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"RED DRAGON"
(2002) (Edward Norton, Anthony Hopkins) (R)

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


QUICK TAKE:
Horror/Suspense: A retired FBI agent returns to active duty and must enlist the aid of a former and now imprisoned collaborator in hopes of identifying and stopping a serial killer.
PLOT:
A serial killer is on the loose - having recently killed two families - and FBI agent Jack Crawford (HARVEY KEITEL) wants former agent Will Graham (EDWARD NORTON) to come out of retirement and apply his intrinsic expertise to the case. Graham is reluctant, however, and that's not just because he's now married to Molly (MARY-LOUISE PARKER) with whom he has a young son, Josh (TYLER PATRICK JONES).

It's also due to nearly being killed on his last case by forensic psychologist Hannibal Lecter (ANTHONY HOPKINS) who turned out to be a cannibalistic serial killer. Nevertheless, Jack thinks it would be a good idea to enlist Lecter's aid in cracking the current case and so Will heads off to the Baltimore mental asylum run by Dr. Chilton (ANTHONY HEALD) to meet his former collaborator.

Ever the wily psychopath, Lecter agrees, but generates just as many questions as answers and their meeting entices seedy reporter Freddy Lounds (PHILIP SEYMOUR HOFFMAN) to figure out what's going on. Little do they know that the killer is Francis Dolarhyde (RALPH FIENNES), a video technician who has a serious mental problem in that he believes a William Blake painting is controlling his life.

When that's not occurring, he's seeing Reba McClane (EMILY WATSON), a blind darkroom worker who's oblivious to his behavior but senses that he's a kindred spirit to her in having to overcome a own physical debility and being "different."

With time running out before the next scheduled killing, Jack, Will and fellow agent Lloyd Bowman (KEN LEUNG) try to crack the case, all while dealing with Lecter's unique way of assisting them.

WILL KIDS WANT TO SEE IT?
If they're fans of any of the earlier Hannibal Lecter films or someone in the cast, it's a good bet they probably will.
WHY THE MPAA RATED IT: R
For violence, grisly images, language, some nudity and sexuality.
CAST AS ROLE MODELS:
  • ANTHONY HOPKINS plays a homicidal and cannibalistic psychopath who enjoys playing mind games with Will regarding finding the killer.
  • EDWARD NORTON plays a former FBI agent who's lured out of retirement to help solve a serial murder case. Diligent and observant, he eventually succeeds. He also uses profanity.
  • RALPH FIENNES plays another mentally unstable psychopath and serial killer who finds a soft spot for Reba.
  • HARVEY KEITEL plays the veteran agent who convinces Will to help on the case. He uses strong profanity.
  • EMILY WATSON plays a blind darkroom technician who grows fond of Francis but is unaware of his true behavior. She briefly fools around with him.
  • MARY-LOUISE PARKER plays Will's wife who's not happy that he's come out of retirement to work on another potentially dangerous case.
  • PHILIP SEYMOUR HOFFMAN plays a seedy photo journalist trailing Will's work.
  • ANTHONY HEALD plays the smarmy warden who's in control of Lecter.
  • KEN LEUNG plays another FBI agent assisting Will and Jack on the case.
  • 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 R-rated thriller. Profanity consists of at least 5 "f" words, while other expletives and colorful phrases are present. Some sexually related dialogue is spoken, female to male oral sex is suggested (after some groping), while nonsexual male frontal and rear nudity is present as is a brief glimpse of bare breasts and scantily clad women and men.

    Violence consists of several people being killed by psychopaths (via gunshot and one being burned), non-lethal fighting and various visual results of two families being murdered. Some of the violence and other visuals are bloody and those scenes and others may be disturbing and/or suspenseful to viewers.

    The various killers have extreme bad attitudes, various characters drink, and one smokes. If you're still concerned about the film and its appropriateness for yourself or anyone else in your home who may be interested in seeing it, we suggest that you take a closer look at our detailed listings for more specific information regarding the film's content.


