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"TITUS"
(1999) (Anthony Hopkins, Jessica Lange) (R)

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


QUICK TAKE:
Drama: A Roman general and the mother of a man he earlier ceremoniously sacrificed, now the Emperor's wife, enact revenge upon one another and those around them in this time-bending adaptation of William Shakespeare's play.
PLOT:
In this time-bending adaptation of one of William Shakespeare's lesser-known plays, Titus Andronicus (ANTHONY HOPKINS) is a middle-aged general who's just victoriously returned from battling the Goths. Following tradition, Titus has one of the captured enemies ritualistically sacrificed despite the pleas of his mother, Tamora (JESSICA LANGE), the Goth queen, and her two surviving sons, Demetrius (MATTHEW RHYS) and Chiron (JONATHAN RHYS MEYERS).

His next decision, of supporting the corrupt Saturninus (ALAN CUMMING) to be the next emperor, is met with just as much displeasure. Titus is surprised, however, by Saturninus' choice of his daughter, Lavinia (LAURA FRASER), to be his bride despite her already being betrothed to Saturninus' own brother, Bassianus (JAMES FRAIN). When the young couple flees upon hearing the decision, Titus ends up killing one of his own sons who also disputed that decision. To his greater shock, Titus then hears that the new Emperor has chosen Tamora as his new bridal choice.

From that point on, Tamora, with the aid of her secret lover, the Moor Aaron (HARRY LENNIX), and her two sons, sets out to enact revenge upon Titus, Lavinia, and his surviving sons including Lucius (ANGUS MACFADYEN). In response, Titus finds that he must forgo his previous devotion to protocol and tradition and instead joins his other family members, including younger brother Marcus (COLM FEORE), in a battle against Tamora where nothing is sacred or safe from the poisons of revenge.

WILL KIDS WANT TO SEE IT?
Unless they're fans of someone in the cast, this temporal hopping look at one of Shakespeare's lesser-known plays probably won't be of much interest to most kids.
WHY THE MPAA RATED IT: R
For strong violent and sexual images.
CAST AS ROLE MODELS:
  • ANTHONY HOPKINS plays a middle-aged Roman general who must forgo his belief in honor, loyalty and tradition as he decides to enact his own brutal and murderous revenge upon Tamora after she's shattered his life and family.
  • JESSICA LANGE plays a slightly younger, but sultry woman who takes advantage of being married to the emperor to enact her revenge upon Titus and his family for his earlier sacrifice of her son. She also carries on an affair with Aaron, resulting in her getting pregnant.
  • HARRY LENNIX plays Tamora's secret Moorish lover who helps enact her revenge upon Titus and then tries to protect his child that resulted from his union with her.
  • ALAN CUMMING plays the young, arrogant and corrupt emperor.
  • LAURA FRASER plays Titus' sweet daughter who finds herself the unfortunate victim of Tamora and Aaron's retaliation upon her family.
  • MATTHEW RHYS and JONATHAN RHYS MEYERS play Tamora's amoral and delinquent teenage sons who rape and maim Lavinia.
  • ANGUS MACFADYEN plays the oldest of Titus's sons who helps his father enact revenge upon Tamora and Saturninus.
  • COLM FEORE plays Titus's younger brother and moderate politician who tries to stay above the fray but is drawn into it by Tamora's actions.
  • 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:
    The following is a brief summary of the content found in this R-rated drama. Violence is extreme with many people being killed or wounded in various fashions, often with rather bloody results (as well as including the sight of severed heads and a hand). Some of those scenes may be suspenseful or unsettling for some viewers, and much of the violence stems from characters alternatively retaliating against others' revenge tactics, thus giving most of the character extreme cases of bad attitudes.

    An orgy scene shows plenty of nudity and some sexual acts (as does a wall mural that also depicts various positions), some fooling around is seen that leads to an out of wedlock pregnancy and birth, and some nonsexual nudity (including male full frontal) is present. Some smoking and drinking also occur.

    Should this summary not meet your need for greater explanation regarding whether the film is appropriate for yourself or anyone else in your home, we suggest that you more closely examine our individual categories and their detailed content listings.


