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"IMPOSTOR"
(2002) (Gary Sinise, Madeleine Stowe) (PG-13)

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


QUICK TAKE:
Sci-fi: After being accused of being an assassin with a bomb planted in his chest, a scientist goes on the run and tries to prove that he's really himself rather than a synthetic duplicate.
PLOT:
It's the year 2079 and Earth is under attack from the Centaurians, invaders from a distant solar system that want to conquer Earth. As a result, most well-to-do Earthlings live under protective electromagnetic domes that shield them from the relentless attacks, while agents from the Earth Security Agency, such as Major D.H. Hathaway (VINCENT D'ONOFRIO) of the enemy infiltration unit, are on the lookout for synthetic human "replicants."

They're beings who look, act and think just like the real people they've replaced, unaware that they're really assassins equipped with bombs in their chests programmed to kill important political figures. Hathaway believes that Spencer Olham (GARY SINISE) is one of them who's targeted to terminate a visiting Chancellor. A respected scientist with the Defense Bureau who's designed a massive and potent military weapon with his friend and colleague, Nelson (TONY SHALHOUB), Spencer can't believe the accusation and claims he's the real person.

Hathaway disagrees and is ready to kill him to remove the bomb. Thus, Spencer escapes and suddenly turns into public enemy number one. He ends up in the Dead Zone outside the protective city dome and finds himself at the mercy of street dweller Cale (MEKHI PHIFER), who agrees to assist him in exchange for access to valuable pharmaceutical drugs.

As the unlikely partners make their way back into the city and to the hospital where Spencer's wife, Maya (MADELEINE STOWE), works as a doctor and administrator, Spencer hopes to run a medical scan that will prove his innocence, all while trying to avoid Hathaway and his troops who are determined to catch and/or kill him.

WILL KIDS WANT TO SEE IT?
If they're into sci-fi or are fans of anyone in the cast, it's a good bet they just might.
WHY THE MPAA RATED IT: PG-13
For intense sci-fi violence, some sensuality and language.
CAST AS ROLE MODELS:
  • GARY SINISE plays a scientist of the future who goes on the run after being accused of being a synthetic replicant sent to assassinate a political leader. He briefly uses strong profanity and kills several people in self-defense.
  • MADELINE STOWE plays his doctor wife who's concerned about his well-being because of that.
  • VINCENT D'ONOFRIO plays the government agent assigned to find and kill the synthetic replicant and has no problems killing a few innocent people to achieve his goals.
  • MEKHI PHIFER plays a street dweller who roughs up Spencer a bit before agreeing to help him in exchange for some life saving pharmaceuticals for his people. He also fights with some people along the way.
  • 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 sci-fi thriller that's been rated PG-13. Profanity consists of at least 1 "f" word, while various other expletives and colorful phrases are also used. A married couple is seen having sex (in various head and shoulders shots that show movement, include some related sounds and show the two alternating being on top), while a man's bare butt is briefly seen in the reflection of some glass as he showers.

    Violence includes several characters being shot to death (with some bloody results), a large explosion that kills many people (the deaths are not explicit), other lethal sci-fi violence (spaceships being destroyed, video playback just off camera of huge drills tearing open a man's chest to remove his heart, etc.) and non-lethal fighting and striking of individuals (some of which have bloody results). A few other moments, including a brief surgical procedure, might be cringe inducing for the squeamish.

    Some of those scenes may be suspenseful to some viewers (as a great deal of suspenseful and ominous music plays), while various characters in them have varying degrees of bad attitudes. Should you still be concerned about the film and its appropriateness for yourself or anyone else in your home who may want to see it, we suggest that you more closely examine our detailed listings for more specific information about the film's content.


