Movie Mom

Movie Mom


Taking Lives

posted by rkumar
B
Lowest Recommended Age:Mature High Schooler
Profanity:Some very strong language, including anti-gay insult
Nudity/Sex:Nudity, sexual situation
Alcohol/Drugs:Drinking, smoking
Violence/Scariness:Intense and graphic violence, many murders, grisly dead bodies
Diversity Issues:Strong female character
Movie Release Date:2004

Illeana Scott (Angelina Jolie) is an FBI profiler who immerses herself in her cases. She eats alone in an elegant hotel room, staring at photos of crime scenes and corpses. When construction equipment uncovers a dead body, she lies down in the muddy pit where and closes her eyes. She lies down on top of a bed that might have been the murderer’s, to see what he saw.

Scott has been brought in by the Canadian police to help them solve a murder. It turns out to be linked to other murders, probably the work of a man who kills men his age and size and then takes over their lives until it is time to move on to the next, “like a hermit crab — he outgrows one body and starts looking for a new one.”

The only witness is Costa (Ethan Hawke), an artist preparing for a big show. Illeana is not sure whether to trust him, arrest him, or fall for him. But is what draws her to him the part of her that understands killers?

Jolie’s character is inconsistently conceived, forcing her to take on almost as many personalities as the killer, cool professional, tomboy feminist, girlish romantic, and nesting loner. She has to be tough and vulnerable as the whims of the script demand, and that takes some of the steam out of the story. But director D.J. Caruso and a strong cast make the best of the potboiler material, creating a nicely creepy atmosphere and knowing when to surprise the audience with a shock — or a laugh — to release the tension. So if you don’t try to make it all make sense, you might find it to be a thriller with a couple of genuine thrills. And you can be relieved that at least this one doesn’t star Ashley Judd.

Parents should know that this is an R-rated thriller with intense and graphic violence. There are graphic injuries and grisly dead bodies, including some decomposed and one badly burned, plus a severed finger and a bloody wound. There are many tense scenes with characters in peril and one (apparently) especially horrific injury. Characters drink, smoke, and use strong language. There are sexual references and a sexual situation including nudity.

Families who see this movie should talk about what a profiler of serial killers might have in common with the killers to be profiled, a theme also explored in the Hannibal Lecter books by Thomas Harris. Families might want to take a look at the FBI’s website, which has a lot of information about their investigations, programs, and employment opportunities.

Families who enjoy this movie will also enjoy the multi-Oscar-winning Silence of the Lambs and the underrated first Hannibal Lecter movie, Manhunter. They will also enjoy Jagged Edge with Glenn Close as a defense attorney who is drawn to her charming client even though he is charged with murdering his wife, and Copycat with Sigourney Weaver as a profiler stalked by a killer. And they should see Hitchcock’s great classic of the “should I trust the man I am attracted to” genre, Suspicion, with Oscar-winner Joan Fontaine wondering whether new husband Cary Grant wants to kill her with that glass of milk.



Previous Posts

Does PG-13 Mean Anything Anymore?
The Washington Post has an article about a new report from the American Academy of Pediatrics, "Parental Desensitization to Violence and Sex in Movies," with some disturbing conclusions about parents' ability to make good decisions about the impact some media may have on their children. This is not

posted 8:00:58am Oct. 25, 2014 | read full post »

Is E-Reading to Kids the Same as Analog Reading?
The New York Times asks, Is E-Reading to Your Toddler Story Time, or Simply Screen Time? In a 2013 study, researchers found that children ages 3 to 5 whose parents read to them from an electronic book had lower reading comprehension than children whose parents used traditional books. Part of th

posted 8:00:40am Oct. 25, 2014 | read full post »

Interview: Todd and Jedd Wider about the Bullying Documentary "Mentor"
Producers Todd and Jedd Wider generously took time to answer my questions about their documentary, "Mentor," the story of two teenagers who committed suicide following relentless bullying. The film, which received Honorable Mention for Best Documentary Feature at the 2014 Woodstock Film Festival th

posted 3:56:57pm Oct. 24, 2014 | read full post »

Clip: Tinkerbell and the Legend of the NeverBeast
[iframe width="560" height="315" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/ApzHJhZz2JQ" frameborder="0"] The latest in Disney's animated Tinkerbell series adds Ginnifer Goodwin to the cast. Coming in March of 2015, it explores the ancient myth of a mysterious creature whose distant roar sparks the curiosity

posted 1:23:59pm Oct. 24, 2014 | read full post »

Interview: "Avatar" Villain Stephen Lang on Playing a Good Guy Coach in "23 Blast"
Stephen Lang is best known for playing the villain in "Avatar." But in "23 Blast," based on the real-life story of Travis Freeman, a high school football player who lost his vision but stayed on the team, Lang plays a good guy, the coach who encouraged and supported him. I talked to Lang about actin

posted 5:56:30am Oct. 24, 2014 | read full post »




Report as Inappropriate

You are reporting this content because it violates the Terms of Service.

All reported content is logged for investigation.