    ALCOHOL OR DRUG USE
  • Titus pours what may be wine into a sacrificial victim's mouth.
  • People, including Saturninus, drink champagne at a party.
  • Demetrius, Chiron and Aaron have beer while hanging out and Aaron later offers a beer to a visiting nurse who briefly takes a drink.
  • Wine is poured for Saturninus.
  • BLOOD/GORE
  • A man's chest has a bloody cut on it after Titus runs his knife across it.
  • Moments later a man (who has some blood on his forehead) walks out carrying a bowl of that man's bloody and gory entrails and dumps them into a fire.
  • We see a tiny bit of blood from a man's mouth who's just been stabbed.
  • A man's nose is a little bloody after getting into a fight.
  • We see some blood on a knife that was just used to kill a man as well as on the edge of a hole in the ground that contains a bloody body.
  • We see that Demetrius and Chiron have cut off Lavinia's hands (and put small tree branches into her bloody stumps) as well as cut out her tongue (when she tries to talk blood pours out of her mouth).
  • Hoping to make a deal with/offer to Saturninus, Titus has Aaron whack off his hand and while we don't see the actual impact, we hear it and see Titus' reaction as well as Aaron walking away with the severed body part in a bag, and later a bloody bandage on Titus' stump.
  • We see the severed heads of two of Titus' sons in glass containers that have some blood in the bottom of them, along with Titus' previously severed hand.
  • We see a small bloody hole in a person's clothing after they've been stabbed.
  • Aaron's head is somewhat bloody and blood runs from his mouth after being repeatedly hit.
  • We see Titus using some sort of syringe to draw blood from his stump to use as ink to write a letter.
  • We see that Titus has Demetrius and Chiron strung up and hanging upside down. After a few moments, he slits their throats with a knife and blood gushes out (that Lavinia catches in a bowl).
  • We learn that Titus has killed and cooked two of his enemies and then cooked them into food that he serves to his other enemies.
  • Blood runs from a woman's neck and mouth after she's stabbed in the neck.
  • DISRESPECTFUL/BAD ATTITUDE
  • As part of tradition, Titus sacrifices one of Tamora's sons and then plots murderous revenge on those who wronged his family.
  • Saturninus picks Lavinia to be his new bride despite her already being married to his brother.
  • Tamora, despite being newly married, continues her affair with Aaron.
  • Demetrius and Chiron accost Lavinia and Bassianus in the woods, eventually stabbing and killing Bassianus (and then framing the murder on others). The men then lustfully come after Lavinia, cutting the buttons from her dress and then take her off camera. We later learn that they not only raped her, but also cut off her hands and cut out her tongue (with bloody results).
  • Aaron and Tamora plot revenge, with the aid of Demetrius and Chiron, on Titus and his family.
  • FRIGHTENING SCENES
  • Scenes listed under "Violence" and "Blood/Gore" may also be unsettling or suspenseful to some viewers.
  • Titus prepares to sacrifice one of Tamora's sons, but this occurs off camera.
  • Demetrius and Chiron accost Lavinia and Bassianus in the woods, eventually stabbing and killing Bassianus. The men then lustfully come after Lavinia, cutting the buttons from her dress and then take her off camera. We later learn that they not only raped her, but also cut off her hands and cut out her tongue (with bloody results).
  • Hoping to make a deal with/offer to Saturninus, Titus has Aaron whack off his hand and the momentary preparation for that, as well as the actual act, may be tense and/or unsettling to viewers. While we don't see the actual impact, we hear it and see Titus' reaction as well as Aaron walking away with the severed body part.
  • We see the severed heads of two of Titus' sons in glass containers that have some blood in the bottom of them.
  • We see that Titus has Demetrius and Chiron strung up and hanging upside down. After a few moments, he slits their throats with a knife and blood gushes out (that Lavinia catches in a bowl).
  • A scene where people unknowingly eat food consisting of human flesh may be disturbing to some viewers.
  • GUNS/WEAPONS
  • Knives/Guns/Swords/Arrows: Used to threaten, wound or kill people. See "Violence" for details.
  • Explosives: Unseen, but a large one blows up just outside a boy's window.
  • Knives/Spears/Crossbows: Carried by Roman soldiers.
  • IMITATIVE BEHAVIOR
  • A young boy purposefully makes a mess while playing at the kitchen table, spilling milk and throwing everything around.
  • While it's probably not that likely, the revenge and retaliation present in the film could possibly cause some kids to wish to evoke the same on those they deem deserving of such action.
