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?