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"PERFECT STRANGER"
(2007) (Halle Berry, Bruce Willis) (R)

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


QUICK TAKE:
Dramatic Thriller: A former reporter goes undercover to find out whether an advertising executive killed her childhood acquaintance.
PLOT:
Rowena Price (HALLE BERRY) is a talented undercover newspaper reporter, but when her months-long sting regarding a U.S. Senator is squashed due to witness intimidation, she quits. That's much to the dismay of her tech-savvy assistant, Miles (GIOVANNI RIBISI), mainly because he has a crush on her despite her having a boyfriend in the form of Cameron (GARY DOURDAN).

Rowena then has a run-in with former childhood friend Grace (NICKI AYCOX) who claims she's been having an affair with advertising executive Harrison Hill (BRUCE WILLIS) after meeting him online. When Grace ends up missing and then turns up dead, Rowena takes it upon herself to find out whether Harrison had anything to do with it.

Assuming two new identities -- one online, the other as a temp in the headquarters of the Harrison Hill Agency -- Rowena sets out to infiltrate Harrison's real and Internet worlds, looking for any clues that might point a guilty finger in his direction, all as Miles continues to long for her.

WILL KIDS WANT TO SEE IT?
If they're fans of someone in the film or are looking for an adult-style, suspense-thriller, they just might.
WHY THE MPAA RATED IT: R
For sexual content, nudity, some disturbing violent images and language.
CAST AS ROLE MODELS:
Considering what occurs in the film (murder, affairs, obsession, strong profanity, heavy drinking, etc.) it's doubtful many parents would consider any of the major characters as good role models.
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:
The following is a brief summary of the content found in this R-rated suspense/thriller. Profanity consists of at least 45 "f" words, while other expletives and colorful phrases are also uttered. Sexually explicit dialogue is present, as are partially seen sexual encounters (including a rather graphic if brief one, standing, with movement and sounds).

There's also a brief bit about a gay Senator, a full frontal nude view of a dead and discolored female corpse, varying amounts of cleavage, the sight of a woman getting dressed, and many pornographic photos seen on a wall (with nudity, some implying bondage, etc.).

Violence includes several murders, with some bloody results, and those scenes and several moments of potential peril might be unsettling or suspenseful for some viewers. Various characters have varying degrees of bad attitudes, while a lot of drinking occurs (along with some inebriation).

Some behavior may be enticing for some kids to imitate, while tense family material includes re-imagined flashbacks pertaining to a father abusing his young daughter at bath-time, and the mother finally standing up to and killing her husband.

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.

For those prone to visually induced motion sickness, there's a spin around camera shot showing Rowena early in the film, followed by varying amounts of bouncy handheld camera footage later in it.


