[Screen It]


(2000) (Dennis Quaid, Jim Caviezel) (PG-13)

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

Suspense/Thriller: Having made contact with his long dead father via a ham radio that has managed to transmit and receive signals from thirty years into the past, a present day cop saves his father from an untimely death, but both must then deal with the repercussions of that act that changes both the past and present.
Thirty years after his fireman father, Frank (DENNIS QUAID), was killed in the line of duty, thirty-six-year-old John Sullivan (JIM CAVIEZEL) is a detective who, along with his partner, Satch (ANDRE BRAUGHER), is investigating a previously unsolved, decades old serial murder case that's just been reopened upon the unearthing of the skeleton of one of the past victims.

Despite what sounds like a promising and rewarding career, John's life has been in near constant turmoil since his father's death. All of that's about to change, however, when his childhood friend, Gordon Hersch (NOAH EMMERICH), and his son come by for a visit and find Frank's old ham radio. With a recent flare-up of the aurora borealis, the signals end up traveling a long distance - all the way back to 1969 -- and John suddenly finds himself talking to his father in that year.

Once the two realize and then accept what's happening, they not only catch up on old - and new - times, but John realizes he can save his father's life since he knows when and how Frank perished. While eventually successful at that, John then realizes that their actions have changed another aspect of the past.

With the number of murders from that past serial case suddenly increasing, John realizes that they've done something that allowed the 1969 killer to continue his spree. From that point on, John and Frank team up as a set of long distance partners and try to stop the killer, although every action they take creates another change in the future and threatens their and others' safety, including that of John's mother, Julia (ELIZABETH MITCHELL).

Those who are fans of anyone in the cast or of time travel and/or suspense/thrillers may just want to see it.
For intense violence and disturbing images.
  • JIM CAVIEZEL plays a disillusioned detective who smokes, drinks and uses some profanity. Once he comes into contact with his long dead father, however, his demeanor changes as the two of them try to stop a serial killer.
  • DENNIS QUIAD plays his brave and somewhat reckless fireman father who was supposed to die in a fire in 1969, but is happy to find that his son saved his life. He also smokes a great deal and uses some profanity.
  • ANDRE BRAUGHER plays Frank's old friend and John's detective partner who initially doesn't believe the wild-sounding story that John tells him. He also briefly uses some profanity.


    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).

    Here's a quick look at the content found in this PG-13 rated sci-fi thriller. Violence is rated as extreme due to several violent, but not explicitly bloody or gory murders (although some blood, as well as crime photos of murder victims, is/are also present). In addition, various fights occur, some people are wounded or injured, and others are threatened with violence and/or death.

    Some of those scenes, and others, may be suspenseful to some viewers (and are accompanied by an extreme amount of suspenseful/ominous music), and the killer responsible for the deaths and threats obviously has an extreme case of bad attitudes.

    Profanity consists of at least 7 "s" words, while other profanities and colorful phrases are also uttered. The two main protagonists smoke throughout much of the film, while various characters drink, including the main protagonist who appears to have finished off a large portion of a bottle of liquor in one scene.

    Should you still be concerned about the film's content and its appropriateness for yourself or anyone in your home, you may want to take a closer look at our more detailed content listings.

