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"FROM HELL"
(2001) (Johnny Depp, Heather Graham) (R)

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


QUICK TAKE:
Suspense/Thriller: An English inspector tries to identify, find and then stop Jack the Ripper before he strikes again.
PLOT:
It's the fall of 1888 in London's Whitechapel district and someone's murdering prostitutes. Roused from an opium-induced stupor by his assistant, Sgt. Peter Godley (ROBBIE COLTRANE), Inspector Fred Abberline (JOHNNY DEPP) sets out to crack the case. Still reeling from his wife and newborn child's deaths and gifted and/or cursed with somewhat clairvoyant visions, Abberline quickly surmises that the killer's butchering of his first victim is not the work of any ordinary, lowlife criminal, but that of a well-to-do and apparently medically educated man.

His superior, Sir Charles Warren (IAN RICHARDSON), thinks this is nonsense, and many of the various hookers, including Mary Kelly (HEATHER GRAHAM) and her friends and associates Kate Eddowes (LESLEY SHARP), Liz Stride (SUSAN LYNCH), Polly (ANNABELLE APSION) and Dark Annie Chapman (KATRIN CARTLIDGE), believe the culprit to be a local thug who's extorting them.

Nevertheless, Abberline pursues his beliefs that lead him to Sir William Gull (IAN HOLM), an older physician who now teaches rather than practices medicine and supports the inspector's theory. As the prostitutes continue to be lured in by the killer's henchman, Netley (JASON FLEMYNG), and Abberline investigates various suspects, including Ben Kidney (TERENCE HARVEY), the inspector finds himself falling for Mary as he tries to find, identify and stop the killer - known as Jack the Ripper -- before it's too late.

WILL KIDS WANT TO SEE IT?
If they're fans of someone in the cast, horror movies or the legend of Jack the Ripper, they just might.
WHY THE MPAA RATED IT: R
For strong violence/gore, sexuality, language and drug content.
CAST AS ROLE MODELS:
  • JOHNNY DEPP plays a police inspector assigned to crack the Jack the Ripper murder cases. Taking unorthodox - for the time - measures, he works diligently to find, identify and stop the killer. He also becomes involved with a hooker, uses strong profanity and smokes both tobacco and opium.
  • ROBBIE COLTRANE plays his assistant who also smokes and uses strong profanity while helping him solve the case.
  • HEATHER GRAHAM plays a hooker who assists Abberline. She also drinks and becomes involved with him.
  • IAN HOLM plays an older physician who assists Abberline.
  • JASON FLEMYNG plays the killer's henchman who lures various prostitutes into the Ripper's murderous grasp.
  • LESLEY SHARP, KATRIN CARTLIDGE, ANNABELLE APSION and SUSAN LYNCH all play hookers, with the latter apparently being a lesbian.
  • IAN RICHARDSON plays Abberline's superior who doesn't believe or support the inspector's theories about the murders.
  • 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 dramatic thriller. The Violence and Blood/Gore categories are both rated as extreme due to many bloody and gruesome murders of prostitutes by the legendary serial killer. Throats are seen being slit, people are lobotomized and bloody/gory results are seen everywhere, while some non-lethal violence is also present.

    Those scenes, and the moments leading up to them, could be rather unsettling and/or suspenseful to viewers, while the killer and others have varying degrees of bad attitudes. Profanity is listed as extreme due to the use of at least 12 "f" words, while other expletives and colorful phrases are also uttered. Sexually related dialogue is present, while several sexual encounters (with movement, sounds and some partial nudity of hookers) are observed, most of them in alleys. Two completely nude women are seen in an opium den (full frontal and rear nudity), while one of the hookers is a lesbian.

    The protagonist and other characters partake in opium, absinthe and liquor, while he and other characters also smoke. Should you still be concerned about the film's content, we suggest that you take a closer look at our detailed listings for more specific examples of what's present and occurs in the film.

    For those concerned with bright flashes of light on the screen, some of that occurs during the film.


