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"THE CORE"
(2003) (Aaron Eckhart, Hillary Swank) (PG-13)

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


QUICK TAKE:
Sci-Fi: A small team of scientists and astronauts travel to the center of the Earth to restart its non-spinning core and thus save the world from destruction.
PLOT:
Dr. Josh Keyes (AARON ECKHART) is a university professor who's been asked by General Thomas Purcell (RICHARD JENKINS) to investigate the simultaneous deaths of 32 people in a ten-block radius. He and old friend Dr. Serge Leveque (TCHEKY KARYO) figure out is has something to do with the Earth's electromagnetic field having gone awry, a theory confirmed by egotistical scientist Dr. Conrad Zimsky (STANLEY TUCCI).

They're soon presenting a worst case scenario to the Pentagon where they outline global Armageddon due to the Earth's core - that creates its electromagnetic field - having suddenly and mysteriously stopped spinning. Keyes predicts they have three months before things get really bad and maybe a year before unshielded solar rays fry all life on Earth.

Due to the depth of the core, he sees no way of remedying the situation. Zimsky, however, has an idea and soon everyone travels to the salt flats of Utah where they meet the eccentric and reclusive Dr. Ed "Braz" Brazzleton (DELROY LINDO). He's devised a way to travel to the center of the Earth via a specialized ship that uses ultrasonic waves to cut through rock.

After several months of making the ship a reality, Keyes, Serge, Zimsky and Braz are joined by NASA shuttle astronauts Major Rebecca "Beck" Childs (HILARY SWANK) and Colonel Robert Iverson (BRUCE GREENWOOD) and enter the Earth.

Under the watchful eye of NASA Control Chief Talma "Stick" Stickley (ALFRE WOODARD) and guaranteed trip anonymity by computer hacker Taz "Rat" Finch (D.J. QUALLS), the crew sets on a journey into the unknown where they hope to reach the core and restart it with a series of nuclear explosions, all before time runs out for them and the world.

WILL KIDS WANT TO SEE IT?
If they're into big-budget sci-fi films or are fans of anyone in the cast, they just might.
WHY THE MPAA RATED IT: PG-13
For sci-fi life/death situations and brief strong language.
CAST AS ROLE MODELS:
  • AARON ECKHART plays a professor who's the first to figure out that the Earth's core has stopped spinning. He then leads the mission to save the world. He gets drunk in one scene.
  • TCHEKY KARYO plays his colleague and a weapons expert. He also drinks and uses some brief profanity.
  • RICHARD JENKINS plays the U.S. general who's in charge of the operation.
  • STANLEY TUCCI plays an egotistical and arrogant scientist who sees himself above the others. He also smokes, drinks, and uses some strong profanity.
  • DELROY LINDO plays his former partner who's now an eccentric and reclusive scientist who's devised a high-tech vessel and method of "drilling" down through the Earth.
  • HILARY SWANK plays a young astronaut who guided a shuttle to a safe, emergency landing and has been chosen to co-pilot the "earth-ship." During that, she must make various tough leadership decisions.
  • BRUCE GREENWOOD plays her shuttle co-pilot who joins her on the journey to the center of the Earth. He uses some profanity.
  • ALFRE WOODARD plays the mission's "flight" controller.
  • D.J. QUALLS plays a computer hacker chosen to control the flow of data regarding the top-secret mission.
  • 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 sci-fi flick that's been rated PG-13. Profanity consists of at least 1 "f" word, while other expletives and colorful phrases are also used. Some brief, sexually related dialogue is also present.

    Various characters are killed, but only one instance of human on human violence is present (a punch). The rest consists of people being killed in accidents or moments of self-sacrifice, as well as various scenes of massive destruction on the Earth. We don't see any of those actual deaths, but do see many pigeons meeting their demise by smacking into various objects.

    Some of those scenes as well as other perilous moments (including a near disaster involving the space shuttle returning to Earth) may be unsettling, tense or suspenseful to some viewers (mostly younger ones and those with low tolerance levels for action-based suspense).

