A man is found lying lifeless in the ocean by a group of fishermen. He wakes up with no knowledge of who he is but begins to realise that he has incredible skills in espionage and martial arts. While trying to find out his identity, a US government organisation is trying to track him and his companion down for their own mysterious reasons.


The Bourne Identity (2002) – Director: Doug Liman

Bourne Identity Movie Poster

Rating: 12

Running Length: 119 mins

Starring: Matt Damon, Franke Potente, Brian Cox

Genre: Thriller, Espionage



This is the first of the ‘Bourne’ trilogy, based upon the Robert Ludlum book of the same name. Where the Bond movies had been getting progressively silly with the unrealistic gadgets and highly implausible plots, the Bourne films injected some much needed realism back into the spy genre.

‘The Bourne Identity’ may rely on that old staple of amnesia, but the movie has a white knuckle intrigue to it. Who is Jason Bourne? Why does he not remember anything about his life? Why does he have such effective reflexive fighting abilities? Watching Bourne get into seemingly impossible to escape situations in his quest for the truth and then use ingenious quick thinking to evade capture was enthralling and something that the new wave of Bond films quickly emulated. This first instalment is an excellent display of what it takes to make a clever but action-packed thriller.


When Jason is first pulled out of the sea at the beginning of the movie, a doctor treats gunshot wounds on his back. He is seen surgically removing the bullets in detail which could be unsettling for younger viewers.

All of the fight scenes are very realistic and choreographed with brutal efficiency. One in particular is quite sustained. An attacker is stabbed in the hand with a pen. The stabbing itself is very quick, however the pen is then graphically pulled out which could be unpleasant to see. A character then jumps out of a window and his bloody body is seen on the ground outside. Also in this scene, a nice female character, introduced briefly earlier in the movie, is shown dead from a gunshot wound to the forehead.

There is also a scene which has a moderate sexual implication (i.e. the relationship between the characters is about to become intimate), however the camera pulls away before anything explicit happens and a lot of children would believe that they were just kissing.

There is also quite a lot of bad language throughout (including one strong word, although this is said under the character’s breath so could be easily missed). The rest is mild to moderate swearing and blasphemy. There is also a moderate German swear word which is said a few times.



We would recommend caution when allowing any under 12’s to see this film. The bad language and violence is used throughout the film. This is unlikely to be suitable for young children who are able to understand the themes of the movie. We would therefore not recommend this movie for any child under the age of 10.

  • Violence: 4/5
  • Emotional Distress: 1/5
  • Fear Factor: 2/5
  • Sexual Content: 2/5
  • Bad Language: 4/5
  • Dialogue: 2/5
  • Other notes: Deals with themes of assassins, espionage, government conspiracies and death.

Words by Laura Record



The Bourne Identity [DVD] [2002]

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