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"HARRISON'S FLOWERS"
(2002) (Andie MacDowell, Adrien Brody) (R)

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


QUICK TAKE:
Drama: After her photojournalist husband is reportedly killed in Yugoslavia, a woman travels to the war-torn country determined to prove that he's not dead and rescue him.
PLOT:
It's 1991 and Harrison Lloyd (DAVID STRATHAIRN) is a photojournalist for Newsweek who's just returned home from an overseas story to his wife, Sarah (ANDIE MacDOWELL), who also works for the publication, and their two kids, Cesar (SCOTT MICHAEL ANTON) and Margaux (QUINN SHEPHERD).

Harrison's long and repeated absences have put a strain on his relationship with Cesar, and he's informed his editor, Samuel Brubeck (ALUN ARMSTRONG), that he wants out of the business due to that and feeling that his luck of staying safe and/or alive in such hotspots has probably run out.

Nevertheless, Harrison, who spends his spare time caring for his flowers in the family's greenhouse, is sent to Yugoslavia to cover the recent unrest there, but promises to be back in time for Cesar's birthday. That never happens, however, as he's reportedly killed while on the job, although his body is never recovered.

Distraught at first, but believing she'd feel different if he truly was dead, Sarah refuses to accept the news that everyone else believes to be true. Accordingly, and after spotting what she thinks is a glimpse of Harrison in some new coverage, Sarah heads off to Yugoslavia. There, and after a brutal introduction to this foreign world, Sarah accepts the reluctant and skeptical aid of other photojournalists Yeager Pollack (ELIAS KOTEAS), Marc Stevenson (BRENDAN GLEESON) and Kyle Morris (ADRIEN BRODY) and sets out to find her husband.

WILL KIDS WANT TO SEE IT?
Unless they're a fan of someone in the cast, it doesn't seem likely that most kids will want to.
WHY THE MPAA RATED IT: R
For strong war violence and gruesome images, pervasive language and brief drug use.
CAST AS ROLE MODELS:
  • ANDIE MacDOWELL plays a wife whose deep-seated love for her husband causes her to travel to Yugoslavia to find him after he's reported dead. While witnessing horrific acts of brutality and savagery, she smokes, briefly uses drugs and some profanity, but never gives up on her quest.
  • DAVID STRATHAIRN plays her husband, a photojournalist who uses some profanity and ends up missing in Yugoslavia while on the job.
  • ADRIEN BRODY plays another photojournalist who doesn't like or appreciate those in the field who receive accolades or high salaries while others in similar situations don't. He smokes, does drugs and uses strong profanity, but assists Sarah in her quest.
  • BRENDAN GLEESON plays a colleague who becomes overwhelmed by the brutality but continues capturing all of it on film while also helping Sarah. He also uses strong profanity.
  • ELIAS KOTEAS plays another photojournalist and friend to Sarah and Harrison who reluctantly agrees to help her look for him despite believing Harrison to be dead.
  • ALUN ARMSTRONG plays Harrison's editor as Newsweek who uses strong profanity and feels bad about news of his death.
  • 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 drama. Violence is listed as extreme due to many people being executed or otherwise shot. Other wartime violence is present with property damage and more deaths. Many of them are bloody/gory and there are many sights of bloody bodies. Those scenes and others may be disturbing or suspenseful to viewers, and the perpetrators of such acts obviously have extreme cases of bad attitudes.

    Profanity consists of at least 66 uses of the "f" word, while many other expletives and colorful phrases are also uttered. Various characters drink and/or smoke, while some drug use (cocaine and pill popping) is also present. A married couple is partially and briefly seen having sex (or fooling around) while standing against a wall, while some tense family moments are also present (a father/son relationship is strained and a wife hears that her husband is dead, but soon doesn't believe that).

    Should you still be concerned about the film and its appropriateness for yourself or anyone else in your home, you may want to examine our detailed listings more closely for more specific content information.

    For those concerned with bright flashes of light on the screen, some of that occurs during scenes set in T-storms.


    ALCOHOL OR DRUG USE
  • While having some food, Sam asks Harrison if he wants a beer. Harrison replies that he's giving it up (his occupation), causing Sam to ask if he's referring to beer.
  • People have wine in front of them at a reception. We then see Kyle snorting some cocaine in the bathroom.
  • Kyle states that he'd kill "for a f*cking drink."
  • We see what look like many liquor bottles in the photojournalists' place.
  • Yeager and Sam have beer.
  • Some miscellaneous people drink in a basement while seeking refuge from a battle. Kyle then offers some sort of drugs (in pill form) to Sarah, saying that if there's ever an excuse to take drugs, this is it. He also says that they'll help her sleep and forget her hunger. Both then take them.
  • After seeing some horrible atrocities, Kyle takes a few more of his drugs (in pill form).
  • We see men celebrating and carrying bottles of liquor.
  • BLOOD/GORE
  • We see some photos of dead people, some of whom are bloody and/or have blood around them.
  • We see TV footage of a man being interviewed who has some bloody cuts around his eye, while that footage and other such moments occasionally show dead bodies on the ground.
  • Sarah's face is bloody after a soldier backhands her twice and cuts her face, while her passenger has some blood on his face. After he's shot, we then see a large bullet hole in his forehead (but not much blood).
  • We see a dead body with a very bloody head wound and a bloody hand.
  • Sarah comes across a pile of dead and bloody bodies behind a building.
  • An injured woman has some blood from her mouth, while a person hit in battle outside her building is somewhat bloody.
  • Kyle, Sarah and Marc come across a bus whose occupants were murdered. We thus see many dead and bloody bodies, including that of children and one young girl who was apparently raped and then shot in the head (Marc comments in disgust about that). Moments later, we hear Sarah vomiting, but don't see anything graphic.
  • The three see more dead and bloody bodies.
  • We hear and then see a soldier's urine stream as he relieves himself.
  • We see more dead and bloody bodies with blood on the wall above them.
  • We see more dead and bloody bodies.
  • A bullet hole wound is a bit bloody after a man is shot in the chest.
  • We see more dead or wounded and bloody people, with some blood around one person's head on the floor and a man's arm that looks burned and bloody.
  • DISRESPECTFUL/BAD ATTITUDE
  • Kyle has both toward Harrison and Yeager for being acclaimed photojournalists.
  • Those responsible for the violence and systematic execution of others obviously have extreme cases of both types of attitudes.
  • FRIGHTENING SCENES
  • Scenes listed under "Violence" and/or "Blood/Gore" may also be disturbing, tense or suspenseful to viewers.
  • We see several black and white photos of a man holding a gun quite close to another person's head before shooting them.
  • As Sarah comes to work, everyone looks at her in strange, confused and compassionate ways and we know that she's going to hear bad news about Harrison.
  • A sudden explosion goes off next to the car that Sarah's driving in Yugoslavia, causing her to lose control as other explosions go off nearby and bullets zip by. As she and her passenger try to get out, a tank then drives over the back of her car and soldiers then pull the two out and hold them at gunpoint. As they interrogate Sarah's passenger, she tries to intervene, causing one man to backhand her twice, bloodying her face. The soldier then shoots her passenger in the forehead and allows another soldier to attempt to rape Sarah (he throws her up onto the hood of a car and gets between her legs, but more nearby explosions and/or her bloody face make him think twice and he stops). He then pushes her back down to the car when he walks off, leaving her there alone in the middle of a war-torn area, with no car to get away.
  • Sarah, Kyle and Stevenson attempt to approach a checkpoint where various soldiers aim many weapons at them. Other than a warning shot fired in their direction, however, and some tense/suspenseful moments, they otherwise make it through okay.
