Domestic Disturbance

Not rated yet!
Director
Harold Becker
Runtime
1 h 29 min
Release Date
30 October 2001
Genres
Mystery, Thriller, Crime
Overview
A divorced father discovers that his 12-year-old son's new stepfather is not what he made himself out to be.
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  • Domestic Disturbance
    Movies from Film Forum, 11/08/01John Travolta plays one mad dad in Domestic Disturbance. His wife has divorced him and taken up with a cruel and unusual beau, played by Vince Vaughan, leaving her son in a dangerous place. Father and son team up against the abusive stepdad in an action thriller that's accused of audience abuse.Mainstream critics held Disturbance up as an example of just how low major studios are sinking these days. Roger Ebert takes issue with the film's lenient rating. He calls it "a child-in-terror movie, in which a child is the eyewitness to a brutal murder and the incineration of the body. Then the kid sees his father hammered to within an inch of his life, his mother beaten until she has a miscarriage, and himself as the unwitting cause of an electrocution." Why does this film get a PG-13 rating, he asks, while cleaner, tamer, artful, and meaningful films like Amelie and WakingLife are rated R? Good question.Religious press critics, however, gave the movie some credit for portraying an admirable father figure. "It's refreshing to see a good father in a movie," says Ted Baehr (Movieguide), but he determines that "too much of [the movie] is paint-by-numbers. Furthermore, the movie builds in the audience a strong desire for revenge, with the audience laughing and cheering at the movie when Rick gets his comeuppance, a very gruesome comeuppance at that."Lindy Beam (Focus on the Family) gives the film "big props for portraying a dad who is loving, communicative, involved, regretful of his mistakes, strong, bold and justice-seeking. But harsh language and violence make it a domestic disappointment for families. The characters are shallow; the writing is formulaic; the ending is rushed."Michael Elliott (Movie Parables) acknowledges the film's formulaic story, and he agrees that characters make outrageously foolish decisions. But he concludes, "Competent direction … and an above-average cast is what keeps the movie afloat. googletag.cmd.push(function() { googletag.display('gpt-ad-1'); }); Douglas Downs (Christian Spotlight on the Movies) says, "There are many irks with Domestic Disturbance for those who like things to fit together." He also faults "an excess of violence," profanity, and predictability.Holly McClure (The Orange County Register) calls it riveting, but is concerned that a child who dislikes his or her stepfather or stepmother might get bad ideas about "how to make life miserable for that stepparent."John Adair (Preview) remarks, "The strong language makes [the film] even more disturbing." googletag.cmd.push(function() { googletag.display('gpt-ad-2'); }); if (gptClientWidth >= 992 && gptClientWidth <= 1000000) googletag.cmd.push(function() { googletag.display('gpt-ad-3'); }); The USCC's critic is the most lenient: "Though the run-of-the-mill narrative has its flaws, director Harold Becker's campy film keeps the action moving by relying on the endangered-child angle and a chilling music score." ]]>
    ...
    (Review Source)
  • Domestic Disturbance Delivers Chills
    Movies Domestic Disturbance - PG-13 Best for: Mature teens to adults What it's about: Frank (John Travolta) is a poor boat-builder who has a close relationship with his son Danny and a good attitude about his ex-wife's (Teri Polo) marriage to Rick Barnes (Vince Vaughn), a wealthy philanthropist. After the wedding, Danny notices changes in Rick's attitude toward him. Danny attempts to run away, hiding in the back of Rick's car, but Danny ends up witnessing Rick commit murder. When Danny reports what he saw to the police, everyone thinks the troubled boy is lying, except for his father, who pursues the truth. Steve Buscemi also stars. The good: This is a riveting tale that plays on a fear of our divorce culture - a stepfather who fools almost everyone except for his stepkid. Taking that premise and embellishing it with a probable criminal cause, we get a wicked stepfather-from-hell who is fiendishly played to perfection by Vaughn. Nobody can play a psycho better than Vaughn, and in this case, his menacing bullying is what makes the fear factor work. Travolta is likewise believably cast as the loyal father who trusts his child and his instincts. When he speaks his concerns about his son living with a "perfect stranger that no one really knows anything about," he'll have every parent (divorced or not) in the audience relating to his character and cause. Truth and trust win out in the end, and the fast-paced, interesting plot (despite a few holes) and great cast, all work to create an intense, edge-of-your-seat drama that will have divorced parents checking the backgrounds of any future marital prospects. The not-so-good: Despite the fact that a child stars in the movie, this is a violent adult story that isn't appropriate for kids under 13. Seeing a 12-year-old get hit and pushed around is a central element to this plot, but it's not an easy thing to watch. If immature, emotionally hurt kids (living with a stepparent they don't like) see this movie, they might get unhealthy ideas about how to make life miserable for that stepparent. googletag.cmd.push(function() { googletag.display('gpt-ad-1'); }); Offensive language: Plenty of it, including a few religious profanities. Sexual situations: One scene shows a man sitting on a bed with a prostitute, but they have underwear on (no nudity) and are only talking. Violence: Several scenes show Rick tormenting Danny verbally, mentally and physically, pushing and hitting him. The pregnant mother is also hit and pushed around. A brief scene shows a man electrocuted and another being pushed into an incinerator. googletag.cmd.push(function() { googletag.display('gpt-ad-2'); }); if (gptClientWidth >= 992 && gptClientWidth <= 1000000) googletag.cmd.push(function() { googletag.display('gpt-ad-3'); }); Parental advisory: Heed the PG-13 rating. Strong language, shady characters, lying, mental and physical abuse of a boy and his mother, and violence make this movie too intense for impressionable kids. ]]>
    ...
    (Review Source)

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