A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this movie.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Seeking Justice is a "deal with the devil"-type paranoid thriller in which the main character tries to correct his mistake but can't trust anyone -- and resorts to plenty of illegal activities even while trying to make things "right." Violence includes a rape (which is more suggested than shown), as well as guns, fighting, some blood, and death. A teacher punches a large, tough-looking teen student in one scene. There's one quick but strongly suggestive sex scene (no nudity). Language isn't constant but includes several uses of "f--k" and "s--t." Minor characters are shown getting drunk. Except for die-hard Nicolas Cage fans, this movie will only spark a passing interest in most teens.
- Parents say
- Kids say
What's the story?
New Orleans high school teacher Will Gerard (Nicolas Cage) is happily married to concert musician Laura (January Jones), until their lives are turned upside down the night Laura is raped. In the hospital, a mysterious man, Simon (Guy Pearce) approaches Will with an offer. Simon will catch and kill the rapist if Will agrees to repay the favor someday. Six months later, Will gets a call. A simple task -- mailing a letter -- quickly escalates into an order to kill a man. Will realizes that he can't do it, but his decision makes him an enemy of a very powerful and secret organization. His only hope is the mysterious hidden evidence collected by a dead journalist. Can Will find it -- and use it -- in time?
Is it any good?
Beginning with a good, simple idea, SEEKING JUSTICE would have played much better as a half-hour Twilight Zone episode, keeping the secret organization and the conspiracy a mystery. A much better feature-length movie might have more deeply explored the moral implications of Will's choice. But as it stands, veteran director Roger Donaldson and writers Todd Hickey and Robert Tannen instead turn Seeking Justice into a lengthy chase movie that grows ever more ludicrous.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about Seeking Justice's violence. What's suggested, and what's actually shown? Which is more shocking?
What does a "Faustian" deal -- a "deal with the devil" -- mean? What were Will's choices? What are the consequences of each choice? What are some other examples of Faustian deals?
Simon's organization was seemingly designed to accomplish justice and stop crime when the police failed. Is this right or wrong? What's the difference between justice and law?
After the main character tries to set thing right again, he still steals and bribes people. Do the ends ever justify the means?
- In theaters: March 16, 2012
- On DVD or streaming: June 19, 2012
- Cast: Guy Pearce, January Jones, Nicolas Cage
- Director: Roger Donaldson
- Studio: Anchor Bay Entertainment
- Genre: Thriller
- Run time: 105 minutes
- MPAA rating: R
- MPAA explanation: violence, language and brief sexuality
- Last updated: March 14, 2020
For kids who love thrills
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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.
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