[Screen It]


(1997) (Harrison Ford, Brad Pitt) (R)

Blood/Gore Disrespectful/
Bad Attitude
Tense Scenes
Mild Heavy Heavy Moderate Extreme
Moderate None Mild None Extreme
Smoking Tense Family
Topics To
Talk About
*Minor Minor Minor Mild Extreme

Drama/Action: An I.R.A. member comes to America to buy weapons and stays with a N.Y. cop who is unaware of the man's true identity.
Francis "Frankie" McGuire (BRAD PITT) is an I.R.A. terrorist who is responsible for many deaths and acts of terrorism. He travels to America to help his cause, assumes the name "Rory Devaney," and is placed with Tom O'Meara (HARRISON FORD), an Irish N.Y. cop. Tom and his partner, Eddie Diaz (RUBEN BLADES) are street cops who are good at their jobs, but they don't realize that Rory is there to purchase missiles from Billy Burke (TREAT WILLIAMS), an arms smuggler. Along with his friend, Sean Phelan (PAUL RONAN), Rory sets out to buy and transport the missiles back to his homeland, but that's before Tom finds out his true identity.
If they're fans of Ford or Pitt, they probably will.
For strong brutal violence, and for language.
  • HARRISON FORD plays a good cop whose only indiscretion is lying about how his partner shot a fleeing suspect.
  • BRAD PITT plays a terrorist who strongly believes what he's doing is right, but is responsible for many deaths.


    OUR TAKE: 8 out of 10
    This is a film that slowly grows on you and becomes better as it builds momentum toward its dramatic conclusion. Both Pitt and Ford are terrific (as always) in their respective roles, with Ford showing that he still has what it takes to command the screen. It is Pitt, however, who shows that he has become one of the best and most versatile actors working today. From his role in "Interview with a Vampire" to his nominated performance in "Twelve Monkeys," he's proven that he can play a wide variety of characters. Here, Pitt creates one who is in no way a "good guy," but you can't help but to feel for his passion and for somewhat liking him. That's where Pitt does a great job -- in making us like someone who , if he had been played by most other actors, would be nothing but a despicable character. Creating flawed, but charismatic villains is difficult to do, but when it happens it creates terrific on screen conflict with the protagonist and for the audience's attention. And that's exactly what happens in this film. The supporting cast is fine and the script works for the most part, although there appear to be a few "throw away" scenes that could have been edited out without damaging the production. While it's not the slam bang action thriller that the commercials make it out to be, it is an intense and interesting character study with some "fun," suspense-filled scenes thrown in for good measure. A "thinking person's" movie, this production is sure to please many viewers. We give it an 8 out of 10.
    This is a rather intense and often graphically violent film that younger kids probably shouldn't see. Many people are shot and killed with bloody results, and in one scene a decapitated head is tossed to the ground. Profanity is heavy with 20+ "f" words, but sexual content is limited to one very brief and indirect comment. There's some drinking, but nothing that's too bad and there are many tense scenes mainly revolving around the violent or potentially violent encounters that are present. Pitt creates a sympathetic character in Rory, an I.R.A. terrorist, and this is something that should be discussed with children who are mature and old enough to understand that although he's likeable at times, he's still a deadly terrorist. Since this film is probably suitable only for older children, we strongly suggest that you examine the content before allowing any children to see this film.

