|Lowest Recommended Age:||Middle School|
|Movie Release Date:||1998|
This movie is what I call a “soft R,” the rating based on limited bad language and violence, but not really unsuitable for younger kids. Will Smith stars as Bobby Dean, a successful Washington lawyer, who in true thriller fashion is inadvertantly drawn into a paranoid nightmare. An old acquaintence on the run from the CIA drops a computer disk into Dean’s Christmas packages just before he is killed. Dean does not know that he has the disk, much less that the disk proves that CIA operatives killed a senator (an unbilled Jason Robards) because he opposed their plans to expand surveillance. The head of a rogue operation within the CIA (current default bad guy Jon Voight) goes after Dean, who quickly loses his job and his wife, who leaves him after she learns that he has been seeing an old girlfriend. Every aspect of Dean’s life is scrutinized by the CIA and the chase scenes are very exciting, showing their ability to track every move he makes with the use of technology from satillites to to phone logs to tiny tracers in his clothes. Parents should know that there are four-letter words, references to infidelity, and bloody scenes, but fewer than in most R movies. Families may want to talk about the issues raised by balancing the right to privacy with the need for protection.