ALCOHOL OR DRUG USE
  • We see a photo of a Senator holding a drink.
  • After a successful outing of a Senator with Rowena working undercover, Miles says they're going to get drunk (joking about addiction, rehab and such), with Rowena adding they're going to order copious amounts of drinks. We later see them in the bar drinking shots and she appears a bit intoxicated.
  • Rowena has a beer at home.
  • Miles gets out some liquor for Rowena and himself.
  • Rowena has a beer.
  • Miscellaneous people have drinks at a reception/party where Harrison raises a toast.
  • Miles has a drink.
  • We see various beers on an office conference table in conjunction with Harrison's firm handling that account.
  • Miscellaneous people drink in a bar where Rowena and Miles' informant has a piņa colada.
  • People have drinks in a bar where Harrison comments on ordering some Hemmingway daiquiris, and then has Rowena do that for him. They then briefly discuss what's in those drinks.
  • Rowena has a beer at home.
  • Miles has a drink by himself at home and appears intoxicated.
  • Miscellaneous people have drinks in a restaurant. Later, and upon leaving there, Rowena says she feels sick, adding that it was too much sake.
  • Miles has a drink.
  • We see a flashback to Rowena and Grace having beer.
  • Miles has a drink in another scene.
  • BLOOD/GORE
  • Rowena goes to see Grace's body in the morgue and is informed it isn't going to be pretty. We then see the corpse's bad-looking face and discolored skin, all of which prompts Rowena to vomit in another room.
  • We see various quick photo views of Grace's dead body (discolored skin, etc.).
  • We see a flashback to Rowena's father taking her for a bath, when her mother intervenes and hits him with a poker or something similar. The second blow with it sprays blood onto the wall.
  • We see a flashback to a drop of blood being collected from a fingertip into a vial.
  • A woman stabs a man in the front of his body with a knife. We don't see the impact, but do hear it, and see his pained and surprised reaction. We then see a shot of him lying dead on the floor with the knife sticking out of his clothed chest, with a little blood around it. She then uses the dead man's fingernails to scrape her neck, leaving bloody marks, all to make it appear as if he attacked her.
  • DISRESPECTFUL/BAD ATTITUDE
  • The film's killer obviously has bad attitudes.
  • When Rowena exposes an anti-gay Senator (Sachs) as having a gay relationship with a male intern, there are comments about an intern program with benefits, "extracurricular sachs" and such.
  • We hear that someone powerful paid off a witness/participant in a Senate sex scandal involving a politician and his male intern.
  • Miles breaks into various computers to snoop around, allowing him and Rowena access to personal emails, etc.
  • Harrison cheats on his wife with various women, with his latest target being Rowena.
  • Rowena has a nightmare featuring her father telling her (as an adult, but meant as a young girl) how much "daddy likes bath time" (suggesting child molestation in her past).
  • Thinking he's a spy, Harrison enters an employee's office, violently swipes items off his desk, grabs the man, pulls him over the desk, and then throws him out into the main area through the open door.
  • Rowena learns that Cameron lied to her about not seeing Grace anymore (when he was and may have been the one who impregnated her).
  • Miles turns out to be obsessed with Rowena, having a wall of photos of her, etc.
  • We see a flashback to Rowena's father taking her for a bath, when her mother intervenes and hits him with a poker or something similar. The second blow with it sprays blood onto the wall. We then see young Rowena and her mother burying the father out in the backyard.
  • We learn that a person was blackmailing another over a parental death in the past.
  • We learn that a person murdered another person and then pinned that act on another person.
  • A person tries to blackmail another after he's learned the truth about the woman's actions.
  • A woman stabs a man in the front of his body with a knife (and later lies about to the police over the phone). We don't see the impact, but do hear it, and see his pained and surprised reaction. We then see a shot of him lying dead on the floor with the knife sticking out of his clothed chest, with a little blood around it. She then uses the dead man's fingernails to scrape her neck, leaving bloody marks, all to make it appear as if he attacked her.
  • FRIGHTENING SCENES