  • The three prepare for a fast drive through about a mile of road where snipers are likely to fire upon them. As they do so and think they've made it, bullets then riddle their car and explosions go off around them. As they get out and race into a building, more explosions rock it.
  • Kyle, Sarah and Marc come across a bus whose occupants were murdered. We thus see many dead and bloody bodies, including that of children and one young girl who was apparently raped and then shot in the head (Marc comments in disgust about that).
  • Now joined by Yeager, Kyle, Sarah and Marc prepare to sneak across a grassy/brushy field - while heavily camouflaged - and try to avoid detection by snipers. As they do so, Sarah must freeze on the ground as she finds herself at an outpost where the sniper is coming down for a smoke and to relieve himself, just a few feet away from her. After some tense moments where he nearly sees her, she then flees as he heads back up to his post, but is then fired upon by another sniper and falls down a hill (but is otherwise unhurt).
  • The foursome then slowly makes their way through a large assembly of armed soldiers. They eventually make their way into a war-torn city where they see soldiers systematically execute the locals and occasionally threaten them as they take photos of that. Stevenson then begins to panic, eventually making a great deal of noise and running out into the street in harm's way.
  • One of the photographers is shot in the chest.
  • Sarah races through a hospital that's being bombed and evacuated, trying to see if any of the patients might be Harrison, and sees a blind man in a wheelchair trying to make his way out through the debris and chaos.
  • GUNS/WEAPONS
  • Handguns/Machine guns/Artillery/Tanks/Fighter jets: Seen, carried or used to threaten, wound or kill many people, or cause property damage. See "Violence" for details.
  • IMITATIVE BEHAVIOR
  • Phrases: "Don't f*cking touch me," "Go f*ck yourself," "Are you /out of your f*cking mind/f*cking insane?" "Where the f*ck did you find her?" "Not in your wildest f*cking dreams," "Get the f*ck up," "What the f*ck /are you doing/is that/do you know?" "We can't f*cking go there," "F*ck it," "We're f*cking dead," "F*ck face," "Bored sh*tless," "No one gives a sh*t about that," "Oh, sh*t," "They don't give a sh*t," "Sh*t list," "Cut the bullsh*t," "I'm not bullsh*tting," "Who gives a sh*t?" "Holy sh*t," "What the hell do you think?" "You really are a bastard," "Balls" (testicles) and "Bastards."
  • Kyle gives "the finger" to Harrison as he walks away.
  • JUMP SCENES
  • A sudden explosion goes off next to the car that Sarah's driving in Yugoslavia.
  • The sudden sound/impact of bullets and other explosives in certain scenes might startle some viewers.
  • MUSIC (SCARY/TENSE)
  • A mild amount of suspenseful music plays in the film.
  • MUSIC (INAPPROPRIATE)
  • None.
  • PROFANITY
  • At least 66 "f" words (1 seen written), 34 "s" words, 1 slang term using male genitals ("pr*cks"), 3 asses (2 used with "hole"), 2 hells, 1 damn, 1 S.O.B., 5 uses each of "G-damn" and "Oh my God," 2 of "Oh God" and 1 use each of "Christ," "For Christ's sakes," "For God's sakes," "God," "Jesus" and "Oh Jesus" as exclamations.
  • SEX/NUDITY
  • Sarah shows a bit of cleavage while lying in bed with Harrison (but no sexual activity is occurring).
  • Harrison playfully jumps out and grabs Sarah and he backs her up against a wall where they kiss. They then apparently have sex while standing (we see a torso and up shot of them) as we see some movement (but no nudity) and hear related sounds and heavy breathing. When she then goes to work shortly thereafter, everyone teasingly says how flushed and exhausted she looks, and they jokingly wonder if she's sick.
  • SMOKING
  • Both Sarah and Kyle smoke around 5 times each, while Sam smokes once, various miscellaneous characters smoke and Kyle bribes a soldier with cigarettes in one scene.
  • TENSE FAMILY SCENES
  • Harrison's extended absences have apparently put a strain on his relationship with his son, who's not particularly happy to see him when he returns from his latest assignment.
  • News that Harrison is dead obviously causes Sarah to grieve, but that doesn't last long as she becomes convinced that he's still alive.
  • TOPICS TO TALK ABOUT
  • The risk that photojournalists and other reporters take in reporting news from hot spots around the world.
