[Screen It]


(2001) (Tom Cruise, Penelope Cruz) (R)

Blood/Gore Disrespectful/
Bad Attitude
Tense Scenes
Moderate Mild Moderate Moderate None
Mild None Minor None Extreme
Smoking Tense Family
Topics To
Talk About
Extreme *None Minor Moderate Heavy

Suspense/Thriller: A disfigured man tries to separate reality from fantasy after being charged with a murder he doesn't remember committing.
David Aames (TOM CRUISE) is a successful, thirty-something playboy who inherited his father's publishing business but would rather spend his time snowboarding or bedding attractive young women like Julie Gianni (CAMERON DIAZ). That, of course, doesn't sit well with his board of directors despite the loyalty of his father's confidant, Thomas Tipp (TIMOTHY SPALL), and makes his friend, Brian Shelby (JASON LEE), somewhat jealous of his cavalier lifestyle.

The latter only gets worse when Brian brings the ravishing Sofia Serrano (PENELOPE CRUZ) to David's birthday party and the two immediately hit it off. After spending the night together, the two seem to be walking on clouds, but David then runs into Julie who seems to be stalking him as she's upset about not being invited to the party and his lack of love for her.

Accordingly, she drives both of them off a bridge, killing herself and injuring David, leaving him with a disfigured face. David then finds himself in a world where reality isn't what it always seems. Hidden behind an expressionless latex mask and incarcerated in prison for a murder he doesn't remember, David thinks his board set him up, a point that McCabe (KURT RUSSELL), a sympathetic psychiatrist assigned to his case, doesn't believe.

From that point on, and as the story jumps back and forth through time, David tries to get his life back in order, all while repeatedly seeing programming about cryogenics, having repeated run-ins with Edmund Ventura (NOAH TAYLOR), a mysterious man who claims to know him, and seeing people and experiencing events that may or may not be real.

If they're fans of someone in the cast, director Cameron Crowe, or the original Spanish film, "Abre Los Ojos," they just might.
For sexuality and strong language.
  • TOM CRUISE plays a successful playboy whose world is turned upside down after a lover of his commits suicide with him in the car, leaving him physically and psychologically damaged. He uses strong profanity and then tries to figure out what's going on as Sofia and Julie seem to trade places. He's also drunk in one scene.
  • JASON LEE plays David's friend who uses strong profanity and drinks to the point of being drunk in one scene.
  • CAMERON DIAZ plays David's friend and sexual partner who uses strong profanity and becomes obsessed with David and his lack of love for her.
  • PENELOPE CRUZ plays a dancer who falls for David and eventually sleeps with him. She briefly uses strong profanity.
  • KURT RUSSELL plays a sympathetic psychiatrist assigned to David's case.
  • NOAH TAYLOR plays a mysterious man who occasionally pops up in David's life and claims to know him.
  • TIMOTHY SPALL plays one of David's senior employees who tries to save the company for him. He drinks some.


    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).

    The following is a summary of the content found in this R-rated thriller where everything is not always as it seems. Profanity is rated as extreme due to the use of at least 44 "f" words, with various expletives and colorful phrases also being used. Various instances of sexually explicit dialogue are present, while several sexual encounters are seen (with movement, some nudity, and sounds) or are implied.

    Violence includes a man smothering a woman with a pillow, and a woman purposefully drives her car off a bridge, resulting in her death and the disfigurement of her passenger. A few other non-lethal moments of violence are present, and we see a photograph showing the bloody results of off-screen abuse. Those scenes, others, and/or the sight of a man's disfigured face might be unsettling or suspenseful to some viewers.

    Various characters have varying degrees of bad attitudes, while some also drink, occasionally to the point of being drunk. Should you still be concerned about the film and its appropriateness for yourself or anyone in your home, we suggest that you closely examine our detailed listings for more specific information about the content.

    For those concerned with bright flashes of light on the screen, some strobe-like effects occur during a scene set in a bar.