  • Frank has a beer.
  • John gets out a bottle of booze and we then later see that he's consumed most of it.
  • John and Gordon have beer and John drinks liquor from a bottle.
  • Back in 1969, people drink beer while watching the World Series.
  • John has a beer.
  • John, Satch and Gordon have beer in a bar.
  • We see a photo of Frank and others holding beers.
  • John drinks a beer.
  • Frank, along with various miscellaneous characters drink in a bar.
  • Frank has a beer.
  • People have drinks in a club in the past.
  • People have drinks in a bar, including the killer.
  • The skeleton of a murder victim is partially unearthed.
  • We see a few black and white photos of the murderer's victims, some with bloody marks/cuts around their necks.
  • Frank finds a woman who's just been killed (with some blood from her mouth).
  • After a woman scratches a man's face, he has bloody nail marks there (while in the future he has scars from those marks).
  • A man's hand is blown off via a shotgun blast and in the present day, we then see his hand dissolving away.
  • A man's face and chest are somewhat bloody after he's been shot.
  • The killer obviously has extreme cases of both.
  • Facing an imminent explosion, Frank climbs down into a tunnel, tries to rescue a trapped man before a live electrical cable hits the water they're standing in, and get out of the tunnel before an explosion gets them.
  • Frank enters a burning building, hoping to rescue someone trapped inside and has several perilous moments trying to get to and then extract that person.
  • A man punches Frank and then kicks him in a men's restroom. Frank then punches this man in the crotch, but the man then punches Frank in the face again (knocking him unconscious). He then prepares to kill him via strangulation, but some people walk in and interrupt him.
  • The killer confronts Frank with a drawn gun, but nothing happens.
  • Frank hides in the killer's place, is nearly found, and then is, with the killer chasing and shooting at him down a fire escape and then on foot.
  • Both Frank and John have simultaneous physical encounters with villains, including one who attacks Julia and then threatens little Johnny, and another who holds his gun to John's head, ready to kill him.
  • Handguns/Shotgun: Carried and discovered, or used by various characters to threaten, shoot at, wound or kill people. See "Violence" for details.
  • Phrases: "What the hell (was that)?" "Freaking," "I'll be damned," "Bastard," "Nuts" (crazy) and "Shut up."
  • Frank sets it up so that the killer will get a jolt of electricity while standing in a puddle of water.
  • Frank lights an aerosol spray can with a lighter, effectively creating a blowtorch, to set off a sprinkler system.
  • None.
  • An extreme amount of suspenseful, ominous and dramatic music plays during the film.
  • None.
  • At least 7 "s" words, 14 hells, 5 damns, 4 asses (3 used with "hole"), 2 S.O.B.s, 6 uses of "Oh my God," 2 of "Jesus" and 1 use each of "G-damn," "For Christ's sakes," "My God," "Oh God," "Oh Jesus" and "Swear to God" are used as exclamations.
  • A black and white photo of a murder victim shows a woman in her bra (later, we briefly see this victim in person).
  • Frank smokes more than 10 times, although he eventually gives it up (from John telling him about the dangers). Despite that, John smokes around 10 times. Meanwhile, various cops and other miscellaneous/background characters also smoke.
  • There's talk about Frank being killed in a fire thirty years ago, and John and his mother obviously miss him.
  • A husband and wife talk about losing their son some time ago.
  • John has a nightmare about being a child at a family member's funeral.
  • Time travel and the ramifications of doing so (or in this case communicating with someone in the past and having them change the course of history).
  • Although not seen and not listed below, other murders take place off screen (and we even see the skeleton of one victim being unearthed in the present).
  • A tractor-trailer jackknifes and then crashes into some construction gear, trapping a worker under the street in a tunnel.
  • That truck finally explodes, but no one is apparently injured.
  • A man punches Frank and then kicks him in a men's restroom. Frank then punches this man in the crotch, but the man then punches Frank in the face again (knocking him unconscious). He then prepares to kill him via strangulation, but some people walk in and interrupt him.
  • Frank finds a woman who's just been killed (with some blood from her mouth).
  • Satch and Frank briefly struggle, during which the ham radio is knocked to the floor and breaks.
  • The killer aims his gun at Frank.
  • A man is shocked by an electrical current and is knocked unconscious, but isn't killed.
  • The killer repeatedly fires a gun at Frank who tries to escape.
  • A man pulls another man down through a dock and into some water where the two struggle for control of a gun. The first man then repeatedly hits the other with a piece of wood or pipe while both are still underwater.
  • A person hits John, holds a gun on him and the two then struggle.
  • A person hits Frank and then starts dragging him away.
  • The killer attacks Julia, and she scratches his face. He then threatens little Johnny while Frank aims a shotgun at him.
  • A man's hand is blown off via a shotgun blast.
  • A man kills another man with a shotgun.
  • A baseball shatters a car's headlight.

  • Reviewed April 15, 2000 / Posted April 28, 2000

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