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"DOMESTIC DISTURBANCE"
(2001) (John Travolta, Vince Vaughn) (PG-13)

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


QUICK TAKE:
Suspense/Thriller: A father tries to figure out whether his son's tale of his new stepfather murdering someone is true or just another lie.
PLOT:
It's been a tough time in the Morrison household. Frank (JOHN TRAVOLTA), a custom shipbuilder, now lives with his girlfriend, Diane (SUSAN FLOYD), since he and his ex-wife, Susan (TERI POLO) have been divorced for a few years. The familial strife has led their 12-year-old son, Danny (MATT O'LEARY) to misbehave, and the fact that Susan is about to marry Rick Barnes (VINCE VAUGHN), a well-to-do entrepreneur, has only exacerbated the problems since the boy doesn't like him.

Neither does Frank, but he encourages Danny to try, and thus both attend Susan and Rick's wedding as a good faith gesture. It's there that Frank notices Rick acting adversely to seeing Ray Coleman (STEVE BUSCEMI), a seedy looking fellow who shows up and obviously isn't welcomed. Frank tries to figure out why Rick reacted the way he did, but is sidetracked when Danny later reports that he spotted Rick kill a man in his truck while the boy was hiding in the backseat.

Due to Danny's previous bouts with lying and run-ins with the law, no one - including Detective Edgar Stevens (RUBEN SANTIAGO-HUDSON) - believes him, but Frank's suspicions are aroused since the boy has never lied to him. From that point on, and as Rick acts menacingly toward Danny to keep quiet about what he knows lest he harm him or his father, Frank sets out to discover what he can about Rick as well as Danny's tale of murder.

WILL KIDS WANT TO SEE IT?
If they're fans of someone in the cast or of domestic-based thrillers, they just might.
WHY THE MPAA RATED IT: PG-13
For violence, brief sexuality and language.
CAST AS ROLE MODELS:
  • JOHN TRAVOLTA plays a divorced custom boat builder who's trying to be the best father he can. When his son comes to him with the tale of his new stepfather being a murderer, he sets out to discover what he can about Rick as well as Danny's story.
  • VINCE VAUGHN plays Danny's new stepfather who kills someone and then threatens to harm Danny and Frank if the boy squeals on him. He also uses profanity.
  • TERI POLO plays Danny's mom and Frank's ex-wife who's torn between her new love and her troubled son's needs.
  • MATT O'LEARY plays the couple's troubled 12-year-old son who's been acting up ever since their divorce. After witnessing Rick kill someone, he tries to get others to believe that he's telling the truth.
  • STEVE BUSCEMI plays a former criminal associate of Rick's who's come looking for his money.
  • 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 brief summary of the content found in this suspense thriller that's been rated PG-13 people. Two people are killed (one by stabbing, the other by electrocution) and some additional fighting/striking others and threatening behavior is present (with brief, mildly bloody results). The killer obviously has an extreme bad attitude (for killing someone and threatening others including his 12-year-old stepson), while those scenes and others (including some jump scenes) may be suspenseful or unsettling to some viewers.

    Profanity consists of at least 1 use of the "f" word, other expletives and some colorful phrases. Some brief, sexually related dialogue is present, and it's implied that a character sees and beds a prostitute. Meanwhile, all sorts of tense family material is present (custody issues, a boy not liking his new stepfather, etc.), while a few characters drink and/or smoke.

    If you're still concerned about the film and its appropriateness for anyone in your family, we suggest that you take a closer look at our detailed content listings for more specific information about what's present and/or occurs in it.