    ALCOHOL OR DRUG USE
  • Although no actual use occurs, the following comments/material are present.
  • Spencer reminds Nelson about his wedding where Nelson got "piss drunk."
  • Spencer offers to get Cale various pharmaceutical grade drugs for his help and Cale agrees (although he turns out to be neither a user nor a dealer - he wants medicine to help the sick).
  • BLOOD/GORE
  • We briefly see a shot of a man with some minor wounds on his face.
  • While shaking his hand, Hathaway causes something to protrude from his sleeve and impale Spencer on his hand (with a tiny bit of blood coming out).
  • We see recorded "video" footage of another supposed replicant with a large, spinning blade assembly above his bare chest. We then see Spencer's reaction to watching this as we hear it drill into the man's chest and hear his screams. We then see the man's removed and bloody heart that then breaks open to reveal a bomb inside.
  • Spencer has a little bit of blood on his face and neck after a fight. We later see him with some blood from his nose as well as some on his fingertips after he touches his face.
  • After Spencer shoots three men in self-defense, we see some blood on them as well as the elevator car in which they're located.
  • We see a young girl with bloody sores/wounds on her face.
  • We see a rag being wrung out in some bloody water, and then see a "doctor" taking a scalpel to a man's back (we briefly see the cutting and some blood) so that she can remove a tracking/ID device (that we see being removed - and it's bloody -- from the somewhat bloody surgical wound that's then instantly healed with some sort of device). We then see that tracking device being retrieved from a bowl of bloody water.
  • Cale has some minor scrapes and a bit of a bloody lip after a fight.
  • Spencer opens a body bag and we briefly see a dead man's bloody face.
  • Spencer has some blood on his forehead after holding a bloody rag there.
  • As a machine scans Spencer's body, we see the results of a previous scan that show alternating images of his regular self, as well as that of his skeleton and meaty looking muscular structure.
  • We see a few bloody patients in a hospital.
  • Cale has some blood on his hand that covers a stomach wound (that isn't seen).
  • Spencer has some more blood on his head.
  • We see a few dead bodies that have some minor bits of blood on them, and we see a bloody knife that presumably was used to kill at least one of them.
  • Blood squirts out as a person is shot in the back.
  • DISRESPECTFUL/BAD ATTITUDE
  • The Centaurians obviously have both for attacking Earth and killing many people, but we never see them (or many of their attacks for that matter).
  • Nelson states in disbelief that his son wants to be in Waste Management when he grows up, prompting Spencer to joke that he must be a little "slow."
  • We hear that Hathaway killed various innocent people when trying to find his first replicant (and has no remorse for doing so), and we see him purposefully shoot a guard so that he can try to get Spencer.
  • FRIGHTENING SCENES
  • Scenes listed under "Violence" and/or "Blood/Gore" may also be tense or unsettling to some viewers, as might various cat and mouse chase scenes and/or close calls that occur throughout the film. That said, probably only the very young or those who are squeamish or have low tolerance levels for "suspense" will find those scenes and the following that way.
  • We see recorded "video" footage of another supposed replicant with a large, spinning blade assembly above his bare chest. We then see Spencer's reaction to watching this as we hear it drill into the man's chest and hear his screams.
  • Strapped to a chair, Spencer starts to act like he's the "live bomb" he's accused of being (stating that he's going to detonate, etc.).
  • Guards come rushing toward Spencer in some sort of tunnel, but it turns out to be just a hallucination.
  • Spencer tries to avoid various guards in a dilapidated building as they come looking for him.
  • Spencer grabs Cale's gun and then approaches Hathaway as if prepared to shoot him, but does something else instead.
  • The revelation at the end of the film - regarding people's identities - might be somewhat unsettling to some viewers.
  • GUNS/WEAPONS
  • Handguns/Automatic Weapons/Bombs/Knife/Metal rods and/or pipes: Carried and/or used to threaten, wound or kill people. See "Violence" for details.
  • IMITATIVE BEHAVIOR
  • Phrases: "You crazy f*ck," "What the hell /are you doing/is happening to you?" "Blow us all to hell," "Piss drunk," "Don't screw with me" and "Get the hell out of here."
  • JUMP SCENES
  • Some sort of object pops out from a medicine cabinet when Spencer opens the door.
  • As accompanied by a sudden sound, Cale suddenly passes in front of Spencer (and the camera).
  • MUSIC (SCARY/TENSE)
  • An extreme amount of suspenseful and ominous music plays during the film.
  • MUSIC (INAPPROPRIATE)
  • None.
  • PROFANITY
  • At least 1 "f" word, 2 "s" words, 3 hells, 1 S.O.B., 3 uses of G-damn and 1 use each of "Christ," "God," "Jesus Christ," "My God," "Oh God" and "Swear to God" as exclamations.
