Jackie Brown Movie Poster Image

Jackie Brown

Mellower Tarantino still has sex, drugs, swearing, murder.
  • Rated: R
  • Genre: Drama
  • Release Year: 1997
  • Running Time: 154 minutes

What parents need to know

Positive messages

The movie asks if two people can really love and trust each other amidst a heavy cops-and-robbers atmosphere of criminal deceit (and a half a million bucks up for grabs). Secondary idea of how far Jackie will go to save herself and assure her future.

Positive role models

Potentially the most decent person is chivalrous bail bondsman Max, who ultimately seems to decide that romantic prospect Jackie is a little too sneaky for him. Strong, smart characters in this underworld milieu cut across gender and ethnic lines. Police, though not corrupt, are manipulative, bullying, and not the
kind of people to confide in.

Violence

Characters shot to death, in some cases with blood resulting, but the actual deed is either at a great distance or just offscreen. Automatic weapons fired at targets in a firearms-fan video.

Sex

Two characters have standing up, partially clothed, spur-of-the-moment sex. One female bare-butt shot. Women in skimpy bikinis.

Language

Frequent language, including "f--k," the N-word, "s--t," "t-tty," "ass," "damn," and "God" used as an exclamation.

Consumerism

Chain-store names such as Banana Republic, Merle Norman, and Things Rememered on display in a shopping-mall setting. Plug for the R&B band The
Delfonics. A soundtrack album exists, as does the Elmore Leonard source novel Rum Punch.
Mention of car manufacturers -- and gun manufacturers. References to other movies, such as
the Hong Kong action-shootout marathon The Killer.

Drinking, drugs, & smoking

Prodigious marijuana smoking via bong by
less-than-admirable characters. Jackie smokes cigarettes (stating she'll gain weight if she quits). She is framed for cocaine possession.

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.

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?

QUALITY

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.

Families can talk 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?

Movie details

Theatrical release date:December 25, 1997
DVD/Streaming release date:July 17, 2000
Cast:Pam Grier, Robert De Niro, Robert Forster, Samuel L. Jackson
Director:Quentin Tarantino
Studio:Miramax
Genre:Drama
Run time:154 minutes
MPAA rating:R

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Teen, 13 years old Written byMovieGuy45 February 12, 2013

Aging flight pilot Jackie Brown is arrested for possesion of narcotics and a bag full of money, she decides to help police in the arrest of gun dealer Ordell Robbie, soon she hatches a plan to make off with the money and her bailsman Max Cherry.

This is actually a much a tamer film, though it does follow Pulp Fiction, this is a more calmer film of Tarantino!
What other families should know
Too much violence
Too much sex
Too much swearing
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking
Teen, 15 years old Written bythesturgmachine February 22, 2014

Not a bad film.

Hardly rude apart from swearing.
What other families should know
Too much swearing
Kid, 12 years old June 27, 2015

Great Tarantino Movie

Violence- PG-13 (2 Deaths, one shows a brief spurt of blood, the other offscreen) Language- R (Constant f-bombs dropped) Sex- PG-13 (A brief sex scene, no nudity) Drugs- R (Weed is smoked throughout the movie)
What other families should know
Too much swearing
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking