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"ANTWONE FISHER"
(2002) (Derek Luke, Denzel Washington) (PG-13)

Alcohol/
Drugs
Blood/Gore Disrespectful/
Bad Attitude
Frightening/
Tense Scenes
Guns/
Weapons
Mild Mild Extreme Moderate Heavy
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
Heavy Minor Heavy Moderate Heavy


QUICK TAKE:
Drama: A Navy psychiatrist tries to help a young, but troubled sailor with his various issues, including a disturbing childhood that still torments him.
PLOT:
Antwone Fisher (DEREK LUKE) is a 24-year-old sailor in the U.S. Pacific Fleet who has a problematic attitude that's resulted in various fights, including with fellow sailor Grayson (RAINOLDO GOODING). Accordingly, their commander demotes him and then sends him to see staff psychiatrist Jerome Davenport (DENZEL WASHINGTON) who has just three sessions to figure out what's troubling the young man and make a recommendation about what to do.

At first, Antwone isn't keen on participating and doesn't want to talk about himself or what's eating at him. Yet, Jerome's patience eventually pays off and the sailor begins to open up. He explains that he was born in prison after his father was murdered, and that he and two other boys were raised by Mrs. Tate (NOVELLA NELSON), a script disciplinarian and preacher's wife who didn't like and often beat all of them.

Such beatings and intimidation obviously scarred Antwone as a boy, as did sexual abuse at the hands of an older girl. That's left him unsure of how to act around young women his age, although he does start seeing Cheryl (JOY BRYANT) who works in the Navy base bookstore. He also gets closer to Jerome and his wife Berta (SALLI RICHARDSON), although that begins to make the psychiatrist worry that Antwone is becoming too dependent on him.

Accordingly, he tells Antwone that the only way for him to come to terms with his past is to find his real family and let them know how he feels about them, himself and both the past and present. After some hesitation and more sessions with Jerome that reveal more facts about what shaped him into the man he is today, Antwone and Cheryl then set out to do just that, eventually leading him to meet his mother, Eva (VIOLA DAVIS).

WILL KIDS WANT TO SEE IT?
Teens might be interested in it, as might anyone who's a fan of someone in the cast.
WHY THE MPAA RATED IT: PG-13
For violence, language and mature thematic material involving abuse.
CAST AS ROLE MODELS:
  • DEREK LUKE plays a troubled sailor with a bad attitude who eventually lets Davenport in on his past and thus begins the healing process. He eventually loses his bad attitude and short temper. He also uses some profanity and eventually loses his virginity to Cheryl.
  • DENZEL WASHINGTON plays a Navy psychiatrist who sets out to help Antwone accept and overcome his troubled past and ends up befriending the young man as well.
  • JOY BRYANT plays the young woman who likes Antwone and eventually helps him on his quest to find his real family. She also has sex with him.
  • SALLI RICHARDSON plays Jerome's wife who has some brief issues with him and the fact that they don't have kids.
  • NOVELLA NELSON plays Antwone's mean-spirited foster mother who routinely beat him and his foster siblings.
  • VIOLA DAVIS plays Jerome's biological mother who gave birth to him in prison and then never claimed him when she was released.
  • RAINOLDO GOODING plays another sailor with a bad attitude who picks fights with Antwone and uses 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 drama that's been rated PG-13. Profanity consists of at least 3 "f" words, while other expletives and colorful phrases are also present. Some sexually related dialogue is present, as are several sexual encounters (mostly off-screen, including between young adults as well as a young woman making a young boy perform sexual behavior on her). Some scantily clad dancers are also seen.

    Violence includes two fatal shootings (one occurring just off camera with resultant blood splatter), some fighting and a foster mother beating her young charges. Some of that material could be unsettling for some viewers, while those involved with that and other behavior have varying degrees of bad attitudes.

    Tense family material is present in several forms, while a few characters drink and one smokes. Should you still be concerned about the film's appropriateness for yourself or anyone else in your home, you may want to look more closely at our detailed listings for more specific information regarding the film's content.

    For those concerned with bright flashes of light on the screen, some strobe-like effects are briefly present in a scene set in a bar in Mexico.