    ALCOHOL OR DRUG USE
  • Abberline smokes opium from a long pipe.
  • Some people on the street drink or carry bottles.
  • We see more people smoking opium, including Abberline and see some who are passed out from doing so. Moments later, Godley smacks Abberline, trying to rouse him from his drug-induced state.
  • Abberline drinks something presumably alcoholic from a small bottle and then does again in a later scene (as does Godley).
  • People drink in a tavern, including the various hookers.
  • A hooker drinks.
  • Abberline has some absinthe that he pours, along with a few drops of poison, onto what looks like a sugar cube. He then lights the cube, mixes it all together in a cup, and then drinks it.
  • We see more poison being put into some absinthe, that one of the hookers later drinks.
  • Netley drinks.
  • People have champagne or wine.
  • Various people drink.
  • Mary and another hooker drink.
  • Godley drinks.
  • We see that Liz has been out drinking (and appears a bit intoxicated) and Netley offers her a drink to lure her into his trap.
  • Abberline smokes more opium.
  • Mary drinks.
  • We see a dead person in an opium den (where others are smoking the drug) and it's suggested that the person died from an overdose.
  • BLOOD/GORE
  • We hear someone urinating on the street at night (but don't see anything).
  • We see some blood on a knife that's being used to stab a woman to death.
  • We see Abberline's drug-induced visions/hallucinations of various violent events (all seen for just split seconds) that include people being stabbed and blood on someone's hand, and someone's throat being slit and a body on the ground with a slit throat.
  • We see bloody water in a washbowl as a bloody rag is rinsed out.
  • The Ripper kills a woman by strangling her (we see his back but not the actual act) and then cuts her (we see blood on the street and then on her neck). We then see him between her legs, but can't see what he's doing (which is further butchering her). We later see the body the next day (from a bit of a distance) and see the bloody cut on her throat, and then see the same thing up closer.
  • We hear a morgue worker vomit after seeing what the Ripper did to a body (and we hear that she was disemboweled).
  • We see a black and white photo of a murder victim (with crude stitching on her body).
  • We see a dead woman's face as her coffin breaks open as it's being lowered into the grave.
  • We see someone eating an extremely raw cut of beef that's still very bloody.
  • We see brief bloody images as we hear sounds of violence as the Ripper attacks his next victim. We later see the dead and bloody body on the street (with a bloody cut on the throat, a fly on her lips and what look like her bloody intestines lying/wrapped around her neck).
  • We see a woman with large, gruesome scars on her head from where she was essentially lobotomized.
  • The tip of a knife is pressed against a man's chest during an initiation ceremony (and we see what looks like a trickle of blood down the man's chest from that).
  • We see a bloody human body organ in a box.
  • Netley tackles and then holds the next victim as she tries to get away, with the Ripper then slicing her throat open with his knife (very graphic, with lots of blood).
  • The Ripper walks by another woman and apparently slices her throat open as we then see her grab her throat with a great deal of blood running through and down her hands from that.
  • Some blood runs from Abberline's mouth after a man head-butts him.
  • We see some bloody hands being washed in water (with the blood diluting).
  • We see a bloody body on the ground.
  • We see some blood splattering onto other objects in one of Abberline's visions, as well as quick glimpses of bloody bodies and drops of blood falling.
  • Several men's faces are bloody after fighting with Abberline (one after repeatedly coming into contact with a wheel's moving spokes).
  • We see lots of blood on the killer and his knife, as well as brief glimpses of the victim's incredibly mutilated body. During this, the killer imagines he's conducting an anatomy class in front of others where a quite dissected body lies behind him (partially seen). We then see a very bloody heart in the killer's hand that he then puts into a kettle that he places over a fire (so that it will boil), and later see a great deal of blood covering the walls.
  • We see a man with large, gruesome scars on his head from where he was essentially lobotomized.
  • DISRESPECTFUL/BAD ATTITUDE
