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"K-PAX"
(2001) (Kevin Spacey, Jeff Bridges) (PG-13)

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


QUICK TAKE:
Drama: A psychiatrist tries to discover whether his newest patient is simply delusional or really from another planet.
PLOT:
Dr. Mark Powell (JEFF BRIDGES) is a psychiatrist at the Psychiatric Institute of Manhattan who's been treating various ill patients such as Howie (DAVID PATRICK KELLY), an obsessive compulsive; Ernie (SAUL WILLIAMS), who's fearful of germs; Sal (PETER GERETY), who believes everything stinks; and Mrs. Archer (CELIA WESTON), who hasn't come out of her room in a long time.

His latest patient, however, who goes by the name Prot (KEVIN SPACEY), is the most intriguing. Claiming to be from K-PAX, a distant planet some one thousand light years away, the otherwise human looking man doesn't seem to be affected by normal medication and reportedly can see otherwise invisible ultraviolet light.

Noticing that Prot seems to walk the walk and talk the talk of a convincing alien, Mark tries to figure out what would cause such an elaborate delusional state. As the doctor tries probing Prot for answers, he must put up with the patient's amused responses, as well as doubts from his associates, including Claudia Villars (ALFRE WOODARD), about his early diagnosis and plan for further investigation.

With the doctor and patient getting to know each other better from their various interchanges - including that regarding Mark's estranged son, Michael (AARON PAUL), from his first marriage -- Prot buoys the other patients' spirits by his announcement that he'll take one of them back to K-PAX with him upon his departure.

As Mark's continued detective work puts a strain on his marriage to wife Rachel (MARY McCORMACK) who cares for their kids Natalie (TESS McCARTHY) and Gabby (NATASHA DORFHUBER), he races against time and Prot's announced departure schedule to figure out if he's simply delusional or really is a visiting alien from another planet.

WILL KIDS WANT TO SEE IT?
Some teens may want to see it, as might those who are fans of anyone in the cast, but it doesn't seem likely that this will be a big "must see" event for most kids.
WHY THE MPAA RATED IT: PG-13
For a sequence of violent images, and brief language and sensuality.
CAST AS ROLE MODELS:
  • KEVIN SPACEY plays a being who claims he's a visitor from another planet, although he could also be a delusional mental patient. In either case, he opens various people's eyes about themselves by his actions and words and uses some brief strong profanity.
  • JEFF BRIDGES plays a psychiatrist who tries to diagnose Prot's condition and puts some strain on his family life while doing so. He also uses some profanity.
  • MARY McCORMACK plays his wife who becomes fed up with the time and attention Mark is devoting to the case.
  • ALFRE WOODARD plays another doctor who isn't convinced of Mark's diagnosis or treatment of Prot.
  • DAVID PATRICK KELLY plays an obsessive-compulsive patient who's enlightened by Prot's interaction with him.
  • SAUL WILLIAMS plays another patient who's phobic about germs.
  • PETER GERETY plays a mental patient obsessed with how people and most everything else smells bad. He also uses some 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:
    The following is a quick look at the content found in this PG-13 rated drama. Profanity consists of at least 1 use of the "f" word, while other expletives and some colorful phrases are also used. A character who claims to be an alien from another planet briefly describes their mating process in non-graphic, non-explicit terms, while we hear that a character in the past got his 17-year-old girlfriend pregnant (she's never seen).

    A flashback scene shows the mildly bloody results of a rape and murder (which aren't seen), while we see a brief and partially distorted view of a person struggling with and then killing another person (we hear someone mentioned he snapped his neck and then see the body hit the floor). Other non-lethal violence is also present. Some of those scenes may be unsettling or suspenseful to some viewers, while various characters have varying degrees of bad attitudes.

    Some tense family moments are present (a bit of a strained marriage and talk of the protagonist being estranged from his college-aged son from his previous marriage, and the above rape/murder), while a few characters drink. If you're still concerned about the film's appropriateness for anyone in your home, you may want to examine our detailed listings more closely for more specific information about what the film contains.

    For those concerned with brief flashes of light on the screen, some of that occurs near the end of the film.


