Parents' Guide to


By Nell Minow, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 17+

Very violent movie ultimately just falls apart.

Movie R 2004 106 minutes
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A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this movie.

Community Reviews

age 17+

Based on 1 parent review

age 17+

Realistic Espionage with snappy dialog

This is a great movie, but it's not a "family movie" nor for the casual viewer. David Mamet writes and directs this film. It's intense. It's about a Delta Force operator tasked with recovering the President's daughter who has been kidnapped. It's done in a realistic tone, and snappy dialog that is characteristic of Mamet's writing. It's not James Bond; it's what an American, real-world James Bond would be. Kilmer makes Jack Bauer look like a Cub Scout. So, it's a film for adults or mature teenagers that takes espionage, political drama, and military covert action very seriously. It's a lot like "Ronin" with Robert DeNiro.

This title has:

Too much swearing

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say: (1 ):
Kids say: Not yet rated

The dialogue is David Mamet lite, with none of the brilliant riffs that energize his other scripts. There are three different stories in this latest effort from the writer/director; only one of the three is pretty good -- a rescue mission to retrieve the kidnapped daughter of the president. The second is a passable, if overly familiar, story of a man developing a broader sense of his own values. And then there is a poorly handled story about government corruption and manipulation of the media. As that thread takes over in the last third, the movie falls apart.

Mamet is fine when it comes to tension, confrontation, and tough attitude, but as a director his idea of action sequences is to have people unexpectedly get shot. He fumbles the tone of the movie by committing the very last sin his characters would permit -- he loses control with preposterous multiply paranoid layers that wear out instead of boring in.

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