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Movie Mom

I think the idea here was to cross “Silence of the Lambs” with “The Matrix.” It’s a story about a serial killer, now in some sort of irreversible catatonia. How can the police find where he has hidden his last victim, who may still be alive? Well, it just so happens that a billionaire whose child is in a mysterious catatonic state has funded one of those mysterious science labs that only exist in movies, lots of sleek corridors and white-coated geniuses and equipment that requires a skin-tight jumpsuit to operate. This one has figured out a way to allow an empathic social worker named Catherine (Jennifer Lopez) to enter the boy’s mind and communicate with him. So the police decide to allow her to see if she can make any progress with the serial killer.

All of this is just an excuse for lots and lots of stunning but often gruesome surreal visual effects that fall somewhere between the hyper-clarity of a nightmare and the claustrophobic grotesquery of a bad acid trip.

The movie is all sensation, no plot, no logic, no meaning, no effort to explore or illuminate. It is filled with juxtapositions that seem more meaningful than they are, creating an illusion of profundity that dissolves before your eyes.

Parents should know that the movie has many gross, upsetting, and scary moments, including child abuse, torture, murder, perversion, mutilation, a terrifying full-immersion baptism, and characters in peril. A character smokes marijuana to calm her nerves.

Families who see this movie should talk about what it would be like to enter someone else’s mind and about the differences in the ways individuals think. They may also want to talk about mental illness, its causes and treatments.

Families who enjoy this movie will also like “The Matrix.”

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