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"PITCH BLACK"
(2000) (Vin Diesel, Radha Mitchell) (R)

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


QUICK TAKE:
Sci-fi/Suspense: Having crashed-landed on an alien planet, a small group of survivors must contend with carnivorous monsters that come out in the darkness of a full solar eclipse.
PLOT:
Sometime in the future, a spaceship carrying an assortment of crew and passengers crash-lands on an alien planet. Among the survivors is Fry (RADHA MITCHELL), who's now their leader due to her captain being killed, Johns (COLE HAUSER), a lawman of sorts, and Riddick (VIN DIESEL), his bounty, a convicted murderer.

There's also Imam (KEITH DAVID), a Muslim cleric who's accompanied by three young pilgrims, Paris (LEWIS FITZ-GERALD), an antiques dealer, Shazza (CLAUDIA BLACK), a geologist, and Jack (RHIANNA GRIFFITH), a young teen runaway who suddenly idolizes the muscular and stoic Riddick.

Having survived the crash, several daunting issues face the survivors. For one, there's no water, so the crew heads out in search for some. Complicating matters is the fact that Riddick has escaped, with no one knowing his whereabouts or intentions. Then there's the fact that various odd creatures inhabit caves and other dark portions of the planet and a long abandoned mining facility.

The creatures appear carnivorous, but seemingly afraid of the light. Unfortunately, the crew discovers that a total solar eclipse is about to descend upon them and the planet, thus freeing the creatures to roam the surface. As the survivors race against time to find fuel cells for a spacecraft that may prove to be their ark, they must not only contend with the darkness and the creatures, but also their uncertainty about Riddick's possible actions against them.

WILL KIDS WANT TO SEE IT?
If they're into sci-fi based monster flicks - in the line of the "Alien" films - they just might.
WHY THE MPAA RATED IT: R
For sci-fi violence and gore, and for language.
CAST AS ROLE MODELS:
  • VIN DIESEL plays a convicted and self-confessed murderer who tries to save his own hide, while occasionally using strong profanity. Although he eventually comes around to helping the other survivors and is painted as something of a victim of Johns' actions, it's doubtful most parents would consider him as a positive role model.
  • RADHA MITCHELL plays the unwilling leader of the survivors, a determined woman who initially wanted to jettison most of them from their crashing spaceship to save herself. After that, however, she goes out of her way to protect them while also using strong profanity.
  • COLE HAUSER plays a lawman/bounty hunter who's only really interested in returning Riddick back to society. He also uses strong profanity and we learn that he's a morphine addict.
  • KEITH DAVID plays a Muslim cleric who tries to protect the people's lives and souls.
  • RHIANNA GRIFFITH plays a deceptive runaway teen who idolizes Riddick.
  • 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 quick summary of the content found in this R-rated, sci-fi suspense/thriller. Violence is rated as extreme due to several people (and creatures) being killed in various fashions, sometimes with bloody/gory results. Some of those scenes, and pretty much the second half of the film that takes place in the dark with monsters lurking about, may be unsettling, suspenseful or downright frightening to viewers, all dependent, of course, on their age, level of maturity and tolerance for such material.

    Profanity is rated as extreme due to the number of cuss words used, while other colorful phrases are also uttered. While no sexual activity is present, one or two related comments are made. The "hero" of the story is a convicted and self-confessed murderer, and thus he and a few other characters display some bad attitudes/behavior. We learn that one of the major characters is a morphine addict, while he and some other characters also drink liquor.

    Should this summary not prove to answer your questions about the film's appropriateness for yourself or anyone else in your home, we suggest that you more closely examine our more detailed content listings for whatever category may be causing you some concern.

    Of special note for those concerned with the repetitive flashing of bright lights, the opening of this film has a minute or so of full strobe effects as extremely bright lights flash during an otherwise dimly lit scene.


