Grosse Pointe Blank

Movie review by
Betsy Bozdech, Common Sense Media
Grosse Pointe Blank Movie Poster Image
Quirky mix of laughs, romance, strong violence.
  • R
  • 2000
  • 107 minutes

Parents say

age 15+
Based on 2 reviews

Kids say

age 13+
Based on 3 reviews

A lot or a little?

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

Positive Messages

While much of the film deals with revenge, anger, and cold-blooded murder, a sense of regret and possible hopefulness emerges, and Martin tries to do the right thing by Debi.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Martin is a professional assassin; while he ultimately seems to question his choices and wish for a different kind of life, he's hardly a clear-cut role model. Debi is a spirited woman who's very capable of standing up for herself.

Violence

The story revolves around muder and violence; there are shoot-outs, fights, chases, destruction, and deaths. One character is stabbed in the neck with a pen, and there's a lot of blood; another is smashed over the head with an appliance. A corpse is dealt with. Impending arson is implied. Characters cower in fear/peril.

Sex

Lots of flirting/banter, a couple of passionate kisses, and one scene in which a woman removes her shirt (no nudity shown), implying more action to come.

Language

Several uses of "f--k," plus "s--t," "hell," "ass," "a--hole," "goddamn," "oh my God," "damn," and more.

Consumerism
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Smoking and drinking (in a couple of cases to excess -- by minor characters), and some references to cocaine. Martin finds an old joint but doesn't smoke it; in another scene, a character does smoke pot.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Grosse Point Blank is a dark, quirky comedy about a professional assassin (John Cusack) -- so you can expect many violent confrontations and some blood. For example, in the opening scene, three men are brutally shot at close range; later, a character is stabbed and killed in the neck with a pen. Relationships are relatively mature, and there's strong language throughout, including "f--k" and "s--t." Characters also drink, smoke, and occasionally use/talk about drugs; there are one or two passionate kisses.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Parent of a 2 year old Written bygerbowski December 8, 2012

Darkly comic film is actually pretty good

This movie is a pretty funny, but dark comedy with quite a bit of violence. Since its about a hit-man, that's understandable, and most of it fits well wit... Continue reading
Adult Written byBestPicture1996 February 27, 2015

Dark comedy never takes things too seriously

One of my all-time favorite movies features hitmen contemplating their lives: "In Bruges," and the instant attraction of the similarity of plots and t... Continue reading
Teen, 13 years old Written byexa121RC January 9, 2012

Excellent action comedy for teens and up

This is an excellent action-comedy about a professional hit-man who builds a romantic relationship with his former prom date while visiting his hometown on a mi... Continue reading
Teen, 13 years old Written byFrosty46 January 11, 2016

Funny, solid, dark humor tweens and up will enjoy.

This movie is very entertaining, and despite being about an assassin, surprisingly lighthearted. If you're looking for something that's going to make... Continue reading

What's the story?

Martin Blank (John Cusack) left his family and friends in Grosse Pointe, Mich., behind him 10 years ago, ultimately becoming a hardened professional assassin. But when his latest assignment brings him back to town just in time for his 10th high school reunion, he starts questioning his choices and his path in life -- especially after he looks up old flame Debi (Minnie Driver) and realizes he still has feelings for her. Can he extricate himself from the violent life he's built for himself?

Is it any good?

Cusack fans -- and there are many -- are bound to enjoy GROSSE POINTE BLANK, which is a quirky mix of dark humor, startling violence, and banter-filled romance. There are traces of Cusack's iconic Say Anything character Lloyd Dobler in the angsty, quippy Martin Blank -- if Lloyd's relationship with Diane had gone off the rails, you could almost picture the kickboxing underdog channeling his pain into Martin's deadly lifestyle.

Though Cusack, Driver, and the rest of their Grosse Pointe High classmates seem a bit too old to be having their 10th reunion (15th probably didn't have quite the same hook?), the reunion setting offers lots of opportunities for both humor and self-reflection ... amid chases and fights, of course. Cusack's sister Joan has a memorably funny supporting role as Martin's gung-ho assistant, and the movie's soundtrack -- which includes Johnny Nash's "I Can See Clearly Now," the Violent Femmes' "Blister in the Sun," and '80s hit "Take on Me" -- is strong enough to rival a Cameron Crowe film. It may be too offbeat for some, but if you like your comedy pitch-black and your romances full of snappy rejoinders, Grosse Pointe Blank is a fun entry in Cusack's canon.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about Martin's character. Is he a good guy or a bad guy? How does Grosse Pointe Blank get you to feel empathy for an assassin?

  • How does the violence in this movie compare to others you've seen? How is its impact affected by the movie's overall tone?

Movie details

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