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"DON'T SAY A WORD"
(2001) (Michael Douglas, Brittany Murphy) (R)

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


QUICK TAKE:
Suspense/Thriller: After his daughter is kidnapped, a psychiatrist does what he must to persuade a mentally disturbed young woman to give up a secret number the kidnappers need to find a jewel they stole a decade earlier.
PLOT:
New York psychiatrist Dr. Nathan Conrad (MICHAEL DOUGLAS) lives the good life on the Upper West Side with his beautiful wife, Aggie (FAMKE JANSSEN), and their 8-year-old daughter, Jessie (SKYE McCOLE BARTUSIAK). Although he's now considered uptown, that doesn't prevent his former colleague, Dr. Louis Sachs (OLIVER PLATT), from calling him in for a special case on the night before Thanksgiving.

It seems that Sachs' newest patient, Elisabeth Burrows (BRITTANY MURPHY), is a very troubled young woman who's now locked up after attacking an orderly. With a history of misdiagnoses and multiple hospitalizations, no one has been able to crack Elisabeth's case and Louis is worried that if he and Nathan can't do so soon, the girl will be sent away forever.

Nathan agrees to do what he can, but soon learns that others are interested in Elisabeth, but for different reasons. Waking up Thanksgiving morning, Nathan and Aggie - who's bedridden with a broken leg - discover that Jessie has been kidnapped. It seems that Patrick Koster (SEAN BEAN) and his group of thugs have abducted the girl and threaten to kill her if Nathan can't extract a specific six-digit number from Elisabeth's tangled psyche that will help them retrieve a valuable jewel they stole a decade earlier.

With a 5 o'clock deadline and instructions not to contact the police since the kidnappers will be watching his and Aggie's every move, Nathan sets out to do what he can. As NYPD detective Sandra Cassidy (JENNIFER ESPOSITO) follows the trail of a homicide that eventually leads her toward the kidnappers, and Jessie tries to befriend some of them, such as Max (CONRAD GOODE), Nathan races against the clock as he tries everything possible to get Elisabeth to give up the number.

WILL KIDS WANT TO SEE IT?
Unless they're fans of someone in the cast, it only seems that older teens might be interested in this one.
WHY THE MPAA RATED IT: R
For violence, including some gruesome images, and language.
CAST AS ROLE MODELS:
  • MICHAEL DOUGLAS plays a psychiatrist who does what he must to save his kidnapped daughter. He uses some profanity.
  • FAMKE JANSSEN plays his wife who's confined to bed with a broken leg and must deal with being watched and dangerous intruders.
  • SKYE McCOLE BARTUSIAK plays their young and precocious daughter who finds herself kidnapped.
  • SEAN BEAN plays the lead criminal and kidnapper who takes young Jessie hostage and threatens to harm her if Nathan doesn't deliver what's asked of him. He also acts violently toward others and uses strong profanity.
  • JENNIFER ESPOSITO plays a New York City detective who's working several homicides that eventually lead her into the kidnapping plot. She uses some strong profanity.
  • BRITTANY MURPHY plays an apparently mentally disturbed young woman who's pursued by various people interested in the special number she has locked insider her head.
  • OLIVER PLATT plays an associate of Nathan's who also works with mentally disturbed patients and gets him wrapped up in the kidnapping problem. He also uses strong profanity.
  • 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 R-rated thriller. Profanity is listed as extreme due to the use of at least 18 "f" words, while other expletives and various colorful phrases are also spoken. Some sexually related dialogue is also present, a married couple has a brief, sensuous moment together, and a mental patient fondles her own breast (under her top), asking a psychiatrist if he wants a feel (he doesn't).

    Violence is listed as extreme due to various people being wounded or killed both on and off-screen (by gunfire and other means) and some non-lethal fighting. Meanwhile, others are threatened, including a young girl who's kidnapped by some criminals who have extreme cases of bad attitudes. Some of that material, along with other moments, may be tense or unsettling for some viewers, and some of it has moderately bloody/gruesome results.

    One character is noted as being mentally ill (although it's never completely clear if she is or is just faking it), and tense family material includes her being traumatized by seeing her father killed when she was just a girl, while a married couple worries about their kidnapped daughter. Beyond that, a few characters smoke.

    If you're still concerned about the film and its appropriateness for yourself or anyone else in your home who may be interested in seeing it, we suggest that you more closely examine our detailed content listings for more specific information about what's present in the film.