    ALCOHOL OR DRUG USE
  • Lecter pours wine for various people at a gathering.
  • Reba invites Francis in for a drink, but we see her preparing coffee.
  • A minor character pours himself a drink.
  • Reba holds a beer and then quickly downs some of it.
  • Lecter has wine with dinner.
  • BLOOD/GORE
  • It's suggested that Lecter has killed a man and that others are eating his flesh in a meal that Lecter has prepared.
  • We briefly and partially see a bloody wound on a man's shirt (along with the knife used to stab him after hearing its squishy sounds in him), while the assailant has blood from where arrows have been jabbed into his side and then bloody bullet hole wounds in his shirt after he's been shot.
  • We see various instances of great quantities of dried blood in a crime scene house (blood on mattresses, headboards, walls, and trails on the carpet, etc.).
  • We see various photographs of the bloody murder victims and blood on the floor and wall.
  • We see color slides of women whose eyes are missing from their bloody eye sockets (with blood on and down their faces as well).
  • The killer bites down onto a man's face (we don't see the actual contact) and then stands upright with blood all over his mouth and then spits out what looks like the victim's bloody lip.
  • Francis kills a man by shooting him point blank in the forehead (we see a small bloody bullet hole there).
  • A person appears to shoot himself off camera and blood splatters onto another person's face. That person then feels the victim's very bloody face.
  • We see that Josh has wet his pants (that are wet and there's urine on the floor beneath him).
  • People who've been shot and stabbed are bloody.
  • We see several bloody bullet hole wounds as they occur on a person's head.
  • DISRESPECTFUL/BAD ATTITUDE
  • The various killers all obviously have extreme cases of bad attitudes.
  • We hear flashback audio of a grandmother being mean to her grandson.
  • Lecter makes it known that he doesn't believe in or doesn't like God.
  • Freddy is a seedy reporter who stoops to any level to get a story.
  • FRIGHTENING SCENES
  • Scenes listed under "Violence" and "Blood/Gore" could also be unsettling or suspenseful to viewers, as are scenes where various people (especially Reba) are in Hannibal or the killer's company where we know he's the killer, but the others don't.
  • It's suggested that Lecter has killed a man and that others are eating his flesh in a meal that Lecter has prepared.
  • Graham slowly goes through a murder scene house at night with just a flashlight (and he sees a great deal of dried blood in various parts of the house).
  • After we hear that Molly and Josh might be in danger, she's awakened at night by a sound in the house and then sees that someone's at her bedroom door (it turns out to be Josh).
  • The killer has a man apparently glued to a wheelchair and then intimidates and attacks him (we hear the victim screaming and then hear audio playback of that as well).
  • We see a burning body traveling down a road in a wheelchair (with both fully engulfed in flames).
  • Francis becomes more mentally unbalanced and converses with a painting of the red dragon, pleading for it to spare Reba's life. He then takes out a shotgun and then puts it into his mouth, but removes it after a few moments (all accompanied by suspenseful music).
  • Francis pours gasoline all around a room, holds a shotgun on another person and then lights the room on fire.
  • The conclusion of the film, where the hero slowly searches through a house and the killer threatens and fights with various people (including the former with a boy) will probably be tense and suspenseful to viewers.
  • GUNS/WEAPONS
  • Knives/Guns/Shotguns: Worn, carried or used to threaten or kill others. See "Violence" for details.
  • Will has Molly practice shooting a handgun.
  • IMITATIVE BEHAVIOR
  • Phrases: "F*ck you," "Bullsh*t," "Freak," "Ass wipe," "Guaran-damn-tee it," "Shut up," "You filthy little beast," "Retarded," "Pain in the ass," "Pissed off," "Bastard," "Dirt sandwich," "Creep," "Loser," "Scumbag," "What the hell is that?" "I have a serious marshmallow Jones" (erection, but used in a nonsexual context), "You pissed your pants," "You little freak" and "You little faggot."
  • Molly wears a midriff-revealing top.
  • Francis has a large and intricate tattoo that covers his entire back and some of his buttocks.
  • JUMP SCENES
  • A man suddenly stabs another man.
  • Sudden music accompanied by the flash of an image might startle some viewers.
  • A man suddenly attacks another man.
  • A man suddenly shoots another man dead.
  • MUSIC (SCARY/TENSE)
  • An extreme amount of suspenseful and ominous music plays throughout the film.
  • MUSIC (INAPPROPRIATE)
  • None
  • PROFANITY
