. Old newspaper clippings change before his eyes, and events from 30 years before change the way he sees the world in the present. Like George Bailey in It's a Wonderful Life, John gets to see how one person can make all the difference.

Is it any good?


In FREQUENCY, Caviezel perfectly conveys John's sense of loss and his integrity, subtly showing us how each set of experiences affected his behavior and his life in a different way. His talks with Frank are very moving. Quaid has his best role since The Big Easy and gets a chance to let viewers see his enormous charm in the character's devotion to his family and his job. As Frank's wife/John's mom, Elizabeth Mitchell is lovely, warm, and, in a scene with André Braugher as Frank's policeman friend, as strong and determined as her husband and son.

That said, things do get pretty confusing. This is one of those movies where the audience walks out saying things like, "Wait a minute! You mean when the guy came down the stairs it meant ... ?" "How did that other guy get there?" But it's good enough that, like The Sixth Sense, fans may want to watch again just to straighten it all out. Warning, though: It has some of the worst old-age make-up ever.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about the interconnectedness of everything we do -- and don't do. Talk about the way that John and Frank made their talks about baseball into a way for them to feel close to one another. Watching this movie can also be a good opportunity to talk about how we tend to take precious family connections for granted until they're gone, and to ask family members what they'd say or ask if they had a chance to talk to someone close to them who has died. It can also be a good opportunity to remind us to say those things now, while we can.

Movie details

Theatrical release date:April 28, 2000
DVD release date:October 31, 2000
Cast:Dennis Quaid, Elizabeth Mitchell, James Caviezel
Director:Gregory Hoblit
Studio:New Line
Run time:118 minutes
MPAA rating:PG-13
MPAA explanation:language, intense and gory scenes, peril, and violence

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What parents and kids say

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Adult Written bydudeman123 April 9, 2008


to perfect for words
Adult Written byAshnak April 9, 2008

Great movie

I would recommend this to all 14+ people. Good morals
Parent of a 7 and 10 year old Written bylightandlife December 27, 2009

One of my favs!

One of my all-time favorite movies!
What other families should know
Too much violence
Great messages


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