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"IN THE CUT"
(2003) (Meg Ryan, Mark Ruffalo) (R)

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


QUICK TAKE:
Suspense/Thriller: After entering into an affair with a homicide detective who's investigating a series of nearby murders, a wary teacher begins to wonder if perhaps he might be the killer.
PLOT:
Frannie Avery (MEG RYAN) is creative writing teacher who's fascinated by everyday words, sayings and phrases, so much so that she seems to have forsaken romance in her life. Perhaps that's also due to her former boyfriend, John Graham (KEVIN BACON), being so obsessed with her every move that he's practically stalking her.

Her world changes when she's out with one of her students, Cornelius Webb (SHARRIEFF PUGH), who's writing a paper arguing the innocence of serial killer John Wayne Gracy. While looking for the bathroom, she sees a woman performing a sexual act on a man whose only distinguishing mark is a tattoo on his wrist. Not long afterwards, that woman is found brutally murdered.

Homicide detectives Giovanni Malloy (MARK RUFFALO) and Richie Rodriguez (NICK DAMICI) arrive on the scene and ask Frannie what she might know about the crime. Although she's unable to provide any information, Frannie is inexplicably drawn to Malloy, a point that her half-sister, Pauline (JENNIFER JASON LEIGH), says she should act upon.

Frannie does, and soon the two begin a torrid love affair. Yet, as more murders occur and the investigation continues, various developments and behaviors soon have Frannie wondering if someone she knows - even Malloy - might be the actual killer.

WILL KIDS WANT TO SEE IT?
Older teens and those who are fans of someone in the cast might be interested in it, but others probably won't.
WHY THE MPAA RATED IT: R
For strong sexuality including explicit dialogue, nudity, graphic crime scenes and language.
CAST AS ROLE MODELS:
  • MEG RYAN plays a creative writing teacher who's mesmerized by words and then Malloy's frank sexuality. She then has an affair with him and uses some profanity, all while wondering if he might be the serial killer.
  • MARK RUFFALO plays a homicide detective who makes no excuses for his straightforward stance and approach to sex (that he has with Frannie). He uses strong profanity, smokes and searches for a serial killer.
  • JENNIFER JASON LEIGH plays Frannie's half-sister who's obsessed with a doctor with whom she's having an affair. She uses strong profanity.
  • NICK DAMICI plays Malloy's homicide detective partner who's homophobic, smokes and uses strong profanity.
  • SHARRIEFF PUGH plays one of Frannie's students who believes a known serial killer is innocent. He briefly gets rough with Frannie and uses some strong profanity.
  • KEVIN BACON plays Frannie's ex-boyfriend who's disturbed and so obsessed with her every move that he's essentially stalking her. He uses strong 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 quick look at the content found in this R-rated dramatic thriller. Profanity consists of at least 61 "f" words, while other expletives and colorful phrases are used. Sexually explicit dialogue is present, as is graphic sexual material including several scenes of intercourse with movement, sounds and nudity (including brief male full frontal); oral sex with movement; female masturbation with movement and sounds, etc. Nonsexual nudity (bare breasts and butts) is also present (including from some strippers/dancers in a club).

    Violence includes a fatal and bloody shooting, while we see the bloody and gory results of a serial killer's work (including the brief sight of a severed head). Some of that material, as well as other scenes may be unsettling or suspenseful to viewers. Various characters have varying degrees of bad attitudes, while some characters smoke and/or drink (with some stating they are or were drunk).

    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.

    For those sensitive to motion-induced sickness, some shots in the film are a bit jumpy and parts of others are purposefully out of focus.


