Today’s Prayer Focus


also known as “Anexeleghti ekdikisi,” “Asesino Íntimo,” “Tenderness—Auf der Spur des Killers”
MPA Rating: R-Rating (MPA) for disturbing violent and sexual content, and language.

Reviewed by: David Simpson

Moviemaking Quality:

Primary Audience:
Crime Thriller Drama
1 hr. 41 min.
Year of Release:
USA Release:
December 11, 2009
DVD: April 13, 2010
Copyright, Lionsgate Films click photos to ENLARGE Copyright, Lionsgate Films Copyright, Lionsgate Films Copyright, Lionsgate Films Copyright, Lionsgate Films Copyright, Lionsgate Films Copyright, Lionsgate Films
Relevant Issues
Copyright, Lionsgate Films
Sexual abuse

I think I was sexually abused, but I’m not sure. What is sexual abuse, and what can I do to stop the trauma I am facing now? Answer

Child abuse—sexual

Stories of sexual abuse

Pain and suffering

Does God feel our pain? Answer

Why does God allow innocent people to suffer? Answer


SUICIDE—What does the Bible say? Answer

If a Christian commits suicide, will they go to Heaven? Answer

Biblical issues

Fall of man


About murder in the Bible

Death in the Bible

Final judgment


Teen issues
Teen Qs™—Christian Answers for teenagers
Teens! Have questions? Find answers in our popular TeenQs section. Get answers to your questions about life, dating and much more.

VIOLENCE—How does viewing violence in movies affect families? Answer

Featuring Russell Crowe (Detective Cristofuoro), Jon Foster (Eric Poole), Sophie Traub (Lori), Arija Bareikis (Marsha), Alexis Dziena (Maria), Michael Kelly (Gary), Vivienne Benesch (Lisa Komenko), Tanya Clarke (Jackie Cristofuoro), Tim Hopper (Dan Komenko), Brian Patrick Russell (Facility Director), Lee R. Sellars (Sam), Lou Sumrall (Cafeteria Guard), Laura Dern (Aunt Teresa), Matt Pepper (Ben), See all »
Director John Polson
“Swimfan,” “Hide and Seek”
Producer Lionsgate, GreeneStreet Films, iDeal Partners Film Fund (as iDeal Partners), See all »
Distributor Lionsgate Films

“An edge of your seat thriller?”

Tenderness. A word of frailty, innocence, and a description of needing to count on someone else stronger to get over your struggles. There is nothing in this movie that touches on the tenderness of the individual, but rather the vulnerability of youth and the fragility of the mind without a God that loves you.

Now that’s out of the way, just a description of the story. There is Lori, a 16 year old girl, who is from a tough family background, and Eric, an 18 year old, who despite coming from a preacher’s family, has spent time in jail for killing his parents in a murder spree. Now he is released and trying to shake off the desire to kill again, and meets up with Lori who has run from her home.

Lori, through some time, develops an obsession for Eric and desires him not just in company but also in romantic endeavors.

Throughout this time, a detective called Cristofuoro has been tracking the young serial killer, and is convinced that he will kill again, despite everything Eric says. Tracking the couple down across the country, the end is to see whether he is proven right or not.

Now. What is morally offensive in this movie? Well, pretty much everything. Lori is a young girl who, through either school or other events, has learned to offer her body in exchange for what she wants. In a couple of scenes, she hikes up her top (no nudity), or implies that is going to have intercourse for her desired goal. Eric is a serial killer, with a major malfunction in his mental state. He frequently envisions killing Lori, and struggles with the levels of intimacy she thrusts upon him.

All in all, “Tenderness” is a depressing movie that wants to be chilling and thrilling and touch on the psychological levels of other movies of the genre, and so coupled with the poor film making, it makes for a very poor showing. There is a lot of R-rated language, most of it said by the two teenagers, and besides the sexual content there are scenes of violence and intense psychological pressure. There are pictures of a murder scene that are quite graphic and also a scene with a murdered girl floating down a river.

Finally, there is a scene of suicide that is very emotionally involved and quite depressing.

Why, as Christians, we put ourselves through films that have very little moral fibre and lack a good story, solid acting, and beautiful cinematography is beyond me. Not only is it not entertaining for us as humans, but it’s also not anything God wants us to set before our eyes. It doesn’t uplift, it doesn’t encourage, and whether Russell Crowe’s faithfulness to his sick wife is enough light to take out of this, for me it doesn’t really matter. Cristofuoro, despite the love he has, carries no hope—not for his wife, or for Eric who is desperate to leave his issues behind him.

One to miss for sure. Very little stands out. Overall, a poor film. Far better movies out there.

Violence: Moderate / Profanity: Heavy / Sex/Nudity: Moderate

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