Iffy for 14+
Serviceable but forgettable Cruise thriller is very violent.
What Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Tom Cruise stars as the title character in Jack Reacher, an adaptation of Lee Child's novel One Shot. Reacher is a former military police offer who's enlisted to find a sniper who fired six shots into a crowd, killing five people. This thriller is violent, and vigilante Reacher shows no qualms breaking the law to make sure justice is done -- at least his version of justice. There's some swearing (including "f--k" and "s--t") and a bit of sexual tension between Reacher and co-star Rosamund Pike, but no actual sex and very little drinking. Still, there are allusions to torture, and the fight scenes are sometimes brutal; a few are very tough to stomach. Even though there's little blood or gore on screen, the film is more appropriate for older teens and up.
- Families can talk about what makes this PG-13-rated movie different from R-rated films. Is the violence less graphic or upsetting? Why or why not? What impact does seeing this kind of violence have on teens?
- What do you think about Jack Reacher's vigilante actions? Is it right for one man to dispense justice to people who are clearly villains?
- Why does Jack Reacher live the way he does? How do his actions in this film show what he wants out of life?
The good stuff
Messages: Bad guys get what's coming to them, courtesy of Jack Reacher, a loner/vigilante who dispenses his own brand of justice, which mostly bypasses the legal system. That said, there's also the message that it's worth looking beyond appearances to find out the truth.
Role models: Reacher doesn't hesitate to break the law to achieve his goals -- he participates in assault, auto theft, coercion, intimidation, and outright murder -- but all of his victims have it coming to them. (Well, mostly.) He uses smarts and intuition in many cases (in addition to his more violent methods). Helen is able to separate her emotions from her job.
What to watch for
Violence: Plenty of violence right from the start, when a lone gunman shoots five people with a sniper rifle (a scene that's revisited later in the movie). Jack Reacher, the main character, is a former soldier, highly trained with guns and in hand-to-hand combat, and the film finds plenty of chances to showcase his abilities. He takes on a group of toughs in a few street brawls, leaving them bloodied and sometimes with broken bones. Other scenes feature execution-style killings, allusions to torture, and men beating up women. Few of these scenes actually show blood or gore, but they do make it clear that bodies are taking serious damage and the people are in pain, and a few shots may be hard to watch. There's also a high-speed chase through city streets that damages plenty of cars.
Sex: One scene shows a woman in her underwear getting dressed; Reacher is shirtless in another. Some sexual tension between the two main characters never leads to anything. One scene has some flirty banter when a woman comes on to Reacher, though he's clearly not interested.
Language: Relatively infrequent swearing includes a couple uses of "f--k," plus "p---y," "s--t," "a--hole," "bitch," "prick," "damn," "hell," "ass," "goddamn," and more.
Consumerism: Several car brands are mentioned and/or get prominent screen time. Helen drives a Mercedes, and the bad guys spend a lot of time trailing Reacher in an Audi. Another character drives a Cadillac, which is referred to by name. Some of the characters drink Budweiser when relaxing, and Bud signage is visible in the background in a bar.
Drinking, drugs and smoking: One scene takes place in a bar where plenty of people in the background are drinking, though Reacher sticks to coffee. He later shares a beer with Helen when they're relaxing in a motel room. References to meth use; drug paraphernalia is shown.
Fan Reviews provided by
Cruise Has A New Franchise by HenryeB
I have to say that I was surprised that it is better than I thought it would be. Suspenseful, investigative with some fairly good action scenes. There was one which made me go "Hmm?" but overall this is a good film for the genre.
Jack Reaching for a Plot by Darkola
I actually waited 2 days after the movie to review it, and am glad I did as I probably would have given this a little better rating if I didnt take the time to really think about it. I did not read the books, and have noticed many say that Jack Reacher is suppose to be alot taller, well over 6 foot tall, which Tom Cruise definitaly isnt, but being I didnt read the book, and honestly not being a Tom Cruise fan, did think he did a good job playing his part, there was plenty of action throughout. The only real problem I have with this movie, and maybe if you see it you'll pay real close attention to the story, but I didnt get the "Plot" of the movie, or if I do understand the plot in what I think it was, then it seems far fetched that so many people would be killed for just that. I dont want to give the movie away, but do suggest when you learn why the shootings happened, really pay close attention the real "why", what was gained. I'd give this 2 1/2 stars because I'm still lost a bit.
Jack Reacher by fred1
An absolutely very smart film!! Tom Cruise is fantastic as always! I thought Skyfall, Breaking Dawn, and even The Hobbit were going to be the best movies of the year, not so! Jack Reacher has a great script, excellent acting, great balance of acting and action and very well thought out. I love a film where you think you know what's going on but you really don't. By far the best movie of the holiday season and a grown up only must see.
I think Cruise is done being the tough guy by theliedtkes
Let me start by saying that I am not crazy about Cruise. That being said, I went with an open mind. I mean, I enjoyed the MI movies......this movie just didn't make it past average for me. They dwelled on the character of Jack Reacher more than they did the plot. They didn't develop the story well. I know we will see more Jack Reacher movies coming out........I just won't be spending my money on them.
Jack Reacher by aclearvoice
Watch Tom Cruise fight bad guys and not really get hurt!
Watch Tom Cruise get hit in the back of the head with a lead pipe and barely bleed!
Watch Tom Cruise drive 60's muscle cars just like in some of his other movies!
Watch Tom Cruise go shirtless in his motel room with his co-star!
Watch his new blonde co-star try to act and fail!
Watch people shot with a sniper rifle simply fall "gently" to the ground!
Watch Tom come into the room at just the right time!
Watch Tom Cruise play the same character over and over!
Watch Werner Herzog be wasted in a supporting role!
Cuise as Reacher, not a match by brackolli
Read the book and series and really enjoyed it. While they followed the story well, Reacher's power and strength comes from his understanding of his very large size and how to control and use it effectively. Having the shortest guy in the movie try to convince you that he is that tough by looking at him (and why need 5 guys to go after him if he is so short in stature? - not believable). Can't believe one punch from him could knock someone out in the same way as one bad guy twice his size, and have the audience believe it, insults our intelligence.
Let's not wreck the book or Jack Reacher's reputation and find a real actor that actually reflects the character. Why Childs ever allowed this change in character or role selection, if he had anything to say about it, is a mystery. There had to be a better choice of actors who would better reflect the real Jack Reacher.
Cruise as Reacher by Exprof
As Lee Child said in a recent interview, Reacher's size is a characteristic, not his character. Cruise gets at most of his character, adn Rosamund Pike does a wonderful job. The action and dialogue is a little too comic book style, but I still really enjoyed the movie, and assume the Reacher series will now have a lot fo sequels
Entertaining by YAtitle
The timing of the release of this movie due to current events hurts it's appeal. The opening was uncomfortable because of this, but the acting and plot quickly got me past this. I found myself involved and entertained. Action, mystery and humor.........no deep message. Just an entertaining release from the daily worries.
This isa Great Movie with a Story line that seemed TRUE. by LetsGo2TheMoviesNow
Great Story Line! The CASTING WAS PERFECT! I Love this movie! Tom always gives PERFECT performances in his military/ex military roles!!! I lovem seeing your "daddy eyes" when talking to "Sandy"!!. All Actors in this Movie played their roles perfectly!!!!
As expected but did not expect too much! by jrobins
Was not disappointed because I knew nothing about the character from the books and therefore had no preconceived notions on its staying true to the book. However, it was very entertaining and Cruise is always enjoyable. good plot twists and action. Not a 'must see" but if you want an entertaining distraction this could be it.