  • Scenes listed under "Violence" may be unsettling or suspenseful to younger viewers and/or those with low tolerance levels for such material.
  • While anonymously chatting with Harrison over the Internet, Rowena phones Miles and says that Harrison has requested a photo of her. That prompts Miles to ask if nude is an option, but he finds the correct one and sends it to Rowena. Unfortunately for her, it becomes stuck on her computer screen, with Harrison then entering Rowena's office, unaware that she's the one who's been typing with him. Knowing she's in big trouble should he see the photo on the screen, Rowena tries to distract him while desperately trying to turn off the computer's power strip with her foot down below her desk without Harrison realizing what's occurring.
  • Miles needs Rowena to plant some spyware on Harrison's computer, so she tries to do that, late in the day, in his office, but he catches her, thinking she's a spy. She then tries to talk her way out of that accusation, eventually convincing him of her lie.
  • Harrison sees a text message from Miles to Rowena about breaking into Harrison's computer. Thus, when he drives Rowena, we wonder what he's going to do to her. At one point, he raises his fist to punch her, but stops before he does so.
  • Rowena dreams/imagines Harrison as her incestuous father in the past telling her (as she hides in a closet) that it's "bath time."
  • Miles poses as a computer tech who needs to examine Harrison's computer (with Harrison briefly acting suspicious of him and that claim).
  • Rowena snoops around Miles' place and a sudden sound startles her.
  • GUNS/WEAPONS
  • A woman stabs a man in the front of his body with a knife. We don't see the impact, but do hear it, and see his pained and surprised reaction. We then see a shot of him lying dead on the floor with the knife sticking out of his clothed chest, with a little blood around it.
  • IMITATIVE BEHAVIOR
  • Phrases: "F*ck the little people" (nonsexual), "I f*cking quit," "We're fighting more than f*cking," "F*ck you," "Could you be serious for five f*cking minutes?" "Stay in your f*cking lane," "What, are you f*cking spying on me?" "Who the f*ck is it?" "Show me a beautiful woman, I'll show you a man who's tired of f*cking her," "Because it's f*cking radical," "You f*ck," "Oh f*ck," "You f*cking liar," "Who the f*ck is M?" "What the f*ck /are you doing?" "Fifty-f*cking times," "F*cking admit it," "Don't be such a f*cking hypocrite," "Leave me the f*ck alone," "Every step of the f*cking way," "That's f*cking beautiful," "Sh*t-load," "Does a bear sh*t in the woods?" "(This is probably) bullsh*t," "Very kinky sh*t," "Oh sh*t," "Piece of sh*t," "This is some good sh*t," "I don't have time for this sh*t," "Sh*tty," "Didn't give a sh*t about that bitch," "Stroke a man's d*ck, get him for one night, stroke a man's ego, get him for life," "More openings than a girl at Mardi Gras," "When you said you were getting off, I didn't know you meant literally," "Don't blue-ball the guy," "Are they paying you more than hooker money?" "You psychopath," "Get your ass down to the paper," "Balls" (testicles), "One hell of a weekend," "Pissed," "Couldn't find his ass with both hands and his ass," "Cu-Josie" (implying a woman named Josie is like the horror dog Cujo), "She's a watchdog, not his bitch," "May they rot in hell," "Hot bitch on wheels," "Damn sure," "(You) Bastard," "A chat room virgin," "Rat" (snitch), "Kill or become irrelevant," "Where the hell have you been?" "Get the hell out of my house," "Ass-kissing," "Scumbag," "You freak," "Working my ass off," "Freaking out" and "She handed you hell that night."
  • If they haven't already done so, the film could inspire some kids to pose as others on the Internet.
  • We see some miscellaneous graffiti.
  • Miles breaks into various computers to snoop around, allowing him and Rowena access to personal emails, etc.
  • Miles does a little run and then leaps onto his sofa.
  • JUMP SCENES
  • Rowena snoops around Miles' place and a sudden sound startles her.
  • MUSIC (SCARY/TENSE)
  • A mild amount of suspenseful and ominous music plays in the film.
  • MUSIC (INAPPROPRIATE)
  • A song includes the lyric, "You sexy thing."
  • PROFANITY
  • At least 45 "f" words (5 used sexually as are the terms "doing it," "done her" and "nailed"), 24 "s" words, 2 slang terms using male genitals ("d*ck"), 6 hells, 5 asses, 3 S.O.B.s, 1 damn, 3 uses of "Oh God," 2 of "God" and 1 use each of "G-damn," "For Christ's sakes," "Jesus Christ" and "Oh my God."
  • SEX/NUDITY
