[Screen It]


(2001) (Robert De Niro, Edward Burns) (R)

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

Suspense/Drama: A New York City cop and an arson investigator team up to track down two brutal Eastern European killers who've already crafted their legal loophole defense should they be caught.
Emil Slovak (KAREL RODEN) and Oleg Razgul (OLEG TAKTAROV) have traveled to New York City from Eastern Europe looking for a man who owes them money. When they discover that the man can't repay them, Emil kills him and another person, all while Oleg, an aspiring filmmaker, captures the murders on a stolen video camera. The only catch is that Daphne Handlova (VERA FARMIGA), an illegal immigrant, witnessed the crime and now is on the run.

Enter homicide detective Eddie Flemming (ROBERT DE NIRO), a media-savvy cop who's something of a local celebrity -- thanks in part to the coverage provided by tabloid news anchor Robert Hawkins (KELSEY GRAMMER) -- and arson investigator Jordy Warsaw (EDWARD BURNS). It seems that the two killers staged the murder to look like a fatal fire, and Jordy is upset that Eddie has moved in on his jurisdiction.

While this is all routine for the cop who has bigger fish to fry in that he's hoping to propose to his girlfriend and local TV reporter, Nicolette Karas (MELINA KANAKAREDES), Eddie decides to let Jordy tag along once they determine that the murders were indeed a homicide. As they set out looking for the killers who in turn are searching for Daphne, recording every instance of their mayhem, and crafting what they believe should be a foolproof, legal loophole defense should they be caught, Eddie and Jordy soon realize just how powerful and damaging the media can be in relation to their efforts.

Older teens may be drawn to it, as might anyone who's a fan of someone in the cast, but it doesn't seem likely that this will be a big draw for most kids.
For strong violence, language, and some sexuality.
  • ROBERT DE NIRO plays a media-savvy homicide detective who uses strong profanity, smokes cigars and drinks while trying to solve the case.
  • EDWARD BURNS plays an arson investigator who gets wrapped up in a homicide case. He also uses strong profanity and goes to some dangerous extremes while also trying to solve the case.
  • KELSEY GRAMMER plays an ambitious tabloid news anchor who will do most anything - scrupulous or not -- to get a story. He also uses strong profanity.
  • MELINA KANAKAREDES plays a local TV reporter and Eddie's current girlfriend.
  • KAREL RODEN plays a ruthless killer who decides he can get away with various murders by stating that he was insane at the time, later recant that, and then sell his story for millions. He also uses strong profanity and smokes.
  • OLEG TAKTAROV plays his aspiring filmmaker partner who records the various atrocities on videotape.
  • VERA FARMIGA plays an illegal immigrant who witnesses the initial murders and then wants to hide from both the criminals and the cops looking for them and her.


    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).

    The following is a quick look at the content found in this R-rated drama/suspense film. Violence is rated as extreme due to various murders and other killings, some of which are very bloody and/or gory, and those scenes and others may be disturbing and/or suspenseful to some viewers. Other non-lethal violence is also present. The perpetrators of such mayhem obviously have extreme cases of bad attitudes, while other characters have varying degrees of the same.

    Profanity is rated as extreme due to the use of at least 50 "f" words, while plenty of other expletives and colorful phrases are also used. Some sexually related dialogue is present - some of it explicit - while one scene features an "escort" (hooker) who comes to service one of the killers and acts sensual toward him and bares some skin (bare breasts), but no sexual encounter takes place. Some other brief nudity and cleavage are also seen.

    Various characters smoke and drink, and we briefly see what looks like some miscellaneous characters doing drugs in an alley. If you're still concerned about the film and its appropriateness for yourself or anyone else in your home who wishes to see it, you may want to take a closer look at our detailed content listings for more specific examples of what occurs in it.

