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Buffalo Soldiers



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Unlike the MPAA we do not assign one inscrutable rating based on age, but 3 objective ratings for SEX/NUDITY, VIOLENCE/GORE and PROFANITY on a scale of 0 to 10, from lowest to highest, depending on quantity and context.

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Sex & Nudity
Violence & Gore
1 to 10

MPAA Rating: R

The film is set just before the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989, and it examines the criminal sub-culture among U.S. army units posted in what was then West Germany: Joaquin Phoenix stars as a soldier who has joined the army in order to avoid going to jail. A sergeant, and the clerk to the battalion commander, he finds interesting ways to ward off boredom while developing a very profitable business dealing drugs. Also with Scott Glenn, Ed Harris, Anna Paquin and Brian Delate. Directed by Gregor Jordan. [1:38]

SEX/NUDITY 6 - A man and a woman are shown having sex: she sits on top of him and thrusts up and down (he's bare-chested and she wears a teddy top), the woman kisses down the man's chest to below his waist and he moans. A man and a woman kiss, she takes off her shirt and pants (we see her in bra and panties), they then kiss while in a pool, she wraps her legs around his waist and they presumably have sex. A man and a woman kiss, she lifts her top and he kisses her abdomen. A man and a woman kiss a few times. A man massages a woman's shoulders trying to seduce her. A man admires a woman as she swims. People dance together in a club. We see a man with a towel wrapped around his waist (from the back) and we see a man in a T-shirt and boxer shorts. Women are shown in swimsuits that reveal cleavage, bare abdomens and bare thighs. A woman wears a negligee. A woman wears a low-cut dress exposing cleavage.

VIOLENCE/GORE 7 - Two men stab each other in the stomach in slow motion. A man opens a cabinet, sees a grenade and is thrown back by the explosion (he's killed). A man hits his head on the corner of a table and falls to the floor (we see blood on the floor and his head and we hear that he is dead). A man tries to push a man out a window, another man holds them at gunpoint, the two men fall out of the window and land hard on the ground (one dies and the other is injured). From a distance we see a body fall from a rooftop. A tank drives through a street market crowded with people: it knocks down and drives over carts full of food, people run and scream, and it drives through a gas station knocking down the pumps and causing a huge explosion that blows two men through the air (we see their charred remains smoldering later). Many men are shot during a shoot-out between MPs and soldiers (we see men hit and blood spurt). A group of men beat another man, another man holds a gun on them, and he shoots at them. A man punches and kicks a man in the face several times (we see him with a very bloody and bruised face later). A man is punched hard in the face and we see him later with a bloody and bruised face after a beating. A man is punched in the face and threatened. Many men pile out of a truck with guns drawn and aim at other men. A building shakes and explodes and we hear that many people died in the blaze. Many men shoot weapons at a car and it explodes. A man kicks a TV set and shatters the glass. Two men argue aggressively, a man yells at another man, and a man threatens a man. A man grabs a woman and carries her out of a building while she struggles with him. A man imagines himself falling through the sky like a bomb and he hits the ground (we see this several times in his dreams). A man talks about his son having been tortured and killed. People talk about a man having lost a leg and the use of an arm. A woman has a large burn scar on her stomach and we hear that a cigarette ignited her nightgown when she was young.

PROFANITY 10 - 91 F-words and derivatives, 43 scatological terms, 11 anatomical terms, 14 mild obscenities, 7 religious profanities, 10 religious exclamations. [profanity glossary]

DISCUSSION TOPICS - War, peace, the Berlin Wall and its fall, Vietnam, incompetence, the black market, dreams, drug trade, bribery, fear of heights, trust, military operations, charisma, John F. Kennedy.

MESSAGE - There is always a war going on. War is hell but peace is boring. The best fighters are those with nothing to lose.

(Note: People are shown smoking cigarettes and drinking alcohol. A man shoots up with a drug and people get high from the fumes of drugs being cooked. A man talks about cooking a drug to make another drug and we see the cooking operation. We hear about people selling drugs and see them conducting transactions.)

Special Keywords: S6 - V7 - P10 - MPAAR

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A CAVEAT: We've gone through several editorial changes since we started covering films in 1992 and some of our early standards were not as stringent as they are now. We therefore need to revisit many older reviews, especially those written prior to 1998 or so; please keep this in mind if you're consulting a review from that period. While we plan to revisit and correct older reviews our resources are limited and it is a slow, time-consuming process.

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