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Parents' Guide to

The Pelican Brief

By Joyce Slaton, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 14+

Tense Grisham-based thriller is well cast but talky.

Movie PG-13 1993 141 minutes
The Pelican Brief Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

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

Community Reviews

age 14+

Based on 1 parent review

age 14+

Great Political Thriller

This is a great movie and very enjoyable if you like political/legal thrillers. It is, however, very long, and therefore younger kids or any child with a shorter attention span will lose interest. There really is pretty mild language (it does say the F* word once). Violence is mainly only implied, but there is SOME blood and quite a few people die. The scene where a murder takes place in a Porno theater has sexual noises in the background, but that is as bad as it gets. So as far as sexuality goes, it is mild. Overall, if your kids can grasp the concepts of what is going on, it is a good movie for them. As an adult, me and my wife really enjoyed it.

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (1 ):
Kids say (1 ):

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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