    ALCOHOL OR DRUG USE
  • Frannie states that a term is slang for pubic hair or pot.
  • Malloy asks Frannie if she wants to go for a beer later.
  • Malloy, Frannie and others have drinks in a bar. He then orders more drinks for himself and Rodriguez who's arrived.
  • Malloy pours Frannie and himself some liquor.
  • People have drinks in a strip club.
  • Rodriguez apologizes to Frannie for the other night when he says he was drunk.
  • Miscellaneous people have drinks.
  • Frannie carries a bottle of booze while in shock from a grisly discovery. She later states that she's drunk from that.
  • Cornelius and Frannie passionately kiss while standing and he starts to lift her top, revealing her bra. She then stops them, stating she's drunk.
  • Malloy has a drink.
  • Rodriguez asks Frannie if she wants some wine and then has a glass himself.
  • BLOOD/GORE
  • We briefly see a photograph of a severed and bloody head.
  • Frannie has a scrape on her face after being mugged.
  • We see blood all over a washer and then see detectives removing a severed arm wrapped in something (in color and black and white footage of the grisly find). We see blood as well as the ravaged end of the severed arm.
  • We see what looks like blood on a paper Cornelius is reading and/or writing about a serial killer.
  • Frannie finds a lock of hair that seems to have been ripped from a person's head (there's blood on the end) and then finds blood everywhere, as well as a severed and bloody head in a bag in the sink.
  • We see a flashback to a period scene where a person skates across a downed woman's legs, severing them (with blood, but done in an exaggerated and obviously fake way). Earlier, during the opening credits, that same skater slices the ice and leaves a thin line of blood in the groove (more artfully symbolic than real).
  • Cornelius has a bruised/swollen face from where someone hit him (not seen).
  • Frannie shoots a man a second time (we don't see the impact, but do see blood), presumably killing him. We then see a long shot of the man with blood on his back and a pool of blood near him. We later see Frannie with his blood on her.
  • DISRESPECTFUL/BAD ATTITUDE
  • The serial killer obviously has a bad attitude.
  • Malloy and Rodriguez are homophobic cops. Malloy mentions someone having "faggot hands" while Rodriguez makes some disparaging remarks about people he thinks are gay.
  • Malloy purposefully drives through a restricted gate and through a chain and suspended stop sign.
  • John essentially stalks and harasses Frannie.
  • FRIGHTENING SCENES
  • Scenes listed under "Violence" or "Blood/Gore" might also be unsettling or suspenseful to some viewers.
  • A masked mugger grabs Frannie on a darkened street from behind, struggles with her and takes her purse. She then runs off and ends up flipping over an approaching cab (she's okay other than a scrape on her face).
  • Frannie returns home to find John in her place, shirtless. In other scenes, he acts like a troubled/deranged man bordering on being her stalker.
  • Frannie goes to a person's home, finds the front door open and hears the shower running. She then finds a lock of hair that seems to have been ripped from the occupant's head (there's blood on the end) and she slowly makes her way toward the bathroom where the shower is still running. She then opens the door, steam comes out and she finds blood everywhere, as well as a severed and bloody head in a bag in the sink. She then clutches that bag (with the head still in it) to her chest.
  • Frannie worries that a person she knows is the killer (in their presence).
  • A man grabs Frannie by the foot on her stairs. Moments later, they passionately kiss, but she stops them. He then gets mad, pins her to the bed and says that he still wants to "f*ck you." He's scared away, however, before anything else happens.
  • Frannie suddenly realizes she's trapped with the killer and then has a physical (violent) encounter with him, including the man pulling out a switchblade and demanding that Frannie take a ring he's put on it.
  • GUNS/WEAPONS
  • The doorman at a strip club shows Frannie the small handgun he's purchased.
  • Malloy suddenly shoots his handgun into a bag of trash floating in a lake. He then briefly teaches Frannie how to shoot.
  • A man pulls out a switchblade and demands that Frannie take a ring he's put on it.
  • Frannie shoots and wounds a man, but he pins her arm (and gun) to a fence and then strangles her with his other hand. She then shoots him again (we don't see the impact, but do see blood), presumably killing him.
  • IMITATIVE BEHAVIOR
  • Phrases: "Don't f*cking bullsh*t me," "What the f*ck /is this/is the matter with you?" "Are you a f*cking wise guy?" "Fat f*cking f*cks," "Get the f*ck out of here," "Can you f*cking believe it?" "Sick f*ck," "All the f*cking time," "Out of my f*cking mind," "F*ck 'em," "F*ck this," "F*ck's sake," "Jesus f*cking Christ," "This is valuable sh*t," "Cheap piece of sh*t," "Don't mean sh*t," "Enough of this sh*t," "Bitch vision," "Freak," "Balls" (testicles), "Kiss my ass" and "Bitch."
