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Perfect Stranger | 2007 | R | - 8.7.9

Halle Berry stars as an investigative reporter who exposes scandals involving the powerful. When she learns that a murdered friend was connected to a prominent, womanizing ad executive (Bruce Willis), she manages to get hired by his company, and also pursues him in anonymous online chat rooms. Also with Giovanni Ribisi, Gary Dourdan and Nicki Lynn Aycox. Directed by James Foley. [1:49]

SEX/NUDITY 8 - A woman finds a hidden room in her friend's apartment where pornographic photos decorate a wall, pornographic websites are loaded on his computers and there are photos of him having sex (including bondage) with a woman; we see bare breasts and crotches, one photo shows a woman stimulating herself, another shows a nude man (we see his bare chest and buttock) on top of a woman with a belt wrapped around her neck, another shows a woman standing tied by the hands to the ceiling (her bare breasts are seen and the man has a hand on her breast) and many other photos show women's bare breasts.
 A woman dresses, we see her bare back and part of her bare breasts, and she slips on a thong: her bare thighs are visible, she sprays perfume on her thighs and her dress is low-cut and off the shoulder (bare shoulders and cleavage are visible). A woman showers and we see her bare shoulders briefly, a music video shows women wearing sexy lingerie (it's a Victoria's Secret ad), a woman's top is unbuttoned revealing cleavage, a man's shirt is unbuttoned and reveals his bare chest and abdomen, and a woman's robe drapes open and reveals her bare thigh.
 After a date, a man and a woman kiss, he caresses her, she pushes him against a wall, pulls off his belt and unfastens his pants, we hear them moaning, we see her leg wrapped around his waist, and they thrust; another man watches them from another room.
 A man and a woman kiss passionately in a private booth in a restaurant, and the man kisses the woman's neck and caresses her clothed breast. A man and a woman kiss passionately, but they are interrupted.
 A woman watches a man and a woman kissing passionately: the woman is wearing a bra and the man could be bare-chested, and they fall back, and out of sight, while kissing.
 There are several online chat room sessions where men and women talk about sex (e.g. "What are you wearing?" "Are you turned on?" etc.). There are several scenes where men and women flirt in online chat rooms including some that involve a married man.
 A man reads e-mails that describe, in graphic detail, sexual acts between a man and a woman. A woman tells her boss, who's married, that she has a crush on him. A woman describes a man's interests in sex as liking "kinky." A woman says that she would let a man "give her a spank." A woman tells another woman about an affair she had with a man who is married and describes a couple of encounters with him. A woman discusses the facts she has uncovered about a man's extra-marital affairs with several of his male interns. A man makes a remark about a computer having, "more entry points than a college girl at Mardi Gras." A woman says that her computer is her security blanket and a man says "lucky blanket."
 A man kisses a woman on the cheek and it is apparent throughout the movie that he has a romantic interest in her (she does not reciprocate). A woman kisses a man on the cheeks in a friendly manner.
 We see a photo of a man and a young man hugging romantically.


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VIOLENCE/GORE 7 - A coroner unzips a body bag to reveal a dead woman (she's been floating in water so her body is bloated and discolored), and he explains that the body had apparently been weighted down, and that the face is badly distorted, and he says that something "cut her face off" (the eyes appear to be missing); the woman identifying the body vomits.
 A woman strikes a man in the face and head several times using a fireplace poker (blood spurts on the wall, and he falls down a flight of stairs) after he had been abusing the woman's daughter; we see him being buried in the backyard later.
 A man is stabbed in the chest (we hear a crunch and see blood on his shirt and pooling underneath him); he moans and falls to the floor dead.
 A man pulls a man over a desk, and throws him into a wall and onto a glass table while yelling at him (we see the man with blood on his face).
 A man is threatening to a woman while locked in his car and she is scared while he raises his fist to strike her (he does not).
 We hear that a murdered woman was poisoned ("she had a hole in her stomach") and that the poison was also put in her eyes, which were badly burned, and that she was pregnant when she was murdered. A woman remembers her youth when a man would sexually abuse her while giving her baths (she remembers this in several scenes).
 A woman grieves over her daughter's death. A woman yells at a man over the phone, and a woman yells at a man in a few scenes.
 A woman passes through a security point in a government building and her belongings are searched.


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LANGUAGE 9 - 45 F-words, 22 sexual references, 18 scatological terms, 6 anatomical terms, 8 mild obscenities, name-calling (stupid, freak), 1 religious profanity, 4 religious exclamations.


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SUBSTANCE USE - People drink alcohol in several bar and party scenes, a man and a woman drink shots of alcohol in a bar (they both seem drunk), and a woman drinks beer in several scenes.


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DISCUSSION TOPICS - Secrets, infidelity, power, cover-ups, homosexuality, online dating, sincerity, betrayal, friendship, child abuse, lying, hypocrisy, guilt, anonymity, scandals, inter-office affairs, sexual harassment, porn actress Belladonna, conspiracy, gossip, ego, pseudonyms, loyalty, murder, paternity, ad agencies, business practices, competition, spying, stalking, limits on the free press, jealousy.

MESSAGE - The love of money is the root of all evil. Powerful men protecting powerful men leads to cover-ups of immoral and illegal behavior.

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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