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Premium Rush | 2012 | PG-13 | - 3.6.5

In Manhattan a top bike messenger (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) accepts a strange envelope that needs to be delivered in no more than 93 minutes. The envelope draws unwanted attention from a violent and corrupt police detective (Michael Shannon) who pursues the messenger throughout the city. The chase is complicated further by rival cyclists, traffic, construction, etc. Also with Aaron Tveit, Jamie Chung, Dania Ramirez and Aasif Mandvi. Directed by David Koepp. [1:31]

SEX/NUDITY 3 - We see three couples kissing briefly on screen: two couples standing on sidewalks and one couple inside a police impound garage. Two different men attempt to kiss a woman who says no. Another couple embraces and kisses outside a restaurant for several seconds.
 Dozens of male and female bike messengers wear short, tight pants that reveal legs from mid-thigh to ankles; nearly all of them wear tight tank tops that reveal bare shoulders and arms, many with tattoos on their arms, and two women wear tops that are low-cut in the back, revealing tattoos. Women wear tank tops that are very tight and reveal bra straps, the tops of their bras and moderate cleavage. A street poster shows a woman in a floor-length gown split up one side to the waist, revealing the full leg, and ankle.
 A receptionist asks if a man standing before her would like her number and he ignores her. A woman tells a man that another man was "pretty into me." One man tells another man, "Your girlfriend belongs to me now." In a busy police substation we hear in the background, "He screwed your mother." A detective says to another detective in a police station men's room, "I'm not posing for any calendar" (presumably a pinup calendar of policemen). A police dispatcher asks a woman, "When does Roger get to climb Mount Vanessa?" meaning sex. A man states that being an attorney would make his testicles shrivel and retract into his abdomen and that he'd rather be a bike messenger and feel alive.