    One character smokes a lot, while others drink, some to the point of being inebriated. Some bad attitudes are also present. 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
  • Zimsky has a drink.
  • Josh and Serge have been drinking beer and shots, and are intoxicated. Josh says he thinks he skipped drunk and went straight to hangover. Others drink in the bar as well.
  • The crewmembers toast their mission.
  • BLOOD/GORE
  • We see blood running down a man's face inside his helmet after something falls and hits him there.
  • DISRESPECTFUL/BAD ATTITUDE
  • Zimsky is arrogant, egotistical and looks down at Keyes and others.
  • We learn that Braz is mad at Zimsky for stealing his research in the past.
  • Rat is a computer hacker known for hacking into various computer systems.
  • FRIGHTENING SCENES
  • Scenes listed under "Violence" might also be tense or unsettling to some viewers, but mostly for younger viewers and those with low tolerance levels for action-based suspense.
  • A man suddenly collapses (as some ominous music plays). We then hear the sounds of car crashes and then see that many people have collapsed (with people reacting in panic and shock).
  • Josh and Serge suddenly realize they're in a room full of covered bodies. An arm then falls down and dangles from under a blanket. We then see a dead body (but there's no discoloration, etc.).
  • For those sensitive to animal violence, an early scene features many pigeons losing their bearings and slamming into buildings, monuments and through glass, etc. (not gory, but we hear the splats of the impact).
  • Considering the recent space shuttle disaster, a several minute sequence involving a shuttle in danger and then its crash landing might be unsettling to viewers. During it, we see the shuttle exterior heating up during reentry, ground control losing contact with the shuttle, and then it suddenly appearing in the sky but way off course. Everyone panics and the crew scrambles to figure out what to do as it heads directly for downtown Los Angeles. Since they can't do much except control where they're gliding, they skim across the top of a baseball stadium and then try to land in the L.A. River (in the large basin). During this, they have to avoid the various bridges and then try to stop the shuttle as it slides and spins down the basin toward a bridge where various workers try to get out of the way.
  • As the ship approaches the bottom of the ocean, an undersea earthquake occurs and huge boulders fall near and then against their ship. They race toward the bottom at speeds higher than they wanted and the lasers (to cut through the rock) eventually fire at the last second.
  • The crew's mission toward the center of the earth might be tense or suspenseful to some viewers, particularly when they run into various obstacles or difficulties such as when they crash out of control through a bunch of crystals and then get stuck inside one. It starts to leak magma and they race to free the ship as crystals fall down toward them and the magma level increases around them. One then sacrifices his oxygen to help a drill work but must hold his breath during that.
  • Beck tries to pilot the ship through a field of diamonds as big as asteroids and avoid hitting them (such as barely making it between two before they collide). One nicks them, however, and another emergency arises and several people try to make their way under doors that are automatically closing from ceiling to floor as part of the ship collapses.
  • The compartment around a person is progressively crushed and that person is then crushed (we only hear him screaming as he dies).
  • A tear in the electromagnetic field allows a powerful solar ray to start burning up anything on Earth in its path, including the Golden Gate Bridge. A man's arm is burned inside a car on it (like a sunburn) and then the bridge starts to buckle and eventually collapses into the Bay with many cars exploding and/or falling into the Bay (presumably killing many people - but we don't see any actual deaths). We then see many burning buildings in the city.
  • A crewmember goes into a large "crawlspace" to try to eject parts of the ship but must deal with intense heat that begins to melt his suit and cracks his glass faceplate.
  • The crewmembers race to remedy the situation and make their plan work before those on the surface enact another plan that will surely mean their deaths down below. During this, various people activate nukes and then try to get to other compartments in the ship before those they were just in are ejected from the ship. During this, one man and then another become trapped under the heavy nuke.
  • A person stuck inside an ejected compartment awaits the explosion of the nuke with him.
  • The surviving crewmembers discover that they don't have enough energy to get back out.
  • GUNS/WEAPONS
  • Various guards carry automatic weapons.
  • Shotguns/Pistols: Held by government officials on Rat when they confront him.
  • IMITATIVE BEHAVIOR
  • Phrases: "What the f*ck am I doing?" "Sh*tty," "That's a hell of a greeting," "Where the hell are we?" "What the hell /is the hurry here/are you doing?" "Why the hell aren't you dead yet?" "Hot damn," "Hell of a day," "Morons," "Lunatics," "Shut up" and "Damn you."
  • To make a point during a demonstration, Keyes ignites the spray from a can of air freshener to make a makeshift blowtorch.
  • JUMP SCENES
  • None.
  • MUSIC (SCARY/TENSE)
  • An extreme amount of such music plays in the film.
  • MUSIC (INAPPROPRIATE)
  • None.
  • PROFANITY
  • At least 1 "f" word, 2 "s" words, 12 hells, 8 damns, 1 ass, 1 crap, 6 uses of "Oh my God," 3 each of "Jesus" and "Oh God," 2 of "God" and 1 use each of "For God's sakes" and "Oh dear God" as exclamations.
  • SEX/NUDITY
  • Serge jokes that since he's married to his work that makes his wife his mistress.
  • After government officials seize Rat, he asks if they're going to whack him since he's wanted to have sex before that happens. Later, he tells them he can steal their money, secrets and sexual fantasies.
  • SMOKING
  • Zimsky smokes around 10 times (we also see many used butts in an ashtray from him), while a miscellaneous person also smokes.
  • TENSE FAMILY SCENES
  • None.
  • TOPICS TO TALK ABOUT
  • The core and electromagnetic field of the Earth.
  • The quality of scientific accuracy in the film.
  • Making and living with difficult decisions.
  • The recent space shuttle disaster (since a near disaster occurs here with a shuttle reentering the atmosphere and trying to land).
  • Sacrifice.
  • The concept of mutually assured destruction (like nuclear wars).
  • VIOLENCE
  • For the most part, the violence listed here does not consist of human on human acts, but rather accidents and self-sacrifice, etc.
  • A man suddenly collapses (as some ominous music plays). We then hear the sounds of car crashes and then see that many people have collapsed (with people reacting in panic and shock).
  • For those sensitive to animal violence, an early scene features many pigeons losing their bearings and slamming into buildings, monuments and through glass, etc. (not gory, but we hear the splats of the impact). Cars then crash into each other as a huge amount of birds fly and flutter about, and a double-decker bus overturns.
  • Officials knock down Rat's door and then hold guns on him.
  • Various people are shocked by electrical discharges in Rome and various fires break out. Such charges rip apart various buildings (with massive explosions and collapses). During that, we do not see any direct deaths.
  • We see blood running down a man's face inside his helmet after something falls and hits him there. He then falls backwards into the molten lava and disappears.
  • A person is crushed in part of the ship (due to outside pressure) and we hear him screaming as he dies.
  • A man punches another man (who was having a tantrum) and knocks him out.
  • A tear in the electromagnetic field allows a powerful solar ray to start burning up anything on Earth in its path, including the Golden Gate Bridge. A man's arm is burned inside a car on it (like a sunburn) and then the bridge starts to buckle and eventually collapses into the Bay with many cars exploding and/or falling into the Bay (presumably killing many people - but we don't see any actual deaths). We then see many burning buildings in the city.
  • A man is killed by intense heat and/or a nuclear explosion.
  • A nuclear explosion kills a man.



  • Reviewed March 10, 2003 / Posted March 28, 2003

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