  • The killer obviously has both for murdering and butchering his victims, and Netley has both for supplying him with victims.
  • Those responsible for/involved with covering up a potentially embarrassing development for the royalty - via murder and other means -- have both types of attitudes.
  • A man and his henchman act menacingly toward some hookers and demand that they pay him one pound each per week lest they face the consequences.
  • We see that Mary had her hooker friends staying with her in a boarding room despite only paying for herself.
  • A surgeon tells Abberline that he should be investigating foreigners and "Orientals" since he believes they're overrunning the country.
  • FRIGHTENING SCENES
  • Scenes listed under "Violence" and "Blood/Gore" may also be unsettling and/or suspenseful for some viewers.
  • We see Abberline's drug-induced visions/hallucinations of various violent events (all seen for just split seconds) that include people being stabbed and blood on someone's hand, and someone's throat being slit and a body on the ground with a slit throat.
  • A strapped down psychotic woman is wheeled into a room where a doctor taps some sort of apparatus into her head (after given ether to knock her out), to remove part of her brain (to alleviate her problems, but we don't see the actual insertion, although we hear it).
  • We see various paintings of people with severe deformities, and later see the quite disfigured form of John "The Elephant Man" Merrick (that may be unsettling/disturbing to some viewers).
  • We see Netley picking up another hooker and know that he's taking her to the Ripper.
  • A hooker realizes she's with the Ripper and tries to get away from him, but can't.
  • The killer approaches a woman in her bed as she sleeps, while Abberline tries to race there to stop him from killing her.
  • GUNS/WEAPONS
  • Knives/Pistol: Used to threaten or kill people. See "Violence" for details.
  • IMITATIVE BEHAVIOR
  • Phrases: "What the f*ck are you looking at?" "Oh f*ck me" (nonsexual), "They f*ck with you," "F*cking stupid," "Piss (off)," "Shut your hole, bitch," "Whore," "What in God's name are you doing?" "Bugger off," "Bloody" (adjective), "Bitches," "Shut up" and "Bugger" (noun).
  • Abberline has some absinthe that he pours, along with a few drops of poison, onto what looks like a sugar cube. He then lights the cube, mixes it all together in a cup, and then drinks it.
  • JUMP SCENES
  • A person suddenly grabs another person.
  • Godley suddenly grabs Mary and throws her into a carriage (so that Abberline can speak with her).
  • MUSIC (SCARY/TENSE)
  • An extreme amount of ominous and suspenseful music plays in the film.
  • MUSIC (INAPPROPRIATE)
  • None.
  • PROFANITY
  • At least 12 "f" words, 2 slang terms using female genitals ("c*nt"), 4 hells, and 1 use each of "For God's sakes," "Lord," "My God," "Oh God," "Oh Jesus," "Good Lord" and "Dear God" as exclamations.
  • SEX/NUDITY
  • Mary and various other prostitutes show varying amounts of cleavage (sometimes a great deal) in the various outfits they wear.
  • It sounds like a man tells a hooker that he'll give her a penny for "a suck."
  • We see a woman having sex on top of a man. She's sweaty, and we see her bare back, the side of her bare breast, movement and her pleasured expression. As some men rush in and interrupt them, we briefly see all of her bare breasts.
  • In an opium den, we see several dressed men sitting around a table where two women lie naked (one face up, the other face down). Accordingly, we see both full frontal and rear nudity.
  • We briefly see a man having sex with a hooker at night in an alley, standing up (we see movement, but no nudity).
  • A prostitute has sex with a man in an alley against a fence. We see his pants come down and her putting her hand at his crotch (but don't see anything explicit), and then see him having sex as they stand (with thrusting movement and sounds).
  • One of the hookers kisses another woman.
  • A hooker asks someone something like if he wants her to "suck it" and then something about "suck it dry."
  • Liz, one of the hooker's - who's also a lesbian - kisses another woman.
  • Abberline and Mary make out.
  • We see a nude man in his cell, but due to shadows and the positioning of his body, we don't see anything explicit.
  • SMOKING
  • Abberline and Godley each smoke several times, while various minor/miscellaneous characters also smoke.
  • TENSE FAMILY SCENES
  • We hear that Mary's mother died when Mary was eight, and later hear that Abberline's wife and child died while she was giving birth.