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VIOLENCE/GORE 6 - A man challenges a messenger, wanting to steal an envelope from him until many other messengers converge on the man and repeatedly shove and push him, two other men bar his way, we hear a loud ZIP and one of the men tosses down a phone book with a smoking hole in it while putting a gun into his pocket; we see the first man with a stream of blood running out of the top of his head and down his forehead as he slumps to the ground and dies.
 In a scene and two flashbacks of the same scene, a bike messenger crashes into the back of a taxi, breaking the window and being thrown through the air and he lands on his back on the pavement, blinks several times and passes out; in the second scene, we see him entering an EMT vehicle on a gurney, with both elbows and knees scraped and some blood is seen on his forehead, a police officer enters the vehicle and grabs him by what he calls cracked ribs several times causing the cyclist to scream each time and the officer slaps him in the head; in the third scene after the cyclist's flight through the air, we see his bent bike, the dented taxi and the cyclist standing with significant blood running down his forearm.
 A man loses thousands of dollars while gambling, he shouts, stomps, sneers and threatens to close down the gambling rooms, and two men attack him outside and hit him in the face with a phone book and then a bike chain, popping out a tooth from his bloody mouth as he lies on his back; he gets up from the ground, knocks one of the men unconscious, and brutally beats the other with fists and kicks (we hear later that the man died, though we saw no blood or wounds). A man grabs a woman by the throat, shouts that he has impulse issues, and squeezes as she cries, and then he releases her; we see that he has left a wide red mark around her throat and neck.
 An SUV approaches a car at an intersection and we hear a crash; a bike messenger visualizes himself be thrown over a car and an SUV and into a baby carriage and the mother screaming "My baby!" (we see no injuries). A bike messenger sees himself bump against a man in a crosswalk, who falls under a moving bus and is crushed (we see no blood). A woman bike messenger crashes into a pile of trash in the street, and is thrown into the air and off screen; we see her lying on her side, we hear her groaning and we see a small patch of blood on her cheek later. As the camera follows a cyclist, it passes over an intersection where two other cyclists crash (we see no injuries). Two cars smash each other head-on when avoiding a bike messenger on the road (on one is hurt). A taxi driver nearly hits a woman riding a bike when passing her; she catches up to him and breaks his side-view mirror off with her bike chain and he shouts at her. A police officer accumulates scrapes to his cheek and chin, both elbows and both knees as he chases bike messengers in several scenes. A bike messenger steals a police officer's bike and the officer says, "I'm done" and walks off screen.
 A man grabs a bike messenger and demands to have an envelope from his bag, the messenger refuses and gets away, the man in a car chases the messenger through traffic and attempts to drive him off the pavement; a bike police officer joins the chase and has several crashes into vendor stalls, open taxi doors and trashcans.
 A cyclist enters a police substation to report an attacker, and the attacker walks in; the cyclist hides in a corner and then the men's room and hears the attacker speak make bigoted remarks about the Chinese in the neighborhood.
 Wearing a helmet but no pads, a bike messenger pedals fast through NYC traffic throughout the film amid honking horns and he runs several red lights, swerving often, weaving in and out of cars, riding against traffic while motorists honk and shout at him and nearly crashing several times. Cyclists ride over a chalk outline of a murder victim in a park, they rush through an intersection and a car slams on brakes, two cyclists jump over descending stairs and onto a paved path, and a dog knocks a cyclist off his bike; the cyclist gets back on his bike and he and another cyclist ride under a flatbed truck before it begins to move (we see their feet skidding on the pavement). In an extended scene, a man escapes from police as he grabs a bike from an impound garage and rides it over several cars, vans and SUVS, up ramps and over the sides of trucks, across catwalks and finally off a ledge to the first floor, where he exits the garage unharmed.
 As a police officer tickets a bike messenger in a close-up, a woman in the frame is seen with a small amount of blood on her cheek and wrist and states that the cyclist was in her way. A man's forearm is shown wrapped in a bandage from elbow to wrist in several scenes. We see an injured man on a messenger bike with blood on his leg and arm while hunched over the handlebars in pain.
 A man stabs a pencil into an apple in close-up and he punches a bathroom mirror, but it does not break.
 An elderly man accepts a large amount of money from a woman and he tells her not to call police if a transaction is not successful, but to call him and he will send a hit man to correct the problem.
 Throughout a messenger's rides and deliveries, he argues by cell phone with two other cyclists and his dispatcher, and texts and consults his GPS while riding. A female bike messenger argues with her dispatcher and a male friend by cell phone while riding. Campus security guards shout at students on cycles to watch what they're doing. In a public park, police shout at cyclists to get off the paved paths. A male bike messenger tells a woman that another male messenger has a death wish and is mentally unstable. A bike messenger says, "Brakes are death." A man remarks that Democrats are as bad as cigarettes and both should be eliminated.
 A bike messenger rides a "fixie," an ultra-lightweight, single-gear bike with no brakes and he says he cannot stop and does not want to stop during any delivery. We hear sirens off-screen three times.


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LANGUAGE 5 - About 2 F-words and derivatives (1 not fully enunciated), 2 obscene hand gestures, 4 sexual references, 54 scatological terms, 24 anatomical terms, 17 mild obscenities, name-calling (idiot, suckers, delinquent scum, ridiculous, Spandex, freak, Lance Armstrong, zipper heads, Slopes, Spooks, Charlie Chan, snakehead, smarty-pants), stereotypical references to men, women, Blacks, the Chinese, older people, the American Dream, inept and corrupt police officers, New Yorkers, taxi drivers, Democrats, cyclists, 16 religious profanities, 1 religious exclamation.


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SUBSTANCE USE - A man tells another man that "I hear if you snort Ritalin the bar exam is a cakewalk," and a few messengers ask other messengers and clients if they ever delivered drugs and all answers are no. Two bar scenes show men and women drinking cocktails and bottles of beer while sitting at tables and at a bar, a man opens a bottle of beer with a hammer but does not drink, and a bike messenger says, "I got to get hammered." Backrooms in a restaurant and a bingo hall are full of cigarette smoke and we see several men and women smoking, and a man remarks that Democrats are as bad as cigarettes and both should be eliminated.


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DISCUSSION TOPICS - Illegal immigration, gambling, business ethics, inept and corrupt police officers, bicycle safety, cyclists' rights, relationships, trust, work ethic, determination.

MESSAGE - Do your job well, whatever it is, and help people when you can.

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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