• Review Date: May 20, 2003
  • Rated: R
  • Genre: Action/Adventure
  • Release Year: 2002
  • Running Time: 107 minutes

What parents need to know


Extremely violent and brutal, casual beatings, many characters killed.


Explicit sexual references, brief nudity, references to sexually transmitted diseases, sexual abuse and prostitution


Extremely strong language, including racial epithets

Not applicable
Drinking, drugs, & smoking

Frequent explicit scenes of drug use and addiction, death by overdose

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this movie is a very strong R and isn't for any but the most mature of teens. The violence, drug use, and non-stop coarse language are enough to make the most jaded of audiences flinch.

Kids say

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What's the story?

Against the backdrop of Detroit's industrial rot, the film (actually shot in Toronto) follows narcotics officer Nick Tellis (Jason Patric) as he is reluctantly partnered with Henry Oak (Ray Liotta) to find who killed Oak's former partner, an undercover narcotics officer.

Is it any good?


Fans of this genre will find that NARC provides a tightly edited, intense story with good dialogue and standout performances by both Patric and Liotta. Tellis' repressed electricity provides a good counterpoint to Liotta's plodding Oak, who emanates a protective paternalism for his partner(s) and their families. Oak, as solid as his name, is blankly brutal toward anyone who stands in his way and clearly doesn't trust his superiors, who sway to the political pressure to pin the crime on a white suspect. Suspects Beery (Busta Rhymes) and Steeds (Richard Chevolleau) are brutally beaten as he seeks something more than retribution.

Narc is very bloody and violent, with an adrenaline-pumping opening sequence that evokes the unblinking carnage of the beach scene from Saving Private Ryan. From the first jolting shots of the hand-held camera following the escaping drug dealer in his sprint for freedom, you know that there will be no day-saving heroics and that the protagonists are as scarred as a junkie's arm.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about whether the end ever justifies the means. Each character here has a very different idea of what "justice" means, but they'll all go to great personal lengths and endanger themselves (and others) in order to pursue what they see as the necessary course of action. What are the consequences of Tellis' actions?

Movie details

Theatrical release date:December 27, 2002
DVD release date:June 17, 2003
Cast:Busta Rhymes, Jason Patric, Ray Liotta
Director:Joe Carnahan
Studio:Paramount Pictures
Run time:107 minutes
MPAA rating:R
MPAA explanation:extreme violence

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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.

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What parents and kids say

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Adult Written byuytt2 December 19, 2009
i say this when i was 7 i was shock then and still am. i saw it again recently and it was good but it has alot of violence
What other families should know
Too much violence
Too much sex
Too much swearing
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking


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