Christian Living


Knight and Day: Movie Review

Star Rating

Movie Info



PG-13 for sequences of action violence throughout, and brief strong language.




June 24, 2010


Tom Cruise, Cameron Diaz, Peter Sarsgaard, Viola Davis, Paul Dano, Marcus Blum, Dale Dye, Celia Weston


James Mangold


20th Century Fox


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For summer audiences looking for thrills and adventure, Knight And Day may be the ticket, but be prepared since this over-the-top actioner contains some very strong action violence with a high body count. June Havens (Cameron Diaz,) on her way through an airport to her sister’s wedding, has a “chance” encounter with fellow traveler Roy Miller (Tom Cruise). Soon after, her life spins out of control, and their lives become entwined; and, they can’t get apart, regardless of how hard they try.

Following their plane ride gone wrong, Roy helps June get to her intended destination, Boston. Regrettably, the same bad guys Roy had warned her about soon show up and take her for a ride. Roy comes to the rescue (a recurring theme), out-running a bus, leaping from moving vehicles, and generally saving the day. Despite the fact he is continually spewing out an armory-load of gunfire, mowing down scores of baddies, he seems to honestly care for June’s well-being. Further, viewers discover that Roy is trying to help a young genius get his world-changing invention into the right hands.

Or is he?

The series of crosses and double-crosses, accompanied by several romantic misfires, reveals that either Roy or the Agency operatives (led by Fitzgerald, played by Peter Sarsgaard) who pursue him could be enemies of the state. From the cornfields of Wichita to the causeways of Boston, from the trains and rooftops of Austria to a private island hideaway, from the streets of Seville to the tip of South America, this movie moves. There’s a lot of beautiful scenery, and a fluid, though implausible, plot to carry viewers along.

As the heroine, Diaz plays June, a woman under pressure, who’s been through a lot, but she tenaciously holds on to some core inner values, believing the best in people in general, and Roy in particular. Cruise carries his part with smooth confidence. And, most importantly, although he doesn’t seem like any Boy Scout, he is quite likeable. For this movie, that’s key, and it makes Knight and Day work. The relationships aren’t deep, but they work well. Neither character has sufficient time to ask deep questions. And, for the sake of the audience, that’s probably a good thing.

James Mangold, the accomplished director of Walk the Line and a recent remake of 3:10 to Yuma, is a man of obvious talents. At the helm of this streamlined action-comedy, he keeps it moving well. Working from a handily-crafted screenplay by Patrick O’Neill, the pace is suitably relentless. Although the pieces, at least on the surface, seem to fit together pretty well, don’t look beneath the surface, because there are some serious plot issues. Nonetheless, the craftsmanship of Mangold and O’Neill takes the audience on a roller coaster ride that leaves little time for questions, and the repartee between the two stars works.

The cinematography of DP Phedon Papamichael is lush and deep, taking viewers to places they can sink into for as long as editors Michael McCusker and Quincy Z. Gunderson allow them to linger. Their pacing is dead-on. It hangs on while the characters interact, but the rest of the time it flies.

For an action piece, there are a few incidents of bad language. Aside from a few incidents of innuendo, Cameron Diaz in a bikini and her legs sticking out of a bathtub, there’s relatively little skin and no sex scenes. There is, however, some sexual innuendo, such as Diaz expressing lust for Cruise’s character while under the effects of a truth serum.

Knight and Day has a sizeable body count. Whether through martial arts encounters taking out 10 enemies in two minutes, wiping out dozens of foes in a warehouse by spraying gunfire, or by dismantling a freeway-full of anonymous vehicles in a car chase, Knight and Day is all about the action and the violence. It doesn’t show much blood or graphic carnage, per se, but there is lots of action violence. People are shot, bones crack, and planes and SUVs explode as Roy carries on his own private war. Thus, Movieguide® advises extreme caution.

NOTE from Dr. Ted Baehr, publisher of Movieguide Magazine. For more information from a Christian perspective, order the latest Movieguide Magazine by calling 1-800-899-6684(MOVI) or visit our website at www.movieguide.org. Movieguide is dedicated to redeeming the values of Hollywood by informing parents about today's movies and entertainment and by showing media executives and artists that family-friendly and even Christian-friendly movies do best at the box office year in and year out. Movieguide now offers an online subscription to its magazine version, at www.movieguide.org. The magazine, which comes out 25 times a year, contains many informative articles and reviews that help parents train their children to be media-wise consumers.

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