In the Cut

Movie review by
Nell Minow, Common Sense Media
In the Cut Movie Poster Image
Weak plot with grisly middle; should've been NC-17.
  • R
  • 2003
  • 119 minutes

Parents say

age 18+
Based on 1 review

Kids say

age 14+
Based on 3 reviews

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A lot or a little?

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

Positive Messages

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


Extremely explicit sexual references and situations, including nudity.


Extremely strong language including racist and homophobic comments.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

A lot of drinking and smoking, characters get drunk.

What 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.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written bySadman September 3, 2016

Not for kids or teens especially the unrated version

I've never seen the rated version of this but the uncut version was one of the first mainstream Hollywood films (co-produced by Nicole Kidman yet) to featu... Continue reading
Teen, 17 years old Written byRalex5787y January 25, 2020

If you can handle it

This movie is pretty disturbing but If you think you are okay with watching it than definitely watch it
Teen, 13 years old Written byDeathsong January 16, 2017

Adults Only!!!

Exactly WHY is In The Cut (2003) rated R?! It SHOULD earn an NC-17!

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?

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.

Talk to your kids 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

Our editors recommend

For kids who love thrills

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