Vantage Point parents guide

Vantage Point Parent Guide

Overall C+

Two Secret Service agents (played by Dennis Quaid and Matthew Fox) are in charge of investigating the assassination of the President (William Hurt). Despite multiple cameras recording the incident, it proves difficult to get the right Vantage Point to find the guilty party.

Release date February 21, 2008

Violence D+
Sexual Content A-
Profanity C-
Substance Use A

Why is Vantage Point rated PG-13? The MPAA rated Vantage Point PG-13 for sequences of intense violence and action, some disturbing images and brief strong language.

Parent Movie Review

If you've ever had the chance to play with the "angle" button on your DVD player using a disc that offers multiple points-of-view, then you will immediately understand the concept behind Vantage Point.

The US President (William Hurt) is in Spain to attend a landmark summit with the hopes of somehow bringing an end to terrorism. Thousands of spectators occupying the square make the occasion a security nightmare -- especially when gunshots break out shortly after the mayor of the city introduces the leader.

From our view in the broadcast truck covering the event, we see the President get hit and bowled over. Secret Service agent Thomas Barnes (Dennis Quaid), who has only recently been reinstated after taking a bullet for the Chief a year earlier, rushes across the stage and tackles Enrique (Eduardo Noriega), a badge-wearing man claiming to be a local undercover cop in charge of protecting the mayor. As the scene quickly degrades into mayhem a bomb explodes creating a war zone with bloodied bodies and injured people everywhere.

All of a sudden the film rewinds, and we (the audience) repeat the entire sequence again -- only this time from the perspective of Thomas. After the President drops and the bomb detonates, we return to those few seconds before noon and watch the scene unfold once more through the eyes of Enrique. Then another five times thanks to footage captured by Howard Lewis (Forest Whitaker), a camera-happy US tourist with a new high definition video camera, and several other witnesses.

With each replay, different pieces of the puzzle are revealed helping us piece together the circumstances leading up to the deadly tragedy. The final picture is a surprisingly captivating, edge-of-your-seat experience.

Although the initial shock of the assassination lessens with each rewind-and-repeat, the violence still pushes the limits of the US PG-13 rating the film received from the Motion Picture Association of America. Along with the aforementioned depictions, various viewpoints following the aftermath contain portrayals of at least a dozen people being shot on screen (blood is shown) and others losing their lives in a blast by a suicide bomber. An extended, intense car chase through the narrow city streets implies many more innocent bystanders are killed or injured from resulting brutal collisions.

Language is a concern as well, with the script including a variety of moderate and mild profanities and the single use of a sexual expletive. Fortunately, sexual content is comprised only of a brief conversation between a man and woman referring to their relationship.

Parents considering sharing this film with their older teens may also want to address the ethics of what is fast becoming a new entertainment genre: Action terrorism. Beginning as documentation of the terror attacks on America in 2001 (United 93 and World Trade Center), movies are now venturing into speculative fiction. While this production can claim to be a Vantage Point from eight new angles, there is still the overriding issue of obtaining thrills from real-world tragedies.

Starring Dennis Quaid, Matthew Fox, Forest Whitaker, Sigourney Weaver.. Theatrical release February 21, 2008. Updated

Vantage Point
Rating & Content Info

Why is Vantage Point rated PG-13? Vantage Point is rated PG-13 by the MPAA for sequences of intense violence and action, some disturbing images and brief strong language.

Action and violence pervades nearly every minute of this film about an assassination attempt on a fictional US President while visiting Spain. Over a dozen explicit shootings are seen (blood is shown), and the assassination is repeated many times—as seen from the vantage point of various characters. The depiction of two bomb blasts (one is a suicide bomb) includes portrayals of death or injury (blood is again shown), and some people are seen with their clothing on fire. An extended car chase results in a few intense crashes and pedestrians being hit by vehicles. Language includes moderate (usually scatological) and mild profanities, as well as one use of a sexual expletive. Sexual content is limited to a short discussion of an implied relationship between a man and a woman.

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Vantage Point Parents' Guide

How do you feel about the recent trend in action films to depict terrorist activities? Does this help us to overcome and better understand the realities of terrorism in our society, or does it fuel further speculation or even imitation of depicted acts?

Why does the shock factor of violent acts decrease with repeated viewings? Do you feel this applies only to movies, or to real life events?

Talk about the movie with your family…

How do you feel about the recent trend in action films to depict terrorist activities? Does this help us to overcome and better understand the realities of terrorism in our society, or does it fuel further speculation or even imitation of depicted acts?

Why does the shock factor of violent acts decrease with repeated viewings? Do you feel this applies only to movies, or to real life events?

Home Video

The most recent home video release of Vantage Point movie is June 30, 2008. Here are some details…

Vantage Point releases to DVD in a two-disc set, which offers a digital copy of the film in both perspectives: full frame and wide screen. Also included are An Inside Perspective (interviews with cast and crew), Plotting an Assassination (interview with first-time screenwriter Barry Levy), deleted scenes and commentary with director Pete Travis.

Related home video titles:

The suspense of being a real life agent is brought to the screen in Breach, a movie based on a true story. The movie Hoodwinked offers a comical and family friendly look at how characters with various perspectives can come to entirely different conclusions about what is truth.