In Stalin's 1953 Soviet Union a serial killer murders dozens of young boys, while the government denies that such a thing could occur under communism. A Moscow police officer (Tom Hardy) attempts to investigate the crimes, but the government exiles him to a desolate mining town with his wife (Noomi Rapace). There, the police officer gains the help of an army general (Gary Oldman) and his small team fights the cover-up and double agents. Also with Joel Kinnaman, Paddy Considine and Vincent Cassel. Directed by Daniel Espinosa. [2:17]
SEX/NUDITY 5 - The camera pans into a bedroom and we hear a squeaking bed and moving above the footboard, and the camera shows a husband's upper back as he lies on top of his wife, thrusting; the camera moves to her facial profile and we see she is looking away, with a blank stare and the scene ends (we see a brief glimpse of her lower legs).
► Several small, grainy black and white photos depict the nude bodies of dead young boys (we see bare legs, thighs and buttocks and in one photo portions of hairless genitals). Three older men in a shower at work appear waist-up, with bare chest and stomach. A woman in a bed wears a negligee that reveals a little cleavage.
► A husband and wife kiss on a sidewalk. In two scenes, we see a husband and his wife clothed in heavy pajamas while sleeping in bed.
► A different man in each of two scenes flirts with a married woman, stroking her face and she rejects them both. A woman tells her husband and her parents at dinner that she is pregnant; later she tells her husband that she is not pregnant, and that she said she was pregnant so Communists would be less likely to shoot her. A husband tells his wife that she can leave him if she wishes, but she stays.
VIOLENCE/GORE 7 - Scenes of WII battles in Germany feature British and Russian troops in a ruined stone mansion, firing automatic rifles; we see a pipe grenade explode into flames and many men fall to the ground (no blood is shown), and a Russian soldier raises the Communist flag outside the building after the battle.
► A police officer shoots and kills the parents of two little girls with gunshots to the head and his supervisor shouts, slapping him in the face hard as the children scream and cry. A man in an execution yard is shot in the back of the head by soldiers and he falls off screen. A man offers to help an undercover police officer and the officer discovers that he is a Communist government agent; they fight and the officer strangles the other man, who gags, turns red in the face, convulses and dies; the body is found later, sprawled on the floor and staring at the ceiling. A police officer shoots another officer in the back in an office and the shot man gasps and falls off screen, facing the camera (no blood).
► A man and a woman on foot follow a man in a rural area until they find his vehicle with the doors open and engine running; they see a man walking through trees and the first man follows him, points a gun at him as the man kneels and cries until a police officer shoots the crying man in the head; blood and gore spray out of the head in a medium-length shot; the first man and the officer fight on a mud-covered hill and the woman jumps on the back of the officer, beating his head and back with a heavy tree branch; he chokes the woman, pistol whips her and releases her when she passes out, then takes a knife to attack the other man, stabbing him in one side and releasing some blood; the stabbed man slams the other man's head into a rock, smashing it with blood flowing as other police officers with drawn rifles arrive shouting.
► Police officers with drawn guns pursue a traitor in Moscow and a rural village, frightening people; one officer threatens a man with a pitchfork, a young girl screams and runs away and the suspect demands that the police officer shoot him several times, but a fistfight ensues and the suspect loses; during the fight, the suspect grabs a bayonet from the officer's belt and stabs himself in the side (some blood flows, but the man is alive). In the stone foyer of an orphanage, boys and girls punch and kick a boy that is lying on the ground. A man steps out in front of a passing train to kill himself and when the train stops, we see blood on a crumpled arm and his face, from a distance.
► Police capture a man and a woman, drag them to a train station, and then push them into a freight car with other prisoners (the door is padlocked behind them) where a soldier enters the car and gives a long knife to a big man, who attacks another man and a long brawl follows, involving men and women shouting, screaming and fist fighting; a man slams a woman back against a wall, several men and women are cut and show a little blood, punches are very loud, men and women roll on the floor, a man calls for a guard and punches and then strangles the guard, a man wrenches a side door open and men and women jump out of the car, into piles of leaves by the tracks; police stop the train down the line and shout at the people remaining in the car, waving police batons and threatening physical harm.
► Moscow police raid a block of apartments and harass tenants, shouting and waving guns. Russian police arrest a woman teacher at her school and pull her out as she screams; an officer hits a male teacher in the face with a heavy book, bruising his face. Police officers arrest three men in a shower at work. A man is arrested for homosexuality and he is forced to write down the names of other homosexuals, whom police arrest out of their workplaces the next day.
