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"SWORDFISH"
(2001) (John Travolta, Hugh Jackman) (R)

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


QUICK TAKE:
Action/Thriller: A spy of sorts hires a reluctant, former computer hacker to help his terrorist team steal billions of dollars from the government.
PLOT:
Stanley Jobson (HUGH JACKMAN) is a former computer hacker whose conviction for electronics crimes has left him forbidden from touching a computer or seeing his 10-year-old daughter, Holly (CAMRYN GRIMES). Thus, when Ginger (HALLE BERRY), a beautiful and alluring woman, suddenly shows up and offers him a job hacking into government computers for her boss, Gabriel Shear (JOHN TRAVOLTA), Stanley is torn.

While he needs the money to fight his ex-wife in the courts over custody of Holly, he knows that if he's caught in his old ways, he may be put away for good. Despite that possible ramification, the amount of money offered to him is to enticing and so he joins Gabriel's team that includes Ginger, Marco (VINNIE JONES), a tough henchman, and others including U.S. Senator Reisman (SAM SHEPARD) who's somehow involved with them.

As Stanley sets out to hack into a government computer system to help the terrorism-based spy steal billions of dollars to fund his own brand of patriotism, the computer hacker must not only deal with Gabriel's lethal behavior and suspicious nature, but also Agent Roberts (DON CHEADLE), the government field agent who previously arrested him and would love to capture both him and Gabriel.

WILL KIDS WANT TO SEE IT?
If they're fans of someone in the cast (Travolta, Jackman, Berry, etc.) or are into high-octane, action thrillers, they just might.
WHY THE MPAA RATED IT: R
For violence, language and some sexuality/nudity.
CAST AS ROLE MODELS:
  • JOHN TRAVOLTA plays some sort of spy and self-titled patriot who acts like a terrorist and bank robber, and kills many people for the good of the country. He also smokes, drinks and uses strong profanity.
  • HUGH JACKMAN plays a former computer hacker who's enticed to return to his old ways to earn enough money to fight his ex-wife in court over custody of their daughter. He also uses strong profanity.
  • HALLE BERRY plays Gabriel's girlfriend and reported government agent who entices Stanley - using her sexuality -- to join Gabriel's team to rob the government of billions of dollars. She also uses profanity and sunbathes topless in one scene.
  • DON CHEADLE plays a rough and tough government agent who's trying to nail both Gabriel and Stanley. He uses strong profanity.
  • VINNIE JONES plays one of Gabriel's tough henchmen.
  • SAM SHEPARD plays a U.S. Senator who's conspiring with Gabriel (and orders his execution when things seem to go bad) and uses some profanity.
  • CAMRYN GRIMES plays Stanley's young daughter who wants to be with him.
  • 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 brief summary of the content found in this R-rated action/thriller. Profanity is rated as extreme due to the use of at least 28 "f" words and various other expletives, while plenty of colorful phrases are also used. Some sexually related dialogue is present, as is a woman performing oral sex on the protagonist (not explicitly seen, but there's no doubt what's occurring). A woman is seen sunbathing topless and then in very skimpy bra and panties in another scene (and flaunts/uses her sexuality to entice the protagonist to accept her boss's offer). Several other topless women are seen (from behind) in very revealing swimwear.

    Violence is listed as extreme due to many people being killed by gunfire and explosions that, while intense, aren't terribly bloody or graphic beyond one brief sight of a very burned body. Other deaths, non-lethal violence and property destruction also occur. The perpetrators of that mayhem - that may be tense/suspenseful to some viewers -- have extreme cases of bad attitudes, as do others involved with them.

    Some imitative behavior is present, a father desires to be with his daughter but is legally restrained from doing so, while various characters drink and/or smoke. If you're still concerned about the film and its appropriateness for yourself or anyone else in your home, you may want to take a closer look at our detailed content listings for more specific examples of what occurs in it.



