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"TAPE"
(2001) (Ethan Hawke, Robert Sean Leonard) (R)

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


QUICK TAKE:
Drama: Three former high school classmates come together in a seedy motel room where one is determined to dredge up a questionable past deed and force the other two to come to grips with it.
PLOT:
Vince (ETHAN HAWKE), John (ROBERT SEAN LEONARD) and Amy (UMA THURMAN) are all former classmates from high school who've arrived at Vince's Lansing, Michigan motel room. While Amy lives there, Vince has arrived to see John's latest work in a film competition and the two men catch up on old times.

It turns out, however, that Vince has ulterior motives since he's still upset and obsessed with the fact that Amy broke up with him ten years ago during their senior year, only to end up going out with and ultimately sleeping with John. Accordingly, and having heard details about the encounter, Vince tries to get John to admit to date raping Amy.

John obviously denies that, but Vince keeps egging him on, eventually changing his perception of what really occurred. When Amy finally joins them and denies any wrongdoing on John's part, the three ultimately come to grips with their past.

WILL KIDS WANT TO SEE IT?
Unless they're fans of one of the three cast members or the film's director, it doesn't seem likely most will.
WHY THE MPAA RATED IT: R
For language and drug content.
CAST AS ROLE MODELS:
  • ETHAN HAWKE plays a smalltime drug dealer who's intent on dredging up some past sexual history between John and Amy. He also smokes a joint, drinks, uses strong profanity and snorts cocaine.
  • ROBERT SEAN LEONARD plays a filmmaker who's unknowingly drawn into Vince's plan to dredge up the past. He shares a joint with Vince, uses strong profanity and eventually admits to having forceful sex with Amy back in high school.
  • UMA THURMAN plays an assistant district attorney who dated both Vince and John in high school (and slept with the latter, but doesn't think he raped her).
  • 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 quick look at the content found in this R-rated drama. Profanity is listed as extreme due to the use of at least 30 "f" words, while other expletives and colorful phrases are also used. Sexually related dialogue is also present, regarding a sexual encounter ten years earlier in high school and whether it constituted date rape or not.

    One character is a drug dealer who drinks, smokes pot and snorts cocaine, and gets his friend to share a joint with him. He also has a bad attitude for dredging up a past deed not involving him and then badgering John and Amy about their sexual past. Beyond all of that and some minor violence (brief pushing and struggling), the rest of the film's categories have little or nothing in the way of major objectionable content. Nevertheless, if you're still concerned about the film's appropriateness for yourself or anyone else in your home, you may want to examine our detailed content listings more closely.


    ALCOHOL OR DRUG USE
  • Vince drinks a beer while pouring some down a drain, and then opens another, drinking it. Later, he punches a small hole in another can of beer and drinks from it, and then has another.
  • We hear that Vince is a drug dealer who supplies (among others) the fire chief at the station where he volunteers. John then comments on the chief needing to get "stoned."
  • Vince wants to get "high" with John, who initially refuses, but eventually shares a lit joint with him.
  • John complains that whenever Vince gets stoned and drunk, he always brings up the same subject.
  • John admits that he and Amy were drunk when they had sex back in high school.
  • Vince drinks another beer and then later snorts cocaine.
  • BLOOD/GORE
  • None.
  • DISRESPECTFUL/BAD ATTITUDE
  • Vince isn't respectful of the motel room he's in, throwing beer cans against the wall and jumping on the bed, etc.
  • We also hear that Vince is a drug dealer and then see him trying to dredge up a questionable deed from the past concerning John and Amy and then subjects both of them to discussing it.
  • Vince illegally - and secretly -- records John on tape (after getting him to confess about forcibly having sex with Amy).
  • John finally admits to date raping Amy, although she denies that's what really happened between them.
  • FRIGHTENING SCENES
  • Vince races to pack up his belongings and flush his stash as he thinks the police are approaching.
  • GUNS/WEAPONS
  • None.
  • IMITATIVE BEHAVIOR
  • Phrases: "F*ck you," "(You are) F*cked up," "F*ck off," "You're f*cking lying," "For Christ's f*cking sakes," "No f*cking way," "F*ck it," "Bullsh*t," "Giving you sh*t," "Stop being a d*ck," "Shut up," "Bitch," "Don't be a fag," "Screwing" (sexual), "My ass," "Talking out your ass," "Piss (him) off," "I'll kick your ass," "Don't be an asshole" and "Idiot."
  • Vince has various tattoos on his back.
  • Vince loudly belches.
  • Vince illegally - and secretly -- records John on tape (after getting him to confess about forcibly having sex with Amy).
  • JUMP SCENES
  • None.
  • MUSIC (SCARY/TENSE)
  • None.
  • MUSIC (INAPPROPRIATE)
  • None.
  • PROFANITY
  • At least 30 "f" words (1 used sexually as are the slang terms "screwing," "laid" and "put out"), 13 "s" words, 17 slang terms using male genitals ("d*ck"), 1 slang term using female genitals ("p*ssy"), 6 asses (3 used with "hole"), 2 hells, 1 crap, 1 damn, 4 uses of "God," 3 of "Jesus," 2 each of "For Christ's sakes" and "Oh Jesus" and 1 use each of "Oh God" and "Oh my God" as exclamations.
  • SEX/NUDITY
  • We see Vince in his boxers.
  • A comment is made about "screwing" a girl and later about "hope will get you laid."
  • Vince repeatedly asks how John and Amy slept together back in high school (wanting details). John then says that they had sex, prompting Vince to asks if it was good. John replies that he's had better since then and Vince then asks if it was on the rough side. John says it's hard to say since both of them were drunk and Vince then asks if was like date rape. After some more discussion, John admits that it was a bit rough, but that he's not proud of what happened.
  • John then admits that he verbally persuaded Amy to have sex and more talk then ensues about it being rough. Vince then says that John told Amy that if she didn't "put out," he'd tell others that she had VD, smelled bad or had a penis.
  • John eventually admits, "I pinned her arms back and stuck my d*ck in."
  • John comments to Amy about her not wanting to have sex with him when they were a couple back in high school and she later says that John didn't rape her.
  • When John thinks she's in denial over that and says that he put his hand over her mouth when they had sex, she says that she let's everyone do that.
  • SMOKING
  • None.
  • TENSE FAMILY SCENES
  • None.
  • TOPICS TO TALK ABOUT
  • What constitutes date rape (Vince eventually convinces John that he did that with Amy, but she doesn't think so).
  • Past behavior coming back to haunt you.
  • Vince dredging up the past and trying to get John to admit to date raping Amy and apologize to her.
  • VIOLENCE
  • Vince throws a beer can at John.
  • Vince pushes John backwards.
  • John and Vince struggle over control of an audiotape.



  • Reviewed October 25, 2001 / Posted November 16, 2001

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