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"DEAD MAN WALKING"
(1996) (Susan Sarandon, Sean Penn) (R)

Alcohol/
Drugs
Blood/Gore Disrespectful/
Bad Attitude
Frightening/
Tense Scenes
Guns/
Weapons
Minor Moderate Moderate Moderate Moderate
Imitative
Behavior
Jump
Scenes
Music
(Scary/Tense)
Music
(Inappropriate)
Profanity
Mild None Moderate None Moderate
Sex/
Nudity
Smoking Tense Family
Scenes
Topics To
Talk About
Violence
Mild Moderate Heavy Extreme Heavy


QUICK TAKE:
Drama: A nun tries to save the life and soul of a death row inmate.
PLOT:
Sister Helen Prejean (SUSAN SARANDON) becomes involved in trying to save the life and soul of Matt Poncelet (SEAN PENN), a death row prisoner found guilty of the rape and murder of two teenagers. She must try to understand him while dealing with the anger of the victim's parents and the inevitability of his pending execution.
WILL KIDS WANT TO SEE IT?
Probably not. Older teens might, but the subject material is way too serious for younger kids.
WHY THE MPAA RATED IT: R
For a depiction of a rape and murder.
CAST AS ROLE MODELS:
  • SUSAN SARANDON plays a compassionate nun who looks past the hideous acts of Poncelet and tries to save his soul.
  • SEAN PENN plays the racist, anti-government convicted murderer who angrily claims he's innocent.
  • CAST, CREW, & TECHNICAL INFO

    HOW OTHERS RATED THIS MOVIE


    ALCOHOL OR DRUG USE
  • Lots of talk of using alcohol or drugs -- but never seen.
  • Talk of father taking Matt to bar at age 12 and him getting drunk.
  • BLOOD/GORE
  • Shots of dead teens in the woods.
  • Photos of the dead girl with many stabs wounds to her body.
  • A needle is shown going into a vein.
  • There are very imaginative descriptions of what happens to the body during lethal injection.
  • DISRESPECTFUL/BAD ATTITUDE
  • Matt is a racist and uses the "n" word often and talks of how Hitler "got the job done."
  • Matt has "no love for the government" and talks about how he wanted to blow up government buildings.
  • Matt refers to women as "bitches."
  • Support and opposition to the death penalty is represented by most of the characters (depending on your views you may be offended by the other sides views).
  • FRIGHTENING/TENSE SCENES
  • There are many flashbacks of the murder ( which is upsetting since we already know what's going to happen).
  • The death by lethal injection scene is shown in full.
  • There is a brief, scary dream with Matt at Helen's family dinner table.
  • GUNS/WEAPONS
  • Rifle: Used to shoot a couple in the backs of their heads (seen during flashbacks).
  • A victim's father says he could have grabbed sherrif's gun and killed Matt and then would have felt good about it.
  • IMITATIVE BEHAVIOR
  • Talk of white supremacy and anti-government stands.
  • Flashback scene of kids beating a possum to death with sticks.
  • Talk of putting a dead squirrel in the locker of a younger sibling.
  • JUMP SCENES
  • None.
  • MUSIC (SCARY/TENSE)
  • Flashback scenes of the murders have eerie music playing throughout.
  • MUSIC (INAPPROPRIATE)
  • None.
  • PROFANITY
  • *1 "f" word, 3 ass words, 1 bitch, 1 hell.
  • SEX/NUDITY
  • Matt tells nun that she missed out not being married and having sex.
  • The couple is seen making out in their car (just kissing).
  • There is full rear nudity of the dead girl's body.
  • The other killer is seen raping the girl (seen kneeling between her legs).
  • SMOKING
  • Matt smokes throughout the movie.
  • TENSE FAMILY SCENES
  • There are lots of stressful, emotional scenes (crying, yelling, etc...) with the victim's families as well as with Matt's family.
  • TOPICS TO TALK ABOUT
  • Death penalty, murder, rape.
  • VIOLENCE
  • Reoccurring flashbacks of the rape and shooting of two teens.
  • Lots of descriptions of the above told by Matt, lawyers, and family members.
  • Talk of the girl's vagina being "all torn up."
  • Talk of how prisoners have been executed in the past (beheadings, electric chair, etc...).



  • Reviewed March 8, 1996

    Other new and recent reviews include:

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