A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this movie.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that, like most action thrillers, this movie has several violent scenes: An international terror syndicate is responsible for blowing up a victim, launching a nuclear missile, and slitting the throat of anyone in their way. Nicolas Cage's character gets involved in several fights, and the FBI and the terrorists display enough ammo to fill the national armory. While there's no real gore (or blood, for that matter), the images are still disturbing. There's only one love scene, but there's a lengthy scene preceding it with Jessica Biel wrapped in a towel. Thanks to Biel's popularity and Cage's action cred, expect teens to want to see it, even though it's not being marketed as a teen film.
What's the story?
Nicolas Cage plays Cris Johnson, aka "Frank Cadillac," a small-time Vegas magician who can see exactly two minutes into the future. Cris uses his unusual skill to wow his fans and win big at Black Jack, and piques the interest of ambitious FBI agent Callie Ferris (Julianne Moore), who needs immediate help stopping a group of foreign "bad guys" from detonating a nuclear device on American soil. When the French-accented terrorists kidnap his new girl (Jessica Biel), he has no choice but to help.
Is it any good?
Even with a twist ending, this adaptation of Philip K. Dick's short story "The Golden Man" is just another predictable sci-fi thriller headlined by marquee actors. Some of the movie's fast-forward sequences are funny and impressive, but a few are plain ridiculous. (At a public screening, the occasional applause and cheers were tempered by loud cries of "Whaaat?" toward the end.) And while the "big twist" finale is entertaining, it's not all that shocking -- nor particularly satisfying, which pretty much sums up NEXT.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about other time-bending movies and TV shows. Are movies that play with time cool or frustrating? If you could look into the future, would you use the information to make money or stop crime? Families can also discuss why so many thrillers feature nuclear terrorist threats. Is that the ultimate danger to today's society? What other hazards can you think of? And why are terrorists almost always portrayed as foreign agents?
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