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The Brave One a.k.a. “The Stranger Inside,” “Stranger in You,” “À vif,” “L' Épreuve du courage,” “Il Buio nell'anima,” “La Extraña que hay en ti,” “Die Fremde in dir”

MPAA Rating: R-Rating (MPAA) for strong violence, language, and some sexuality

Reviewed by: Spencer Schumacher

Very Offensive
Moviemaking Quality:

Primary Audience:
Adults, Teens
Psychological Thriller, Action, Crime, Drama
1 hr. 59 min.
Year of Release:
USA Release:
September 14, 2007 (wide)
Copyright, Warner Bros. Pictures Copyright, Warner Bros. Pictures Copyright, Warner Bros. Pictures Copyright, Warner Bros. Pictures Copyright, Warner Bros. Pictures Copyright, Warner Bros. Pictures Copyright, Warner Bros. Pictures Copyright, Warner Bros. Pictures Copyright, Warner Bros. Pictures
Relevant Issues
Copyright, Warner Bros. Pictures

Why does God allow innocent people to suffer? Answer

What about the issue of suffering? Doesn’t this prove that there is no God and that we are on our own? Answer

Does God feel our pain? Answer

The Origin of bad—How did bad things come about? Answer

What kind of world would you create? Answer


Are there biblical examples of depression and how to deal with it? Answer

What should a Christian do if overwhelmed with depression? Answer


Murder in the Bible

Justice in the Bible

The final judgment

Interracial relationship

What are the consequences of racial prejudice and false beliefs about the origin of races? Answer

Racism, Racial Issues and Christianity
Get biblical answers to racial hot-topics. Where did the races come from? How did skin color come about? Why is it important to have a biblical foundation for such issues?
Featuring: Jodie Foster, Terrence Howard, Naveen Andrews, Mary Steenburgen
Director: Neil Jordan
“The Crying Game” (1992), “The End of the Affair” (1999), “Interview with the Vampire: The Vampire Chronicles” (1994)
Producer: Herb Gains, Bruce Berman, Joel Silver
Distributor: Warner Bros. Pictures

“How many wrongs to make it right?”

Ever since Charles Bronson brandished his magnum and became a one-man vengeance machine in the 1974 film “Death Wish” the revenge-killer has become one of the most recognized characters in Hollywood movies. In Neil Jordan’s (“The Crying Game,” “Interview with the Vampire”) latest film Academy-Award winning actress Jodie Foster straps on the gun and takes up the iconic role of urban waste disposer.

Foster plays radio personality Erica Bain who is an investigative journalist for a nationally syndicated radio show that records the sounds of the “safest, big city.”

Erica is engaged to David (Naveen Andrews) who she lives with in a typical New York apartment just outside of Central Park as the two plan for their upcoming wedding. The young couple playfully argue over whether to wait and appease his family by having a more traditional wedding and what shade of off-white their wedding invitations should be, cream or vanilla.

The couple is out in the park walking their dog when they are confronted by a group of urban gang members who at first attempt to rob them and then escalate their attack to a brutal beating of the couple which leaves Erica recovering in a hospital bed and her fiancé six feet under.

While laying unconscious in the hospital, she is viewed by Detective Mercer (Terrence Howard) who is in the hospital questioning a young girl about the murder of her mother. This investigation serves as the subplot of this film and a key link that will develop between Mercer and Erica Bain. Mercer is an NYPD detective who is trying to nail a man suspected of drug smuggling and murdering his wife while he himself tries to pick up the pieces of a bitter divorce.

Nearly a month after her beating Erica is released from the hospital and into a world that she no longer recognizes, a world she once easily breathed in, now paralyzes her with fear. It is this fear that compels her to purchase an illegal gun.

While shopping at a neighborhood liquor store she witnesses a brutal execution and retaliates in a manner that starts her down the road of one-woman vigilantism.

After a second similar shooting Bain finds herself regularly crossing paths with Detective Mercer who now has to face the prospect that New York has a new Bernard Goetz exacting revenge on the city’s streets.

As Erica gains her confidence back she engages Detective Mercer in a one on one interview about this new vigilante that is making headlines on the NY Post and making fools out of NY’s finest. She asks him if his hands shake when he shoots someone. He answers that they don’t and explains, “that’s how you know you’ve killed a bad guy.” This is one of the many provocative questions the film raises and leaves up to the audience to answer.

