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Antwone Fisher | 2002 | PG-13 | - 4.5.5

Denzel Washington's directorial debut focuses on a true story, the life of Antwone "Fish" Fisher, a studio security guard who became a writer and Hollywood producer. When he was a young man, Fisher (played by Derek Luke) was a sailor prone to violent outbursts and fistfights. Sent to a Navy psychiatrist (Washington) for help, he eventually breaks down and reveals a horrific childhood rife with abuse and embarks on a search to find the family that abandoned him as a baby. Also with Joy Bryant, Salli Richardson and Stephen Snedden. [1:53]

SEX/NUDITY 4 - A woman kisses a man tenderly, they begin to kiss, she removes his jacket and they kiss and caress each other and we hear later that they have had sex. We hear a woman telling a young boy to take off his pants, then hers, then telling him to kiss her -- we listed to him as an adult describing repeated rapes by this woman when he was young (please see the Violence/Gore category for more details). A man and a woman hug and kiss several times in different scenes, and a woman kisses a man on the cheek. People dance in a club scene: women wear outfits that reveal bare abdomens, cleavage, and bare thighs. A man and a woman flirt in a few scenes and he asks her out on a date. We see bare-chested men wearing towels wrapped around their waists, in a shower room. A woman's nightgown reveals cleavage, and a woman wears a low-cut dress that reveals cleavage. A man says, "she's the only woman I've ever seen naked."

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VIOLENCE/GORE 5 - A man holds a gun to a man's head during a convenience store robbery, the man behind the counter shoots the robber in the head and blood splatters on the windows, the door and on another man. A woman shoots a man in the stomach with a shotgun, the man falls down stairs and we hear that he died. Stories are recounted of young boys being beaten and sexually abused by two women: we see two boys tied to a post by the hands and beaten on the backs with a wet towel (one boy becomes unconscious), a boy tied to a pole is threatened by a woman waving a flame in his face and is then locked in a dark basement, and a woman slaps a boy in the face, asks him to kiss her and we hear her telling him to take down his pants, then take down her pants (he describes the rape in a later scene). A woman hits a boy twice with her shoe, he grabs it and yells at her. A man punches another man in the face, is pulled off him by other men, and he lunges at the man again. A man shoves a man and yells in his face, and a man shoves and tackles a man to the floor. Two men drag a man -- who is struggling -- into another man's office. A man talks about his mother chasing him down the street holding a brick; she apparently threw it at him and it hit him in the head. We hear that a baby was born in jail and never claimed by his mother after her release. A woman confronts a man about changes in their relationship. Two boys put grasshoppers down another boy's shirt and he runs and yells. Men talk about slave and master behaviors.

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LANGUAGE 5 - 3 F-words, 1 scatological term, 4 anatomical terms, 8 mild obscenities, 17 derogatory terms for African-Americans (one character uses the term instead of a name for three young boys in her charge), 1 derogatory term for homosexuals, 1 derogatory term for Caucasians, 2 religious exclamations.

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SUBSTANCE USE - People drink alcohol.

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DISCUSSION TOPICS - Child abuse, adoption, abandonment, foster parenting, virginity, slavery, the Vietnam war, reform school, psychiatric counseling, friendship, dependence.
MESSAGE - We have to be able to forgive to be able to live our lives and to love.
CAVEATS

Be aware that while we do our best to avoid spoilers it is impossible to disguise all details and some may reveal crucial plot elements.

We've gone through several editorial changes since we started covering films in 1992 and older reviews are not as complete & accurate as recent ones; we plan to revisit and correct older reviews as resources and time permits.

Our ratings and reviews are based on the theatrically-released versions of films; on video there are often Unrated, Special, Director's Cut or Extended versions, (usually accurately labelled but sometimes mislabeled) released that contain additional content, which we did not review.



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