  • There's talk about Eddie being drunk in the past and there being a cure for that (and we then see Eddie repeatedly dunking his own face into ice water, presumably to sober him up).
  • We briefly see some people in an alley who look liked they were doing some drugs.
  • Some cops state that some victims found in a burned out apartment were in the "69 position" and that they must have been smoking something and were crazed from that (which isn't the case).
  • Oleg drinks liquor straight from the bottle.
  • Eddie pours some liquor into a cup. Later, he asks Jordy if he wants a sip and Jordy says that he's on duty. Eddie then says that he is as well and drinks some.
  • A man brings Eddie a drink and it looks like he has an empty one nearby him.
  • People drink in a bar.
  • Emil chews up a bunch of aspirin and downs them with a beer.
  • People have drinks at a wake, including Jordy, his boss and Nicolette.
  • Emil and Oleg have champagne while others have drinks in a restaurant.
  • We see several beer bottles in front of Jordy and another man.
  • Jordy has a drink.
  • We see a black and white photo of a woman who's apparently been stabbed/impaled with a bottle and there's some blood on her.
  • Emil has blood on his hand and knife after stabbing or cutting a woman's throat (who's also bloody).
  • We see a dead man on the floor with blood on his back.
  • We see two blackened/charred and a bit bloody bodies at a fire scene (including a shot of one of their faces/skulls). Jordy then reaches down into the mouth of one of the corpses.
  • We see blood on the floor and then a bloody body in a bathtub at a crime scene.
  • A man who's been hit in the face with glass is bloody as is a gunshot wound victim.
  • We see a bloody bullet wound in a man's foot and in the sink where he's tending to it.
  • Nicolette wipes some blood off Eddie's watch.
  • Eddie has some blood on his head.
  • Some blood comes from a man's mouth after he's struck in the face with a gun. He then spits that blood onto his assailant's face, that's also later bloody when he's attacked.
  • The clothing over a man's gut is bloody after he's repeatedly stabbed there, and the assailant spits blood into the victim's face.
  • A man's hand is burned and bloody.
  • A man's arm is bloody after being stabbed there, while his face is then bloody after being punched.
  • A man is very bloody after being repeatedly shot.
  • We see a lot of blood from a mortally wounded man's mouth.
  • A man has some blood from his mouth after being punched.
  • Emil and Oleg are criminals and murderers.
  • Oleg steals a video camera.
  • A criminal accosts Jordy who then handcuffs this man to a tree in the park at night.
  • Eddie and Jordy initially have a bit toward each other, but eventually become partners in solving the crime.
  • Hawkins will stoop to any level to get the scoop or exclusive on a story, including striking a deal with some killers.
  • Scenes listed under "Violence" and "Blood/Gore" may also be unsettling, tense or suspenseful to some viewers.
  • Handgun drawn, Eddie takes Robert down an alley, as they get ready for a pending bust.
  • A several minute, on foot chase scene (that includes violence) may be tense for some viewers.
  • A scene where Emil terrorizes a hostage and then kills him after getting into a fight will be tense and unsettling to some viewers.
  • Jordy and Daphne find themselves trapped in a bathroom that contains a tank of gasoline while a raging fire is just outside the door (in a several minute sequence where they try to figure out how to get out).
  • Jordy takes a suspect out to an abandoned area and threatens to shoot him. He then gives the suspect a gun, puts his down, and challenges the suspect to shoot him (in another several minute sequence).
  • A man trails a suspect, with us believing that he's going to shoot him or take other drastic measures. A shooting then takes place, followed by a hostage standoff and another shooting (in another several minute sequence).
  • Handgun/Knives/Switchblade: Carried and/or used to threaten, wound or kill others. See "Violence" for details.
  • Phrases: "F*ck 'em," "Are you out of your f*cking mind?" "None of your f*cking business," "You sick f*ck," "Shut the f*ck up," "F*ck you," "F*ck this," "What's so f*cking funny?" "Un-f*cking believable," "What the f*ck are you looking at?" "Bullsh*t," "I don't give a sh*t," "Sh*tload," "(You) Piece of sh*t," "Where the hell were you/have you been?" "Idiot," "Get the hell out of here," "Busting your ass," "Oh, hell no," "Nuts" (testicles), "Pissed," "It might piss you off," "Take a piss," "Shut up," "What the hell are you talking about?" "Get the hell out of here," "Balls" (testicles) and "Scumbag."
  • It's possible some impressionable and/or troubled kids could want to copy the killers' plan of videotaping their crimes as a way of getting off through the legal loophole of declaring insanity.
  • A person suddenly surprises someone.
  • There's a sudden explosion in a room.
  • An extreme amount of suspenseful music plays during the film.
  • None.
  • At least 50 "f" words (2 used sexually, 1 used with "mother"), 18 "s" words, 1 slang term using female genitals ("p*ssies,"), 13 hells, 4 asses (1 used with "hole"), 3 damns, 2 S.O.B.s, 6 uses of "G-damn," 4 each of "Jesus Christ" and "Oh my God" and 1 use of "Oh Jesus" as exclamations.
  • We see a poster that shows some cleavage-barring women.
  • We see a black and white photo of a victim wearing a somewhat transparent bra.
  • A woman shows a great deal of cleavage and Oleg focuses his video camera on that.