  • When Rowena exposes an anti-gay Senator (Sachs) as having a gay relationship with a male intern, there are comments about an intern program with benefits, "extracurricular sachs" and such, while we see photos of the Senator and intern (dressed, but with a head on a shoulder and another with a slight embrace and look of longing on their faces).
  • Grace admits to Rowena that she had an affair with Harrison. During this, she tells Rowena, "Stroke a man's d*ck, get him for one night, stroke a man's ego, get him for life." She talks about how they met online, how he was "turned on by it," and how they "did it" in his Beamer. When Rowena asks about Chuck (Grace's boyfriend), she replies, "We're fighting more than f*cking."
  • Rowena goes to see Grace's body in the morgue and is informed it isn't going to be pretty. The corpse's skin is all discolored, etc. but we do see full frontal nudity.
  • Miles says he stopped being Grace's friend when she "f*cked" Rowena's boyfriend, Cameron.
  • Miles reads aloud one of Harrison's Internet messages to Grace where he said, "I'm gonna f*ck you so hard, I'm gonna split you in half." Later, Rowena says that Harrison and Grace were "f*cking."
  • We see Rowena getting dressed, including a full view of her bare back (with just partial glimpses of the side of her bare breasts on either side of her body), and then her pulling up her panties (but the view ends before she gets to her crotch). We then see her clothed butt in the tight-fitting dress, as well as a lot of cleavage, both of which Miles stares at while with her.
  • Cameron caresses Rowena's body from behind (both clothed) and then starts to undress her. We then see partial views of them having sex while standing, with her leg up alongside him and him doing some thrusting, all while she sensuously asks, "You like that?" and Miles listens from the next room.
  • About Harrison's company, Miles jokes that it has more (job) openings than a girl at Mardi Gras.
  • Harrison and a male client enjoy watching Rowena back a cart into an office while wearing a tight skirt, with the client saying, "Sensational" (about business, but also the view).
  • From a distance and through a window, we see Harrison nuzzling and kissing on one of his female workers while standing. He appears to be shirtless and both drop down out of the window view, with sex suggested.
  • Rowena has a nightmare featuring her father telling her (as an adult, but meant as a young girl) how much "daddy likes bath time" (suggesting child molestation in her past).
  • Rowena shows varying amounts of cleavage (sometimes a lot) in various outfits throughout the movie.
  • We hear that Grace was pregnant when she was murdered.
  • A woman asks Rowena if she has a boyfriend. When she says no, the woman asks, "Girlfriend?" with Rowena uncomfortably smiling about the line of questioning.
  • Rowena asks the female office gossip if Harrison has "done" his personal assistant, with the gossip saying no, that the female assistant would be more interested in Rowena. She then comments that Harrison is into "very kinky sh*t," adding that he probably likes a tight collar and that she'd let him "give me a spank."
  • We see video clips of women in lingerie at a lingerie business reception/party (seen from a distance). Harrison then raises a toast but has a slip of the tongue when he states something has been "suc-sex-ful."
  • A miscellaneous woman shows cleavage.
  • The office gossip talks of an accountant who "nailed" another worker. When Rowena comments on Harrison's wife being pretty, the gossip replies, "Show me a beautiful woman, I'll show you a man who's tired of f*cking her."
  • Harrison (or Miles posing as him) tells Rowena -- via instant messaging -- that "when you said you were getting off, I didn't know you meant literally."
  • Rowena exchanges typed messages with Harrison in a chat room (with Miles occasionally chiming in), with all sorts of sexual talk and innuendo flying back and forth. It's asked, "Are you turned on?" while another comment is "don't blue-ball the guy." Harrison asks about Rowena's hair, with her saying it's blonde, and then dirty, with him saying he likes dirty and would like to grab a fistful.
  • We see a woman in tight leather pants.
  • While anonymously chatting with Harrison over the Internet, Rowena phones Miles and says that Harrison has requested a photo of her. That prompts Miles to ask if nude is an option, and while he searches for a photo, Harrison enters Rowena's office (unaware that she's the one he's been chatting with online) and suggestively asks if he can help her, with Rowena half-nervously replying, "Not unless data entry turns you on."