    ALCOHOL OR DRUG USE
  • Mark's assistant tells him that his wife called and that he's to bring home a bottle of wine.
  • Mark has a drink, while Rachel has some wine.
  • Mark has wine and gets a beer for a dinner friend of theirs, while Rachel has some wine and Mark pours himself some more.
  • Mark and Prot drink some Scotch, with Mark pouring himself some more.
  • BLOOD/GORE
  • We briefly see some blood on a murdered woman's body as well as some on a wall during a flashback scene.
  • DISRESPECTFUL/BAD ATTITUDE
  • A train station beggar calls an Asian man "Jackie Chan."
  • A miscellaneous man robs a woman at a train station.
  • Mark somewhat puts his family on the backburner while trying to solve the case (and that puts some strain on his marriage).
  • We hear that a person in the past raped a woman and then murdered her and her young daughter (and we briefly see the results in a flashback scene).
  • FRIGHTENING SCENES
  • Prot suddenly freaks out when a sprinkler comes on in a backyard picnic and grabs Mark's daughter, but in an effort to protect and not hurt her.
  • A hypnotized patient's recounting of a past event - along with later imagined and then actual flashbacks to the event (that includes a man returning home to find his wife raped and both she and their daughter murdered) - may be unsettling, disturbing and/or suspenseful to viewers.
  • GUNS/WEAPONS
  • Rifles: Seen on the wall in a sheriff's office.
  • IMITATIVE BEHAVIOR
  • Phrases: "Are you f*cking deaf?" "Bullsh*t," "I'm sick and tired of this sh*t," "Don't give me this beam of light sh*t," "You stink," "Nuts" (testicles), "What the hell is going on here?" "Where the hell have you been?" "Cut the crap" and "Bitch."
  • Some kids might be enticed to act like a person from another planet.
  • Prot eats a banana, peel and all.
  • We see that Mark's college-aged son has a pierced eyebrow.
  • JUMP SCENES
  • None.
  • MUSIC (SCARY/TENSE)
  • A mild amount of ominous and/or suspenseful music plays during the film.
  • MUSIC (INAPPROPRIATE)
  • None.
  • PROFANITY
  • At least 1 "f" word, 11 "s" words, 5 hells, 4 damns, 2 craps, 1 ass, 1 S.O.B., 6 uses of "Oh my God" and 1 use each of "For God's sakes," "God," "Oh God" and what sounded like "G-damn."
  • SEX/NUDITY
  • Prot tells Mark that unlike for humans, the reproductive process on K-PAX is quite unpleasant. He then goes on to say that it's like "having your nuts in a vice, except we feel it all over." He then adds, "To make matters worse, the sensation is associated with something like your nausea accompanied by a very bad smell. The moment of climax is like being kicked in the stomach and falling into a pool of mot droppings." When Mark then asks how they reproduce if it's such a terrible experience, Prot replies, "As carefully as possible."
  • We briefly see the tops of Rachel's bare breasts as she sits up in bed with the sheet mostly covering them.
  • During regression hypnosis, a patient says that his 17-year-old friend's girlfriend is pregnant.
  • SMOKING
  • An older astronomer has an unlit pipe in his mouth.
  • TENSE FAMILY SCENES
  • Mark somewhat puts his family on the backburner while trying to solve the case (and that puts some strain on his marriage).
  • We learn that Mark and his college-aged son from a previous marriage don't talk.
  • We see a flashback to a person finding their wife and child murdered and then reacting to that.
  • TOPICS TO TALK ABOUT
  • People with various mental problems (such as delusions, etc.).
  • How traumatic events can trigger unexpected changes in people.
  • Hypnosis and regression therapy.
  • The ending of the film and the ultimate truth about Prot.
  • VIOLENCE
  • A miscellaneous man robs a woman at a train station, knocking her to the floor.
  • We see that Mrs. Archer has thrown her food at an orderly (we see it hit him).
  • Howie accidentally knocks over a medical tray while excitedly running down a hallway.
  • Some men grab and tackle Prot when he suddenly freaks out during an outdoor picnic.
  • We hear that Howie tried to kill Ernie by strangling him (but we don't see any of that and hear that he did so as another of Prot's tasks to help cure both him and Ernie).
  • A patient briefly grabs Mark by the throat while under regression hypnosis.
  • We hear that a person in the past raped a woman and then murdered her and her young daughter.
  • We see a flashback to a man returning home to the above scene (with some blood briefly seen on the wife and on a wall), grabbing the assailant and hearing that he snapped his neck "like a twig." We then see some brief struggling (in a distorted view) and then see a body hit the floor.



  • Reviewed October 15, 2001 / Posted October 26, 2001

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