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"BRINGING OUT THE DEAD"
(1999) (Nicolas Cage, Patricia Arquette) (R)

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


QUICK TAKE:
Drama: Pushed to the brink of his mental and physical capabilities, a New York emergency medical technician tries to do his job while being haunted by visions of a young woman he couldn't save.
PLOT:
Frank Pierce (NICOLAS CAGE) is an early 1990's New York-based emergency medical technician who's on the verge of a breakdown. Suffering from mental and physical exhaustion, not to mention being haunted by visions of a dead girl he couldn't save six months earlier, Frank cruises the streets with various partners hoping they won't encounter anyone who might die.

There's Larry (JOHN GOODMAN), a paramedic with a big appetite and a hatred of calls that require trips up many flights of stairs, Marcus (VING RHAMES), a religious man with a penchant for trying to sweet talk their dispatcher, and Tom Walls (TOM SIZEMORE), a sadist who gets as much of a thrill out of responding to critical calls as he does beating up homeless people.

One of them is Noel (MARC ANTHONY), an addict they often encounter, who happens to know Mary Burke (PATRICIA ARQUETTE), a woman whose father Frank saved. With Frank trying to get himself fired and believing he's found a kindred spirit in Mary who's trying to deal with her father's tenuous condition, he continues on his rounds throughout the city, encountering various people such as smooth talking drug dealer, Cy Coates (CLIFF CURTIS), hoping someone might help him end his personal nightmare.

WILL KIDS WANT TO SEE IT?
Unless they're fans of someone in the cast or of director Martin Scorsese, it's not very likely.
WHY THE MPAA RATED IT: R
For gritty violent content, drug use and language.
CAST AS ROLE MODELS:
  • NICOLAS CAGE plays a burned out emergency medical technician whose physical and mental exhaustion and visions of a young woman he couldn't save force him to drink, smoke, use strong profanity, and try to get himself fired.
  • PATRICIA ARQUETTE plays the estranged daughter of one of Frank's patients, a (mostly) former drug user who now smokes and briefly uses strong profanity (some of which suggests her sleeping around a lot).
  • JOHN GOODMAN plays one of Frank's partners who uses strong profanity.
  • VING RHAMES plays another partner, a religious man who uses some profanity, but spends most of his time sweet talking their dispatcher.
  • TOM SIZEMORE plays Frank's third partner, a man gone over the edge who uses strong profanity, some ethnic slurs, and purposefully beats a homeless man.
  • MARC ANTHONY plays a homeless man and drug addict who bashes car windows with a baseball bat in one scene.
  • CLIFF CURTIS plays a smooth talking drug dealer.
  • CAST, CREW, & TECHNICAL INFO

    HOW OTHERS RATED THIS MOVIE


    Curious if this title is entertaining, any good, and/or has any artistic merit?
    Then read OUR TAKE of this film.


    (Note: The "Our Take" review of this title examines the film's artistic merits and does not take into account any of the possibly objectionable material listed below).


    OUR WORD TO PARENTS:
    Here's a quick summary of the content found in this R-rated drama. Profanity is extreme with at least 25 "f" words being uttered, along with other profanities and colorful phrases. Some brief glimpses of non- explicit nudity are present (as are some scantily clad hookers), and a brief, but strong sexual comment is made.

    The paramedics respond to calls where people have been wounded or killed, often with quite bloody results. Some of those scenes may be a bit tense or unsettling to some viewers, as might those involving other violence including a character who beats up others (while some vandalism -- breaking car windows with a bat -- is also present).

    Various characters have bad attitudes, while some drug use is present, the main character is an alcoholic of sorts and a moderate amount of smoking occurs. Beyond that, the film's remaining categories have little or nothing in the way of major objectionable content. As always, however, should you still be concerned about the film's appropriateness for yourself or anyone else in your home, we suggest that you take a closer look at the detailed content listings.

    Of special note for those concerned with repetitive flashing of bright lights, a moment of that occurs in this film.