► Police drag a husband and his wife from bed and stuff them into separate cars, they push the couple into an execution yard and draw handguns; another officer walks into the yard after banging a door loudly and the woman faints and they are sent away to a far off coal-mining town, where both are demoted.
► A husband argues with his wife on the street where he tells her that if she travels without ID papers she will be arrested and "whatever" (rape is implied); she slaps him in the face and at home, she throws a plate at him, breaking it against a wall as he dodges and he slams her into a wall as he grabs her throat, but he releases her.
► An undercover police officer breaks into a foundry and takes a guard and the director hostage, locks the guard into a washroom and forces the director to help him find a murder suspect from among the employee records, matching work times and train schedules.
► A man is shown in a room with his face cut, bruised, dirty and swollen as he is strapped to a slant board and given truth serum (please see the Substance Use category for more details), causing him to pass out. A hallucinating man lies on a narrow bed, covers his face with a cloth and pours a large pot of cold water onto his face, then he pulls the cloth tight over his face and gags. Two men strapped to an incline board receive an injection of sodium pentothal in the arm (one man convulses and passes out and the second man falls asleep).
► The police department demands that an officer bring in his wife as a traitor and spy, but he reports back that she is not a traitor; police search their apartment and rip apart a mattress with a long knife.
► We see a dead boy on a morgue table with his eyes staring blankly, his face, shoulders, and upper chest bruised. We briefly see a series of very grainy black and white photos of the dead bodies of boys. A man drags a large, dirty sack across railroad tracks; it may contain a child's body. Two men sit in a pile of leaves at night and discover a bruised hand and foot among them; they gasp and run away.
► A man lures young boys ages 6 to 10 away from railway stations, sometimes giving them candy and the day after each abduction we hear that police find a boy naked on the ground, with surgical cuts over his body (we hear that some are missing organs), bruises and bleeding eyes.
► A man tells a second man to find a murderer and cut his head off. A police officer is denied his request to investigate child murders in Moscow, because Stalin says, "Murder is a capitalist crime" while at the same time we hear that Stalin starved 25,000 Ukrainians to death every day in the early 1930s. Child murders begin to happen in a coal-mining town and a police officer argues several times with the local army general and police director that murder does happen in USSR; the general agrees to help, but cautions the officer that if he embarrasses the department, the general will kill him. A general meets with the parents of murdered boys and shakes hands with each mother, expressing sorrow for their losses. Mothers cry and scream at their husbands for agreeing with the government that no murders occur in USSR and the children died by accidents. A police officer in Moscow receives permission to begin a homicide department, with the official story being that murder in the USSR comes from deranged WWII Nazis. A serial killer is dubbed "Werewolf of Moscow," with a back story that he was a psychotic Nazi who lived for a time in a Russian orphanage.
► A man spits on the ground and we see the spit.
PROFANITY 6 - About 17 F-words and its derivatives, 5 scatological terms, 1 anatomical term, 2 mild obscenities, name-calling (stupid, coward, murderer, traitor, monster, crazy nobody, joke, troll, animal, pig, vile, mental defective), stereotypical references to propaganda officers, Soviet soldiers, Soviet police, homosexuals, war orphans, serial killers, Communists, people with mental illness, parents, spies, dictators, vigilantes, 2 religious profanities (GD). [profanity glossary]
SUBSTANCE USE - Two men strapped to an incline board receive an injection of sodium pentothal in the arm (one man convulses and passes out and the second man falls asleep), a man drips some sort of drug onto candies with an eyedropper, and we hear that a certain drug is used to make children unconscious after abduction. A restaurant scene features men and women drinking wine, two family dinners show men and women drinking vodka, a man drinks vodka at home and a bottle of brandy is seen on a side table, and a man holds a short bottle of unknown beverage as he opens his door at night. Men in many scenes smoke cigarettes during WWII battles as well as on streets and in foundries, offices, homes, restaurants and in cars.
DISCUSSION TOPICS - Child predators, murder, war, spies, Josef Stalin, the Cold War, Communism, Nazis, martial law, famine, poverty, severe mental illnesses, family, relationships, making amends, justice.
MESSAGE - Determined citizens can change their governments for the better.