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"CITY OF GHOSTS"
(2003) (Matt Dillon, James Caan) (R)

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


QUICK TAKE:
Drama: After fleeing from the U.S. following an insurance scam, a con artist tries to find his mentor in Cambodia where little is what it actually seems and few can be trusted.
PLOT:
Jimmy Cremming (MATT DILLON) is a salesman for Capable Trust Insurance who's just learned from the FBI that his overseas contact, Mr. Nagle, has emptied two offshore accounts, thus leaving many claimholders empty-handed. Although he claims innocence and is asked to relinquish his passport out of standard procedure, Jimmy flees the country and heads for Cambodia, the supposed whereabouts of his mentor, Marvin (JAMES CAAN).

There, he meets Kaspar (STELLAN SKARSGÄRD), who claims that some Russian mobsters are looking for Marvin. Jimmy then follows Marvin's trail that leads him to Phnom Penh where he meets various characters. There's Sok (SEREYVUTH KEM), the cyclo driver who transports him to a bar and "hotel" run by Emile (GERARD DEPARDIEU) who may or may not know what's going on. Jimmy also meets the alluring Sophie (NATASCHA McELHONE), an archaeologist of some sort.

Jimmy eventually meets Marvin who's in the middle of trying to pitch a luxurious casino for the area to be paid for by the illicit insurance funds. From that point on, however, Jimmy can't be sure of who to trust or what's really happening as things begin to take a deadly turn.

WILL KIDS WANT TO SEE IT?
Unless they're fans of someone in the cast, this one looks attractive to older teenagers at best.
WHY THE MPAA RATED IT: R
For language and some violence.
CAST AS ROLE MODELS:
  • MATT DILLON plays a con artist who was involved with an insurance scam and then flees from the authorities. He lands overseas where he tries to find his mentor. He uses strong profanity, drinks, fights with several people and apparently sleeps with Sophie.
  • JAMES CAAN plays his mentor, a powerful criminal type who's looking to use that insurance loot to open a casino in Cambodia. He uses strong profanity and may be responsible for some people's deaths.
  • NATASCHA McELHONE plays some sort of archaeologist or antiquities person who gets involved with Jimmy. She uses strong profanity and apparently sleeps with Jimmy.
  • GERARD DEPARDIEU plays a hot-tempered barkeep and hotel manager who runs the bar where Jimmy first arrives. He uses strong profanity and occasionally has some outbursts of violence.
  • STELLAN SKARSGÄRD plays an associate of Marvin's who's nervous about everything that's occurring. He drinks, smokes, and uses strong profanity.
  • SEREYVUTH KEM plays the cyclo driver who befriends and helps Jimmy on his journey through Cambodia.
  • 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 consists of at least 31 "f" words, while other expletives and colorful phrases are also uttered. Several young women appear to be prostitutes, one man leaves with one but never gets back to his room and another couple apparently has sex off camera (we later see them in bed together).

    Violence consists of various people being murdered by various means (shooting, stabbing, an explosion), with bloody results (including the sight of a severed foot). Non-lethal violence includes hitting and threatening of others. Some of that material may be unsettling, tense or suspenseful to some viewers, while various characters have varying degrees of bad attitudes.

    Meanwhile, various characters smoke and/or drink, with a few appearing intoxicated. 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.