    ALCOHOL OR DRUG USE
  • There's talk of drug deals gone bad and of Noel snorting cocaine for three days.
  • There's talk of a new drug on the streets, "Red Death," that's a combination of heroin and something else. We later see a gunshot victim who's holding a small vial of that new drug (and someone else takes it from him).
  • An ER staffer reprimands a patient for getting drunk every day and falling down.
  • Larry makes a comment about coffee and whiskey.
  • We briefly see some people doing drugs on the street and then see an old drunk man.
  • Larry hands Frank a bottle inside a brown paper bag and says, "Here's your dinner." Frank later mentions that he's been drinking every day.
  • Frank has a drink.
  • Frank and Marcus respond to a heroin overdose.
  • Mary tells Frank that he must have picked her up several times in the past for drug overdoses (although this isn't verified).
  • Frank mentions that he needs a drink.
  • Frank states that "the bar is open" and then pours some gin for himself and Marcus (Frank drinking his straight).
  • Frank asks Cy, who's a drug dealer, if he has any beer. Stating that alcohol is poison, Cy then offers Frank a joint (he declines), lights it up for himself and shares it with a woman. Cy then offers Frank some pills (that he already gave Mary who's out like a rock) and after some initial reluctance, Frank takes one. As a result he has weird dreams/hallucinations.
  • It appears as if Frank is going to "shoot up" (such as with heroin). He does, but it's with vitamin B-12 and other things available in the ambulance.
  • Mary tells Frank "All that sh*t I was saying, was because I was stoned."
  • Frank drinks liquor straight from a bottle.
  • BLOOD/GORE
  • We see a person's foot that's very bloody.
  • Noel's face is bloody (as he holds a broken bottle to his own throat) and he leaves a bloody print on the ambulance's window. Noel then shakes his head and some blood splatter lands on Frank.
  • Walls has some blood on his shirt after beating up a homeless guy.
  • The crew responds to a double shooting where we see two bloody victims lying on the street.
  • As a woman starts to give birth, we see three bloody baby legs sticking out from her crotch (from twins but we don't see her genitals). Moments later we see an entire, bloody baby (from the childbirth).
  • Frank and Marcus have some mildly bloody cuts on them after wrecking their van.
  • We briefly see a person whose face is bloody.
  • Frank sees a dead woman lying in a hallway, a bullet hole in her head and her blood mixing with water on the floor.
  • We see a person who's been impaled on a railing with one of the spikes going all of the way through his body (and is obviously bloody, but the man is still alive). We then see another person who's been wounded and there's blood on the floor leading to his body.
  • A man is very bloody after being beaten with a baseball bat and Frank has some of his blood on his shirt after helping him.
  • DISRESPECTFUL/BAD ATTITUDE
  • Frank has a bad attitude toward work and tries to get himself fired, but doesn't succeed. He and his partners also often don't immediately respond to their calls.
  • A female street preacher wears an embryo doll on a chain around her neck (that some viewers may object to).
  • Cy is a drug dealer.
  • Those responsible for the murder and violence that occurs (most of it off-screen) obviously have both.
  • Walls calls an Arab man a "swami" and a "towel head" and later beats a man with a baseball bat.
  • Noel bashes car windows with a baseball bat and then urges Frank to do the same (he does once).
  • Some may see a scene where Frank allows a very ill patient to die by wearing his vital signs monitors (acting upon what he believes is the man's repeated requests to allow him to die) as having both.
  • FRIGHTENING SCENES
  • Some scenes where the paramedics encounter and then try to save wounded and/or dying patients (including Mary's father who's not breathing, a woman giving birth to twins and Frank trying to save one of them) may be tense and/or unsettling to some viewers. The same holds true for scenes listed under "Violence."
  • Although they're not explicitly played to be overly spooky, some viewers may be unsettled by scenes where Frank sees non-graphic visions of the dead girl who's haunting him.
