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 crime drama has a quick, half-clad sex scene (only a bare bottom shown) and a handful of fatal shootings, though neither is as explicit as the colorful profanity in the script, which doesn't shy away from the N-word or "f--k." For what it's worth, the "good" characters do the least swearing, though in the crime environment here it's up for debate who is "good" at all. Two characters avidly smoke marijuana, and Jackie Brown unapologetically smokes cigarettes.
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What's the story?
In Quentin Tarantino's tribute to old-school (mostly 1970s) crime pictures, action-heroine Pam Grier plays Jackie Brown, a classy-looking flight attendant with a criminal conviction in her past, who earns a pitiful income with a seedy airline shuttling back and forth to Mexico. Jackie occasionally serves as a money courier for Ordell (Samuel L. Jackson), a dealer in arms and drugs, and when she's caught by police after a tipoff, she fears the ruthless Ordell will murder her, just as he killed the informant. In a series of double-crosses, Jackie tells Ordell she will retrieve his $500,000 fortune from Mexico right under the noses of cops. Meanwhile Jackie forms an alliance with her chivalrous bail bondsman Max (Robert Forster) to actually keep the cash, as a strong mutual attraction develops between the pair.
Is it any good?
JACKIE BROWN was Tarantino's much-anticipated follow-up after Pulp Fiction made him a superstar director, but fans expecting another hyper-violent, hyper-hip hyper-flick are in for disappointment. Adapting the novel Rum Punch by Elmore Leonard, Taantino instead delivers a long, thoughtful, restrained, adult crime drama emphasizing emotion and relationships more than cool stunts or gore. It's also quite a career-salute to 1970s "blaxploitation" diva Pam Grier, only instead of having her burn down Watts ghettoes yet again Tarantino lets Grier strut her stuff and middle-aged allure in a nicely three-dimensional characterization (incidentally, in the source novel, Jackie was a white blonde). Hopefully parents can appreciate the seasoned ambiance that has this grooving to a mature, rhythm'n'blues beat, not MTV.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about the morality (or lack of it) among the characters. Who is the most admirable? Is anyone really a "good guy" here?
Did the violence in this movie disturb you? Have you seen other Quentin Tarantino films with more violence? How does he use violence in a story? What would the story be like without it? And what would true life consequences of the violence seen in these movies be?
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