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A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
The protagonist is a serial killer; detective character is getting a divorce and has arguments with lawyers; college student drops out and announces she's pregnant (leads to discussion of abortion); discussion of genetic "passing on" of desire to murder.
Violence & Scariness
Bloody, graphic early murder scene (two people in bed are shot by the film's "hero," who puts bullets through their heads and chests) is repeated during the film from various angles in flashbacks. Killer keeps photos of dead bodies as "trophies" frequent discussion of methods of murder and images of stalking; discussions of other serial killer cases; crime scene shows blood on walls; detective is assaulted and ends up with sutures (bloody); dead body is pierced by multiple needles; shootout between detective and killer. Grisly late scene shows a man stabbed in neck with scissors, gasping, bleeding, and lurching as he dies.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
Serial killer's victims are shown in the middle of sex, in bed (naked back) -- their deaths result in explicit views of their naked torsos (woman's breasts visible repeatedly). Lots of cleavage shots. Discussion of sexual experiences ("You could see her nipples"). Killer appears naked (not explicit) as he ritually burns photos of dead bodies. A murder witness plans to use violent images to arouse himself sexually. Man appears in his bedroom in boxers; couple strips to their underwear and begins to have sex on a couch.
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Repeated use of "f--k" (usually in anger, once with "mother"); other language includes "s--t," "a--hole," "goddamnit," and "ass."
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Products & Purchases
USA Today headline.
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Killer attends meetings resembling Alcoholics Anonymous, identifying himself as an "addict." Meeting attendees smoke cigarettes; mention of steroids.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that this graphic thriller isn't for kids, despite the fact that popular comedian Dane Cook co-stars (he plays a dark, repulsive character). There's graphic sex (breasts are visible, and plenty of activity is implied) and violence, including frantic murder scenes (victims realize they're about to be killed, scream, then suffer brutal injuries). Shots of broken, bloody dead bodies abound in crime scene tableaus and close-ups. Characters discuss murder and its motives and argue about family relationships (especially fathers and daughters). Language includes frequent use of "f--k." To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
Director Bruce A. Evans' second movie (after the teen comedy Kuffs) is uneven and contrived. Yet the mutual admiration club formed by Costner and Hurt offers some smart, taut comedy in the midst of grim commentary on the impulse to consume violence. While the movie doesn't exactly break new ground by indicting viewers (who are aligned, at least initially, with Smith), it does make your inclination to identify with Earl aptly uncomfortable.
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Our Editors Recommend
Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.See how we rate