  • TOPICS TO TALK ABOUT
  • The real Jack the ripper case and how crimes of murder were investigated back then.
  • Prostitution.
  • Opium.
  • John Merrick, a.k.a. the Elephant Man (who's briefly seen in this film).
  • Syphilis.
  • The society of Freemasons.
  • Lesbianism - one of the hookers is a lesbian.
  • VIOLENCE
  • A man acts menacingly toward a hooker, cutting the buttons from her dress with a knife, saying the knife will be her next customer if she doesn't pay him.
  • A man holds his hand over another man's mouth and a knife with the other to his throat.
  • Someone orders that a room be trashed and some other men proceed to do just that.
  • A man holds a knife to a woman's breast (that we don't see) and prepares to cut her if she doesn't say what she knows.
  • A man suddenly grabs a woman and we see then see the repeated stabbing motion of a knife, along with blood on that knife (but we don't see the impact).
  • We see Abberline's drug-induced visions/hallucinations of various violent events (all seen for just split seconds) that include people being stabbed and blood on someone's hand, and someone's throat being slit and a body on the ground with a slit throat.
  • Godley grabs a person by the nose and then pushes his face. He then backhands Abberline to rouse him from his drug-induced state.
  • A man holds his knife to a hooker's eye.
  • Godley suddenly grabs Mary and throws her into a carriage (so that Abberline can speak with her).
  • The Ripper kills a woman by strangling her (we see his back but not the actual act) and then cuts her (we see blood on the street and then on her neck). We then see him between her legs, but can't see what he's doing (which is further butchering her).
  • A man hits Annie on the head with something while kicking her and others out of a boarding room.
  • We see brief bloody images as we hear sounds of violence as the Ripper attacks his next victim. We later see the dead and bloody body on the street.
  • Godley rolls a lit barrel of gunpowder down the street - where it eventually explodes - as a distraction so that Abberline can leave a building unnoticed.
  • The tip of a knife is pressed against a man's chest during an initiation ceremony.
  • Liz's young lesbian lover pushes her backwards when Liz tries to kiss her, and we then hear some violence inside the room (as we see it from the outside) and see a windowpane being broken.
  • Netley tackles and then holds the next victim as she tries to get away, with the Ripper then slicing her throat open with his knife (very graphic, with lots of blood and we then see the woman's legs kicking/twitching as she dies).
  • The Ripper walks by another woman and apparently slices her throat open as we then see her grab her throat with a great deal of blood running through and down her hands from that.
  • Two men grab and slam Abberline back against a wall. After threatening him, one then head-butts Abberline, knocking him unconscious.
  • We see images of the killer killing his victims (with bloody results).
  • Abberline walks up to the killer, intending to shoot him dead, but is then hit from behind by someone else and knocked unconscious.
  • A man tries to inject Abberline (who's bound and gagged), but the inspector fights with the men, hitting the injector (and bloodying him) and kicking another man halfway out of a moving carriage. That man's face then repeatedly hits the wheel's spokes, bloodying him. The wheel then breaks and the carriage tips over (we then see the bloody body being dragged behind the carriage).
  • The killer suddenly lunges on a woman and strangles her. He then hits her with a knife (but we don't see the impact). Moments later, however, we see lots of blood on the killer and his knife, as well as brief glimpses of the victim's incredibly mutilated body. During this, the killer imagines he's conducting an anatomy class in front of others where a quite dissected body lies behind him (partially seen). We then see a very bloody heart in the killer's hand that he then puts into a kettle that he places over a fire (so that it will boil), and later see a great deal of blood covering the walls.
  • Angry at how things have turned out, Abberline grabs his superior and slams him back against a wall, where he then briefly grabs him by the neck.
  • We see that a person has been essentially lobotomized against his will.



  • Reviewed October 12, 2001 / Posted October 19, 2001

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