In the Cut

  • Review Date: February 11, 2004
  • Rated: R
  • Genre: Thriller
  • Release Year: 2003
  • Running Time: 119 minutes

Common Sense Media says

Weak plot with grisly middle; should've been NC-17.
  • Review Date: February 11, 2004
  • Rated: R
  • Genre: Thriller
  • Release Year: 2003
  • Running Time: 119 minutes

Age(i)

NOT FOR KIDS

Quality(i)

 

What parents need to know

Positive messages
Not applicable
Violence

Graphic violence including very bloody body parts and murder scenes. Nightmarish stuff.

Sex

Extremely explicit sexual references and situations, including nudity.

Language

Extremely strong language including racist and homophobic comments.

Consumerism
Not applicable
Drinking, drugs, & smoking

A lot of drinking and smoking, characters get drunk.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this movie is very close to an NC-17. It has exceptionally explicit sexual references and situations and extremely strong language, including racist and homophobic comments. There's nudity, including scenes in a strip bar. The movie also has very grisly images including bloody body parts and blood-drenched rooms. Characters are killed. The movie includes a lot of smoking and drinking, including drunkenness.

Parents say

Not yet rated
Review this title!

Kids say

Not yet rated
Review this title!

What's the story?

IN THE CUT centers on Franny (Meg Ryan), an English professor who is deeply moved by words. She drinks in the scraps of poetry on the subway placards. She writes down the latest slang terms she hears from her students. And when a police detective (Mark Ruffalo) comes to ask whether she saw anything on the night of a murder, she writes down a word he used to describe the body: "disarticulated." But she holds her own words in, communicating very little to anyone except for her sister Pauline (Jennifer Jason Leigh). Franny and the detective begin an intensely charged affair, but they know very little about each other, and the very intensity in the midst of the investigation of a series of brutal murders makes them pull away from each other. Franny even begins to wonder whether the detective may be the killer. Threats loom all around her, including a needy ex-boyfriend (Kevin Bacon) and a student (Sharrieff Pugh) who seems interested in a much closer relationship.

Is it any good?

QUALITY
 

Meg Ryan sheds more than her clothes in this would-be steamy thriller. She sheds her twinkle. We don't get the nose-wrinkling smile. No adorable befuddlement. No irresistible misting of the eyes. Unfortunately, that leaves her -- and us -- with not much of a performance. And unfortunately the script leaves us with not much of a movie.

Director Jane Campion uses arty tricks like a hand-held camera and a rust-colored cast to the settings to try to make the movie about something deeper, perhaps dreamlike, or nightmarish. But it just feels incoherent. The verbal and physical encounters that are supposed to be dark and sexy are just flat. Ryan can handle dramatic roles, as she showed in When a Man Loves a Woman and Flesh and Bone. But she does not have enough to work with in the affectless Franny. The story itself is just weak, with an especially dopey ending that seems grafted on from another movie.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about the importance of Franny's story about how her parents got engaged. How did the director use the way the camera moved and the color schemes of the settings to help tell the story?

Movie details

Theatrical release date:October 22, 2003
DVD release date:February 9, 2004
Cast:Jennifer Jason Leigh, Mark Ruffalo, Meg Ryan
Director:Jane Campion
Studio:Screen Gems
Genre:Thriller
Run time:119 minutes
MPAA rating:R
MPAA explanation:strong sexuality including explicit dialogue, nudity, graphic crime scenes and language

This review of In the Cut was written by

About our rating system

  • ON: Content is age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • PAUSE: Know your child; some content may not be right for some kids.
  • OFF: Not age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • NOT FOR KIDS: Not appropriate for kids of any age.

Find out more

Quality

Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

Find out more

Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

Find out more

About our buy links

When you use our links to make a purchase, Common Sense Media earns a small affiliate fee from Amazon or iTunes. As a nonprofit organization, these funds help us continue providing independent, ad-free services for educators, families, and kids while the price you pay remains the same. Thank you for your support.
Read more

See more about how we rate and review.

What parents and kids say

See all user reviews

Share your thoughts with other parents and kids Write a user review

A safe community is important to us. Please observe our guidelines

Teen, 17 years old Written byKoOkYMoNsTa234 April 9, 2008
AGENot rated for age
QUALITY
 

IN THE CUT- UNCUT UNRATED DVD EDITION

The version of the film IN THE CUT that I saw was the subtitled UNCUT UNRATED DVD EDITION which is basically an NC-17 rated version of the film. There is extremely explicit sexual interactions with movements and sounds. The book is not nearly as rude and even though I love the story I couldn't believe this.

Poll

Did our review help you make an informed decision about this product?

Common Sense Kids Action