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(2002) (Kevin Costner, Kathy Bates) (PG-13)

Blood/Gore Disrespectful/
Bad Attitude
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Smoking Tense Family
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Suspense/Thriller: After experiencing various seemingly supernatural encounters, a doctor begins to believe that his dead wife is trying to contact him from beyond the grave.
Joe Darrow (KEVIN COSTNER) is a doctor who's in charge of emergency room operations at Chicago Memorial hospital. When his wife and fellow doctor, Emily (SUSANNA THOMPSON), is accidentally killed while doing volunteer work for the Red Cross in Venezuela, Joe deals with that by throwing himself into his work.

The hospital administrator, Hugh Campbell (JOE MORTON), doesn't think that's a good idea, a sentiment shared by Joe's lawyer neighbor, Miriam Belmont (KATHY BATES), who knows what it's like to lose a loved one.

Nevertheless, Joe puts in long hours, during one of which he has a strange encounter with an unconscious boy, Jeffrey Reardon (ROBERT BAILEY, JR.), who he swears was calling out his name while being wheeled into the ER. Despite having been declared dead, Jeffrey later recounts seeing Joe in the room with him, as well as that of Emily who apparently had a message for Joe. Jeffrey can't recall what it is, but the odd symbols he keeps drawing - something of a squiggly cross - seem to have some connection to all of that.

As Joe tries to figure out what that means, he begins experiencing what appear to be supernatural events in his home, while another child patient, Ben (JACOB SMITH), has also drawn those same symbols and similarly claims to have seen Emily who told him to tell Joe to meet her at the "rainbow."

With everyone believing Joe to be simply experiencing denial or perhaps going crazy, he can't shake the feeling that Emily is trying to contact him from "the other side," a point reaffirmed by Sister Madeline (LINDA HUNT), a nun who previously investigated near death experiences.

From that point on, and as the supernatural events keep occurring, Joe tries to figure out whether he's losing his mind or truly is receiving signals from beyond the grave.

Those who are fans of supernatural thrillers and/or someone in the cast may want to.
For thematic material and mild sensuality.
  • KEVIN COSTNER plays an ER doctor who begins to believe that his recently deceased wife is trying to contact him. Accordingly, he sets out to find out if that's true. He also uses some profanity.
  • SUSANNA THOMPSON plays his wife, a fellow doctor who's killed while assisting Red Cross efforts in Venezuela.
  • JOE MORTON plays the hospital administrator who wants and then demands that Joe take time off to grieve.
  • KATHY BATES plays Joe's skeptical neighbor, a lawyer who tries to convince him that none of the supernatural things he's reporting are real.
  • LINDA HUNT plays a nun who previously investigated near death experiences.
  • ROBERT BAILEY, JR. plays a boy who's reportedly had many near death experiences.


    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 quick look at the content found in this PG-13 rated supernatural thriller. Since it falls into that genre, the picture contains various scenes and sequences (often accompanied by suspenseful or ominous music) that may be unsettling, suspenseful or downright frightening to some viewers (especially those with low tolerance levels for supernatural material including scenes designed to make viewers jump from their seats).

    Some of that material involves children having near death experiences, while other moments involve people dying in a bus accident (as it sinks in a river) and another apparent drowning. Beyond that accidental violence, some men briefly struggle and some South American tribesmen briefly threaten an outsider with their spears.

    A husband and wife are briefly seen being passionate/sensuous (no nudity or actual sex), some tribal women are briefly seen topless, and some brief, non-explicit, sexually related talk is present. Profanity consists of a handful of mild expletives, while some colorful phrases are also uttered. Tense family moments involve a husband trying to cope with his wife's death and then his building belief that she's trying to contact him from beyond the grave.

    Beyond that, some characters have varying degrees of bad attitudes, while they and others briefly drink alcohol in a few scenes. Should you still be concerned about the film's content and its appropriateness for yourself or anyone else in your home, we suggest that you take a closer look at our detailed listings for more specific information about what's present and occurs in the film.

