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(1997) (George Clooney, Nicole Kidman) (R)

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Bad Attitude
Tense Scenes
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Smoking Tense Family
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Action/Adventure: A newly appointed bureaucrat and a take charge military officer try to find and stop terrorists who've stolen ten Russian nuclear warheads.
Terrorists steal ten nuclear warheads, targeted for deactivation, from a Russian train and detonate one in a remote area, putting the world's government officials on alert. Chief among them is Dr. Julia Kelly (NICOLE KIDMAN), the newly appointed head of the White House Nuclear Smuggling Group. She doesn't believe those who say the blast was an accident, and her military liaison, Colonel Thomas Devoe (GEORGE CLOONEY), a gung ho intelligence officer with the U.S. Army's Special Forces, agrees. He thinks that the blast was a cover up, and that a major buyer for the nukes was behind the incident. Kelly and Devoe have different opinions of how to proceed, but realize they have to work together and thus head to Eastern Europe, hoping to find the perpetrators and the warheads. Devoe meets one of his many contacts, Col. Dimitri Vertikoff (ARMIN MUELLER-STAHL), and the two Americans learn that a Russian officer, General Kodoroff (ALEXANDER BALUEV) is working with two Bosnian brothers, Dusan (MARCEL IURES) and Vlado (RENE MEDVESEK), who are the buyers. As Kelly and Devoe close in on the terrorists, their chase leads them back to the U.S. where they must find the terrorists before they set off another nuclear blast.
If they're fans of the two leads, or like action thrillers, they probably will, but preteens who don't fall into those categories will most likely have little interest in this film.
For strong violence and some language.
  • NICOLE KIDMAN plays a confidant woman who finds herself in a new and difficult position where her decisions have life and death consequences, and consequently she swears a bit.
  • GEORGE CLOONEY plays a gung ho, take charge officer who occasionally uses persuasive and/or lethal force to get the information he needs. He also uses profanity (under stressful circumstances) and usurps some of Kelly's authority.
  • MARCEL IURES plays one of the terrorists whose behavior is directly tied to the deaths of his wife and daughter at the hands of a sniper.


    OUR TAKE: 7.5 out of 10
    This film, Dreamworks SKG Studios' first motion picture release, is an entertaining and occasionally gripping no-nonsense thriller. While all but one of the studio's TV programs have been canned, they should have a moderately successful hit with this feature. Emmy Award winning director Mimi Leder (who won for TV's "ER") more than adequately helms the story that's little more than a retread of similarly plotted James Bond films. The bad guys have the nukes and James, er Batman, I mean George Clooney must find and stop them. It's a simple enough story (with the Bondesque Russian setting and bad military officers), yet it still comes across as an extremely enjoyable diversion and it's certainly easy on the eyes. Clooney and Kidman are an attractive action duo, and they play the leads whose dissimilar approach to solving the problem generates some tension. While one expects the usual conflict-based sparks between them to eventually lead to romantic ones, that's not the case here. This film and its characters are all business, and for the most part it's actually a welcome change from the stereotypical "opposites attract" plot device. Yet, a bit more humor would have given their characters a little more dimension and would have softened the film's no-nonsense demeanor. There's a little bit there, but we would have liked to have seen more.

    Clooney and Kidman are good, but not great, in their roles, and do what they need to in order to move the story along. Clooney's on the verge of becoming the next big action hero and fares better here than he did in "Batman & Robin" where he was hidden in his costume and was always in the shadow of the outrageous, and overused villains. Kidman has great on screen charisma, and she gets to play a decent role here, but her character's impact lessens as Clooney takes charge. There are some logic flaws of course, including a scene where Clooney lowers the bulletproof driver's side window of his car -- and leaves it down -- while the bad guys are shooting at him. In another, he repels down into a canvas topped truck before knowing whether the terrorists inside are all dead. These are minor complaints, and are of the variety that are easily overlooked due to the heavy action that's occurring on screen. The musical score occasionally gets heavy handed and Leder relies on it a bit too much for creating atmosphere. She does, however, deliver some great action and suspense scenes that not only make up for any of the film's deficiencies, but also stand up comparably to any other director's similar-based work. "The Peacemaker" won't go down in history as being a great movie by any means, but it's certainly a fun way to pass two hours in a darkened theater. We give this film a 7.5 out of 10.

    The main items that parents will probably find objectionable with this film are its violence and profanity. Obviously a film about terrorists will have a lot of violence, and this film delivers with many people being killed, some of them graphically with lots of blood. 10 "f" words and others are uttered and of course the bad guys, being terrorists, have plenty of bad attitudes to go around. However, beyond some suspenseful scenes tied to the violence, most of the rest of the other categories are rather void of major objectionable material. Still, since a fair number of kids, mostly teens, will want to see this film, you should read through the content before allowing them to see it.