    ALCOHOL OR DRUG USE
  • An older woman pours herself a drink.
  • BLOOD/GORE
  • We see a dead body floating face down in a river (but don't see anything graphic or gross at this point). Later, however, we see the body - or pictures of it -- several more times (with some discoloration of the skin and bruises on her wrists).
  • We see color photos of an orderly with bloody cuts all over his face and body (from where Elisabeth cut him - not seen).
  • We see many bruises on Elisabeth's arms and head.
  • We see black and white autopsy photos of cigarette burns on a dead body.
  • We hear, but don't explicitly see Nathan vomiting into a toilet.
  • A bad guy has some blood on his face and from his mouth after being hit there.
  • A man has some blood around a rod that was driven into his chest.
  • Aggie has a few small bloody cuts on her after a violent encounter with a criminal.
  • We see an older, dead woman's body.
  • There's a tiny bit of blood on Nathan's head after Koster hits him.
  • We see a dead and partially decomposed body inside a casket that's been unearthed.
  • A man who's been shot has some blood on him.
  • DISRESPECTFUL/BAD ATTITUDE
  • The kidnappers obviously have both for originally stealing a jewel at gunpoint, some of them turning against each other, and kidnapping Jessie (and threatening to harm her).
  • A miscellaneous cop makes some sort of non-explicit sexual remark about Cassidy's body (but she calls him on that and he back downs).
  • Nathan gets a worker to let him into Sachs' office where he breaks open his file cabinet to read Elisabeth's file (but does so under the duress and deadline regarding the hostage situation). He also injects a guard with a sedative so that he can remove Elisabeth from the facility, and steals a boat to get to an island.
  • It's implied that Sachs had some sort of relationship with a young woman working under him, and he lies to Cassidy about that.
  • FRIGHTENING SCENES
  • Scenes listed under "Violence" may also be tense or unsettling to some viewers.
  • The criminals' initial heist - at gunpoint - could be suspenseful or unsettling to some viewers.
  • The initial sight of Elisabeth and/or the way she's acting could be somewhat unsettling to some viewers, as might Nathan's initial visit with her (when he's not sure what she's going to do).
  • An older woman hears someone at her front door and then sees someone breaking in (cutting the chain, etc.) and then menacingly approaching her.
  • Nathan looks through the apartment for Jessie (as some suspenseful music plays), and then sees that the chain on the front door has been cut.
  • We see occasional flashbacks to Elisabeth as a young girl, running with her father from others.
  • Aggie, who's stuck in bed, hears someone coming through her place.
  • One of the bad guys shows up at the Conrad's home with a switchblade and comes looking for Aggie as she tries to get out of bed (and the rigging around her leg cast). Their violent encounter could be tense to some viewers. All of this happens as Nathan tries to remove Elisabeth from the facility while Cassidy races after them.
  • We see a flashback to Koster holding a gun to Elisabeth's father's head.
  • We see a dead and partially decomposed body inside a casket that's been unearthed.
  • GUNS/WEAPONS
  • Handguns/Rifles/Automatic weapons/Switchblade: Carried and/or used to threaten, wound or kill people. See "Violence" for details.
  • Explosive: Used to blow open a vault and blow up a van.
  • IMITATIVE BEHAVIOR
  • Phrases: "F*cking go back," "Very f*cking funny," "Quit wasting my f*cking time," "Bullsh*t," "Pissed," "Raggedy ass," "My sweet black ass," "Moron," "Retarded," "What the hell are you doing?" "Freakin,'" "You sick son of a bitch," "Nuts" (crazy), "Bitch," and "Friggin.'"
  • It's possible some older kids could get the idea of kidnapping someone to force someone else to do or get something for them.
  • One of the criminals has many tattoos on his body.
  • JUMP SCENES
  • Jessie suddenly pops out of a closet.
  • MUSIC (SCARY/TENSE)
  • An extreme amount of suspenseful and ominous music plays during the film.
  • MUSIC (INAPPROPRIATE)
  • None.
  • PROFANITY
  • At least 18 "f" words, 5 "s" words, 7 asses (4 used with "hole"), 5 hells, 2 S.O.B.s, 1 damn, 3 uses of "G-damn" and 1 use each of "Jesus," "Jesus Christ," "My God," "Oh my God" and "Swear to God" as exclamations.
  • SEX/NUDITY
  • One of the criminals says that the problem a football team has is that they're like two virgins who "can't find the damn hole."
  • We see Nathan with a young male patient and there's talk about him (the patient) smelling girl's panties in the locker room. Nathan mentions the "thing" he does with the panties, and then adds that everyone "whacks off" (masturbates) -- including the boy's friends, the mailman, and the headmaster of his school, and that anyone who says they don't is lying. The boy then comments that his mom says he's oversexed.