  • Joe's friends drink beer in a bar and toast Emily.
  • Joe and others have wine with dinner.
  • Joe has a beer.
  • Joe and his friends have beer in a bar where others also drink.
  • We see some blood on a patient being wheeled into the ER.
  • A brain dead man comes into the ER with a blood-soaked bandage on his body.
  • Those with strong religious beliefs might not like the fact that Joe doesn't believe in Heaven.
  • While working in the ER the day of Emily's funeral, Joe won't help a young woman who tried to commit suicide as he states he only wants to see those who want to live.
  • Joe occasionally has both types of attitudes toward those who want to help him through the grieving process.
  • An outsider intrudes upon a tribal village despite being told he can't do that.
  • We see the beginning of the accident that takes Emily's life. While riding across a Venezuelan mountain, her bus becomes stuck and is then hit by a rock/mudslide that begins to push it over the side (the scene ends there).
  • As some scary music plays, Joe wakes up to fine a disc-shaped, dragonfly paperweight rolling across his bedroom floor at night.
  • Joe awakens at the hospital at night to hear what he thinks is a young boy calling out his name and asking if he can hear him. He then sees Jeffrey being wheeled into the ER unconscious and the doctors' unsuccessful efforts to revive the boy. He then goes over to Jeffrey only to have the boy suddenly bolt upright and opens his eyes extremely wide, before falling back to the table and coming back to life.
  • The scene where Jeffrey explains his near death experience and his sighting of Emily during that might be somewhat unsettling or creepy to some viewers.
  • As some ominous music plays, Joe gets a bit unnerved when he sees a dragonfly outside his window at night.
  • Later, and with more music, Joe hears his wife's parrot say its normal greeting of when she used to come home. He then gets up and slowly makes his way through the house, spotting the swinging kitchen door moving back and forth. He then goes inside and sees the kitchen light swaying and is then surprised by the parrot suddenly flying at him. The parrot then goes crazy and knocks over all sorts of items before landing on the floor and lying on its back (but it's otherwise okay).
  • After crouching down to the floor to check on the parrot, Joe stands up and suddenly sees his dead wife standing outside the window.
  • Joe finds the strange symbols the kids had earlier drawn smeared on his windows and drawn in some dirt on the floor.
  • Joe is told to wait by a brain dead man so that others can harvest his organs. As he waits with the man, he suddenly sees brain waves on the read-out and hears a voice calling out his name. He then hears his wife's voice come from the man and the man's hand suddenly grabs Joe's arm.
  • After removing his wife's clothes from the closet and packing up her disc-shaped, dragonfly paperweight, the light in the bedroom burns out. Joe then goes to retrieve a light bulb, but hears a noise and returns to the room only to find the paperweight out of the box and the clothes back in the closet. After quickly leaving the house, Joe then sees the front door slowly opening. He then slowly walks back into the dark house.
  • A man is swept down a river toward a partially submerged bus that he manages to enter. It then becomes dislodged, strikes an object and traps his leg as it sinks below the water. We then essentially see him drown and have a near death experience (although he's later pulled out and is okay).
  • We see a flashback to Emily's death as her bus is hit by the rock/mudslide, causing it to careen down a long hill and crash into the river. She then comes to in the partially submerged bus where everyone is dead or unconscious and we then later see her body floating face down in the river.
  • Rifles/Automatic Weapons/Handgun: Carried by various men in Venezuela.
  • Spears/Arrows: Used by some Venezuelan tribesman to threaten an outsider.
  • Phrases: "Hell hole," "Crappy," "Nuts" (crazy), "What the hell is he saying?" and "You're one crazy son of a bitch."
  • A presumably dead boy suddenly bolts upright on an ER table with his eyes wide open (accompanied by sudden music).
  • In a spooky and quiet scene, a parrot suddenly flies out at Joe.
  • After crouching down to the floor to check on a pet parrot, Joe stands up and suddenly sees his dead wife standing outside the window.
  • A brain dead man's hand suddenly grabs Joe's arm.
  • An extreme amount of ominous and suspenseful music plays in the film.
  • None.
  • At least 3 asses (2 used with "hole"), 3 damns, 3 hells, 1 crap, 1 S.O.B., 2 uses of "For God's sakes" and 1 use of "Jesus" as exclamations.
  • We see a flashback of Joe and Emily mostly jokingly talking about what they'd come back as if reincarnated. Joe then asks her if he was a bird and she was an insect, how they'd have sex (but he doesn't use that word). She then playfully states that they'd have to do it (have sex) enough in this life to make up for the next.
  • We then see the two of them being passionate while standing or kneeling upright. He pulls down the strap of her slip and kisses her chest (her back is to the camera). We hear some pleasured sounds, but don't see or hear anything else.
  • A grief counselor says that she finds bald men sexy, so Joe jokingly states that he has a parrot that might "turn you on."
  • We see various tribesmen in traditional garb (somewhat like loincloths that cover just the front and back of their lower regions, but not the side). We also very briefly see some of the tribal women's bare breasts.
  • We briefly see full frontal and rear nudity of an infant girl.
  • None.
  • Joe must deal with Emily's death.
  • We hear that Miriam lost her daughter sometime in the past as well.
  • What happens when one dies or nearly dies - i.e. near death experiences and the afterlife.
  • The grieving process after someone close to you dies.
  • Suicide - a miscellaneous character apparently tried to do that and says she will again as she's restrained in the hospital.
  • Supernatural events (or what seem like them).
  • We see the beginning of the accident that takes Emily's life. While riding across a Venezuelan mountain, her bus becomes stuck and is then hit by a rock/mudslide that begins to push it over the side (the scene ends there). We later see the accident in more detail, but don't see any of the actual deaths as they occur (although we do see bodies).
  • Emily's parrot goes crazy in the kitchen, knocking over and breaking all sorts of items.
  • An orderly pushes Joe when he tries to interfere with transporting an organ donor and then he and another man must retrain Joe, eventually pinning him to the floor.
  • A man essentially drowns after his leg becomes stuck in a sinking bus (but he's later rescued and is okay).
  • Various tribesmen briefly threaten an outsider with their spears and arrows.

  • Reviewed February 19, 2002 / Posted February 22, 2002

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