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(2003) (Tommy Lee Jones, Benicio Del Toro) (R)

Blood/Gore Disrespectful/
Bad Attitude
Tense Scenes
Minor Extreme Extreme Moderate Extreme
Moderate None Extreme None Heavy
Smoking Tense Family
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Action/Thriller: A retired military trainer tries to track down and stop one of his former pupils who's gone on a killing spree.
L.T. Bonham (TOMMY LEE JONES) is a retired military trainer who's called back into action when one of his former students, Sgt. 1st Class Aaron Hallam (BENICIO DEL TORO), goes on a murder spree in Oregon. Having witnessed the horrors and ethnic cleansing in Kosovo, the expertly trained, highly resourceful and incredibly dangerous Hallam has apparently snapped, and is now accused of killing and gutting four men.

Summoned by FBI official Harry Van Zandt (RON CANADA), L.T. arrives at the latest murder scene where he meets field agent Abby Durrell (CONNIE NIELSEN) and sees scores of other agents and local police scouring the area. Preferring to work alone, L.T. then sets out to track down Hallam. After a precarious encounter with the apparently deranged soldier, L.T. and Durrell bring him in.

During a subsequent transport, however, Hallam manages to escape. Upon hearing about that, L.T. sets out once again to find his former student and bring him back in or kill him. Finding Hallam visiting Irene Kravitz (LESLIE STEFANSON) and her daughter, Loretta (JENNA BOYD), L.T. and Hallam enter into a long cat and mouse chase sequence where both men must use all of their resources in repeated attempts to outwit and outfight the other.

If they're fans of anyone in the cast or action-based thrillers they might, but this one doesn't appear particularly attractive to anyone below the teenage years (and mostly boys at that).
For strong bloody violence and some language.
  • TOMMY LEE JONES plays a former military trainer who's called back to duty to track down Hallam following his murder spree. Preferring to work alone, he does what he must to find and bring down his former student. He uses some profanity.
  • BENICIO DEL TORO plays a highly resourceful but disturbed and deranged military man who goes off the deep end and starts killing people. He then tries to elude and/or kill his former instructor on various occasions.
  • CONNIE NIELSEN plays an FBI agent who's also on Hallam's trail.
  • RON CANADA plays a lead FBI official who wants Hallam captured. He uses some strong profanity.


    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 brief summary of the content found in this R-rated action thriller. Profanity consists of at least 4 "f" words, while other expletives, colorful phrases and one line of sexual dialogue are also present.

    Violence consists of graphic instances of war-related ethnic cleansing (many people being shot and killed, etc.), others being killed by various means (knives and guns) as well as the two main characters getting into various fights, including a graphic knife battle. Many of those scenes have extremely bloody results and might, along with other scenes, be unsettling, tense or suspenseful to some viewers.

    Various characters have varying degrees of bad attitudes, and some brief smoking and drinking is present. Some brief tense family material occurs, as does some potentially imitative behavior. 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 concerned with bright flashes of light on the screen, some of that occurs early in the film from flashes of machine gun fire, as well as in the middle when certain short scenes flash on the screen.

