A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
This movie deals with heavy themes including racism, genocide, and the desire for revenge.
Violence & Scariness
Realistic representations of shooting deaths and a terrorist bomb attack.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
A scene in a strip club with a lap dance; dancer wears a thong and is scene topless from behind.
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Products & Purchases
Starbucks coffee is visible and mentioned by name.
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Characters drink and smoke.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that this movie includes realistic representations of shooting deaths (in the first scene, committed by adolescent boys) and a terrorist bomb attack on a bus in Brooklyn. The political intrigue is occasionally complicated, involving discussions of assassination, genocide, racism, and the desire for revenge. Characters drink, smoke, and use some mild language (they also name and drink Starbucks coffee). To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
Sydney Pollack's thriller is at once topical and abstract. While its subject matter is immediate (African genocide, U.S. intelligence agency confusions, personal and collective traumas), it maintains a certain distance by setting its political and economic strife in a fictional nation that resembles Zimbabwe. The opening imagery is quite explicit.
The script alternates between preposterous and poetic (some of Penn and Kidman's exchanges are lovely), and leans heavily on coincidence. It's also troubling that Silvia's individual trauma tends to displace the genocide in Africa, a life-and-death issue that is slowly gaining more media attention, in fiction and other forms. That a white woman bears the visible burden of this violent history, however, obscures the high costs for black Africans, a conventional strategy to attract "mainstream" (white) viewers.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.