  • JUMP SCENES
  • None.
  • MUSIC (SCARY/TENSE)
  • A heavy amount of ominous and occasionally suspenseful music plays during the film.
  • MUSIC (INAPPROPRIATE)
  • None.
  • PROFANITY
  • 1 ass, 1 hell, 1 damn and 1 use of "Good Lord" are used as exclamations.
  • SEX/NUDITY
  • As male soldiers sit in a shower like facility, we briefly see full frontal nudity.
  • A classic Roman statue shows male full frontal nudity.
  • Some prostitutes show cleavage.
  • Body armor worn by Tamora shows clearly defined breasts and nipples.
  • We see part of a woman's breast in the revealing dress she wears to a party.
  • A mural of sorts on a wall shows paintings of various acts of sexual behavior (a man having sex from behind a woman, another in the missionary position, etc. some showing actual penetration and erect penises, as well as bare breasts).
  • Demetrius and Chiron talk about being enamored with Lavinia and one then grabs the other and, mocking having sex with Lavinia, spreads his brother's legs as if they were hers in sex and pulls his crotch up to his mouth.
  • Tamora shows cleavage and she and Aaron then kiss on the ground (with her clothed legs spread) and he then caresses her clothed breast.
  • We see Demetrius' bare butt, Lavinia shows cleavage and it's presumed that Demetrius and/or Chiron raped her.
  • Lavinia's uncle talks about "shadows" that kings would love to sleep in when referring to her (possible sexual reference).
  • In an orgy scene we see many bare breasts, butts, caressing and a woman performing oral sex on a man (the actual act isn't seen, but there's no doubt about what she's doing). We also see a large mermaid statue with bare breasts, as well as a real man between a real woman's legs and two men together. We then see Saturninus on top of Tamora between her spread legs and see his bare butt as well as her bare breasts. Moments later we see her bare breasts again.
  • We see Titus' bare butt and then a woman's bare breasts.
  • We see part of Demetrius and Chiron's bare butts as they hang upside down and moments later see their entire bare butts.
  • SMOKING
  • Tamora and Demetrius smoke once, while a few miscellaneous characters also smoke (some at a party).
  • TENSE FAMILY SCENES
  • Tamora and her other sons must watch as Titus prepares to sacrifice another son.
  • Titus stabs one of his own sons whom he believes to be a traitor.
  • Titus must deal with what's happened to Lavinia (being raped and having her tongue cut out and her hands cut off), as well as two of his sons being charged with murder and another being banished.
  • TOPICS TO TALK ABOUT
  • Revenge.
  • VIOLENCE
  • A large explosive blows up just outside a young boy's window, blowing glass inside the kitchen.
  • Titus runs his knife across a man's chest, creating a bloody cut.
  • Titus stabs one of his own sons, whom he believes to be a traitor, with a sword and kills him.
  • Two men get into a fight that eventually includes knives.
  • Demetrius and Chiron accost Lavinia and Bassianus in the woods, eventually stabbing and killing Bassianus. The men then lustfully come after Lavinia, cutting the buttons from her dress and then take her off camera. We later learn that they not only raped her, but also cut off her hands and cut out her tongue (with bloody results).
  • Hoping to make a deal with/offer to Saturninus, Titus has Aaron whack off his. While we don't see the actual impact, we hear it and see Titus' reaction as well as Aaron walking away with the severed body part.
  • We see the severed heads of two of Titus' sons in glass containers that have some blood in the bottom of them.
  • Aaron kicks Demetrius and then holds his sword on him and Chiron after they try to come after his newborn son.
  • To keep her from talking, Aaron stabs a nurse in the gut with a knife, killing her.
  • Titus' followers fire arrows into Saturninus' court, sending everyone running for cover. We then see a dog running out with an arrow stuck in it.
  • Lucius hits Aaron several times and then kicks him (with Aaron's mouth being bloody).
  • We see that Titus has Demetrius and Chiron strung up and hanging upside down. After a few moments, he slits their throats with a knife and blood gushes out (that Lavinia catches in a bowl).
  • A man breaks a woman's neck, killing her, and then stabs another woman in her neck (with blood running from her mouth).
  • A man stabs another man with three-pronged candlestick and then has a large spoon forced way down inside his mouth.
  • A man shoots and kills another man.



  • Reviewed December 28, 1999 / Posted February 11, 2000

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