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"SECRET WINDOW"
(2004) (Johnny Depp, John Turturro) (PG-13)

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


QUICK TAKE:
Suspense/Thriller: A writer must deal with a seemingly deranged stranger who wants justice served regarding his claim that the author previously stole and published his work.
PLOT:
Mort Rainey (JOHNNY DEPP) is a novelist living in a cabin on the lake who's seen better days. Not only did he discover his wife, Amy (MARIA BELLO), in bed with another man, Ted (TIMOTHY HUTTON), six months earlier, but the thought of that and their pending divorce has left him with writer's block.

Spending most of his time sleeping on his tattered sofa, Mort's status goes from bad to worse when a stranger, John Shooter (JOHN TURTURRO), shows up at his doorstep one day, claiming the author stole and published the work he previously wrote.

Mort claims innocence, but Shooter is intent on the writer making things right and warns him that this matter is just between them. Given just three days to prove he wrote it before the stranger takes action, Mort seeks help from local Sheriff Dave Newsome (LEN CARIOU), but the lawman doesn't seem too concerned.

Mort then turns to New York detective Ken Karsch (CHARLES S. DUTTON) who previously helped him in a similar matter and agrees to take care of Shooter. Yet, as Mort tries to deal with that and come to terms with Amy wanting to finalize their divorce, little does he know how things will unexpectedly spiral out of control.

WILL KIDS WANT TO SEE IT?
If they're fans of Depp, anyone else in the cast or adaptations of literary works by Stephen King, they just might.
WHY THE MPAA RATED IT: PG-13
For violence/terror, sexual content and language.
CAST AS ROLE MODELS:
  • JOHNNY DEPP plays a writer suffering from writer's block and a reluctance to finalize his divorce from Amy. He then finds himself tormented by Shooter who claims he stole his work. He uses profanity, smokes, and goes to some extreme measures in dealing with the stranger in his life.
  • JOHN TURTURRO plays a mysterious and menacing fellow who arrives at Mort's door, claiming the author stole his work. He essentially stalks Mort and those in his life and eventually turns murderous.
  • MARIA BELLO plays Mort's estranged wife who's now living with Ted and wants Mort to finalize their divorce. She briefly uses some profanity.
  • TIMOTHY HUTTON plays Amy's new love interest who similarly wants the divorce to be finalized. He uses some profanity.
  • CHARLES S. DUTTON plays a tough New York detective who Mort hires to deal with Shooter. He uses some profanity.
  • LEN CARIOU plays the local sheriff who doesn't seem too concerned with Mort's problem.
  • 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 suspense/thriller that's been rated PG-13. Profanity consists of at least 1 "f" word, while other expletives and colorful phrases are used. Some brief, sexually related dialogue occurs, while we see some brief and partial flashbacks to a tryst in bed (nothing explicit). The latter leads to various tense family moments regarding a pending divorce.

    Violence consists of several murders (off-screen and partially seen on-screen) that have bloody results. Other fighting and struggling is also present, and those scenes, others (including the sight of a murdered dog), and various "jump scenes" may be unsettling, suspenseful or downright scary to some viewers.