  • Another chat between Rowena and Harrison (but really Miles posing as him) includes sexual talk and innuendo, such as "Are you turned on?" and "Are you trying to seduce me?" Harrison then asks what Rowena is wearing, with her saying a robe, him wondering what's beneath that, her saying panties, and him asking what color they are. He then comments on her rubbing up against him and lifting up her skirt. When she's then distracted typing to Miles, Harrison becomes impatient and wonders if she's there. She types back that she's sorry, adding that her hands were a little busy. He replies that so were his, adding, "At least one of them." He (but again, really Miles) comments on trailing her hands to her panties, asking, "Can you feel me f*cking you?"
  • Rowena passionately kisses Cameron. When she asks what he's doing later, he playfully replies, "You." However, she's really getting at that he's been asked by the police to submit to a paternity test to see if he was the one who impregnated Grace (meaning he lied to Rowena about still seeing her).
  • We see Miles shirtless.
  • In a secluded section of a restaurant, Harrison passionately kisses Rowena and fondles her clothed breast.
  • Thinking she's a spy using her sexual wiles to get to him, Harrison asks Rowena if the competitor is paying her more than hooker money.
  • Rowena showers, but we don't see anything explicit.
  • Rowena learns that Miles has an audio loop of her saying, "Miles is sexy." She then sees what looks like a porno magazine in his bathroom, and then many porn pictures on the wall (bare breasts, spread legs, etc.). She also finds a wall devoted to her, with one image showing her head superimposed on a bikini model's body. There are also photos of Miles and Grace in various sexual role-playing poses, including S&M type photos (tied up with kissing, and partially seen and implied nudity, including his hand on her bare breast, him appearing to be nude while lying on top of her, etc.). When he returns home, Rowena is disgusted, and comments on him "f*cking" Grace, with him replying, "Who didn't?"
  • We see some miscellaneous cleavage.
  • We see Miles shirtless.
  • SMOKING
  • None.
  • TENSE FAMILY SCENES
  • Grace's mother contacts Rowena, stating that Grace is missing.
  • Rowena has a nightmare featuring her father telling her (as an adult, but meant as a young girl) how much "daddy likes bath time" (suggesting child molestation in her past).
  • Rowena visits her mother in some sort of rehab facility, and her elderly mother only smiles at her.
  • We see a flashback to Rowena's father taking her for a bath, when her mother intervenes and hits him with a poker or something similar. The second blow with it sprays blood onto the wall. We then see young Rowena and her mother burying the father out in the backyard.
  • TOPICS TO TALK ABOUT
  • The dangers of interacting with strangers on the Internet.
  • We hear that someone powerful paid off a witness/participant in a Senate sex scandal involving a politician and his male intern.
  • The notion of powerful men protecting powerful men.
  • The business mantra of eat or be eaten.
  • Child molestation.
  • There's talk of Harrison's wife trying to get pregnant via a fertility clinic.
  • Belladonna and its uses.
  • The business notion of kill or be irrelevant.
  • Rowena visits her mother in some sort of rehab facility, and her elderly mother only smiles at her.
  • Miles turns out to be obsessed with Rowena, having a wall of photos of her, etc.
  • VIOLENCE
  • Although we don't see the act, Grace is murdered near the beginning of the film.
  • Thinking he's a spy, Harrison enters an employee's office, violently swipes items off his desk, grabs the man, pulls him over the desk, and then throws him out into the main area through the open door.
  • We see a flashback to Rowena's father taking her for a bath, when her mother intervenes and hits him with a poker or something similar. The second blow with it sprays blood onto the wall. We then see young Rowena and her mother burying the father out in the backyard.
  • A woman stabs a man in the front of his body with a knife. We don't see the impact, but do hear it, and see his pained and surprised reaction. We then see a shot of him lying dead on the floor with the knife sticking out of his clothed chest, with a little blood around it. She then uses the dead man's fingernails to scrape her neck, leaving bloody marks, all to make it appear as if he attacked her.



  • Reviewed April 5, 2007 / Posted April 13, 2007

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