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Cape Fear (1991)

Cape Fear (1991)
Cape Fear (1991)
Cape Fear (1991)
  • R
  • 2h 7m
  • 1991
Certified Fresh74%
Common Sense Media Iconage 17+
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Master filmmaker Martin Scorsese brings heart-pounding suspense to one of the most acclaimed thrillers of all time. Fourteen years after being imprisoned, vicious psychopath Max Cady (Robert De Niro) emerges with a single-minded mission: to seek revenge on his attorney Sam Bowden (Nick Nolte). Cady becomes a terrifying presence as he menacingly circles Bowden's increasingly unstable family. Realizing he is legally powerless to protect his beautiful wife Leigh (Jessica Lange) and his troubled teenage daughter Danielle (Juliette Lewis), Sam resorts to unorthodox measures which lead to an unforgettable showdown on Cape Fear. Visually stunning images and brilliant performances from a talented cast highlight this roller-coaster ride through relentless psychological torment.
© 1991 Universal Studios. All Rights Reserved.

Rotten Tomatoes® Score

Certified Fresh74%
Critics Consensus: Smart and stylish, Cape Fear is a gleefully mainstream shocker from Martin Scorsese, with a terrifying Robert De Niro peformance.
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Common Sense Media

Common Sense Media Iconage 17+
Common Sense Says
Scorsese/De Niro revenge thriller has sexual violence.

What Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that Cape Fear is a violent revenge thriller, with references and scenes of sexual assault, directed by Martin Scorsese and starring Robert De Niro. It is a remake of the 1962 movie of the same name. Convicted rapist Max Cady (De Niro) blames his former lawyer, Sam Bowden (Nick Nolte), for his incarceration and is determined to make him pay. The violence is bloody and involves guns, bike chains, pipes, rocks, and a piano wire used to cut someone's throat. A woman is brutally assaulted in her bed by Max after drunkenly meeting him at a bar. She has her arm broken and part of her cheek bitten off leaving a nasty wound. She is then repeatedly punched, a scene witnessed in silhouette form. It is then revealed that Max raped her. She in part wrongly blames her drunkenness for the assault. In another scene, Max is about to rape both Sam's wife, Leigh (Jessica Lange) and daughter, Danielle (Juliette Lewis) in front of him while he's tied up. However, Danielle throws a flammable liquid on Max causing his cigar to set him on fire. Many characters smoke, with Sam taking up smoking during the course of the movie. Danielle also smokes some pot given to her by Max. There is strong language throughout including multiple use of "f--king" and "son of a bitch." Both De Niro and Lewis were Oscar nominated for their roles.

A Lot or A Little?

The parents’ guide to what’s in this movie.
Positive Messages
Positive Role Models
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
More on Common Sense Media

Additional Info

  • Genre:Thriller, Drama
  • Release Date:November 13, 1991
  • Languages:English
  • Captions:English
  • Audio Format:
  • Screen Pass Eligible:Yes
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