Next Parent Guide
Parent Movie Review
Coming up with a clever way to deal with a character who can see into the future, the screenwriters of Next decided to give their hero a specific limitation: His visionary headlights only illuminate about two minutes of the road in front of him. Yet if you think as quickly as Cris Johnson (Nicholas Cage), the man blessed with this unusual ability, then 120 seconds of foresight is long enough to get you out of many tight spots—and this script has oodles of such opportunities.
Cris works as a magician at a seedy Las Vegas club where he tries to hide his talent by passing it off as a cheap trick—like when he calls a woman up on stage (who happens to be Cage’s real-life wife, Alice Kim) and predicts her necklace will fall off in a few seconds. The stint doesn’t pay very well, so Cris uses his visionary skills at the casinos to earn a little extra money.
Not surprisingly, his ability to hedge bets at the blackjack tables draws the attention of casino security and FBI agent Callie Ferris (Julianne Moore). The latter is desperate to stop a terrorist group from detonating a nuke in Los Angeles. Believing he is capable of predicting where the bomb will be placed before the blast, she is hot on his heels. However, Cris has been hounded for his prophetic abilities since he was a child and fears cooperation will only lead to further requests and interrogation.
Besides, the visionary has more important things on his mind than the incineration of L.A. Having had a premonition about a beautiful young woman he believes will be the love of his life, Cris starts each day nursing a martini at the diner where he is convinced she will appear. Thankfully, the mysterious Liz (Jessica Biel) shows up just in time. Managing to talk her into driving him up into the Arizona hills, Cris leaves the feds and the threat of a nuclear holocaust behind. But even a night in a faraway motel with a woman he’s known for less than a day won’t keep him secluded from the authorities and terrorists.
Fortunately, from a family viewing perspective, the impending crisis keeps time for sexual interludes short. The same can’t be said for the violence, which is front and center in this action thriller. Cris’s paranormal abilities allow him to dodge bullets Matrix-style, but plenty of other secondary characters aren’t as invincible. Brutal shootings to the head, knees and torsos take down many “insignificant” players, as does an explosive vest, which is detonated while being worn by a kidnapped person. Parents will also find an assortment of moderate profanities and a partial and mouthed use of a sexual expletive.
Next provides an interesting twist to a popular movie theme and the script offers Cage’s character an opportunity to demonstrate he has learned and progressed from his experience. The actor’s tongue-in-cheek sense of humor also mixes well with his dogged determination, making this hero particularly engaging. Still, the violent content in this movie will have parents wanting to carefully determine if viewing this film is in their teens’ future.Starring Nicolas Cage, Julianne Moore, Jessica Biel. Theatrical release April 26, 2007. Updated March 14, 2009
Rating & Content Info
Why is Next rated PG-13? Next is rated PG-13 by the MPAA for intense sequences of violent action, and some language.
Action and peril are mixed with a few quiet moments of contemplation and romance as Nicholas Cage plays a man who is able to see a couple of minutes into the future. Violence is the biggest concern with countless people being shot and killed. A captive person is forced to wear an explosive vest that is detonated (we see this happen from a distance), and a man is captured and forcibly interrogated with a device that holds his eyelids open. Language includes infrequent moderate profanities and the mouthed and partial use of a sexual expletive. A man and woman, who have only known each other for a short while, have a sexual relationship—we only see them lying in bed afterward. A brief shot of a man reading a pornographic magazine (with what appears to be partially obscured topless women on the cover) is shown. Other possible content concerns include gambling portrayed in a casino environment, a man who appears to begin each day with a martini, as well as cigarette smoking by a principal and secondary character.
Page last updated March 14, 2009
More parents' guide for Next after the break...
Next Parents' Guide
Would you want to possess Cris’s ability to see into the future? How might things change if you were continually able to hone your decisions based on the next couple of minutes? How might it make your life more difficult?
As a screenwriter, what is the risk of having an invincible character? How does this script attempt to maintain our interest, even though Cris appears to be able withstand any kind of attack?
The most recent home video release of Next movie is September 24, 2007. Here are some details…
DVD Release Date: 25 September 2007
Now, with the DVD release of Next, you too can fast-forward or replay the future! Along with the movie, the disc offers the following featurettes: Making the Best Next Thing, Visualizing the Next Thing, The Next "Grand" Idea and Two Minutes in the Future with Jessica Biel. Audio tracks are available in both Dolby Digital 2.0 Surround and Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround (English, French, Portuguese and Spanish), with subtitles in English, French, Portuguese and Spanish.