  • Cornelius has some tattoos, as does Malloy.
  • A miscellaneous woman wears a midriff-revealing top.
  • JUMP SCENES
  • Malloy suddenly shoots his handgun into a bag of trash floating in a lake.
  • The sudden sound of a gunshot might startle some viewers.
  • MUSIC (SCARY/TENSE)
  • A moderate amount of ominous music plays in the film.
  • MUSIC (INAPPROPRIATE)
  • None.
  • PROFANITY
  • At least 61 "f" words (9 used sexually), 15 "s" words, 8 slang terms using male genitals ("d*ck," "c*ck" and "joint"), 3 using female genitals ("p*ssy" and "c*nt"), 2 for breasts ("t*ts"), 1 ass, 1 damn, 2 uses of "G-damn" and 1 use each of "God," "Jesus," "Jesus Christ," "Oh God," "Oh my God" and "Swear to God."
  • SEX/NUDITY
  • Frannie states that a term is slang for pubic hair or pot. She then says that Virginia is slang for vagina and then adds in a description of something penetrating one.
  • Pauline shows some cleavage.
  • Pauline tells Frannie that Cornelius looks like "he wants to eat you" (possibly meaning sexually).
  • Frannie heads down into the dark basement of a pool hall looking for the bathroom. Instead, she finds a woman giving a man oral sex. In the shadows, we see her kneeling before him with her head moving at his crotch and hear the man's pleasured sounds.
  • John calls and leaves a message on Frannie's answering machine stating that they slept together twice and that he's counting the time in the shower.
  • We see a brief shot of some artwork (painting) that shows a reclined woman and her bare breasts.
  • We see Frannie lying on her stomach in bed (in just her panties), masturbating (as she thinks about the oral sex she saw in the basement). We see her arm below her body and her hand down at her black panties. We also see her bare back, her feet reacting to the sensations, some partial hand movement and then hear her have an orgasm. She then rolls over and we briefly see an out of focus shot of her bare breasts.
  • Pauline talks about having sex with a married doctor. Frannie then asks if she ever just imagines sex rather than having it. Later commenting on picking up the doctor's wife's dry cleaning, Pauline says, "This is what I do to get a d*ck inside me."
  • Malloy is straightforward with his sexual intentions with Frannie, telling her he can "f*ck you" or "lick your p*ssy."
  • Malloy says that Rodriguez's wife caught him (Rodriguez) "f*cking a fat chick."
  • Rodriguez complains about some "faggots" who are "ready to suck my d*ck." A comment is then made about a "chick" who wants to do the same and then that all a guy needs is "two t*ts," a hole and a heartbeat (and one guy says that the latter isn't needed).
  • Malloy wants Frannie to show him how she was mugged. Thus, he puts his arm around her neck, but then lets his finger caress her clothed chest. That arouses her and we then see him getting undressed and into bed. She holds out a condom and undresses down to her panties (we see her bare breasts). He then removes her panties (we see her bare butt) and he caresses her body as she lies down on her stomach facing away from him. He then has his face right at her rear and/or genitals (causing her pleasure and resultant aroused sounds) and then has his head down between her legs for oral sex (only briefly seen).
  • When they're done, we see her bare breasts, his bare butt and then a brief full frontal shot of him on the bed. She then asks who taught him how to do oral sex like that and he goes into a story about an older woman doing so. He continues that she had a lot of pubic hair, asked if he'd ever kissed a girl "down there," wetted her finger and touched herself and then told him to put his tongue down there. He then says that after a while "she came." During this, he's fondling Frannie's crotch (we don't see the actual contact), she opens another condom and they have sex again. He gets on top of her between her legs and we see graphic movement and her bare breasts and hear their aroused sounds. After they're done, we see another view of her bare breasts. She comments on previously seeing the above "blow job" and that she watched, prompting him to ask if she likes that sort of thing. A bit later, he gets dressed, says that he had a nice time, thanks her and leaves.
  • About the above, Pauline asks Frannie, "You let the detective f*ck you?" Thinking that Malloy is the man she saw receiving oral sex in the basement, Frannie asks, "Would you trust a guy who gets blow jobs in bars?" Pauline replies that she would.
  • Pauline states that she can remember every guy "by how they f*cked me" and not by how she wanted to do it.
  • A comment is made about "suck my d*ck" and "pinch my nipple."