    ALCOHOL OR DRUG USE
  • We see that Paris has a collection of vintage liquor and then see Johns drinking some of it (since there's no water to be found).
  • One of the survivors has a beer.
  • Johns and Fry drink liquor (in lieu of water that can't be found).
  • Riddick guzzles down liquor in one shot.
  • We learn that Johns is a morphine junkie (who injects it into the corner of his eye via a syringe).
  • Paris takes a swig from a flask and then spits it out across a flame to create a momentary fireball (to see what's around him).
  • BLOOD/GORE
  • Johns has a little bit of blood from his ear.
  • We see a man whose body has been impaled on a rod and both he and the rod are bloody.
  • We hear Riddick's shoulders dislocate as he slowly moves his cuffed arms around his back to free himself.
  • Blood squirts out onto Shazza when a man mistakenly shoots another man.
  • We see some blood when a creature attacks and kills a man.
  • Fry discovers a severed and bloody foot still in its boot.
  • We see a partially decomposed/mummified body as well as many human skeletal remains.
  • We see Johns injecting a needle into the corner of his own eye (as he injects morphine).
  • Creatures attack and kill another person (possibly ripping the body in half but it happens to quickly in the dark that it's hard to tell).
  • A character's hand is bloody.
  • We see a pack of creatures attacking a man and possibly pulling his body apart a bit (in the dark).
  • A character's back is bloody after being sliced with a knife/shiv.
  • The creatures kill another character and appear to bite off his head (with some bloody results).
  • Blue blood falls from the flying creatures as they run into and kill each other in the air.
  • Riddick fights with one of the creatures until he finally guts it, causing its intestines to spill out.
  • A character's leg is bloody from where a creature grabbed him.
  • DISRESPECTFUL/BAD ATTITUDE
  • Fry wants to jettison the passenger compartment on the ship during its crash landing on the planet, hoping that doing so will allow her to survive.
  • Riddick is a convicted and self-admitted murderer.
  • We learn that Johns has lied about his true vocation.
  • Some viewers may take offense at Riddick saying that he does believe in God, "but I absolutely hate the f*cker."
  • Riddick wants to leave the others behind and escape from the planet, but eventually changes his mind.
  • FRIGHTENING SCENES
  • Scenes listed under "Violence" and "Blood/Gore" may also be frightening, suspenseful and/or unsettling to some viewers.
  • Crewmembers and passengers onboard a spaceship are awakened from cryo-sleep and find their ship caught in a planet's gravitation pull. As such, the ship begins to burn up while reentering the atmosphere and then crash-lands on the planet in a suspenseful, several-minute sequence.
  • Several characters don't realize that Riddick is behind them and seemingly prepared to stab one of them with his self-fashioned shiv.
  • A character finds a hole in the sand and crawls into it, only to be attacked and killed by a creature.
  • Fry crawls through a darkened hole into a cave (where a creature earlier attacked and killed a person) and we see that creatures are in there with her. Once she realizes this, she tries to get out (with the help of the other outside the hole) before the creatures get her (as she's pulled back into the hole via a rope tied to her).
  • The survivors go looking for a missing boy through darkened corridors/rooms of an abandoned station.
  • Once the eclipse arrives and the planet goes dark, viewers might find the rest of the proceedings (where the survivors have various encounters with the monsters) as frightening, suspenseful and/or unsettling. This includes the sounds of the creatures outside a fortress, as well as things slicing through the walls that nearly hit a man.
  • Riddick and another character find themselves surrounded by the creatures.
  • The survivors attempt to cross the pitch-black desert knowing full well that the creatures will be right around them.
  • The creatures try to get several characters hiding in a cave while another finds himself trapped between two creatures that use their sonar waves trying to locate him.
  • GUNS/WEAPONS
  • Various weapons (guns/knives/shivs, etc.): Carried by various characters and/or used to threaten, wound or kill others or the creatures.
  • Knife/Shiv: Used by Riddick to shave his own head.
  • IMITATIVE BEHAVIOR
  • Phrases: "Shut your f*cking mouth," "Shut your f*cking blowhole," "What the bloody hell?" an incomplete "What the…?" "Bloody" (as in the British adjective), "Shut up" and "Bad ass."
  • Jack tries to imitate being Riddick by wearing similar goggles and having a shaved head.
  • Riddick shaves his own head with what looks like axle grease and a knife of sorts.
  • Paris takes a swig from a flask and then spits it out across a flame to create a momentary fireball (to see what's around him).
  • JUMP SCENES
  • A person believed to be dead suddenly moves.
  • A person surprises another person.
  • Riddick suddenly lunges out at Fry.
  • A flock of birdlike creatures suddenly fly out of the dark.
  • A creature suddenly jumps out.
  • MUSIC (SCARY/TENSE)
  • An extreme amount of suspenseful and ominous music plays during the film.
  • MUSIC (INAPPROPRIATE)
  • None.
  • PROFANITY
  • More than 30 "f" words (2 used with "mother," 1 used in a possible sexual context), many "s" words, 1 slang term using male genitals ("d*ck"), 10 hells, 7 asses (1 used with "hole"), 3 uses of "G-damn," 2 of "Christ" and 1 use each of "Jesus" and "Oh my God" as exclamations.
  • SEX/NUDITY
  • Listing reasons of why Riddick might come back to the ship, Johns states that he might do so to "skull f*ck you in your sleep" (the sexual connotations, if any, aren't clear with that comment).
  • Fry shows some cleavage in several scenes, while Shazza also shows some.
  • As Riddick moves into a more intimate proximity with Fry, she tells him not to waste her time, that they're not "going to turn on each other" no matter how hard they try.
  • SMOKING
  • We see Paris with a cigar in one scene.
  • TENSE FAMILY SCENES
  • None.
  • TOPICS TO TALK ABOUT
  • The stupid way in which the characters react to possibly and later clearly dangerous situations.
  • VIOLENCE
  • We see a pack of creatures attacking a man and possibly pulling his body apart a bit (in the dark).
  • The creatures kill another person.
  • Creatures attack and kill another person (possibly ripping the body in half but it happens to quickly in the dark that it's hard to tell).
  • Some strange birdlike creatures attack a boy.
  • Riddick grabs a gun and holds it on Johns before they come to an agreement.
  • Johns kicks Riddick and the two then struggle, exchanging blows with each other. Another character then hits and kicks Riddick.
  • A creature attacks and kills a man.
  • A man shoots and kills another man, mistakenly believing him to be Riddick
  • We see a man whose body has been impaled on a rod.
  • Riddick grabs Johns who then pulls out some sort of rod and repeatedly hits Riddick with it.
  • Small bits of space debris rip through part of the ship, killing a crewmember. Later, the ship crashes on the planet and is mostly destroyed.
  • Several creatures are incinerated by the blasts of a spacecraft's engines.
  • Another character is yanked away by a creature and presumably killed.
  • Fry jumps on Riddick, but he simply flips her over and then holds a knife to her throat.
  • A creature grabs a character and flies away with them (presumably killing them).
  • Riddick fights with one of the creatures until he finally breaks its neck and guts it, causing its intestines to spill out.
  • Blue blood falls from the flying creatures as they run into and kill each other in the air.
  • The creatures kill another character and appear to bite off his head (with some bloody results).
  • Johns and Riddick fight over control of a gun and try to stab each other with knives/shivs. Eventually, one slices the other's back.



  • Reviewed February 3, 2000 / Posted February 18, 2000

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