    ALCOHOL OR DRUG USE
  • We see a bottle of booze in Jimmy's room.
  • Jimmy drinks what might be beer from a can.
  • Jimmy has a beer in Emile's bar and buys one for a local.
  • A person has a beer.
  • Some people have drinks.
  • Jimmy has a drink.
  • Various people drink.
  • Jimmy and Marvin have drinks.
  • Kaspar has a drink.
  • Jimmy pours and drinks some liquor.
  • Emile says that one of his handymen was drunk, and he and Jimmy drink from Emile's flask.
  • Various people drink (and possibly pass pills to each other, but that wasn't clear).
  • Marvin appears to be somewhat intoxicated.
  • Another man appears to be drunk (with another person say that person is "so wasted").
  • Kaspar has a drink.
  • Kaspar has a drink.
  • Kaspar drinks.
  • BLOOD/GORE
  • Jimmy has some blood on his head and then a black eye the next day after some men beat him.
  • We see blood on a person's shirt after they've been stabbed.
  • We hear Marvin urinating.
  • A man has some blood on his head after being hit with a rock.
  • We see a dead man with some blood from his nose.
  • We see a severed foot and part of a leg in a bag (with some blood on it).
  • We see a bloodied and cuffed girl in a bathtub (blood from her nose, on her arm and the tub).
  • We see footage of a prisoner whose foot has apparently been cut off (we see blood on his pants and the floor beneath him).
  • We hear Kaspar urinating.
  • Jimmy finds a dead and partially discolored body on the ground. Later, we see the charred skeletal remains of that body after it's torched.
  • A man has blood on him after being shot.
  • We see blood on a man (and some runs from his mouth) after he's been shot.
  • DISRESPECTFUL/BAD ATTITUDE
  • Jimmy and Marvin have run an insurance scam that's swindled customers out of their money. Jimmy also lies to FBI agents regarding his knowledge of that and then flees the country despite them asking him to stay.
  • A guy has a bad attitude toward Sophie (and may have stolen some antiquities) and then strikes her.
  • A local steals Jimmy's passport.
  • Without giving away the ending, various characters have or appear to have bad attitudes toward Jimmy.
  • Some men surround and then beat up Jimmy.
  • A former general is on the take from Marvin and makes various under the table arrangements for him.
  • Those who kill or kidnap others obviously have extreme bad attitudes.
  • Kaspar makes some disparaging remarks about the locals, including using the term "Gook."
  • FRIGHTENING SCENES
  • Scenes listed under "Violence" might also be unsettling, tense or suspenseful to some viewers.
  • Jimmy realizes that various men are approaching and surrounding him at night. They eventually attack and beat him.
  • After several people are murdered, we realize that Marvin is the next apparent target and he becomes a bit uneasy in his solitary surroundings.
  • A boy brings a bag into Emile's bar and everyone's nervous about what's in it (it turns out to be a severed foot).
  • We see grainy and shaky video footage of some hooded hostages with a gun held to one of their heads. They then take the hostages out into a field and let one go. He worries that they'll shoot him, but rushes off, only to step on a land mine, resulting in an explosion (seen from a distance with no blood/gore).
  • Some bats suddenly fly down toward a man who's urinating at a tree.
  • Kaspar hits Jimmy over the head, knocking him unconscious. He then pulls out Jimmy's gun and nearly shoots Jimmy in the head, but can't go through with it.
  • Jimmy suddenly realizes he's walked into a mine field and then gingerly walks out of it. He then slowly makes his way through a deserted mansion while trying to avoid others discovering him there.
  • Some men burn a dead body.
  • Men hold guns on Jimmy.
  • GUNS/WEAPONS
  • Handguns/Machine guns/Knives/Landmines: Carried and/or used to threaten, wound or kill others. See "Violence" for details.
  • IMITATIVE BEHAVIOR
  • Phrases: "You f*cking bitch," "F*ck off," "What the f*ck is that doing in your bag?" "I don't f*cking believe it," "Get the f*ck off me," "You f*cking idiot," "You're a f*cking liar," "Not on your f*cking life," "Keep your f*cking mouth shut," "Take a f*cking hike," "F*ck the plan," "Piece of sh*t," "Sh*t happens," "Sh*tting," "Bullsh*t," "You look like sh*t," "D*ckhead," "Pissed off," "Shut up," "Scumbag," "Pissing" (urinating), "Nuts" (crazy) "Give a rat's ass."