  • We see scantily clad and topless dancers in a strip club (thus bare breasts, mostly bare butts and a woman thrusting her crotch quite close to a customer's face).
  • A male doorman somewhat comes on to Cornelius after saying that the student's attraction to Frannie "turned me on."
  • We see Pauline in a small bra that shows cleavage and most of her nipples through the sheer material.
  • Pauline tells Frannie (about Malloy), "You wouldn't be thinking about sex if you didn't like him."
  • While on the phone with Frannie, Malloy tells her to put her hand between her legs, inside her panties and to slip her finger into her "p*ssy." We see Frannie with her hand down in that general direction, but don't see her actually doing what he says.
  • A miscellaneous woman shows cleavage.
  • Malloy somewhat playfully asks Frannie, "You're here for the sex, right? You don't go anywhere I don't f*ck you." They then do some passionate clothed kissing (and she starts to undo his belt and/or pants) as she sits on the edge of a car and he stands (but nothing else happens).
  • After John asks Frannie if he should ask her sister out, Frannie says she doesn't think Pauline will "sleep with you." He then sarcastically asks various strangers on the street, "Will you have sex with me?"
  • We see scantily clad strippers in a club (thong bottom, bra and topless).
  • Cornelius and Frannie passionately kiss while standing and he starts to lift her top, revealing her bra. She then stops them, stating she's drunk, but he gets mad, pins her to the bed and says, "I want to f*ck you anyway." He's scared off before anything else happens.
  • Frannie is mad that it's taken Malloy a long time to get to her place. He says he was working and she sarcastically asks if he was getting a "blow job." She then asks if there's any such thing as a bad one and he says yes, particularly if a woman has "no sense of c*ck."
  • Malloy bathes Frannie's leg in a bathtub and we briefly see her bare breasts.
  • Frannie takes Malloy's handcuffs and approaches him. He asks if he'll like what she's going to do, and she says that she doesn't know, but thinks so. She then cuffs one hand, undoes his pants, straddles him and the two have sex. While we don't see any nudity, we see a fair amount of movement and hear pleasured sounds from both (as he also excitedly talks about "you like to watch" and "f*ck yourself").
  • SMOKING
  • Malloy and Rodriguez each smoke several times, while some miscellaneous characters also smoke.
  • TENSE FAMILY SCENES
  • We hear that Frannie and Pauline are half-sisters and that their common father left many of his wives.
  • We hear that Malloy is either divorced or estranged from his wife (who has their kids).
  • A person discovers that their sibling has been brutally murdered.
  • TOPICS TO TALK ABOUT
  • Sexuality.
  • Serial killers and homicide detectives.
  • Cornelius talks about John Wayne Gracy and what he thinks is his innocence.
  • Stalkers.
  • Casual sex.
  • Panic attacks.
  • John talks about putting his dog to sleep if no one will watch it for him (we don't know if he does or not).
  • John reminds Frannie that his mother used to dress him in girls' blouses.
  • VIOLENCE
  • We hear that a young woman was murdered and then dismembered.
  • We briefly see a photograph of a severed and bloody head (the results of off-screen violence).
  • A masked mugger grabs Frannie on a darkened street from behind, struggles with her and takes her purse. She then runs off and ends up flipping over an approaching cab (she's okay other than a scrape on her face).
  • We see blood all over a washer and then see detectives removing a severed arm wrapped in something (in color and black and white footage of the grisly find). We see blood as well as the ravaged end of the severed arm (the results of off-screen violence).
  • Frannie finds a lock of hair that seems to have been ripped from a person's head (there's blood on the end) and then finds blood everywhere, as well as a severed and bloody head in a bag in the sink (the results of off-screen violence).
  • We see a flashback to a period scene where a person skates across a downed woman's legs, severing them (with blood, but done in an exaggerated and obviously fake way).
  • A man grabs Frannie by the foot on her stairs. Moments later, they passionately kiss, but she stops them. He then gets mad, pins her to the bed and says that he still wants to "f*ck you." He's scared away, however, before anything else happens.
  • Cornelius has a bruised/swollen face from where someone hit him (not seen).
  • Frannie slaps and whacks Malloy out of frustration.
  • Frannie shoots and wounds a man, but he pins her arm (and gun) to a fence and then strangles her with his other hand. She then shoots him again (we don't see the impact, but do see blood), presumably killing him.



  • Reviewed October 17, 2003 / Posted October 31, 2003

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