    ALCOHOL OR DRUG USE
  • We see various bottles of beer in Stan's refrigerator.
  • Stanley's ex-wife pours herself a glass of liquor.
  • People have drinks in a club, where Gabriel, Ginger and Stanley all drink shots of tequila. Some other woman then kisses Stanley and lets liquor flow from her mouth into his.
  • People drink at a party/gathering where Stanley and Gabriel have scotch.
  • Holly's mother appears to be passed out at home instead of picking her up after school.
  • Gabriel has a drink.
  • Stan drinks wine during a montage and we then see that he's emptied the bottle. He then goes looking for more in Gabriel's wine rack.
  • BLOOD/GORE
  • A hostage either has bloodstains on her outfit, or is wearing an outfit that has crimson blotches/patterns all over it.
  • A man prepares a silencer-equipped gun and then shoots two men through a two-way mirror (one in the head and we briefly see some blood).
  • An agent's nose is bloody after being elbowed.
  • We see some blood on the street after a body is pulled away from the site of an explosion.
  • We see a very burned body (from the chest up) lying on a table in a morgue.
  • DISRESPECTFUL/BAD ATTITUDE
  • Some viewers may not like the film's seemingly misogynistic attitude: Ginger uses her sexuality to entice Stanley into accepting Gabriel's offer and appears topless and in skimpy underwear for no reason other than titillation, while another women is a boozing porn actress and another performs oral sex on command from another man.
  • We learn that Stanley is a former computer hacker who spent time in prison for hacking into computer systems. He then agrees to go along with Gabriel's plan so that he'll receive a large sum of cash (that he'll use to win back his daughter through legal means).
  • Gabriel has both types of attitudes for the steps he takes, no matter his claimed patriotic intention, which result in many deaths. His various cronies also have bad attitudes.
  • Senator Reisman has both for conspiring with Gabriel and then ordering his execution when things seemingly go bad.
  • We learn that another cyber-criminal is wanted across the world for various electronics crimes.
  • Roberts grabs a suspect's lawyer, throws him up against a wall, and then tosses him out of an interrogation room (so that he can do an illegal, one on one interview).
  • Holly's mother appears to be passed out at home instead of picking her up after school.
  • Gabriel has a woman strung up, off the floor, by a cable around her neck that slowly begins to suffocate her (to get Stanley to cooperate with him).
  • FRIGHTENING SCENES
  • Scenes listed under "Violence," as well as the moments leading up to them, may also be tense or unsettling for some viewers.
  • Various police and/or government agents aim their assault rifles/machine guns on Gabriel and Stanley as they walk out of a café and into a bank where we see that Gabriel and his team have hooked up lots of C-4 explosives onto their hostages. As Roberts tries to tell the cops/agents to stand down, the tension rises as others want to take out the bad guys. A cop/agent then shoots one of the bad guys and two other cops/agents try to escort his hostage away from the scene, but the explosives on her eventually detonate, vaporizing the three of them and sending ball bearing-based shrapnel into many other people (who are injured or killed), vehicles (that explode or are riddled with projectiles) and property (that's damaged).
  • One of Gabriel's cronies holds his gun to Stanley's head (as one of various distractions) as the hacker tries to break into a government computer in sixty seconds. At the end of that time, the crony pulls the trigger, but the gun was empty.
  • Stanley and the government agents chasing after him slide and careen out of control down a very long and very steep embankment.
  • Gabriel has a woman strung up, off the floor, by a cable around her neck that slowly begins to suffocate her (to get Stanley to cooperate with him). We see her struggling and her feet kicking.
  • GUNS/WEAPONS
  • Handguns/Machine guns/Sniper Rifles/C-4 explosives/Rocket Launcher: Carried and/or used to threaten, wound or kill people.
  • IMITATIVE BEHAVIOR
  • Phrases: "Turn the f*ck around," "Don't f*ck with /this guy/me," "I swear to f*cking God," "F*cked up," "I was just f*cking with you," "F*ck you," "There's no f*cking way," "What the f*ck are you doing?" "That's just f*cking great," "I don't know what the f*ck is going on," "You f*cked me" (nonsexual), "You're f*cking insane," "Shut the f*ck up," "You haven't told me sh*t," "This is bullsh*t," "I don't give a sh*t," "Sh*tty," "Holy sh*t," "Do you give a sh*t about her?" "Hard on" (erection), "Ball busting," "Loser," "What the hell is this?" "Who the hell are you?" "Sucker," "Get the hell out of here" and "I got the feds crawling up my ass."
