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"THE SHADOW CONSPIRACY"
(1997) (Charlie Sheen, Linda Hamilton) (R)

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


QUICK TAKE:
Suspense/Thriller: A White House aide uncovers a secret shadow agency working inside the government.
PLOT:
Bobby Bishop (CHARLIE SHEEN) is a special assistant to the President of United States (SAM WATERSTON). His mentor, Jacob Conrad (DONALD SUTHERLAND) sees great things for him, but when a government hit man (STEPHEN LANG) kills several people and targets Bishop, he has no time for praise. He finds himself on the run with no one to trust other than former girlfriend, turned adversarial newspaper reporter, Amanda Givens (LINDA HAMILTON). As they uncover even more conspiracy, danger lurks everywhere and they must do what they can to expose it and save their own lives.
WILL KIDS WANT TO SEE IT?
If the ads showing the conspiracy plot entice them, they might. Otherwise, unless some of the actors draw them in, it's doubtful.
WHY THE MPAA RATED IT: R
For violence and language.
CAST AS ROLE MODELS:
  • CHARLIE SHEEN plays a White House aide who must do everthing he can to survive the attempts on his life.
  • LINDA HAMILTON plays a newspaper reporter whose character isn't well developed and thus not much is known about her.
  • CAST, CREW, & TECHNICAL INFO

    HOW OTHERS RATED THIS MOVIE


    OUR TAKE: 1 out of 10
    It's no surprise that the studio delayed this movie for more than half a year from its initial release date. Its conspiracy plot is tired, boring and pales in comparison to other conspiracy based movies of the past (such as "Three Days of the Condor"). There's nothing new to this movie that you haven't seen before and there are so many stupid or illogical events in it that it baffles the mind as to how this one ever got made, let alone released. For example Hamilton tells Sheen she can get them into her apartment (that's being watched) by using the back alley (Ah, a secret back alley that the government types would never think of checking!) And a tunnel that leads from the White House to the Treasury and other locales just happens to empty out onto a downtown D.C. street. The movie butchers the Washington, D.C. locales, cutting from one area to another and uses the inside of the Virginia state capitol to represent the inside of the U.S. Capitol. And the mock-up of the White House press room is horribly done (and it can be done right see "An American President"). While it's easy to nitpick these items (being based in the D.C. area) and many other films do the same to the areas they're shot in, it just makes for an incoherent, messy- looking film. Especially when Sheen enters an upscale looking building and goes out the other side to what looks like a slum, night time set of "West Side Story." Even stranger is why the hit man can kill everyone else with ease (from near and far) but can't seem ever to hit Sheen. To top things off, the ending is completely ludicrous with a toy helicopter flying through the National Building Museum shooting people with its miniature machine guns on its way toward the President. It's a shame seeing Sutherland in such a flop as he once again plays his stereotypical bad guy. Maybe someday someone will cast him back into the decent roles he used to get. The same goes for Hamilton whose "Terminator" days of glory are long gone. And Sheen well, he's light years away from what was once a promising career (after "Platoon" and "Wall Street"). These stars should have followed this advice: Stay as far away from this movie as possible. We give this stinker a minimal 1 out of 10.
    OUR WORD TO PARENTS:
    This movie is stereotypical of its genre and contains people being chased, shot and killed. The worst of the language consists of 9 "f" and 6 "s" words, but there's little drinking or smoking. Sexual content is limited to one minor line of dialogue. The violence is the main concern with most of the other categories not being too bad. If your kids want to see this film, we suggest that you check out the scene listings before allowing them to do so.

    ALCOHOL OR DRUG USE
  • People drink wine at an outdoor restaurant and Bishop has vodka while Conrad drinks some other liquor.
  • BLOOD/GORE
  • Many of the gunshot victims (see "Violence") are somewhat bloody.
  • The hit man shoots a woman again and her blood splatters onto a computer monitor.
  • A rather bloody hand is seen behind a desk.
  • Bishop has some bloody scrapes on his face.
  • A man is shot and falls to the floor with a good amount of blood coming from his mouth.
  • DISRESPECTFUL/BAD ATTITUDE
  • Obviously all of the bad guys have both (especially since they're plotting to kill the President).
  • FRIGHTENING SCENES
  • Some viewers may find some of the chase scenes as tense (but they're really not).
  • Bishop hangs from a window cleaner's platform and then jumps just as it comes crashing to the ground.
  • Bishop and Givens are chased through the White House and then into an elevator shaft where they fight the security guards who shoot at them.
  • GUNS/WEAPONS
  • Handguns, Rifles, Knife: Used to injure or kill many people: See "Violence" for details.
  • Remote Control Helicopter: Used to kill many people via it's miniature machine guns.
  • IMITATIVE BEHAVIOR
  • Phrases: "Screw them," "Bastard," and "Stupid."
  • A bad guy drives his motorcycle down the steps into a subway station.
  • JUMP SCENES
  • The hit man suddenly stabs his knife down through Amanda's jeep and attacks Bishop.
  • MUSIC (SCARY/TENSE)
  • There is a moderate amount of suspenseful music throughout the movie.
  • MUSIC (INAPPROPRIATE)
  • None.
  • PROFANITY
  • 9 "f" words (1 with the prefix "mother" and also 1 use of "freakin"), 6 "s" words, 4 slang terms for male genitals ("pr*ck"), 9 "ass" words, 7 hells, 2 damns, 2 S.O.B.'s, 1 crap, and 4 uses of "God damn," 3 uses each of "God" and "Jesus," 2 uses of "For Christ's sakes," and 1 use each of "Oh God," "Jesus Christ," and "For God's sakes" as exclamations.
  • SEX/NUDITY
  • Bishop asks a congressman if he's still "doinking" his legislative director.
  • SMOKING
  • The bad surveillance guys are occasionally seen smoking.
  • TENSE FAMILY SCENES
  • None.
  • TOPICS TO TALK ABOUT
  • How such a bad movie like this could be made and released.
  • VIOLENCE
  • The hit man shoots and kills six people in a house.
  • The hit man shoots and kills another man and then shoots repeatedly at Bishop. He then knocks over people as he chases after Bishop.
  • The hit man shoots several people as he tries to get Bishop again. We later hear that one of them died and three others were injured. There's some car damage as Bishop scrapes his car against others as he escapes.
  • Bishop and Givens find her editor dead in his chair with a gun in his hand (but we know he was murdered). The bloody hand of another person is seen around the corner.
  • The hit man shoots at Bishop and Givens again.
  • The hit man grabs a woman and breaks her neck, killing her.
  • The hit man jumps onto Givens' jeep and stabs a knife down through the convertible top and attacks Bishop. They finally dispatch with him by Bishop biting his hand and then by flipping off the top causing the bad guy to fall to the street.
  • Bishop and Givens find themselves in an elevator shaft in the White House where the guards repeatedly shoot at them and Bishop fights with one of the guards (punches).
  • Another bad guy shoots at Bishop in a taxi cab and blows out the back window.
  • The bad guy is run over by a subway car in the tunnel.
  • The hit man pilots a toy helicopter that shoots and kills many people as it makes its way toward the President.
  • Bishop shoots and kills the hit man and Jacob shoots himself.



  • Reviewed January 31, 1997

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