Never pick up strangers: That's a lesson Jim Halsey (C. Thomas Howell) will wish he'd learned. While driving from Chicago to San Diego, he picks up hitchhiker John Ryder (Rutger Hauer) but regrets it when he begins to suspect Ryder may be a serial killer. Before Halsey can say, "Get out of my car," Ryder kills again -- and frames him for the murders. With the odds against him, Jim's only ally is truck-stop waitress Nash (Jennifer Jason Leigh).
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- Robert Harmon
RRestricted. Under 17 requires accompanying parent or adult guardian.
English, French, Spanish (Neutral)Closed captioned
YesLanguage and sound
English: Dolby Digital 5.1, English: Dolby Digital 2.0 SurroundOther features
Poor image and lackluster sound reproduction make this DVD fall several notches below the standard studio DVD. No extras.
Common Sense Note
Parents need to know that there are a number of vicious killings in this film, frequently by gunshot, and there's even a hint that a whole family with children has been massacred -- although viewers don't see it happen. In fact, a lot of the very worst gore (and, given the opportunities, it could have been much worse) is left off-screen and to viewers' jangled imagination. That said, a scene in which a character is chained to an 18-wheeler truck, ready to be torn apart when the vehicle moves, is infamous.
- Sexual Content
- Not applicable
- Bloody shootings at close range. A dog is seen chewing on a dead body. A man is hit/thrown from a car. Vehicles crash, and a gas station blows up, almost taking one character with it. In a notorious outrage, a person is chained to a huge truck and torn in half -- although viewers don't see the actual atrocity take place, just the awful suggestion. Closeup of a severed finger.
- Some uses of "f--k" and "s--t" (but actually pretty mild under the circumstances).
- Social Behavior
- While the nominal hero of the piece, Jim Halsey, constantly strives to prove he's innocent and tells everyone "I'm no killer," there's a suggestion of a weird mentor-disciple relationship evolving between boyishly innocent Jim and the psychopathic John Ryder. By the end, it's not clear whether Jim has turned killer or not. Most of the police officer authority figures shown are shortsighted brutes, ready to shoot down innocent people.
- None, unless you're good at spotting vehicle makes.
- Drugs / Tobacco / Alcohol
- Nothing much stronger than beer or coffee.
- Age appropriate
- Not an issue
- Depends on your kid and your family
- Not appropriate for kids of the age most likely to want to see it