What parents need to know
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that this movie includes intense, graphic, grisly, and disturbing images; guns and other kinds of violence (characters killed); and abusive medical treatment. There's a sexual situation and some sexual and non-sexual nudity. Characters drink, smoke, abuse drugs, and use some strong language. Some audience members may find the themes of the film upsetting as well.
What's the story?
After a night he can't recall, Gulf War veteran Jack (Adrien Brody) is on trial for killing a policeman. He's found not guilty by reason of insanity and sentenced to a mental hospital. Drugged and subjected to a horrifying test treatment, Jack begins to grope toward a memory of what really happened the night the policeman was killed. Diagnosed with "possibly acute retrograde psycho-suppression," Jack begins to hallucinate (however, the exact nature of his "visions" aren't clear). Soulless Dr. Becker (Kris Kristofferson) is performing the tests on Jack, even though past efforts had disastrous results and his junior colleague Dr. Lorenson (Jennifer Jason Leigh) urges him to stop. Jack comes to want more of the treatment because it is his escape, whether real or imagined. And a waitress named Jackie, who appears in Jack's visions, seems to be the key to solve a mystery more pressing than the murder of the policeman.
Is it any good?
THE JACKET is a smart thriller, with above-average heft and imagination in the story, the structure, and especially in the striking visuals. Oscar-winner Brody makes Jack capture our loyalty and makes us believe that he could capture the loyalty of the strong but damaged Jackie. Keira Knightly delivers not just an American accent, but an impressively specific one, an accent that helps convey the character. The movie goes a bit off the rails as it pulls everything together at the end, especially with regard to the medical judgment of Dr. Lorenson, but by then your heart is so much on the side of the characters that it hardly matters.
Families can talk about...
Families can talk about how we can test what we think we know to determine what is real. Have you ever had a strong memory of something that happened to you and then realized it was from a movie or photograph? How do we know which experiments to allow, understanding that that some will fail and leave the subjects worse off than they were?