The Tourist

(i)

 

Romantic thriller has some mature twists.
Popular with kids
  • Review Date: December 7, 2010
  • Rated: PG-13
  • Genre: Thriller
  • Release Year: 2010
  • Running Time: 104 minutes

What parents need to know

Positive messages

The movie's strongest message is that everyone is both good and bad, light and dark, and those who love you accept you completely as both. 

Positive role models

Shaw puts his love of money and possessions above all else. Alexander might have stolen from an awful man, but he's still a thief, and Elise is a rogue character who makes questionable professional and personal decisions.

Violence

A kingpin and his gangster henchmen try to kill Frank and Elise several times, chasing them on speed boats and through the streets/rooftops of Venice. A man is throttled to death, and four or five men are killed by police snipers. 

Sex

Elise is pretty much sex appeal personified. She's presented as being so stunning that men and women stop in their tracks to stare at her as she walks by. One of the uses of "f--k" in the film is inspired by the sight of her in an evening gown. There are a couple of passionate kisses, as well as one scene of Elise changing into a lacy nightgown (viewers see her in her bra, stockings, and underwear).

Language

Occasional strong language includes a couple of uses of "f--k" plus "a--hole," "s--t," "hell," "bastard," and "oh my God."

Consumerism

The Eurostar train system is featured pretty heavily, and the logo is shown a few times. Venice's ultra-luxurious Hotel Danieli is one of the movie's main locations.

Drinking, drugs, & smoking

Several people smoke cigarettes, and Frank smokes nicotine-releasing electric cigarettes. People are shown drinking socially at dinners and a party.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this romantic thriller starring Johnny Depp and Angelina Jolie is the kind of twisty suspense drama that will appeal to savvy teens who like the two stars. The premise is simple but mature, and as the movie progresses, certain plot twists make The Tourist more appropriate for older teens and adults. There's some persistent violence in the form of a frightening older gangster who has no problem killing his own henchman and is responsible for the film's (relatively small) body count. Language includes a couple of uses of "f--k," as well as "s--t" and "a--hole." Although sexual content isn't too graphic -- Jolie and Depp's characters kiss passionately a couple of times, and, in one scene, Jolie strips down to her undergarments to change into a nightgown -- there's still a strong feeling of sexuality throughout the movie, as Jolie's mere presence creates an aura of sex appeal.

What's the story?

Elise Clifton Ward (Angelina Jolie) is an Englishwoman who lives in Paris and is being surveilled by both French and English authorities for her past relationship with a mysterious billionaire thief named Alexander Pierce. One morning, she receives instructions to board a train bound for Venice, find a man with Alexander's height and build, and make "them" believe it's him. She targets Frank Tupelo (Johnny Depp), a Wisconsin math teacher on a solo vacation. Smitten with Elise, Frank agrees to go to Elise's hotel, where she kisses him and then explains that she's meeting a secretive man she once loved. Meanwhile, Elise and Frank are being watched not only by a Scotland Yard agent (Paul Bettany) and his Italian collaborators but also by notorious gangster Reginald Shaw (Steven Berkoff), who wants the billions Alexander stole from him. Since Alexander has reportedly spent millions to change his appearance, everyone on the case believes Frank really is Alexander, so the race is on to save him before he's arrested or killed.

Is it any good?

QUALITY

THE TOURIST's look and feel are refreshing tributes to Alfred Hitchcock's classic thrillers, in which mysterious, beautiful women on a train usually spelled trouble. Jolie is perfectly cast; she's the kind of actress you can believe would have every single man (and woman) in a train car staring at her. But Depp is a bit miscast as the wide-eyed Frank, who looks cool (because he's Johnny Depp) but is actually awkward and unaccustomed to the sensual sophistication that Elise exudes with every swish of her hips. Their flirtatious conversations are sweet and funny, but there's not the kind of electrifying chemistry you'd expect (for perfection, see Cary Grant and Eva Marie Saint in North by Northwest).

Still, for travel and fashion junkies, this film is a decadent treat (every single thing Elise dons is gorgeous). Even with all of the movie's eye candy -- from Jolie to Depp to Bettany to Rufus Sewell (as a silent character who may or may not be the real Alexander) -- chances are you'll probably be busier ogling Jolie's ensembles and her hotel suite at the luxurious Hotel Danieli. The romance? It's all right. But the costumes and scenery -- absolutely swoon worthy.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about how the movie fits into the suspense genreEarly on, Elise and Frank joke about the stereotypes of suspense novels. How does the movie play by the very same rules they discuss?

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  • Elise explains that she was raised to believe that to truly love someone you have to accept their "two sides" -- good and bad. How do the various characters in the movie show their "two-faced" nature?

  • What's the movie's message about relationships? Do you think Elise made the right choice? What did Reginald mean when he told Elise that life isn't kind to an ugly woman?

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Movie details

Theatrical release date:December 10, 2010
DVD release date:March 22, 2011
Cast:Angelina Jolie, Johnny Depp, Paul Bettany
Director:Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck
Studio:Columbia Pictures
Genre:Thriller
Run time:104 minutes
MPAA rating:PG-13
MPAA explanation:violence and brief strong language

This review of The Tourist was written by

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Quality

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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Teen, 14 years old Written byNeil13 April 6, 2011

IT WAS CARP!

THIS WAS THE WORST MOVIE I HAVE EVER SEEN! The storyline was good, and if the actors weren't so boring, it didn't try too hard to be serious and funny at the same time, it might have been a good film. Good twist at the end.
Teen, 15 years old Written byTotally500 May 9, 2011

fine action film

This movie is a fine action film not that bad or anything.
What other families should know
Too much violence
Too much swearing
Teen, 13 years old Written byTara13 July 3, 2014

Really good!

The Tourist was a great, action, romance film for teens and adults! But here's what you need to know about it… Some language throughout, brief kissing, scene where the main actress changes and her underwear an bra are seen BUT nothing happens, violence is a little strong, gun shooting throughout, scene where a guy strangles another with a belt (i don't recommend watching that part), and the main actress is held at knife point (but she doesn't get hurt). Overall i think it's a wonderful film with a GREAT twist at the end but not for kids. Not just because of what i wrote but it may be hard for them to understand as well. Great for 13+
What other families should know
Great messages
Too much violence
Too much swearing

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