    Some smoking and drinking occurs, while varying degrees of bad attitudes are 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
  • Amy puts what looks like a bottle of wine into a carry bag.
  • Mort calls Amy to ask if he was influenced by anything while writing a story. She says that beyond Jack Daniels, she can't think of anything.
  • Mort tells Amy that they should get together for a drink, but that never occurs.
  • Ken pours himself a drink.
  • Amy finds a mostly empty but open whiskey bottle in Mort's place.
  • BLOOD/GORE
  • A dead dog appears to be bloody (briefly seen) and we hear it was killed with a screwdriver (not seen).
  • We hear the sound of Mort urinating.
  • We see two dead people in a truck, one with a screwdriver stuck in the side of his head, and another who's quite bloody in the back seat (and there's blood splatter on the ceiling).
  • Mort goes into a truck with two dead people and slowly reaches out to remove a screwdriver from a dead man's head (we hear the squishy sound of it being removed).
  • A person stabs another person in the leg (with some bloody results), prompting the second person to kick the first in the face. The first then kicks the second out of a door, with the second falling and landing face-first on a rock (with some blood on their head).
  • Mort has some blood from his nose.
  • DISRESPECTFUL/BAD ATTITUDE
  • Shooter acts in a menacing fashion toward Mort and then essentially stalks him and those he knows.
  • A person murders several people and burns down a house.
  • We see that a person has killed two people, framed another person, and threatens to kill others. The framed person then tries to cover that up by ditching the bodies and the vehicle they're in (pushing them into a lake).
  • FRIGHTENING SCENES
  • Scenes listed under "Violence," "Blood/Gore" and "Jump Scenes" might also be unsettling or suspenseful to some viewers.
  • Mort has a nightmare where the front door to his cabin is wildly pulsating (with light behind it) and Shooter then appears.
  • Mort has a dream/nightmare where his couch is high above some water and he falls from it (but then ends up just hitting his cabin floor).
  • Mort discovers a note on his cabin and the porch light is broken. He then slowly makes his way outside with a flashlight where he discovers a tarp covering something on the porch. He slowly removes the tarp to reveal his dead dog (only briefly seen).
  • Mort returns home at night to discover Ken slumped over inside his car. Mort slowly approaches and Ken suddenly moves (he was asleep).
  • Mort thinks he hears someone inside his cabin home at night and makes his way through it, slowly opening doors with a fireplace poker and then racing into the bathroom when he hears noises there (it turns out to be a rodent).
  • Mort suddenly finds Shooter at his place, once again acting menacingly toward him.
  • Mort discovers that his truck keys are missing, finds Shooter's hat on his porch, and then sees that his truck is running with the door open.
  • We see two dead people in a truck, one with a screwdriver stuck in the side of his head, and another who's quite bloody in the back seat (and there's blood splatter on the ceiling).
  • Mort goes into a truck with two dead people and slowly reaches out to remove a screwdriver from a dead man's head (we hear the squishy sound of it being removed).
  • Mort tries to push a truck (containing two bodies) off a cliff and into a lake, but his watch gets stuck inside the truck as it nears the edge.
  • Amy slowly makes her way through Mort's cabin (in the daylight, but a suspenseful scene nonetheless).
  • A person arrives to help another person, but doesn't realize a third person is waiting for them.
  • GUNS/WEAPONS
  • We see that Ken has a handgun that he places under his pillow. He then tells Mort to bring his "six-gun" with him.
  • We see a brief flashback of Mort holding a gun while discovering Amy and Ted together.
  • Although we only see a brief and partial flashback of some of their use, a hatchet and screwdriver are used to kill people and a dog (the death of the latter is not seen).
  • IMITATIVE BEHAVIOR
  • Phrases: "Sh*t-splat," "No sh*t," "You scared the sh*t out of me," "Sh*thead," "Smoke the sh*t out of that," "Bullsh*t," "Sh*tty," "Scared sh*tless," "Chickensh*t," "I don't need to listen to this sh*t," "That was a d*ck thing to say," "You're a d*ck," "Get the hell out of here," "Bitch" (verb), "What the hell /does that mean/you gonna do with that?" "You ignorant hick," "You blind bastard," "Wacko," "Don't freak out," "Nut job," "Sucks," "I'm not going to freak out," "Hell yes," "Piss him off," "Cracker bastard," "You lunatic," "What an idiot," "You son of a bitch," "You're nuts" and "Shut up."
  • JUMP SCENES
  • The sudden revelation of a dead dog beneath a tarp (along with sudden music) might startle some viewers.
  • A person suddenly moves after we're led to believe might be dead.
  • A shadow passes over Mort in his house.
  • A medicine cabinet suddenly falls to the floor.
  • A bus suddenly blasts (quite loudly) behind Mort.
  • A dead body suddenly slumps over.
  • MUSIC (SCARY/TENSE)
  • A heavy amount of ominous and suspenseful music plays in the film.
  • MUSIC (INAPPROPRIATE)
  • None.
  • PROFANITY
  • At least 1 "f" word (possibly used sexually), 20 "s" words, 1 slang term for sex ("nail"), 2 slang terms using male genitals ("d*ck"), 7 hells, 2 craps, 1 ass (used with "hole"), 1 S.O.B., 2 uses of "G-damn" and 1 use each of "God," "Jesus," "Jesus Christ," "My God," "Oh God," "Oh Jesus" and "Swear to God."
  • SEX/NUDITY
  • Mort bursts in on Amy and Ted in bed in a motel (nothing sexual is currently happening and they're beneath the sheets, but the affair is noted).
  • Ken jokingly asks Mort, "Did you finally nail one of your groupies?"
  • We see a brief flash image of Amy and Ted in bed (nothing explicit).
  • The "f" word may be used sexually (it sounds like Mort tells Amy, "You shouldn't have f*cked him," but the audio is somewhat distorted at that particular moment).
  • SMOKING
  • Mort smokes a few times, while Shooter smokes once.
  • We see a cigarette butt in Mort's truck ashtray.
  • Mort sees a clerk unloading cigarettes from a box.
  • TENSE FAMILY SCENES
  • Mort bursts in on Amy and Ted in bed in a motel (nothing sexual is currently happening and they're beneath the sheets, but the affair is noted).
  • We see that Mort and Amy have been estranged for 6 months after 10 years of marriage (and losing a baby sometime during that and him finding her and Ted in bed together at a motel) and are near the end of divorce proceedings (but he's reluctant to finalize them).
  • A miscellaneous woman states she's divorced.
  • TOPICS TO TALK ABOUT
  • Mental disorders.
  • Divorces.
  • Writers and writer's block.
  • VIOLENCE
  • Shooter grabs Mort and pushes him back against a car, prompting Mort to push him away.
  • A dead dog appears to be bloody (briefly seen) and we hear it was killed with a screwdriver (not seen).
  • Mort smashes the glass of a bathroom medicine cabinet and then his glass shower stall door (with a fireplace poker) when he rushes into his bathroom thinking someone's there.
  • Mort tries to hit Shooter with a shovel, but the man grabs and uses it to press Mort back against a wall (at his throat).
  • We hear that someone burned down Amy and Mort's house.
  • Mort confronts Ted at a gas station and pushes him backwards. He then pushes him on the face, prompting Ted to throw a punch. It misses, but his hand smacks against his closed car window, hurting him.
  • We see two dead people in a truck, one with a screwdriver stuck in the side of his head, and another who's quite bloody in the back seat (and there's blood splatter on the ceiling).
  • Ted punches a wall in anger, further hurting his already injured hand.
  • Mort throws something against the wall, leaving a hole there and then causing a crack to go through the wall and across the ceiling.
  • We see brief flashbacks to arson, as well as striking a person with a hatchet and screwdriver (we don't see the impact of the latter two or any related blood).
  • A person holds a pair of scissors and grabs a woman by the hair. She hits him and runs.
  • A person breaks a car window with a large rock, grabs the woman inside who's trying to start it and drive away, and then drags her from the car and into a house.
  • A person stabs another person in the leg (with some bloody results), prompting the second person to kick the first in the face. The first then kicks the second out of a door, with the second falling and landing face-first on a rock (with some blood on their head).
  • A person hits another person in the face with a shovel and we then see the motion of them jabbing the shovel blade down onto that person (no graphic impact). It's implied that they kill that person and then another with the shovel.



  • Reviewed March 9, 2004 / Posted March 12, 2004

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