  • Some cops state that some victims found in a burned out apartment were in the "69 position" and that they must have been smoking something and were crazed from that (which isn't the case as we know that the people were killed and their bodies positioned that way). One then jokes, "Talk about smoking after sex."
  • A man that Jordy handcuffed to a tree complains when Jordy returns that some bag lady stripped him of his clothes and felt his "nuts."
  • On a TV talk show, a man makes some comment about sleeping with his daughter-in-law.
  • Trying to find Daphne who witnessed his homicidal act, Emil calls up an escort service where the woman who answers the phone talks to him in a sensuous/seductive tone.
  • A person uses the "f" word sexually several times.
  • An "escort" (hooker) shows up at Emil's place, telling him she'll be whoever/whatever he wants her to be. This woman then takes off her top and we see her in her bra (that she then takes off and we see various views of her bare breasts). We then see her in her bra and panties and she tells him, "I'm going to make you feel really good" as she kneels before him. She then tells him that when she's done with him, he won't remember the Czech girl he's looking for (while she undoes his pants). He then stops her, saying that he doesn't want sex, just Daphne's address (as we see more shots of her bare breasts).
  • We see a female victim's bare breasts.
  • An escort shows cleavage.
  • Emil smokes more than five times (and has a cigar in one scene), Eddie has or smokes a cigar around five times, and various miscellaneous/background characters also smoke in several scenes.
  • None.
  • The insanity plea and those who use it in an attempt to get out of having to go to regular prison.
  • The effect that fame and the media have on different people, and what certain people will do in trying to achieve fame.
  • A person pushes a fire escape ladder into another man, knocking him to the street.
  • Emil pushes a man backwards into a refrigerator and then grabs a knife and holds it to a woman's neck. He then kills the man and stabs or cuts her throat (partially seen movement of the hand), resulting in lots of blood and her death. We then later see that he and Oleg doused their bodies with a flammable liquid and then set them on fire, resulting in the destruction of their apartment.
  • A criminal accosts Jordy and then pulls a switchblade on him. Jordy then grabs him and twists his arm behind him on the ground, all while holding his gun on him.
  • Oleg watches video footage of the above murders that feature the woman screaming right before her throat is slit.
  • Emil wrestles with Oleg and then hits him.
  • Emil suddenly grabs a female "escort" (hooker) by the head as he has his legs around her. He then smashes her into a lamp and pins her to a bed where she sprays Mace (or something similar) into his eyes. She then tries to get away from him (as seen through Oleg's video camera) and we then hear the sound of him stabbing her.
  • Emil slams Daphne back against a wall and has her by the neck as he threatens her to remain silent or else he'll kill her.
  • Oleg knocks people down on the sidewalk as Eddie and Jordy chase him and Emil. A cab partially hits another pursuing detective.
  • Emil hits a man in the face with a glass (resulting in blood) and then takes his gun and hits him on the face several times. Emil then shoots a person several times (wounding, but not killing him).
  • Eddie shoots at fleeing suspects as they jump a wall, hitting one of them (seen from a distance).
  • Daphne admits to shooting someone in her homeland who was raping her younger sister.
  • A person strikes another person unconscious.
  • We see that Emil and Oleg have a hostage tied up. After the hostage spits in Emil's face, he spits back and then violently grabs the hostage by the head and neck. Moments later, Emil hits the hostage in the face with his gun (resulting in some blood from the mouth). He then hits him again and then holds a gun to his head. The hostage then suddenly gets up, smashes his chair repeatedly into Emil and drives Oleg backwards with the chair. After again hitting Emil with the chair, he grabs a gun and starts firing it at the two men (from behind him as he's still bound to the chair).
  • A man repeatedly stabs another man in the gut with a knife and then shoots him with a gun through a pillow (the scene ends before the shot, but we later see that the victim is dead).
  • An explosion rocks a room, partially catching a man on fire. When a woman breaks open a window, the fire in the room explodes everywhere. After finding themselves trapped in the bathroom with the fire outside, the man first yanks the water pipes from the wall (trying to douse the fire) and then begins to break a hole through the wall to get into the next apartment.
  • An explosion rips through part of a building (but no one is harmed).
  • Emil holds a gun to Oleg's head, prompting him to take a dinner knife and stabs it into Emil's arm. In the ensuing panic and stampede, a man is pushed through some glass.
  • Jordy holds his gun on Emil and then punches him to the floor.
  • Some men push and struggle with each other.
  • Jordy slams a suspect into a door and then fires a warning shot to make another cop leave them alone. Jordy then holds his gun to the back of the suspect's head, ready to shoot him.
  • Jordy takes a phone and throws it through a window.
  • A man pulls out a gun and shoots it many times, causing another man to shoot him.
  • A man holds his gun to a woman's head, and everyone trains their guns on him.
  • A man repeatedly shoots another man (resulting in lots of blood and the second man's death).
  • A man punches another man.

  • Reviewed January 29, 2001 / Posted March 9, 2001

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