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The Watcher | 2000 | R | - 3.7.8

Keanu Reeves, as a serial killer who stalks and then kills young women with a piano wire, challenges a retired FBI agent (James Spader) into a deadly battle of wits. Also with Marisa Tomei, Ernie Hudson, Robert Cicchini, Chris Ellis and Jenny McShane. [1:33]

SEX/NUDITY 3 - Some sex talk and sexual innuendo. A man browses a Victoria's Secret catalogue and we see several photos of women in bras and panties. We see several charcoal and pencil drawings and sketches of naked women -- one shows full frontal nudity. A man kisses a terrified woman on the mouth, which is covered by duct tape.


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VIOLENCE/GORE 7 - In different scenes, we see a man grabbing several women from behind, covering their mouths. In an extended scene we see a woman sitting on a chair with hands tied behind her back and duct tape on her mouth. A man picks the woman up and pretends to dance with her, while kissing her taped mouth. In a close-up we see her dangling feet smearing blood on the floor. In another scene, a man starts to strangle a woman with a piano wire (he stops as she's gasping for breath). We also see the man strangle two other women in a similar fashion -- these scenes are in silhouette. We see a dead woman lying on the floor; her throat has obviously been cut and she's lying in a pool of blood. In another shorter scene, we see another woman lying in a pool of blood. During a flashback shown several times we see a woman tied down while her house is on fire; we hear her scream, as it becomes evident (although we don't see it) that she is on fire. A man shoots a man in the chest with a shotgun; some blood is visible. A door is knocked down and a fire ball comes out engulfing several men and throwing them back. A man on fire jumps into a river. Another man rolls him over and we see a quick glimpse of his burned face. Several car chases, involving several car crashes. During one a man throws a lit lighter on gasoline spewing from damaged fuel pumps and causes a huge explosion. A police car rolls over and then blows up (we learn later that three policemen were killed). During two other chases men shoot at a speeding car. There are several foot chases: A man chases a woman through a deserted factory, and several men chase other men; during one chase a man is hit by a car (he doesn't seem seriously injured and we see this scene in flashback several times); during another chase a man jumps on another man and then holds him down by putting his foot on his back. A man shoots another man in the leg; a little blood is visible. A woman hits a man on the head with a boom box. A man hits another man on the head with a pistol, rendering him unconscious. A man stabs another man with what looks like a syringe or a pen (the scene is very indistinct). There are a few scuffles; a policeman grabs a man and shoves him into a wall several times. We see a man injecting himself in the bruised groin (presumably from previous injections). We see blood on a business card and a man washing his gloved, bloody hands.


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LANGUAGE 8 - Close to 30 F-words, several scatological terms, a few anatomical terms, a few religious profanities and a religious exclamation, and several curses and insults.


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SUBSTANCE USE - We see a man take an awful lot of prescription medications for insomnia, migraine headaches and anxiety attacks.


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DISCUSSION TOPICS - Serial killers, obsession, the FBI, psychiatry, police brutality, anxiety and other prescription psychoactive medications, migraine headaches.

MESSAGE - Don't blame yourself for another person's misdeeds because you have failed to stop him.

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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