  • We learn that Gabriel's team as loaded the explosives (that they have attached to various hostages) with ball bearings to act as shrapnel during the explosion.
  • A man gives "the finger" with both hands right before he's shot. Later, an agent gives "the finger" to Stan.
  • Giving Stanley sixty seconds to break into a computer system, Gabriel has a woman perform oral sex on him while a man holds a gun to his head (both to serve as distractions).
  • Ginger uses her sexuality to entice Stanley into accepting Gabriel's offer.
  • Ginger sunbathes topless.
  • Gabriel speeds down the road and through busy intersections without stopping or hesitating.
  • JUMP SCENES
  • None.
  • MUSIC (SCARY/TENSE)
  • An extreme amount of suspenseful, ominous and action-oriented music plays during the film.
  • MUSIC (INAPPROPRIATE)
  • None (a song that sounds like it's using the "f" word is apparently saying "funk").
  • PROFANITY
  • At least 28 "f" words, 21 "s" words, 3 slang terms using male genitals ("d*ck" and "c*ck"), 9 hells, 7 asses (1 used with "hole"), 3 S.O.B.s, 1 damn, 2 uses each of "G-damn" and "Jesus" and 1 use each of "Jesus Christ," "Oh God" and "Oh Jesus" as exclamations.
  • SEX/NUDITY
  • As Gabriel talks about the film "Dog Day Afternoon," someone else mentions the sex change operation that Pacino's character was trying to finance for his lover.
  • We see Stanley hitting golf balls off the top of his trailer, seemingly wearing just a towel. Ginger then shows up and both he and the camera focus in close on her rear end as she bends over in her short and tight-fitting dress. Later, she tells him that she's not there to "suck your d*ck."
  • Stanley reminds his ex-wife that her new husband is a "porn king" (of "Backdoor Films") and Ginger then comments on Stanley probably not wanting Holly to be the "fluffer" in her daddy's videos. We later hear that Stanley's ex-wife is an actress in those films (and one government agent waves a videotape as if it's one of them, but we don't know if that's true).
  • Various women show cleavage, including Ginger who often wears very tight-fitting and/or revealing clothing.
  • Ginger passionately kisses Stanley.
  • Gabriel has a beautiful woman perform oral sex on Stanley (as one of a few distractions for him while he tries to hack into a government computer system). We see various shots of the woman's head at his crotch (but don't see anything explicit) and see his reaction to what she's doing (as he tries to concentrate on the task at hand). During this, Gabriel asks, "She's good, isn't she?"
  • Some women at a party invite Stanley to go swimming with them. When he says that he doesn't have a suit, they tell him he doesn't need one. We then see them walking down into the pool topless (we see them from behind) and see them in varying bikini/thong bottoms (one that shows a great deal of one woman's rear end) with one or more of the sides of their bare breasts partially showing.
  • Ginger purposefully runs her hand along the inside of Stanley's (clothed) upper thigh as she comes on to him. As she walks out, she asks if he's surprised that a girl with in IQ over seventy can "give you a hard on?"
  • We see Ginger reading a book while sunbathing topless (in a small bikini bottom) and see several views of her bare breasts (that cause Stanley to stumble into a chair after he turns away from her).
  • As Ginger gets undressed, we see her in a very small and low-cut bra (that shows cleavage) and an extremely skimpy, string-bikini type panties (that show a great deal of skin). Stanley walks in and sees her this way and Gabriel then walks in and sees the two of them together (but nothing sexual is occurring).
  • Gabriel mentions that fly-fishing is like masturbation to him without the payoff.
  • We see a dead man in some skimpy underwear.
  • SMOKING
  • Gabriel smokes cigars and cigarettes at least 5 times, Senator Reisman smokes cigars several times and Stanley's ex-wife and another computer hacker each smoke at least once.
  • TENSE FAMILY SCENES
  • We learn that Stanley is divorced (and doesn't get along at all with his ex-wife) and that he terribly misses his daughter that he's legally not allowed to see.
  • Later, Stanley worries about Holly's safety when he can't find her.
  • TOPICS TO TALK ABOUT
  • Gabriel's statements about serving his country when he's acting as a criminal/terrorist himself.
  • Whether Stanley would risk the repercussions of returning to his computer hacking ways.
