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The maker

Threat advisory: Elevated - Significant risk of entertaining activities

Movie propaganda

If you can't play by their rules, make your own.

The maker is a gritty, action-packed thriller that explores the relationship between two brothers - Josh Minnell (Jonathan Rhys-Meyers) and his older brother Walter Shmeiss (Matthew Modine) - and the complicated ties that bind them and define who they are.

After a car accident that killed their parents, the boys were adopted - but the day after his 18th birthday, Walter ran away and didn't look back. Now, 10 years later, it's Josh's 18th birthday and Walter has suddenly come home. He says it's to reveal the truth behind their parents' death, but a dark destiny awaits Josh if he follows his brother's footsteps and accepts the offer to join him in a life of crime.

Also starring Mary-Louise Parker as Pfficer Emily Peck, Fairuza Balk as Bella Sotto, Michael Madsen as Skarney, Jesse Borrego as Felice A Beato, Kate McGregor-Stewart as Mrs Minnell, Lawrence Pressman as Mr Minnell, Jeff Kober as Rubicon Beziqui, Matthew David James as Ike and Marc Worden as Simon. Written by Rand Ravich, directed by Tim Hunter.

Cinematic intelligence sources

Intelligence analyst

Special Agent Matti

Theatrical report

No high level violence.

I thought, after reading the Propaganda and the Censorship Classification, that The maker would be an in-your-face crime action drama with lots of hitting, shooting, killing and bleeding: you know, Pulp fiction on wheels. Unfortunately it didn't live up to my expectations.

There's some stealing and eventually some shooting, but nowhere near enough for this film to be classified as crime action, while the nature versus nurture criminology debate comes across as little more than an excuse for some Hollywood types to play at criminal chic. Meanwhile, Matthew Modine doesn't even raise a sweat in playing the big, bad brother: I guess that he needed the money and/or to get back onto a film set. Jonathan Rhys-Meyers probably thought he was getting into a big-time Hollywood break-through flick.

The maker will fill in your craving for mindless urban criminality but it's to Pulp fiction as methadone is to heroin. Take your pick.

Security censorship classification

MA 15+ (High level violence, adult themes)

Surveillance time

95 minutes (1:35 hours)

Not for public release in Australia before date

VHS rental: 13 December 2000

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