  • At least 5 "f" words, 4 "s" words, 1 slang term using male genitals ("pr*ck"), 4 damns, 4 hells, 2 asses, 2 S.O.B.s, 5 uses of "Oh my God," 3 each of "G-damn" and "Oh God," 2 of "Christ" and 1 use each of "Jesus" and "Oh Jesus" as exclamations.
  • SEX/NUDITY
  • We see a bare-breasted woman in a very old black and white photograph, while a classic sketch/drawing shows male full frontal nudity.
  • Jack tells Graham that they typed the killer's blood type through semen found at the crime scene.
  • We see Molly in a bikini top.
  • We see a split-second flashback image of a rape victim's bare breasts.
  • Chilton says that getting info out of Lecter would be a publisher's "wet dream."
  • Will watches home video footage from the deceased family and the husband's camera work focuses on the wife's bikini top.
  • Reba refers to a coworker who hits on her as a "walking hard-on."
  • Will and Jack purposefully feed lies to Freddy about the killer (to infuriate the latter) including that he sexually molests his male victims and that there was incest in his family.
  • We see Freddy in his underwear.
  • We see Francis' bare butt (that has tattoos on it) as well as nearly a full frontal view as he turns (we see his bare thigh and the side of his groin).
  • After briefly kissing him, Reba sits next to Francis on a couch as he watches a home video collection of his next intended victims (being blind, she has no idea what he's watching). He then looks down to her clothed chest (as does the camera) as the videotape shows cleavage on the part of the mother in several scenes (including a bikini that shows a lot). She then snuggles up next to him and puts her hand on his clothed crotch (saying, "Oh my God" in response to what she feels). She then kisses down his body and we see her head disappear out of the frame as we see just his facial reaction to her apparently performing oral sex on him.
  • The next morning, we see him waking up in bed and it's implied that she slept there as we see her outside. We see several shots of his bare butt as well as a brief and partial full frontal view as he runs up some stairs while nude.
  • SMOKING
  • Freddy smokes once.
  • TENSE FAMILY SCENES
  • Will's family is put into peril in several scenes.
  • TOPICS TO TALK ABOUT
  • Serial killers and those who try to catch them.
  • Mental illness.
  • Being blind.
  • VIOLENCE
  • It's suggested that Lecter has killed a man and that others are eating his flesh in a meal that Lecter has prepared.
  • Lecter suddenly stabs Graham and then grabs his arm with which Graham has drawn his gun. Graham appears to be fatally wounded and Lecter says that he's going to cut out his heart, but Graham then jabs some long arrows into Lecter's side. The latter stumbles backwards but then comes back at Graham who shoots him several times (both appear dead and are bloody, but are later seen alive).
  • We see various instances of great quantities of dried blood in a crime scene house (blood on mattresses, headboards, walls and the carpet, etc.) all from several murders that we do not see (although we hear that the father was stabbed, the mother and children shot, and the mother raped before she died from her wounds - we also hear that broken mirror glass was put into their eye sockets after they were dead).
  • Graham pushes Freddy back against a vehicle in anger.
  • A man is partially pulled into a van and struggles until his body goes limp.
  • The killer bites down onto a man's face (we don't see the actual contact) and then stands upright with blood all over his mouth and then spits out what looks like the victim's bloody lip.
  • We see a burning body traveling down a road in a wheelchair (with both fully engulfed in flames).
  • Francis hits a woman over the head and knocks her unconscious before destroying a rare and valuable piece of art (by tearing and eating it). He then apparently does something to another woman who walks in on that, but we don't see or know what that is.
  • Francis kills a man by shooting him point blank in the forehead and then puts a cloth over Reba's mouth. She struggles, but it renders her unconscious.
  • Francis pours gasoline all around a room, holds a shotgun on another person and then lights the room on fire.
  • A person appears to shoot himself off camera and blood splatters onto another person's face.
  • A burning house explodes and knocks down several people outside it.
  • A man holds a shard of glass to a boy's face and then throws him aside.
  • Two men struggle with one pushing the other backwards, trying to slice him with a knife and then doing so across his chest. The second man then stabs a knife into the first man's leg.
  • A man tries to break through a door.
  • Two men end up shooting each other through a door (both are bloody).
  • A person shoots another person several times in the head.



  • Reviewed October 1, 2002 / Posted October 4, 2002

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