  • The conflict in the former Yugoslavia.
  • Sarah's devotion to finding her husband.
  • Parents who are away from their kids for extended periods due to work demands.
  • VIOLENCE
  • We briefly see some news footage showing artillery being fired in a foreign country, while we also see several black and white photos of a man holding a gun quite close to another person's head before shooting them, of TV footage of men shooting guns in combat, and photos of dead people, some of whom are bloody and/or have blood around them.
  • We see more TV footage of men shooting guns in combat, as well as that of a man being interviewed who has some bloody cuts around his eye.
  • A sudden explosion goes off next to the car that Sarah's driving in Yugoslavia, causing her to lose control as other explosions go off nearby and bullets zip by. As she and her passenger try to get out, a tank then drives over the back of her car and soldiers then pull the two out and hold them at gunpoint. As they interrogate Sarah's passenger, she tries to intervene, causing one man to backhand her twice, bloodying her face. The soldier then shoots her passenger in the forehead and allows another soldier to attempt to rape Sarah (he throws her up onto the hood of a car and gets between her legs, but more nearby explosions and/or her bloody face make him think twice and he stops). He then pushes her back down to the car when he walks off.
  • Various explosions erupt in the building housing the photographers. More explosions follow along with gunfire going over their head as they race outside to take photos (where more nearby explosions knock some people down).
  • Kyle kicks open a door to retrieve Sarah as more explosions rip apart part of the above building.
  • More explosions blow various people through the air.
  • Stevenson's car explodes just as he manages to get out and far enough away from it not to be injured.
  • Sarah, Kyle and Stevenson attempt to approach a checkpoint where various soldiers aim many weapons at them. Other than a warning shot fired in their direction, however, they otherwise make it through okay.
  • Sarah comes across a pile of dead and bloody bodies behind a building.
  • The three prepare for a fast drive through about a mile of road where snipers are likely to fire upon them. As they do so and think they've made it, bullets then riddle their car and explosions go off around them. As they get out and race into a building, more explosions rock it. An injured woman inside it, with some blood from her mouth, dies.
  • Tanks and armed personnel then come by that building and fire upon others, with many of their men also being shot and falling to the ground (but without much noticeable blood).
  • More explosions go off near Sarah, Kyle and Marc, with jets flying over and apparently dropping some bombs.
  • Kyle, Sarah and Marc come across a bus whose occupants were murdered. We thus see many dead and bloody bodies, including that of children and one young girl who was apparently raped and then shot in the head (Marc comments in disgust about that).
  • The three see more dead and bloody bodies.
  • We see more dead and bloody bodies with blood on the wall above them.
  • After some tense moments where a sniper nearly sees Sarah who's trying to sneak past him, she then flees as he heads back up to his post, but is then fired upon by another sniper and falls down a hill (but is otherwise unhurt).
  • Yeager, Kyle, Sarah and Marc slowly make their way through a bombed out town where they see several people hanging dead by their feet, as well as bodies lying everywhere. A person then runs out and shoots two people in the back. They then see another man take a woman out and shoot her in the head. A person shoots another with a machine gun. A group of people, including kids, is herded into a building where a man then throws a grenade or something similar, resulting in a deadly explosion (we only see this from the outside and don't see the immediate results). Another person is shot dead.
  • A sniper shoots a man in the chest, mortally wounding him.
  • Sarah and others run through the street as explosions go off around them there and in a hospital.



  • Reviewed February 18, 2002 / Posted March 15, 2002

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