  • Various characters have tattoos.
  • JUMP SCENES
  • Some bats suddenly fly down toward a man who's urinating at a tree.
  • MUSIC (SCARY/TENSE)
  • A moderate amount of suspenseful music plays in the film.
  • MUSIC (INAPPROPRIATE)
  • None.
  • PROFANITY
  • At least 31 "f" words (2 used with "mother"), 14 "s" words, 2 slang terms using male genitals ("c*cks*cker" and "d*ck"), 2 asses, 2 hells and 1 use each of "G-damn" and "For Christ's sakes" as exclamations.
  • SEX/NUDITY
  • Several women appear to be prostitutes in various scenes, including some young girls who fawn over Jimmy and others in such a place.
  • A woman shows some cleavage.
  • An associate of Marvin's wants to go back to his hotel room with a young prostitute (nothing happens, as they never get there).
  • Jimmy and Sophie make out, but the scene ends. We do, however, see them later in bed together (she's asleep, he gets up and she then gets up and they kiss some more) and thus sex is implied.
  • SMOKING
  • Kaspar smokes around 10 times, while a general smokes more than 5, Jimmy smokes once and miscellaneous characters smoke in various scenes.
  • TENSE FAMILY SCENES
  • Sok mentions that some men killed his father in the past.
  • A man worries about his biological father (to whom he's not very close, but has an allegiance of sorts) and must then deal with his later death.
  • TOPICS TO TALK ABOUT
  • Life and living in foreign countries.
  • Trusting others.
  • Con artists.
  • VIOLENCE
  • We see some real-life hurricane destruction of various buildings as it occurs.
  • A man slaps Sophie and bangs and holds her head to a table, prompting Jimmy to come to her defense. That man then tries to punch Jimmy who repeatedly punches and kicks that man. That man then pulls out a knife, but Emile intervenes and grabs the man's wrist, squeezing it hard enough to make him drop the knife. He then head-butts the man.
  • Emile hits a local with his bags and then kicks or kicks at him.
  • A man pushes another man.
  • Various men surround Jimmy, prompting him to punch one. Another grabs Jimmy and a third hits him, followed by others punching and kicking him (and one hits him with a pole).
  • A person grabs another person. We don't see what happens to him then, but later see his dead body.
  • A person stabs another person in the chest, killing him.
  • A local man grabs a drunken foreigner and repeatedly smacks his head against a stone wall. He then tosses his body out an opening. Jimmy then hits that assailant on the head with a large rock, knocking him unconscious. He then pushes that guy out the same opening.
  • Thinking he's responsible for what's transpired, Jimmy grabs Kaspar, pushes and pins him to the floor and then holds a knife to his throat and face. Emile then holds a pistol to Jimmy's head until Jimmy stops (which he does).
  • Angry with someone else, Kaspar grabs Sok.
  • We see a bloodied and cuffed girl in a bathtub (blood from her nose, on her arm and the tub).
  • We see grainy and shaky video footage of some hooded hostages with a gun held to one of their heads. They then take the hostages out into a field and let one go. He worries that they'll shoot him, but rushes off, only to step on a land mine, resulting in an explosion (seen from a distance with no blood/gore). We then see footage of another prisoner whose foot has apparently been cut off (we see blood on his pants and the floor beneath him).
  • Kaspar hits Jimmy over the head, knocking him unconscious. He then pulls out Jimmy's gun and nearly shoots Jimmy in the head, but can't go through with it.
  • Some men grab and push Jimmy to the floor.
  • A man fires shots at another man who runs off, but doesn't hit him.
  • Various people end up shooting each other, resulting in two deaths and some injuries. One person then repeatedly shoots and kills a wounded man, while another seriously wounded man dies a few moments later.
  • Jimmy shoots a gun at a boat several times in anger (no one is hurt since the person inside the boat is already dead).
  • We see that a young woman is dead (the one from the tub above).
  • A man repeatedly shoots another man, killing him.



  • Reviewed April 29, 2003 / Posted May 9, 2003

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