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"THE VISIT"
(2000) (Hill Harper, Billy Dee Williams) (R)

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


QUICK TAKE:
Drama: Convicted of rape and dying of AIDS while incarcerated, a prisoner maintains his innocence and deals with his estranged family while trying to earn his parole.
PLOT:
Alex Waters (HILL HARPER) is a 32-year-old man serving time in prison for rape, a crime he insists he didn't commit. Suffering from AIDS and dreaming of life outside the prison walls, Alex knows he'll die there if he isn't paroled, and thus spends time with prison psychiatrist Dr. Coles (PHYLICIA RASHAD) - hoping to get her recommendation for release -- when not trying to better educate himself.

Despite his proclamation of innocence, his sentence has put a strain on his relationship with his family. He has neither seen nor spoken with his parents, Henry (BILLY DEE WILLIAMS) and Lois (MARLA GIBBS), in five years, and rarely sees his older brother, Tony (OBBA BABATUNDÉ), who feels guilty about what's become of his sibling.

Thus, when Tony visits after a ten-month absence, Alex pleads for him to convince their parents to visit him. They eventually do, and while their reconciliation isn't anywhere near complete, he's happy that lines of communication have been reestablished between them. As he prepares for his parole hearing and is visited by a childhood friend, Felicia McDonald (RAE DAWN CHONG), who earlier traveled down her own path of self-destruction before ultimately being saved, Alex hopes that he'll be allowed another shot at life outside of prison with his family.

WILL KIDS WANT TO SEE IT?
Unless they're fans of someone in the cast, it's not very likely.
WHY THE MPAA RATED IT: R
For language and some drug content.
CAST AS ROLE MODELS:
  • HILL HARPER plays a somewhat bitter prisoner who's dying of AIDS while serving time for rape, a crime he insists he didn't commit (although he admits to other crimes and drug addiction in the past). He hopes to reestablish contact with his estranged family and gain his freedom through parole, and uses strong profanity.
  • OBBA BABATUNDÉ plays his older brother who feels guilty about what's become of his sibling. He also uses strong profanity.
  • PHYLICIA RASHAD plays the prison psychiatrist who tries to figure out Alex.
  • BILLY DEE WILLIAMS plays Alex's father who's upset with his son and hasn't visited - or allowed his wife to visit - him while in prison. He eventually softens his ways a bit, however, as the story progresses.
  • MARLA GIBBS plays Alex's mother who only wants to love her son, but respects her husband's initial wishes that they have no contact with him.
  • RAE DAWN CHONG plays a childhood friend of Alex's who suffered from abuse at the hands of her father (who she later killed) and becoming a drug addict. Now saved and recovered, she tries to help Alex down the path to salvation.
  • 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 listed as extreme due to the use of at least 29 "f" words, while other expletives and colorful phrases are also uttered. Some explicit, sexually related dialogue is present, while we see a male prisoner's bare butt in a nonsexual context. Two characters are noted as being former drug addicts, and we see one of them in a drug-induced stupor in a flashback.

    Some characters drink, and some have varying degrees of bad attitudes, including the protagonist who's imprisoned (for rape, a crime he insists he didn't commit), is dying from AIDS, and wants to make amends with his estranged family. Other thematic issues include a woman who killed her father who fathered her baby.

    If you find yourself still concerned about the film and its appropriateness for yourself or anyone in your home, we suggest that you take a closer look at our detailed content listings for more specific examples of what occurs in it.


    ALCOHOL OR DRUG USE
  • Tony pours himself a glass of wine at a party where others drink.
  • Alex mentions that Felicia is a crack head.
  • Henry mentions something about Alex taking drugs and he later mentions that Alex hasn't been on drugs for the past five years because he's been in prison. We later learn that he served 90 days for heroin and crack addiction/use.
  • Henry and Lois have wine with a meal.
  • Felicia admits to being a former drug addict and we then see a flashback to her in that state (walking around somewhat dazed and appearing to take some drugs). She may also smoke some sort of drug (although it may just be a cigarette) in the past (and we see some empty booze bottles in the background of the shot).
  • We see a shot (imagined or not) of Alex's family having wine with a meal.
  • Tony has some wine in a restaurant.
  • BLOOD/GORE
  • We see blood filling a vial as it's taken from Alex's arm.
  • DISRESPECTFUL/BAD ATTITUDE
  • Alex has a bitter and standoffish attitude toward others. While we never know if he actually raped a woman (a crime for which he was convicted), he does admit to other crimes (carjacking) and his father mentions him stealing things from their home.
  • Some might view Henry as having both for not forgiving his son and/or visiting him in the past five years (or attending the trial), but this is because of Alex's falling in with the wrong crowd before the pivotal crime (or accusation of it).
  • We see a flashback to Felicia's father kissing her hair and then learn that he fathered her child (that he later beat that caused her to kill her father).
  • FRIGHTENING SCENES
  • There's a bit of a heated encounter between Tony and a prison guard that seems like it might erupt any moment, but it never does.
  • GUNS/WEAPONS
  • Rifle: Carried by a guard in the background of a shot.
  • IMITATIVE BEHAVIOR
  • Phrases: "What's your f*cking problem?" "What the f*ck am I talking about?" "Where the f*ck are you right now?" "F*ck you," "Get the f*ck out of here," "Bullsh*t," "I'm sick and tired of your ass," "Bastard," "Punk ass," "What the hell (am I supposed to do)?" "Whore" and "Nigger" (said by Henry about what Alex became to others).
  • Alex admits to carjacking while in high school (talking about following busy valets who were parking cars).
  • JUMP SCENES
  • None.
  • MUSIC (SCARY/TENSE)
  • None.
  • MUSIC (INAPPROPRIATE)
  • None.
  • PROFANITY
  • At least 29 "f" words (3 used sexually, 3 used with "mother"), 22 "s" words, 2 slang terms for female genitals ("p*ssy"), 1 slang term for breasts ("t*ts"), 5 hells, 3 asses, 1 damn and 1 use each of "Oh my God" and "Oh my Lord" as exclamations.
  • SEX/NUDITY
  • Tony caresses his wife's bare back in bed, but nothing else occurs between them and no explicit nudity is seen.
  • After Tony mentions that he ran into Felicia, Alex asks if he "f*cked her," and then asks about her "p*ssy" and whether he licked it (while making a licking gesture with his tongue). Tony states that he didn't have sex with her.
  • We see Alex's bare butt as he bends over while being checked by prison guards.
  • Felicia mentions that she was a whore in the past, causing Alex to ask if she had a lot of satisfied customers.
  • Alex imagines Felicia lying (clothed) on his cell bed with him, but nothing happens other than them cuddling/slight caressing.
  • SMOKING
  • In a flashback, we see Felicia smoking twice, but it could be drugs that she's smoking rather than cigarettes.
  • TENSE FAMILY SCENES
  • Alex has an estranged relationship with his family. He hasn't seen his parents in five years (Lois is upset about that, Henry is still angry and put out with him) and his brother, who hasn't visited in ten months, never brings his wife or kids to visit.
  • We briefly see the reaction of various family members to a person's death (nothing dramatic, very subdued).
  • TOPICS TO TALK ABOUT
  • Life in prison and the parole process.
  • AIDS.
  • Drug addiction.
  • Rape.
  • We hear that Felicia killed her father (and got probation for manslaughter) and that her father fathered her son sometime in the past.
  • VIOLENCE
  • Henry backhands Alex after the son makes a comment that he wasn't taking drugs when he saw his father slap his mother (sometime in the past). A guard then slams Alex down face first onto a table to restrain him.



  • Reviewed April 17, 2001 / Posted April 20, 2001

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