  • SEX/NUDITY
  • We see Spencer and Maya in bed, apparently having sex (shot in more of a sensual rather than pornographic manner). We first see them from a somewhat long shot, and then see various head and shoulders shots of them alternating being on top, with some kissing, nuzzling, related sounds, hands caressing a bare back, and some pleasured facial expressions (but no explicit nudity). At several other times in the film, we see brief flashbacks of those head and shoulders shots.
  • We very briefly see the reflection of Spencer's bare butt in some glass as he showers (as well as seeing a full shot of him from his head down to a few inches below his navel).
  • Maya shows a little bit of cleavage.
  • As Spencer and Maya commute to work, they see a young couple making out, as well as a mother breastfeeding her child (we see part of her bare breast).
  • Nelson jokes that when Spencer meets a chancellor later that night, he should cup her right buttock with his right hand and jiggle it really fast, stating that she likes that.
  • SMOKING
  • None.
  • TENSE FAMILY SCENES
  • We briefly see a flashback scene of Spencer as a boy at his father's funeral.
  • TOPICS TO TALK ABOUT
  • How times and viewpoints have changed since author Philip K. Dick wrote the original story.
  • Whether "synthetic" beings could ever be confused for the real thing.
  • What life will be like in the year 2079.
  • VIOLENCE
  • We see brief and non-bloody views of various spacecraft being destroyed in a conflict, as well as that of decimated cities from previous violence.
  • While shaking his hand, Hathaway causes something to protrude from his sleeve and impale Spencer on his hand (with a tiny bit of blood coming out), causing him some pain.
  • We see recorded "video" footage of another supposed replicant with a large, spinning blade assembly above his bare chest. We then see Spencer's reaction to watching this as we hear it drill into the man's chest and hear his screams.
  • As two men escort Spencer over to a device that will kill him, he suddenly breaks free, grabs a knife-like object and apparently strikes one man with it and hits/kicks the other. He then grabs a guard's gun and holds it to the man's head, with Hathaway and another man then aiming their guns at him. Hathaway then shoots the guard dead and then tries to shoot Spencer as he escapes.
  • As an elevator door opens, Spencer sees a guard pulling his gun and so opens fire on him and two other men, killing all three (with some bloody results).
  • Spencer kicks through some glass to enter a building.
  • We see various guards struggling with and/or hitting some street dwellers. We then see then knocking a door open and grabbing some people.
  • Some men grab Spencer and put a bag over his head. They then slam him into a chain link fence and then throw him to the floor (with his hands cuffed behind him).
  • Cale pushes Spencer along (while he's still cuffed), punches him in the back, and then holds a handgun to his head.
  • Cale briefly holds his gun to Spencer's head while wanting the truth from him.
  • A large metal pipe comes flipping through the air and strikes Cale in the chest, briefly stunning him. Three men then approach him and Spencer, with two trying to attack him and one going after Cale. Some fighting (punching, kicking and striking or attempting to strike others with pipes and boards) then ensues. After Cale kicks someone in the face and then has the same done to him, and Spencer hits someone with a board, one of the men starts to strangle Spencer, with another then doing the same to Cale (after someone tries to shoot him with a gun, but the safety is on). The latter, however, manages to raise his gun and shoot -- and apparently kill -- the one strangling Spencer (with the others then running away after one is flipped over).
  • Cale pushes Spencer back into some sort of fence.
  • Some guards push people around and throw some to the floor.
  • Spencer breaks some glass and yanks out an alarm from a machine.
  • Spencer and Cale struggle with some men trying to subdue the former. Cale kicks one man, with more punching and kicking occurring. One man tries to shoot Spencer, but Cale grabs his arm, causing the gun to fire wildly in the room (but no one is hit). Cale then kicks that man, but another man then stabs him in the gut with a scalpel (wounding, but not killing him), causing Spencer to hit that man on the head with a gun, knocking him unconscious (just like the two other men).
  • A guard opens fire on Spencer with a handgun after a brief chase scene through a hospital.
  • We see a few dead bodies that have some minor bits of blood on them, and we see a bloody knife that presumably was used to kill at least one of them.
  • Blood squirts out as several people shoot a person in the back (killing them).
  • A large explosion kills many people (the deaths aren't explicitly seen).



  • Reviewed December 28, 2001 / Posted January 4, 2002

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