  • We see a person who's been impaled on a railing with one of the spikes going all of the way through his body (and is obviously bloody, but is still alive). As the railing is cut away underneath him, it suddenly breaks and falls over the side with him, but they're caught by Frank who's then nearly pulled over himself.
  • GUNS/WEAPONS
  • Guns: Used to inflict wounds on people, but never seen.
  • Handguns: Carried by cops.
  • IMITATIVE BEHAVIOR
  • Phrases: "Shut the f*ck up," "Stinky ass m*therf*ck," "Sh*t faced," "Eat my sh*t," "D*cking around," "Shut up," "Nuts" (crazy), "Pain in the ass," "Chicks" (for women), "Bastard," "What the hell," "Niggers" (said by a black person), "Stick it right up your big one," "Dumb ass," "My black ass" and "Kick his ass," while the phrase "F*ck you" is obviously mouthed by Larry.
  • Noel holds a broken bottle to his own throat as he feigns a suicide attempt.
  • Some people at a club have nose rings.
  • Noel bashes car windows with a baseball bat and then urges Frank to do the same (he does once).
  • JUMP SCENES
  • None.
  • MUSIC (SCARY/TENSE)
  • A mild amount of ominous and suspenseful music plays in a few scenes.
  • MUSIC (INAPPROPRIATE)
  • None.
  • PROFANITY
  • At least 25 "f" words (6 used with "mother," 1 used sexually and Larry obviously mouths the phrase "F*ck you"), 16 "s" words, 2 slang terms using male genitals ("d*ck," with another possible one, "c*cks*cker"), 13 hells, 9 asses (2 used with "hole"), 5 damns, 3 S.O.B.s, and 6 uses of "G-damn," 3 of "Jesus Christ," 2 each of "Oh Jesus," "For God's sakes" and "God" and 1 use each of "Oh God," "For Christ's sakes," "Christ," "Oh my God" and "Jesus" as exclamations.
  • SEX/NUDITY
  • We see some prostitutes on the street wearing skimpy clothes (one wearing a bikini bottom) and another who's obviously pregnant.
  • We see part of the side of an old drunk man's bare butt.
  • We see part of a person's bare butt as they walk down the street.
  • A black man talks about not "mixing his seed" with white women.
  • We briefly and partially see Frank in his underwear.
  • Some women show cleavage where Frank and Marcus respond to a call.
  • A miscellaneous character's name is "I-be-banging."
  • Frank and Marcus respond to a call with a young couple who claim to be virgins despite her starting to give birth. Marcus asks, "All this time, you never had sex?"
  • We see a nude man sitting on the street, but due to his body position we don't see anything explicit.
  • Mary asks Frank, "Do you want to f*ck me? Everyone else has" after she asks Frank what he wants.
  • SMOKING
  • Both Frank and Mary smoke around five times each, while Larry smokes once, Marcus holds an unlit cigar and various miscellaneous characters also smoke.
  • TENSE FAMILY SCENES
  • Mary and her family must deal with initially believing her father to be dead, and then the possibility of him dying after being in a coma. We also learn that Mary hasn't seen her father in three years.
  • A family must deal with losing a family member.
  • TOPICS TO TALK ABOUT
  • The stress-filled life of an emergency medical technician.
  • VIOLENCE
  • There's talk of a victim with a gunshot wound to the chest.
  • Once free of his restraints, Noel knocks people out of his way as he races toward a water fountain. A guard then throws Noel to the ground.
  • Noel's face is bloody (as he holds a broken bottle to his own throat).
  • Walls punches and kicks Noel.
  • The crew responds to a double shooting where we see two bloody victims lying on the street.
  • We briefly see some man beating up another man, punching him and pushing him against a car.
  • Frank and Marcus' van crashes and flips over onto its side, but they survive (and are a little bloody).
  • Frank sees a dead woman lying in a hallway, a bullet hole in her head and her blood mixing with water on the floor.
  • We see a person who's been impaled on a railing with one of the spikes going all of the way through his body (and is obviously bloody, but is still alive). We then see another person who's been wounded and there's blood on the floor leading to his body.
  • Noel bashes car windows with a baseball bat and then urges Frank to do the same (he does once).
  • Walls beats Noel with a baseball bat until Frank pushes him to the street.
  • We see Walls beating the front of an ambulance with a baseball bat (and shattering the headlights).



  • Reviewed October 8, 1999 / Posted October 22, 1999

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