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Alex Cross Review

Movies.com Critics

1.0

Dave White Profile

Clothes (and also wigs) make the man. Read full review

Other Critics provided by Metacritic.com

Critics scores range from 0 to 100, with higher scores indicating more favorable reviews.

  • 2.0
    30

    out of 100

    Metascore®
    Generally unfavorable reviews
    based on a weighted average of all
    critic review scores.

  • 25

    out of 100

    Entertainment Weekly Lisa Schwarzbaum

    In the face of such junk, the idea that Fox would proudly put himself on a punishing regime of severe diet and exercise to get prisoner-skinny-yet-crazy-muscled for the job of make-believe is vanity at best, obscenity at worst.

    Read Full Review

  • 40

    out of 100

    The Hollywood Reporter Todd McCarthy

    You almost feel sorry for Tyler Perry, stepping out of his own universe for the first time to try to expand his range and finding himself in something as thoroughly dismal as Alex Cross.

    Read Full Review

  • 40

    out of 100

    Wall Street Journal Joe Morgenstern

    It neglects, for one thing, to make any sense.

    Read Full Review

  • 50

    out of 100

    USA Today Claudia Puig

    Perry must have felt it was high time for him to try his hand at playing a darker role. But starring in this badly directed, suspense-free film with its unintentionally laughable dialogue does Perry no favors.

    Read Full Review

  • See all Alex Cross reviews at Metacritic.com

For Families provided by Common Sense Media

Pause for kids 14 & under

Perry underwhelms in formulaic, violent action thriller.

What Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that Alex Cross is a quasi-prequel to the other James Patterson-based dramas featuring a much-older Cross (played by Morgan Freeman in Along Came a Spider and Kiss the Girls). The younger version of Cross (played by Tyler Perry) is even more willing to chase criminals and do what's necessary to stop them -- and that doesn't necessarily mean getting them behind bars. The violence isn't as extreme as, say, a Quentin Tarantino movie, but it's probably equivalent to one of the newer Bond films. In other words, it's not just shootouts, but also scenes of torture, a decapitated head, and a pregnant woman killed for pleasure by a villain who takes joy in inflicting pain. Even iffier? In the end, the movie's message seems to be that even officers of the law sometimes need to take a morally questionable path toward justice. Also expect some language ("s--t," etc.), a scene with a lingerie-clad woman, and lots of GM vehicles.

  • Families can talk about the meanings of justice and vengeance -- are they the same? How does Alex Cross' approach to the hit man (and his boss) change throughout the movie? Why are movies about vengeance so popular?

  • How is the villain in Alex Cross portrayed? Does he seem to have an actual agenda? Was his story resolved in a satisfactory way?

  • When is it OK to break the rules (or go outside the law)? When isn't it?

The good stuff
  • message true0

    Messages: The story's message is that sometimes vengeance is better than waiting for the law to provide justice.

  • rolemodels true1

    Role models: Alex Cross starts out as a role model who relies on smarts and intuition to solve crimes, but his moral code becomes a vigilante need for justice through vengeance. His mother, though, is the movie's moral center, reminding him that despite his despair, he still has to come home and raise two children.

What to watch for
  • violence false4

    Violence: The killer in this movie isn't just a paid hit man, he's a psychopath who relishes inflicting pain. Some people he just shoots and kills instantly (with sniper precision), and others he tortures (viewers see him cut off a sedated and bound woman's finger and later find out he cut them all off, after hearing the sounds of it happening). He also kills his target's wife just for fun and takes a photo of a decapitated woman's head that he then texts to her friend. There are several scenes of hand-to-hand combat, a couple of shootouts, a deadly fall onto a car, explosions that cause collateral damage, and an amateur MMA competition that leaves the loser incapacitated due to the winner's desire to cause serious pain.

  • sex false3

    Sex: One sex scene turns to violence: A woman wearing nothing but lingerie asks a man she's been flirting with (and thinks she's going to sleep with) to bind her arms -- but her anticipation turns to horror when he injects her with a drug. Another brief sex scene. A married couple kisses and cuddles a few times.

  • language false3

    Language: Language includes a couple of mumbled words that could be "f--k," plus "s--t," "son of a bitch," "ass," "hell," "ass," "damn," "goddamn," and "oh my God."

  • consumerism false3

    Consumerism: Car brands prominently featured include Cadillac, Ford, and OnStar. Apple computers are also visible.

  • drugsalcoholtobacco false2

    Drinking, drugs and smoking: A made-up drug is a central plot point. It sedates and paralyzes people but leaves them aware of their surroundings. The killer drugs some of his victims so he can torture them. A rich businessman offers Alex Louis XIII cognac that costs thousands of dollars. He declines, but the millionaire drinks it. Adults at a restaurant have drinks.

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