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 scary movie with a lot of intense peril and some grisly and upsetting deaths. A character is a prostitute and there are some sexual references, including a discussion of a possible out-of-wedlock pregnancy. Characters drink, smoke, and use strong language.
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What's the story?
It was a dark and stormy night. Ten strangers are stranded at a seedy motel. And then, as one of them later explains, "people started dying." At first, it seems that they have nothing in common: a movie star (Rebecca De Mornay) and her limo driver (John Cusack), a prostitute (Amanda Peet), a police detective and his prisoner, a man (John C. McGinley) with a critically injured wife (Liela Kenzle) and her young son, and a just-married couple (Clea Duvall and William Lee Scott). Once they have all assembled and we have established that all communications and exits have been cut off by the rain, scary-movie things begin. As characters are killed off, the survivors try to figure out who the murderer is and what the pattern is to the deaths. At first, the murders seem as random. But then, as each body has a motel room key counting down in sequence, it seems clear that there must be a connection.
Is it any good?
This is a thriller with real thrills -- both the kind that make you jump and the kind that make you think. It is one of those rare Sixth Sense-style puzzles with a fabulous plot twist that may send audiences back to see it a second time just for the fun of knowing how it all fits together.
Close-ups with suspenseful music mean that something bad has happened or is going to happen just outside the frame. But the conventions of the genre are treated more as traditions and they are expertly handled and wonderfully creepy in IDENTITY.
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