  • Various people drink at a party, including Thomas who has wine, while Julie has a martini and Brian drinks (and later states that he's drunk from Jack Daniel's and Coke). Sofia then brings Jack Daniel's and Coke for Brian, David and herself.
  • Sofia gives David a beer and then drinks one herself.
  • People drink in a bar where Brian and Sofia have beer and David has many shots of tequila (and later is drunk and passes out on the street).
  • David drinks a beer.
  • We see various views of David's scarred and disfigured face (after the car accident).
  • We briefly see a still photo that appears to be surgery related and looks like it shows the interior of a body (but was so brief that it couldn't be identified).
  • We see a photo of a woman with various bloody cuts on her face (allegedly from where David beat her, but we never see that).
  • Note: Not everything that's seen turns out to be real, but most of that appears that way as it occurs.
  • David somewhat steals Sofia from Brian, doesn't take his role as head of the company seriously, and casually sleeps with Julie.
  • Julie becomes obsessed with David, eventually essentially stalking him.
  • Some miscellaneous men in a restroom make fun of David's face.
  • Note: Not everything that's seen turns out to be real, but most of that appears that way as it occurs.
  • While driving down a city street, David and Brian nearly hit a pedestrian and then in turn are nearly hit by a large truck.
  • As we see that Julie is acting deranged, she speeds up in her car (with David as a passenger) and drives like a maniac through traffic and red lights until she eventually blasts the car through a bridge railing and down to the ground below. The car then smashes into the ground and a nearby wall and we hear that she's killed and David was severely injured (but we don't see them).
  • The views of David's scarred and disfigured face might be unsettling for some viewers.
  • The film's weird atmosphere and the fact that we're never quite sure what's happening might also be unsettling/disturbing for some viewers.
  • David smothers a woman with a pillow after having sex with her (thinking she's someone else). We see her arms flailing and struggling until they eventually stop.
  • In regards to the events of September 11, 2001, a scene - with the World Trade Center buildings in the background -- where a character jumps from the top of a skyscraper and plummets toward the ground (seen from various angles as well as his point of view) might be unsettling to some viewers (although he never hits).
  • None.
  • Phrases: "F*ck your brains out," "F*ck buddy," "Get the f*ck away from me," "You little f*ck," "F*ck you," "Could be the girl of my f*cking dreams," "F*cks up," "Get the f*cků" "I f*cking love you," "F*cking prove it," "We have to pull it the f*ck together," "You're a f*cking asshole," "Who the f*ck are you?" "Shut the f*ck up," "Bullsh*t," "Nuts," "Pissed" (upset), "You little freak," "Citizen Dildo" (David's nickname), "Go to hell," "Freaking me out," "Bitch" (said by a man to another man and then vice-versa), "Shut up," "Bastard" and "What the hell happened?"
  • A man in a photo gives "the finger" to the camera.
  • We see that a character apparently committed suicide via an overdose, and in another scene a character leaps from a building after being told that what he thinks will happen isn't real.
  • None.
  • Some suspenseful music plays in the film.
  • None.
  • At least 44 "f" words (6 used sexually as is the term "hooked up"), 7 "s" words, 3 asses (2 used with "hole"), 2 hells, and 1 use each of "Oh God" and "Holy God" as exclamations.
  • Note: Not everything that's seen turns out to be real, but most of that appears that way as it occurs.
  • As David gets ready for work, we see Julie under his sheets (with her breasts just covered by them). She then tells him that if he doesn't do something, she won't come over again and "f*ck your brains out."
  • Brian asks David, "You f*cked Julie Gianni again, didn't you?" David replies that Julie is his friend and that they sometimes sleep together. This then causes Brian to refer to Julie as David's "f*ck buddy."
  • We see a photo of a woman in a bikini on the cover of a magazine.
  • David goes upstairs at his birthday party to discover Julie there wearing just a sheet draped around her. We thus see various shots of most of her bare legs as the sheet moves around. She then playfully reminds him that they made love four times the other night. David then asks if that's good and she replies that two is good, and that three is very good, but never completes her comment on four other than passionately kissing him.
  • We see various photos of Sofia, including one where she's nude, but based on her body position we don't see anything explicit. We also see a photo of a man in his underwear.
  • After Sofia asks David if he has a nickname and he replies "Citizen Dildo" (based on what his board members reportedly call him), she jokingly states that he's not staying over.
  • McCabe asks if David wanted to sleep with Sofia on their first "date," but David replies that he's a pleasure delayer (meaning he waits until the absolute breaking point).
  • We briefly see David on top of Sofia on her sofa as they nearly kiss (while clothed), but nothing else happens.
  • As Julie talks to David, she says that she could tell by the way that he walks that he didn't sleep with her. She then adds that he's probably happy he didn't sleep with her because it's more fun if he can draw it out.
  • Later, she asks David why he told Brian that she was his "f*ck buddy" (something David denies). As she becomes more deranged, she adds, "You f*cked me four times the other night. You've been inside me. I swallowed your cum. That means something." She then adds that when you sleep with someone, your body makes a promise whether you do or not.
  • Sofia shows some cleavage in various outfits in various scenes.
  • We see Brian and Sofia making out.
  • David tells Sofia that he thought that she and Brian "hooked up."
  • We see various shots of David and Sofia lying together (from the torso up), obviously nude, and see various views of her bare breasts and back, and his bare chest and back (but they don't appear to be having sex).
  • David gets up after being in bed with Sofia who's sleeping (implying earlier sex).
  • We see the side of Julie's bare butt as she lies in bed.
  • We see an alternating head and shoulders shot of David on top of Sofia as they have sex (with movement and pleasured expressions and sounds). He then realizes he's having sex with Julie, but continues thrusting (with the camera shots alternating between him and Julie who's reacting with enthusiasm to the vigorous thrusting).
  • David states that when Brian is drunk, he does that Frank Sinatra thing where he wants a cigarette (and Brian then tells David to get him one, but he never does).
  • We hear that a drunk driver killed David's parents years ago.
  • Those who are disfigured and their and others' reactions to their appearance.
  • Casual sex relationships.
  • The theory of cryogenics.
  • Dreams and what they mean.
  • Note: Not everything that's seen turns out to be real, but most of that appears that way as it occurs.
  • A car blasts through a bridge railing and down to the ground below. The car then smashes into the ground and a nearby wall and we hear that the driver was killed and the passenger was severely injured (but we don't see them).
  • David ties up Julie after finding her in bed with him and claiming to be Sofia.
  • We see a photo of a woman with various bloody cuts on her face (allegedly from where David beat her, but we never see that).
  • Brian pushes David around a bit (thinking he did the above) and David then drives Brian back into a fence.
  • David throws something in anger against a wall, causing the object to shatter. Julie then runs up and hits him on the head with a book, and then kicks him several times (stating she thought he was a vandal).
  • David smothers a woman with a pillow after having sex with her (thinking she's someone else). We see her arms flailing and struggling until they eventually stop.
  • David knocks over a man while running from a room.
  • We see that a man apparently killed himself via an overdose.

  • Reviewed December 10, 2001 / Posted December 14, 2001

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