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Still shot from the movie: Forrest Gump.

Forrest Gump

Forrest Gump is a simple man, a popular theme in movies as the public yearns for a way to strip complications from life. Get the movie review and more. »

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Overall: C-
Violence: D
Sexual Content: D
Language: D+
Drugs/Alcohol: --
Run Time: 142
Theater Release: 06 Jul 1994
Video Release:
MPAA Rating: PG-13
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Forrest Gump is a critic's dream. Tom Hanks, Sally Field, Gary Sinise, and all the rest of the cast hand in superlative performances. The special effects are almost invisible, as they place Gump into the past so he can meet many historical figures. Yet every time I watch this movie, I am left with a hard question to answer: What is Gump really trying to say?

Forrest Gump is a simple man, a popular theme in movies as the public yearns for a way to strip complications from life. Forrest has complications, he just doesn't see them. Like a dog headed for dinner, he sees his goal and nothing stops him from getting there. He has complete trust in everyone he meets, and accepts everyone into his life, no matter how they treat him. He believes in God, prays regularly, and tries to do good wherever he goes. In this regard, Gump is a movie that promotes strong positive ideals, and helps you appreciate that the best people in this world are often overlooked.

However, Forrest often utters the now famous phrase, "Life is like a box of chocolates... you never know what you're gonna get." Are we to believe that there really is nothing to be learned from life's experiences? Should we make choices based only on a good feeling in our tummy? I have eaten enough chocolates to know that square ones are usually hard and round ones with high tops may have a cherry inside. We can learn from the chocolates we have found in the past.

I loved the film the first time, but after seeing it again, I question many things. Remember, I look at movies as to what they can offer families. Heed the PG-13 warning. Gump has a good deal of bad language, sex, and violence, relative to what's appropriate for family viewing. As parents, if your children want to see this movie, please watch it before, or at least with them.

Forrest Gump is rated PG-13: for drug content, some sensuality and war violence

Cast: Tom Hanks, Gary SInise, Sally Field

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About the Reviewer: Rod Gustafson

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