  • We briefly see Elisabeth's panties as she wiggles around on her hospital bed and her gown rides up on her body.
  • A miscellaneous cop makes some sort of non-explicit sexual remark about Cassidy's body (but she calls him on that and he back downs).
  • With Aggie confined to bed (with her broken leg), Nathan comes in and suggestively informs her that he's going to give her a sponge bath. He then sensuously lets some water run down her bare thigh (she's in shorts) and they then kiss. She then tells him that they should keep it down (referring to Jessie), but he states that she's the one "who makes the noise."
  • It appears that we see the bare chest of a dead woman (on an autopsy table and seen from a distance above and behind her), but we don't see anything explicit.
  • Trying to provoke Nathan, Elisabeth runs her hand up inside her shirt, fondling her own breast (no nudity is seen), and asks him, "Do you want to touch?" and states that she saw him looking. He doesn't do anything, however, as he knows she's trying to embarrass him.
  • Aggie prepares to change her top, but realizes that the criminals can probably see her and thus doesn't (with one of the criminals saying to himself, "C'mon baby, take it off" as he wants her to expose herself).
  • SMOKING
  • A few of the bad guys and some miscellaneous people briefly smoke (with one bad guy making a joke that cigarettes do kill after lighting a fuse to a bomb with a cigarette).
  • TENSE FAMILY SCENES
  • There's talk that Elisabeth saw her father killed before her when she was eight (and that being the cause of her current mental problems). During the film, we then see various flashbacks to this incident.
  • Nathan and Aggie worry about Jessie after she's kidnapped.
  • TOPICS TO TALK ABOUT
  • The mentally ill.
  • Real life kidnappings.
  • How Koster and his associates managed to bug everything so well with surveillance equipment.
  • VIOLENCE
  • The criminals race into a bank, kicking open a door and punching and/or knocking down various guards (including smashing one into a wall). During this, they hold guns on various people inside, while others use an explosive to blow open a vault. As the men escape, a lit fuse detonates an explosive, causing their arrival van to blow up.
  • Some of the criminals kill an old woman (to use her place as their headquarters). While we don't see the actual act, we later see her dead body, and we do see them violently sweep things off her table.
  • Although we don't see the incident, we hear that a victim's neck was snapped in two.
  • Elisabeth suddenly, but only briefly grabs Nathan by the throat.
  • Nathan pushes Sachs back against a wall and holds a syringe to his neck when he figures out what Sachs has done.
  • Koster slaps Max on the head.
  • Nathan injects a guard in the arm with some sort of sedative (to allow him to remove Elisabeth from the premises).
  • One of the bad guys shows up at the Conrad's home with a switchblade and comes looking for Aggie as she tries to get out of bed (and the rigging around her leg cast). She then hits him in the face with a crutch several times. Moments later, that man then drives her back into a wall and then tries to strangle her with a cable (from above). She then strikes him on the head several times and then drives a small rod into his chest, killing him.
  • We see a flashback to Koster holding a gun to Elisabeth's father's head. We then see him push this man down onto some subway tracks and him (or others) repeatedly kicking him to prevent him from climbing out. The train then comes and strikes that man (not explicitly seen).
  • Nathan drives his truck through a locked fence.
  • Koster backhands Nathan, knocking him to the ground.
  • The bad guys threaten to shoot Elisabeth in the leg if she doesn't give up the number. Nathan tries to come to her rescue (causing the gun to fire several times), but they knock him aside and Elisabeth then jumps on Koster, grabbing him around the neck (until Max pulls her off).
  • Nathan hits Max several times with a shovel, with Max then trying to hit him with it (until Nathan kicks him down). Max then squeezes Nathan in a bear hug, but Nathan then grinds dirt into his eyes and kicks him in the leg.
  • Koster shoots and kills one of his own men and then holds the gun on Nathan.
  • Cassidy shoots a bad guy dead and tries to shoot another, but he shoots her first (wounding her). Nathan then repeatedly hits that man with a shovel handle and then holds a gun to his head. He then kicks him down into a hole.
  • A bad guy fires several shots at Nathan.
  • A deep hole in the ground caves in, burying and presumably killing a man.



  • Reviewed September 20, 2001 / Posted September 28, 2001

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