  • In a military hearing, we hear that Devoe and his informant ran up a $5,000 bar tab while working undercover to stop arms smuggling.
  • Devoe and Dimitri drink shots in a bar while others drink in the background.
  • In general, people who've been shot are rather bloody.
  • Russian soldiers, who've just been shot, are rather bloody (including a graphic bullet hole wound to one of their heads).
  • A man's nose is bloody after Devoe slams his head onto a table.
  • Blood squirts from a man after he's been shot and we then see blood running from his head.
  • A man's shoulder is very bloody after a car crash.
  • The side of Devoe's head is bloody after a fight, and both he and Kelly are somewhat bloody by the end of the movie.
  • Obviously all of the terrorists have both as not only do they kill people, but they also threaten and attempt to set off more nuclear weapons.
  • Some viewers may see Devoe's take charge attitude (especially in a briefing that Kelly's holding) as demeaning to her.
  • Commandos board a train, and slowly make their way through it, preparing to shoot the Russian soldiers guarding the nuclear warheads.
  • One of Devoe's informants is shot dead and the bad guys then chase after Devoe and Kelly in their car.
  • Devoe and other soldiers fly after the terrorists' truck while the Russian border patrol is warning that they're about to fire their missiles at the American helicopters.
  • Devoe fights with a terrorist while the truck they're in teeters on the edge of a bridge. Devoe then tries to attach a cable to the warheads before the truck falls into the gorge below.
  • A big chase/hunt scene occurs and includes a sniper being given orders to shoot the terrorist even though civilians are in the line of fire, and he nearly shoots a little girl in the process.
  • Devoe and Kelly frantically work to defuse the warhead before it goes off.
  • Handguns/Machine Guns/Knives/Missiles/Grenades: Used to threaten, wound or kill people. See "Violence" for details.
  • Nuclear Weapons: One is detonated killing many people while others are used to threaten more people.
  • Phrase: "Bitch" (indirectly said toward women).
  • None.
  • The movie is filled with action-oriented and traditional suspense music, and there's enough there to warrant a heavy rating.
  • None.
  • At least 10 "f" words (1 used with "mother"), 6 "s" words, 11 hells, 4 damns, 3 S.O.B.'s, 2 asses (both used with "hole"), and 6 uses of "G-damn," 4 uses of "Oh my God" (2 in subtitles), 2 uses of "Oh God" (1 in subtitles), and 1 use each of "God," "Jesus Christ" and "Jesus."
  • We briefly see a woman breast feeding on a train and part of her breast is seen.
  • In a military hearing, we hear that Devoe was "in the company of a prostitute" while undercover to stop arms smuggling, but nothing more is made of that.
  • To antagonize Kodoroff, Devoe asks him, "Are you still humping that stewardess with the bad skin?"
  • Russian soldiers are occasionally seen smoking.
  • People are seen smoking on the street and in bars.
  • Dusan has a flashback to a scene where snipers shoot both his wife and daughter.
  • Nuclear terrorism, and whether something like this could happen.
  • A man is shot and wounded inside a church and we later learn that he dies.
  • A Russian soldier's throat is slit.
  • Commandos shoot and kill many Russian soldiers.
  • Two trains crash headfirst into each other, killing many people.
  • A man shoots a Russian office at point blank range, killing him.
  • A nuclear warhead is detonated, killing many people.
  • Devoe grabs a corrupt businessman's hand and bends it backwards right before slamming the man's head onto a table. He and Kelly then tie him up and Devoe threatens to shoot him if he doesn't talk.
  • A man is shot and killed and the bad guys then open fire on Devoe and Kelly in their bulletproof car. Devoe then shoots a man dead. A long car chase follows with the cars smashing into each other and other property. Devoe then rams his car backwards into the pursuing cars, smashing them and in one scene driving up over top of another, killing those inside. Moments later Devoe and Kelly get out of their car before it explodes and Devoe then walks up and shoots the last bad guy dead.
  • Kodoroff and others open fire on soldiers at a check point, shooting many of them dead and they blow up a truck with a grenade launcher.
  • An Army helicopter is blown up.
  • A great deal of gunfire is exchanged between the bad guys' truck and Devoe and his helicopters that eventually blow up the road in front of the truck. They then shoot and kill most of the bad guys.
  • Devoe gets into a fight with a Russian and many punches are thrown. The Russian then wraps Devoe's repel line around his neck and nearly causes him to be strangled as he's pulled up. Devoe cuts himself loose, stabs the bad guy in the foot and a sniper then shoots the bad guy.
  • Dusan has a flashback to a scene where snipers shoot and kill both his wife and daughter, along with others, in Bosnia.
  • Dusan's brother shoots two police officers and a sniper shoots a woman in her leg while missing his intended targets.
  • Another man is shot and Dusan opens fire on Devoe and Kelly.
  • A man shoots himself in the head.
  • An explosion blows up part of a church.

  • Reviewed September 18, 1997

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