  • The film's seemingly misogynistic stance: Ginger uses her sexuality to entice Stanley into accepting Gabriel's offer and appears topless and in skimpy underwear for no reason other than titillation, while other another women is a boozing porn actress and another performs oral sex on command from another man.
  • Why actress Halle Berry would decide to appear partially nude in this film for the first time in her career.
  • VIOLENCE
  • A cop/agent shoots one of the bad guys, and two other cops/agents try to escort his hostage away from the scene, but the C-4 explosives on her eventually detonate, vaporizing the three of them and sending ball bearing-based shrapnel into many other people (who are injured or killed), vehicles (that explode or are riddled with projectiles) and property (that's damaged).
  • Some police/security officers pin a man to the ground after he tries to escape from them.
  • Stanley pushes Ginger out of his trailer after she mentions Holly.
  • Roberts grabs a suspect's lawyer, throws him up against a wall, and then tosses him out of an interrogation room (so that he can do an illegal, one on one interview). Moments later, he purposefully opens a door into that same lawyer.
  • A man prepares a silencer-equipped gun and then shoots two men through a two-way mirror (one in the head, the other in the chest).
  • One of Gabriel's cronies holds his gun to Stanley's head (as one of various distractions) as the hacker tries to break into a government computer in sixty seconds. At the end of that time, the man pulls the trigger, but the gun was empty.
  • Stanley elbows an agent in the nose, drives his car backwards into a government car (smashing the door) and then struggles with several men before heading off on foot and being chased by those men. They eventually catch him (after careening out of control down a long and steep hill), with one firing a warning shot into the air and another throwing Stanley back against a car. One then pushes him back down against the car when he stands up.
  • Ginger holds a gun on Stanley.
  • Getting Stanley to drive, Gabriel stands in his convertible and opens fire with handguns on vehicles on either side of them (containing men sent to kill him). After shooting them full of bullets, the vehicles crash, with one exploding. Other bad guys then fire machine guns at their stopped car (riddling parts of it) and Gabriel then steps out and fires a machine gun at them, riddling their vehicles with bullets and causing another to explode. We then have a chase sequence where both sides fire upon each other with machine guns (and Stan barely makes it out of an alley and through oncoming traffic in the car), eventually resulting in a truck crashing and flipping over into a small restaurant. Several people are presumably killed during this (we only see one body that falls from a vehicle when the door is opened).
  • Gabriel shoots a man dead.
  • A car bomb explodes, blowing up a car and killing the person inside.
  • Various military style vehicles drive through a bank's plate glass windows and smash some of the furniture inside. One of the thugs then hits a man with a machine gun that he then fires into the ceiling as a warning. When the manager won't give up his key, Gabriel has one of his men drive the man backwards, nearly into a wall.
  • We see that a man and woman have apparently been killed.
  • We see the explosion from the beginning once again and then see its destructive aftermath (including several bodies being dragged away).
  • Stanley pushes one man and then tackles another to allow his daughter to escape. He then struggles with Marco who punches him in the gut several times and Gabriel holds his gun to Stan's face.
  • Gabriel has a woman strung up, off the floor, by a cable around her neck that slowly begins to suffocate her (to get Stanley to cooperate with him).
  • Gabriel shoots and presumably kills a person.
  • An armored bus crashes through various vehicles that are in its way.
  • Suspended in the air by a helicopter, a bus smashes through a rooftop sign, has several cables break that are holding it, and then smashes through part of the floor of an office building (nearly hitting several people who run for safety).
  • Two people fall from that bus (after briefly hanging on) and explode alongside a building (from the C-4 strapped around at least one of them).
  • A person fires a rocket launcher at a helicopter, causing the latter to explode and the people inside it to be presumably killed.
  • We see a large yacht explode in a huge fireball.



  • Reviewed June 4, 2001 / Posted June 8, 2001

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