As Erica continues down this downward spiral the film challenges the audience to take a moral stance of Bain’s “Vengeance is mine” actions.

The film well deserves it’s R-rating. As far as material that one might find offensive there is the typical amount of profanity as well a a brief scene of nudity which exposes Erica’s breast in a sexual scene between Erica and David. The film delves deeply into the issue of self-appointed street justice and the killings depicted are fairly graphic, but nothing when compared to the brutal beating initially inflicted on the couple that sends Erica on her vengeance spree. This scene is revisited again and again in grainy images caught on the cell phone of one of the perpetrators, the digital images add a sense of realism to the already brutal beating which some viewers might find difficult to watch (again). Scenes of her operation and post-op brutalized body and face will be grimace-inducing to many audience members. The crime scene investigations we see Det. Mercer working to track down the killer are graphic, but nothing beyond what is typically seen on a weekly episode of “CSI”.

The production of Neil Jordan and his crew is done with typical Hollywood flair as cameras follow closely along with Erica Bain and her descent into darkness. Foster, Howard and the rest of the cast deliver top notch, riveting performances that put the audience front and center in the decisions of how far one will go to exact revenge.

“The Brave One” is rated R with a running time of 119 minutes.

Violence: Extreme / Profanity: Heavy / Sex/Nudity: Mild

See list of Relevant Issues—questions-and-answers.

Viewer Comments
Comments below:
Positive—Although this isn’t Jodie Foster’s best performance, “The Brave One” was still a good quality movie full of action and drama. The brief sexuality (showing of Jodie’s breast) was unnecessary… which only makes the audience feel uncomfortable, so I do not know why producers include nudity in their movies! The violence wasn’t excessive although the camera made sure you saw the blood coming out of the wounds. Other than the unnecessary sexuality and some of the violence, I would recommend this movie. As a Christian, I did not find the movie something not worth seeing… but I do believe that revenge should be put in God’s hands!
My Ratings: Average / 3½
Christine, age 23
Positive—I really enjoyed this film! The acting was superb, the directing was amazing, and the drama was very satisfying! I found the character of Erica Bane to be very complex but the way Jodie Foster handled it made her very real and very easy to understand. I found the violence in the film very graphic at first, mostly I think because the director wanted to show us how Erica saw it. She saw it as graphically as we did, and as the film goes on the violence seems to be more background as it becomes less shocking to the character. the scene of nudity in the film is my only real quibble with it. The scene was 100% unnecessary! The violence and language personally don’t bother me, however, it may offend some people.
My Ratings: Better than Average / 4½
Brian, age 19
Neutral—To start off, I must say that this movie is sad. Jody Foster plays her part well and one could see (from the script) how vengeance would be her focal point because of the senseless horrible beating she and her fiancé were given, leaving her in a coma for 3 weeks in the hospital and killing him, plus losing their beautiful German shepherd dog. It left her in deep depression, fear, and grieving constantly about the loss of the love of her life. The sex scenes (the scenes where she would remember her boyfriend) were not needed and did make one have an uncomfortable feeling, or at least it did me. It seems that is where the R-rating comes in, because I have seen far worse movies with PG-13-rating when it comes to violence.

She seemed to always end up in some situation where her life was being threatened and she had to kill to escape. She was on a hunt to find the 3 men that attacked her and her boyfriend and walked the streets in the worst parts of town which put her in these bad situations of having to defend herself and others.

She befriends a police officer/detective who is grieving over his divorce which seems to give them a kindred spirit. After getting to know one another, he becomes suspicious of her and in a round about way he warns her that he is on the verge of busting the person who is being the vigilante. It’s like they both know that he knows it’s her, but still remain good friends.

Throughout the movie, she shows herself to be a person of no hope and constantly grieves over her losses which she has suffered. This fuels her constant search for the 3 idiots that attacked them, and then her hope is to ultimately take vengeance on them. The Bible tells us that vengeance is the Lords, that He will repay those that do wrong to His children, but there is nothing spiritual in this movie, other than rampant demonic stuff, senseless killings, beatings, misuse of people from one person to the other. It does show how the lost have no hope, how people behave in life without having a relationship with God. The movie shows people who hold no value for human life, which there are lots of people in our world today like that.

