A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
As in any political thriller, there are plenty of "bad guys."
Violence & Scariness
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
One brief scene features a murder in a porno theater.
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Products & Purchases
A hotel chain is mentioned.
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that The Pelican Brief is relatively free of foul language, violence, or explicit sex. But one brief scene features a murder in a porno theater; the main character is shown in a heavy clinch with a boyfriend, and several characters are killed over the course of the film (though gore is at a minimum). To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
Grisham is known for delivering great big, bloated political thrillers; at 141 minutes, it shows in this mightily involved thriller. The Pelican Brief is low on colorful villains and memorable visuals and loaded with grim, grey scenes where characters are doing research or having conversations. The actors are well cast and effective. Viewers will appreciate the fact that the complex plot isn't dumbed down, though it's a rather disappointing letdown of a film from director Alan Pakula, who made the classic All the President's Men.
Due to its lack of onscreen violence, sex or nudity, the film is a good choice for families who like political thrillers with a minimum of adults-only features. However, the action is relatively slow-paced, the plot is complicated, and the characters are very talky, making this movie a bore for younger kids or those who require a lot of whizz-bang to stay interested.
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Our Editors Recommend
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