    ALCOHOL OR DRUG USE
  • Frank christens a boat with a bottle of champagne, while the new owners then drink some (Frank doesn't).
  • Various people drink champagne at a wedding, including Ray who's later seen with a drink as well.
  • Ray briefly mentions a time when Rick was drunk.
  • Ray says he wants to retire to Miami where he can work on his tan and a case of Cuervo.
  • Upset at losing a child custody hearing, Frank drinks many shots of liquor in a bar and appears a bit intoxicated.
  • BLOOD/GORE
  • We see some burn marks on a man's arm (from a distance).
  • Rick has a fair amount of blood on his head after being hit there with a baseball bat.
  • DISRESPECTFUL/BAD ATTITUDE
  • Rick obviously has both for killing someone and then repeatedly acting menacingly toward Danny and others.
  • We also learn that he and Ray have been involved in previous criminal behavior.
  • Danny is a troubled 12-year-old who's been acting up recently - due to the familial stress - and has had run-ins with the law.
  • Frank breaks a window to illegally enter a business (searching for clues).
  • FRIGHTENING SCENES
  • Scenes listed under "Violence" may also be tense or unsettling to some viewers.
  • Just as a man spots Danny hiding in the backseat of Rick's truck, Rick stabs the man in the back with an ice pick (or something similar), killing him. As Rick then goes to dispose of the body in a kiln of sorts, Danny continues hiding and there are various moments where it seems that Rick is going to discover him.
  • After the above, Danny hears footsteps at his bedroom door and sees the shadow of someone's feet there as the locked door handle rattles. After that person leaves, Danny slowly makes his way over to the door and tentatively opens it, only to discover Rick behind him (and the stepfather then grabs the boy and threatens him).
  • Rick acts somewhat menacingly toward Danny, accusing him of warning Frank about him.
  • Rick suddenly hits Frank on the back of the head, knocking him out. He then pours flammable liquids throughout Frank's boat shop. As he lights a lighter, spilled liquid on his arm ignites, burning part of his arm before catching the rest of the shop on fire. Soon, it's near completely engulfed in flames just as Frank comes to and barely gets out.
  • The ending of the film - and moments leading up to it - where various characters fight with and/or try to elude the killer, could be tense or unsettling to some viewers.
  • GUNS/WEAPONS
  • Ice pick (or something similar): Used to stab a man in the back and kill him.
  • Baseball bat/Tire Iron: Used to hit or attempt to hit others.
  • Handgun: Worn by a cop.
  • IMITATIVE BEHAVIOR
  • Phrases: "You're a little f*cking liar," "You throw like sh*t," "Bullsh*t," "Don't give a sh*t," "That little sh*t," "Nuts" (crazy), "Jeez," "What the hell were you doing?" "Sucks," "Crappy," "Scumbag," "Get the hell out of here," "Bitching" (complaining), "Scares the hell out of me" and "Screw" (sexual and nonsexual).
  • Danny slides down a gutter to sneak out of the house.
  • Rick pours flammable liquid around Frank's boathouse to burn it down and attempt to kill him.
  • JUMP SCENES
  • Rick suddenly stabs a man in the back with an ice pick (or something similar), killing him.
  • Rick suddenly shows up behind Danny in a suspenseful scene.
  • Rick suddenly shows up as Danny brushes his teeth.
  • A person suddenly hits Frank on the back of the head.
  • A person's arm suddenly catches on fire.
  • MUSIC (SCARY/TENSE)
  • An extreme amount of ominous and suspenseful music plays in the film.
  • MUSIC (INAPPROPRIATE)
  • None.
  • PROFANITY
  • At least 1 "f" word, 7 "s" words, 2 slang terms for sex ("screw"), 5 hells, 2 damns, 1 ass (used with "hole"), 1 crap, 4 uses each of "Jesus" and "Oh Jesus," 3 each of "G-damn" and "Jesus Christ" and 1 use of "Swear to God" as exclamations.
  • SEX/NUDITY
  • Ray jokingly complains to Frank that he hasn't seen any adult bookstores in town.
  • We see a prostitute lying on Ray's bed (as he sits on the edge of it) and her top shows part of her bra and some cleavage.
  • Frank talks to a prostitute about Ray, wondering what they talked about. She replies that they didn't do that much talking, and then adds that when they weren't doing that (having sex), they watched TV. She then adds, "I don't know what Ray likes better, to screw or watch basketball." Later, Frank calls her up and mentions her mentioning that Ray liked to "screw and watch basketball."
  • SMOKING
  • Ray smokes a few times as does a hooker he sees.
  • TENSE FAMILY SCENES
  • Frank and Susan are divorced and that and the fact that she's marrying Rick and later discovers she's pregnant cause adverse reactions in Danny, even resulting in a custody hearing between Frank and Susan.
  • There's a brief reference to Susan having a miscarriage.
  • TOPICS TO TALK ABOUT
  • Divorce, stepparents and custody of kids caught in the middle of all of that.
  • Frank doesn't want Danny to like Rick as he's afraid of being replaced as the father figure.
  • VIOLENCE
  • Mad at Rick, Danny throws a baseball through a glass door panel (we don't see the throwing, but do hear/see the breaking glass).
  • Rick stabs a man in the back with an ice pick (or something similar), killing him (there's no blood) and then gets rid of the body by burning it in a kiln of sorts.
  • Rick grabs Danny and pins him back against a wall with his hand across the boy's mouth as he threatens him not to talk.
  • Frank punches a man in the face - sending him to the ground - when that man tries to intervene in Frank taking Danny home.
  • Rick slams Danny back against a wall and holds him there while threatening him again.
  • Frank briefly tries to go at Rick in a violent fashion, but is restrained from doing so.
  • Frank breaks a window to illegally enter a business (searching for clues).
  • Rick suddenly hits Frank on the back of the head, knocking him out. He then pours flammable liquids throughout Frank's boat shop. As he lights a lighter, spilled liquid on his arm ignites, burning part of his arm before catching the rest of the shop on fire. Soon, it's near completely engulfed in flames just as Frank comes to and barely gets out.
  • After Rick forcibly removes her from their car, Susan slams the door shut on Rick's leg.
  • Rick jumps through a mostly glass door, shattering it as he enters a house where he throws Susan to the floor, knocking her unconscious.
  • Danny hits Rick on the head with a baseball bat, knocking him unconscious.
  • Rick backhands Danny and then throws him onto the hood of a car where he ties his hands behind him before slamming him into a door and throwing him into the backseat.
  • Frank attacks Rick and the two men fight, with Frank delivering many punches. More struggling and fighting follows with Frank trying to hit Rick with a shovel. Rick then hits Frank in the face with a can of paint (or something similar) and then repeatedly kicks him.
  • Rick then smashes Frank through a car's backdoor window and then repeatedly tries to hit him with a tire iron (with Frank defending himself with a stool).
  • A man is electrocuted after being pushed into an electrical breaker box.



  • Reviewed October 30, 2001 / Posted November 2, 2001

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