  • Tom and Rory have beer with dinner while Tom's wife has wine.
  • People drink in bars in several scenes and also at a fancy reception.
  • Burke pours himself a drink.
  • Tom and Rory stop in a bar and drink beer.
  • People drink at a confirmation reception.
  • Tom drinks a shot of liquor in a bar after a fatal shooting.
  • Frankie's father has bloody gunshot wounds to the chest.
  • Many people who are shot in an early machine gun battle are also bloody (wounds on the body and/or blood spilling from their mouths). One of them is seen with a bullet hole in his forehead.
  • Rory shoots one of Burke's men in the leg and blood splatters out.
  • Rory's friend, Sean, is seen in Burke's trunk and is tied up and rather bloody.
  • Blood splatters from Diaz when he's shot.
  • Tom is a little bloody after fighting with the intruders and with Rory.
  • One of Burke's men throws Sean's decapitated head to the ground in front of Rory.
  • Burke and his men are bloody after Rory shoots all of them.
  • Tom and Rory are both bloody after shooting each other.
  • Rory is a terrorist who is responsible for many deaths and terrorist activities.
  • A local judge is involved with the IRA and arranges for Rory to stay with Tom without telling him about Rory's activities.
  • Burke is an arms dealer who has arranged to sell Rory missiles for terrorist purposes.
  • A friend of Tom's jokingly calls Rory a "mick" and tells a joke, "Did you hear about the Irish guy who tried to blow up a car? He burned his lips on the tailpipe."
  • One of the suspects that Tom and Diaz chase has stolen a package of condoms, while another breaks into a vehicle that he's trying to steal.
  • Diaz shoots an unarmed suspect in the back and then successfully gets Tom to lie for him about what really happened. Tom, however, feels so bad about doing so that he tells his wife that he lied, and then plans to retire from the force.
  • Some viewers may find scenes listed under "Violence" as also being tense and/or suspenseful.
  • Handguns/Machine Guns/Bomb: Used to threaten, injure or kill many people. See "Violence" for details.
  • Missiles: Purchased by Rory from Burke, but never used.
  • Terrorist behavior.
  • One of Tom's daughters gives another daughter "the finger."
  • Phrases: "Bastard," "Bust your balls," "Dork," "Shut up," and "Piss."
  • None.
  • For all of the suspenseful scenes, there's only a mild amount of suspenseful music.
  • None.
  • 23 "f" words (and 1 "freakin"), 2 "s" words, 4 "ass" words, 3 damns, 2 hells, 1 S.O.B., 1 crap, and 5 uses of "Jesus," 3 of "Jesus Christ," 2 uses each of "God damn" and "Oh my God," and 1 use each of "Oh God" and "Oh Christ" as exclamations.
  • A suspect that Tom and Diaz chase and capture has stolen a package of condoms and says that he was too embarrassed to buy them.
  • A man smokes in a bar.
  • Frankie (as a young boy) watches in horror as his father is shot and killed in front of him.
  • Tom and Diaz respond to a domestic disturbance call. An upset child opens the door and we see a woman who's scared of her husband.
  • The I.R.A., its history, and their agenda.
  • The fact that although Pitt creates a sympathetic character in Rory, he's still a terrorist.
  • Frankie (as a boy) sees a man enter his house and shoot his father several times, killing him.
  • As the story begins we're told that Frankie is responsible for at least eighteen deaths.
  • Frankie and his comrades get into a machine gun battle with the police and soldiers. Many people are killed (at least ten) and others are injured. The scene ends as a British officer shoots one of Frankie's comrades from point blank range.
  • Tom and Diaz respond to a domestic disturbance call. Tom gets the wife out of the apartment, but the husband aims his gun at Diaz. As they back out into a hallway, Tom and Diaz grab the man and the gun is fired several times into the ceiling, but no one is hurt.
  • Tom and Diaz chase after a suspect who has broken a vehicle's window that he was trying to steal. The suspect fires several shots at Diaz and the chase continues. At the end of the scene, Diaz shoots the man in the back and kills him.
  • Several masked men grab Tom and his wife, Sheila, in their home. Many punches are thrown, as are bodies that are slammed against the walls. Sheila hits one of the intruders over the head and Tom then hits him as well. The men finally get control and punch Tom several times in the gut. Rory then shows up and hits the intruders with a large piece of firewood, and knees and hits another guy. The fight ends when an intruder holds a gun to Sheila's head and the men back out of the house.
  • Rory shoots one of Burke's men in the leg.
  • After Rory sees his friend Sean tied up and bloody in Burke's trunk, Burke's men hit and knock down Rory. Burke then kicks Rory in the stomach.
  • Tom and Diaz have arrested Rory who is sitting cuffed in the back of Tom's car. Diaz gets out for a moment and Rory kicks Tom in the head and then smashes his head against the window. He gets out and shoots Diaz. Tom then punches Rory, who returns a hit to Tom's head and then escapes.
  • One of Burke's men throws Sean's decapitated head to the ground.
  • One of Burke's men is blown up by an explosive, and Rory then shoots and kills Burke and the rest of his men.
  • Tom slams a judge against a wall after learning of his involvement with Rory.
  • Tom and Rory shoot each other.

  • Reviewed March 20, 1997

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