  • Some hunters appear to have beer in front of them.
  • A storekeeper pours liquor into his coffee and says that the wheels fell off when L.T. says he thought the man was on the wagon.
  • We see blood on the backs of people who've been shot and executed. We later see more bloody people as well as partially decomposed bodies, and a man that Hallam kills is very bloody (after having his throat stabbed and slit several times).
  • L.T. tracks blood in the snow and we then see that a wolf has an injured and bloody leg (from a snare).
  • A man's face is bloody after Hallam cuts him there. Later, his leg is bloody after it's caught in a snare.
  • We see several black and white photos of murder victims (one with a bloody face, others showing bloody and severed limbs).
  • We hear L.T. vomit (from motion sickness).
  • Hallam has some blood on his head during a fight.
  • Various people are bloody following a shooting and van accident (the dead driver has blood pouring from the back of his head). We also see blood on the inside walls of the back of the transport van.
  • An agent sees blood running down a man's arm into a pool of blood on the floor.
  • A man has blood on his shirt after being killed.
  • A man's neck is very bloody after a knife is thrown into it. Durrell later has a lot of blood on her coat, shirt and hands from him.
  • Blood squirts out when L.T. pulls a crude knife out of his leg.
  • L.T. and Hallam get into a prolonged knife fight where both end up cutting various parts of each other's body and/or face (with extremely bloody results).
  • Serb soldiers and officers have extreme cases of both for murdering Albanian civilians in the name of ethnic cleansing.
  • Hallam kills various people he claims have been sent to kill him (we don't know if that's true or not) as well as various officials who have been sent in to capture or kill him. He also steals a person's bike to escape.
  • A woman lies to Durrell and L.T. about whether she's recently seen Hallam.
  • Scenes listed under "Violence" (particularly all of the bloody fighting) might be unsettling, tense or suspenseful to some viewers.
  • Those who don't like hurt animals might not like the sight of an injured wolf whose leg is bloody and is still caught in a snare (it turns out to be okay). There's also a scene where two men are hunting, but they then appear to be hunting Hallam.
  • L.T. slowly makes his way through a dense forest, fully aware that Hallam might pop up at any moment.
  • L.T. slowly makes his way through a house, fully aware that Hallam might pop out at any moment.
  • L.T. and others slowly make their way through steam tunnels looking for Hallam. One cautiously approaches what looks like Hallam and various bloody and lethal encounters follow.
  • A large truck nearly hits L.T. as he pops up out of a manhole on a busy street.
  • L.T. ends up with a crude knife in his leg and hanging upside down from a rope above some raging rapids (after falling a great distance to get into the position). He then cuts the rope and falls into the rapids that sweep him away.
  • Knives/Handguns/Machine guns/Tanks/Hunting Rifles: Used to threaten, wound or kill people. See "Violence" for details.
  • Phrases: "You f*cked up," "Move away from the f*cking column," "That's bullsh*t," "Oh, sh*t," "What are you, nuts?" "Don't push it, asshole," "What the hell are you doing out here?" "You did a hell of a job," "Shut up" and "That's a damn lie."
  • Some impressionable kids might be enticed to imitate the fighting (especially with knives), booby-traps and one segment where military types are shown exactly how to kill with a knife.
  • Hallam jumps from a high bridge tower into the river below.
  • None.
  • An extreme amount of ominous and suspenseful music plays in the film.
  • None.
  • At least 4 "f" words (2 in subtitles with one used sexually), 6 "s" words, 2 hells, 1 ass (used with "hole"), 1 damn and 1 use each of "G-damn," "God," "Jesus Christ" and "Oh my God" as exclamations.
  • A military leader angrily states that since Albanians "f*cked our mothers," they'll kill them.
  • A few miscellaneous people smoke in several scenes.
  • Several Albanian children see their parents murdered in front of them by Serbs.
  • We briefly hear that L.T.'s brother was killed in Vietnam.
  • How specialized military training, etc. can backfire on those who initiate it.
  • How war and such military operations and related horrors can traumatize people.
  • Hunting.
  • We see war violence in Kosovo with explosions, burning buildings and people struggling with others. We then see various soldiers execute many civilians (standing and thrown into pits) with machine gun fire. This continues for several minutes with many more people shot and killed.
  • Hallam grabs an enemy leader, stabs him in the neck and then slits his throat several times (all with very bloody results).
  • J.T. slams a hunter's head down onto a table while mad at him.
  • Two hunters appear to be after Hallam and he plays a game of hunting the hunters. First, he cuts one man on the cheek, while the other man fires shots at Hallam. The first man then gets his leg caught (and possibly broken) by a snare (with bloody results). We then hear sounds of Hallam stabbing the second man to death and the first man tries to get away from Hallam (but we hear more screaming). We later hear that he killed and gutted both men.
  • L.T. and Hallam exchange punches that both block. L.T. then hits Hallam on the back and pushes him away. Hallam then repeatedly tries to hit L.T. with his knife. In turn, L.T. hits and trips Hallam with a large branch and then hits him on the head with it. More hand to hand combat ensues as does struggling on the ground over control of a knife (with both on top of the other). During that, L.T. knees Hallam in the body several times. More struggling follows and Hallam pushes his foot into L.T.'s neck before kicking him off him. The two then tackle each other to the ground. A tranquilizer dart then hits Hallam in the back, sending him to the ground.
  • A military official is about to inject a lethal spray into Hallam's nose. As a result, he grabs another official around the neck with his cuffs and chains. The first official then aims his gun at Hallam, but ends up accidentally shooting the driver of their van instead. It then turns over and crashes, resulting in all of the men inside being injured. Hallam then breaks one man's arm/wrist and injects the spray into the man's nose, killing him (we also hear that the other man is dead).
  • Durrell aims her gun at Hallam and then fires at him when he dives out a window. He then blasts a car backwards through a garage door and Durrell shoots out his back window. Later, he rams and pushes other cars in a traffic jam with the car he's driving.
  • We see that Hallam has killed a man (with bloody results) and he then kills an approaching FBI agent by stabbing him and apparently breaking his neck (we hear the sound).
  • Hallam throws a large knife that sticks in a man's neck, killing him (with bloody results).
  • Hallam holds a knife to a man's throat while briefly holding him hostage.
  • Agents and/or cops shoot at Hallam as he climbs a bridge tower.
  • L.T. barely avoids two large swinging logs that slam into each other and could have crushed him between them.
  • A crude knife is jammed into L.T.'s leg.
  • L.T. and Hallam get into a prolonged knife fight where both end up cutting various parts of each other's body and/or face (with very bloody results). More bloody stabbing and slicing occurs and both then struggle over a knife (including a punch to the face).
  • A man is repeatedly stabbed and presumably killed.

  • Reviewed March 11, 2003 / Posted March 14, 2003

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