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?
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