    ALCOHOL OR DRUG USE
  • The Davenports have wine with dinner.
  • Various people have drinks, including Antwone who has a beer.
  • People have wine with their Thanksgiving meal.
  • BLOOD/GORE
  • Antwone's friend attempts to rob a convenience store at gunpoint and points a handgun at the cashier. That man then draws his own weapon and shoots the friend in the head, killing him. We don't see the impact, but do see the blood splatter on Antwone's face and the area around him.
  • DISRESPECTFUL/BAD ATTITUDE
  • Antwone has a bad, defiant and confrontational attitude as the story begins.
  • We see various flashbacks to Antwone's foster mother, Mrs. Tate, being incredibly mean to him and his foster brothers. In one scene, she has the boys kneeling and with their hands tied behind them to a pole. She then uses a wet towel to strike them. Later, we see her holding a burning roll of paper at young Antwone's face as he's bound in a similar fashion. In another scene, she takes the money he earned while working and refers to him as "retarded."
  • Antwone lies to Cheryl about seeing Davenport, but later tells her the truth.
  • Another sailor, Grayson, has it out for Antwone and repeatedly picks on and/or belittles him in several scenes (including calling him "faggot" -- resulting in fights).
  • An older teen/young woman forces young Antwone (6 years old) to perform some sort of sexual behavior with her (we hear, but don't see the encounter).
  • We hear that Antwone's mother never claimed him after being released from prison where she gave birth to him.
  • FRIGHTENING SCENES
  • Scenes listed under "Violence" might also be unsettling or disturbing for some viewers.
  • In a flashback, Mrs. Tate has the boys kneeling and with their hands tied behind them to a pole. She then uses a wet towel to strike them. Later, we see her holding a burning roll of paper at young Antwone's face as he's bound in a similar fashion.
  • There's talk that a boy in foster home was raped by his foster mother's boyfriend.
  • Antwone's friend attempts to rob a convenience store at gunpoint and points a handgun at the cashier. That man then draws his own weapon and shoots the friend in the head, killing him. We don't see the impact, but do see the blood splatter on Antwone's face and the area around him.
  • GUNS/WEAPONS
  • We see a split-second image of something and then hear a gunshot (explained in a later scene).
  • We see a flashback to a woman shooting a man with a shotgun and his body falling down some stairs.
  • Handguns: Used by a friend of Antwone's in an attempt to rob a store and then by the clerk to shoot that guy dead.
  • IMITATIVE BEHAVIOR
  • Phrases: "F*ck you," "F*ck me?" "What are you reading that sh*t for?" "Why are you always talking sh*t?" "Can't fight for sh*t," "Nigger" (or variations thereof said many times by black people), "Shut up," "Nut house," "Hell, yeah," "Shut your crabby ass up," "Retarded," "Honkies" (white people), "Sit your ass down," "Bitch," "Faggot" and "Knucklehead."
  • In a flashback, a boy purposefully and playfully pours a jar of grasshoppers down another boy's shirt.
  • Women wear midriff-revealing tops.
  • JUMP SCENES
  • None.
  • MUSIC (SCARY/TENSE)
  • A mild amount of such music plays in the film.
  • MUSIC (INAPPROPRIATE)
  • None.
  • PROFANITY
  • At least 3 "f" words, 4 "s" words, 6 asses, 4 damns, 2 hells, 1 S.O.B., and 1 use each of "Jesus," "My God" and "Oh my God" as exclamations.
  • SEX/NUDITY
  • Berta shows some cleavage in several scenes.
  • We see some scantily clad women (showing cleavage and more) dancing while Antwone and his crewmates are on shore leave in Mexico. A person then says what sounded like a comment about a local woman wanting to "mate." Another sailor, Grayson, picks on Antwone about being a virgin and inferring that Antwone is gay (after Antwone says "F*ck you," Grayson says "F*ck me? With all these women in here, you want me?").
  • Antwone tells Davenport that others were joking about him being a virgin (above). Davenport asks if he is and Antwone says he doesn't know. Davenport then wonders if he likes men rather than women, but Antwone says he likes women. He then wonders if Antwone just doesn't like sex, but Antwone says he does and that he thinks about it all of the time. He then says that he was with a woman when he was young.
  • We then see a flashback to a young Antwone (6 years old) being left home alone with Nadine, an older teen/young woman. She then slaps Antwone on the face, pushes him with her finger and makes him kiss her. She then tells him to get into the basement and "drop them" (meaning his pants). We then hear her slap him again and tell him to pull them down, along with "Pull them over my feet." We then hear that and hear her saying "Touch me" and "Kiss me." He eventually flees the home shirtless, so we don't know what actually happened, but a friend then asks him if she "did it again" and Antwone nods that she did.
  • Antwone states that he's nearly 25 and still a virgin and comments about that above woman wanting to be seen naked.
  • Cheryl kisses Antwone on the cheek and removes his coat in a hotel room, prompting him to say that he hasn't done this before. She gently silences him and there's some tender kissing between them. That turns passionate and we then later see Cheryl waking up in the bed (suggesting that they had sex).
  • Antwone informs Davenport that he's no longer a virgin and Davenport replies that he's happy to hear that.
  • SMOKING
  • A man smokes a cigar.
  • TENSE FAMILY SCENES
  • Antwone states that he never had parents and we later learn that his father was killed before he was born in prison and that he was put in an orphanage (and that his mother never came back for him when she was released).
  • Jerome and his wife have a few tense family moments regarding an aspect of their marriage and what's missing from it.
  • We see various flashback scenes that show tense moments regarding Antwone's foster mother being mean to him and other foster children.
  • Antwone finally meets his mom (she's shocked to see him and the meeting isn't particularly happy).
  • TOPICS TO TALK ABOUT
  • How one's past affects you, but also how you can overcome it.
  • Davenport talking about the violence in black families that's passed down due to slave mentality.
  • Davenport telling Antwone he has every right to be angry about the way he was treated in the past, but that he should use that energy in a positive fashion to better himself.
  • Life in the Navy.
  • Psychiatrists.
  • VIOLENCE
  • Antwone suddenly punches another sailor for what he thought was a racial slur and is then at his neck before being pulled away. He then comes at him again, but is restrained.
  • We see a flashback to a woman shooting a man with a shotgun and his body falling down some stairs.
  • In a flashback, Mrs. Tate has the boys kneeling and with their hands tied behind them to a pole. She then uses a wet towel to strike them. Later, we see her holding a burning roll of paper at young Antwone's face as he's bound in a similar fashion.
  • In a flashback, Mrs. Tate starts to hit an older Antwone with a shoe, but he stops her.
  • Antwone and another sailor get into a confrontation, start pushing each other and then have to be separated.
  • After Grayson suggests that Antwone's gay, Antwone rushes him, driving the sailor to the floor where punches are thrown before they're separated.
  • An older teen/young woman slaps young Antwone on the face and then pushes him with her finger. We then hear her slap him again.
  • Antwone's friend attempts to rob a convenience store at gunpoint and points a handgun at the cashier. That man then draws his own weapon and shoots the friend in the head, killing him. We don't see the impact, but do see the blood splatter on Antwone's face and the area around him.



  • Reviewed November 18, 2002 / Posted December 20, 2002

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