The ending is… she gets vengeance and the cop understands. The movie was okay, not an Academy Award, and not realistic in how things work out in real life.
My Ratings: Offensive / 3½
Donna M, age 51
Neutral—This movie left me with some very mixed feelings. Yes, the movie was well-done,the acting was superb and the story line just reeled you in. I really did connect to Jodie Foster’s character and went on a emotional roller coaster ride to the very end. What pain this woman felt in order to go on a vigilante killing spree! I noticed that on the poster advertising this movie it stated “how many wrongs to make it right.” As a Christian, I know that man’s anger does not bring about the righteous will of God. In addition, I lean onto this scripture “vengeance is mine declares the Lord.” I cannot condone the murder of others even if “they deserve it.” God forgave us, he sent his son Jesus to die for our sins, and in turn we need to forgive others. This movie is geared towards showing us how the “bad guys” got what what was coming to them. How justice was served through this character’s vigilante killings.

In truth, no amount of wrongs could ever make anything right. It most certainly cannot bring back loved ones! All it does is make things worse, and by taking things into your own hands, it pushes you further and further into darkness. I found my self thinking of the bad guys Jodie Foster’s character took revenge on. We see these characters as wicked, evil, violent men. However, Jesus died on the cross for all of mankind—that includes those who commit the most heinous of crimes. If this was not a movie but a real life situation, this vigilante killing spree is giving the bad guys an early departure from Earth and into the pit of Hell. We know that Jesus saves even the most hardest criminal—if they truly repent of their sins. The Son of Sam (serial killer of the 70’s) is now a born-again christian, his life has been changed around completely.

This is a testament to the saving power of Jesus Christ. This is why I stayed quiet in the cinema while everyone was cheering the vigilante executions of the bad guys. We need to stay close to the word of God, and not get carried away by things of the world (including worldly perceptions and attitudes). As much as I liked the main characters and actors in this movie, I felt very convicted seeing this movie and will be more careful of the movies I go to in the future.
My Ratings: Very Offensive / 5
Ann, age 42
Negative—Sometimes I ask myself, would Jesus see this movie? or would Jesus produce this movie? Fortunately the bible gives us clear indicators, Gal. 5 tells us what the works of the flesh are and what the fruit of the Spirit are, so hatred and fits of rage are not good and love patience kindness are to be pursued. This movie shows us nothing of the former and worse, it justifies it when Jody’s character murders to save a girl. So why would I choose to see a movie with horrid scenes of violence? Only to give you some information to make your decision with. The movie is pure gratuitous violence. I find it interesting that reviewers say the brief breast scene is offensive but the wanton shooting of people, however horrid their actions are, is not offensive and can be recommended for viewing. The underlying theme here is revenge and action on that revenge along with vividly complete scenes of that violence. Sure, she is in pain but the point Jesus made is we go to him with that pain and he gives us rest from it (Matt 11:28) so it won’t consume us. Separate from the violence, the acting was not very good, the relationship of her character and the fiance is very poorly and surreptitiously developed, the story line rather shallow and the repeated scenes of the initial beating and murder of the fiance was so difficult to watch that I turned my eyes away. R is the correct rating and probably not enough.
My Ratings: Very Offensive / 3
Bob MacLean, age 58
Negative—Wow that was one of the stupidest films I have ever seen!!! I understand the part that she is mad about losing her husband, but, however, I don’t understand is when she points her gun at the bad guy she says, “Give me my dog back!!” What did her dog have to do with all this??? Bad film bad acting. She bought a weapon illegally for one. The movie goes off topic too many times to keep my head in the same direction.
My Ratings: Extremely Offensive / 1
Jonathan Tran, age 24
Negative—Me and my husband viewed this movie together and I remember asking him 'Is this movie ever going to end?' The movie dragged plain and simple. When Jodie Foster (Erica) would remember her late fiance, it would be a barage of sex scenes and nudity.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Very Offensive / Moviemaking quality: 2½
Monica, age 27
Negative—The plot is old, so I expected that. The violence was extreme, so I expected that, but the language was awful and very unnecessary. A fowl mouth is not only a sign of an unregenerated person, but also a sign of a small mind trying to express itself. So why does Hollywood insist on having everyone regardless of gender, profession, education, age, upbringing, or social standing use the same gutter talk? To me the only thing the film had going for it was some pretty good acting, and it was overshadowed by the language. I was very disappointed and would not recommend the film to anyone. On the other hand, since I knew it was a re-make of Charles Bronson’s vigilante I probably got what I deserved. As a Christian, I renew my commitment to screen the content before I go to see a movie.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Extremely Offensive / Moviemaking quality: 3
Glen, age 56