Based on an 18th century Japanese legend: a group of forty seven samurai lose their Master (Min Tanaka) as a result of the actions of an evil Lord (Tadanobu Asano). Becoming leaderless ronin, they seek the help of a half-Japanese outcast (Keanu Reeves), who leads them through a mystical world of strange creatures, shape-shifters and danger to help them restore samurai honor. Also with Hiroyuki Sanada, Kou Shibasaki, Jin Akanishi and Rinko Kikuchi. Directed by Carl Rinsch. [2:00]
SEX/NUDITY 3 - A man is shirtless in three scenes, revealing his chest, back, arms and shoulders. An overweight man in a pond bathes and we see his bare chest, abdomen, back, arms and shoulders. Several women on a tall-boat wear long gowns with deeply cut necklines that reveal cleavage. In two scenes of ritual suicide men remove their upper garments to reveal bare chests, shoulders and arms (please see the Violence/Gore category for more details).
► In a hallucination a man hears his daughter screaming and thinks someone is raping his daughter under a cloak (we see thrusting and hear screaming).
► A man and a woman hold hands, embrace and kiss briefly. A husband and his wife embrace briefly before he goes to war and he says that she is the love of his life. A little girl kisses a little boy on the cheek.
► We hear that a man was born to a peasant Japanese woman after one night of sex with an English sailor. A witch tells a woman that she dishonored her father by lusting for a half-Japanese man.
VIOLENCE/GORE 6 - A shape shifting witch changes from a white fox into a woman wearing a long gown to a swarm of white insects and back to a woman; she rubs the chest of a man inside his kimono and stabs his inner elbow with her hair pick causing blood to spurt and she cups it in her hands, blows on it and creates a silver spider; she swirls into green smoke and sheer material, enters a man's room and drops the spider on his lips, where it dispenses poison; the man's eyes glaze and he hallucinates that his daughter is screaming and takes a sword and attempts to attack a visiting noble, whom he thinks is raping his daughter under the noble's long black cloak (it is a hallucination in which we see thrusting and hear screaming) but he is stopped by his warriors; the man is sentenced to ritual suicide and in front of the community he kneels and in an upper chest and head shot, we see him remove his upper garment and grimace as he stabs himself in the abdomen (the camera angle changes so we see his back and the handle of the knife, but no blood), and then his second swings a sword that we see only in shadow, indicating that he has beheaded him, as his daughter cries.
► A Shogun sentences a group of samurai to ritual suicide and they appear before the community with several men and women viewing from the stands; the camera moves to a close-up of one bare-chested man as he grimaces and snaps his head downward, indicating that he began disemboweling himself below the frame (the scene ends).
► At night in a cemetery clandestine samurai confront the guards of an evil tyrant; one guard changes to a woman (she's a witch), throwing a fireball at one of the samurai who gags and falls to his knees, and then goes up in fire and we see him burning silently; a giant in silver armor beheads him behind a thick wall of flame (we see only the swing of the sword) and a swordfight breaks out between the two opposing sides and many samurai are injured by arrows; several guards die and at dawn, and we see charred dirt and charred wooden-and-straw grave markers and dead guards on the ground.
► Two fights occur simultaneously: a samurai leader and a tyrant, and a samurai with a witch turned to a dragon-snake creature with the camera cutting back and forth between the fights that include kicks, punches and sword fighting; the dragon pulls a piece of a wall away and tosses it at the man, who ducks, while the dragon breathes fire toward the audience and the man transforms to black smoke and stabs the dragon in the head; the dragon gasps, snaps its jaws, changes into a woman and dies with eyes open while in the other fight, the samurai and the tyrant stab through a wall at each other, then engage in a fistfight and the samurai puts a chokehold on the tyrant and stabs him in the abdomen below the frame as the tyrant grimaces and grunts before dying.
► At a nighttime wedding celebration, samurai silently scale a wall and pull guards over to the ground (away from the camera); the samurai attack two dozen more guards silently, slitting their throats, garroting them, stabbing them in the heart, and shooting arrows through their heads (we see no blood, but hear short grunts as the guards fall); a giant wearing silver armor chases a group of samurai, but one kills him with a bomb made from gunpowder in a bamboo case (black and silver pieces of the giant fly toward the audience, along with rocks, flames and pieces of the walls); a sword fight breaks out in the courtyard between samurai and the remaining guards as we hear shouts and a lot of metal-on-metal strikes.
► A man enters a fighting ring in the hold of a ship where he and another man fight with swords; the second man stabs a male spectator (no blood shows) and the two men run out of the ship; men follow, shooting guns, but hit no one and the two men fall through rotten wood in the dock and onto a boardwalk; after a couple of fistfights with sailors, the first two men toss lanterns into the wooden ship, igniting it and filling the screen with flames as they run away and the scene ends; one of the two men says that demons taught him to fight. An evil nobleman spars with two men, all three using heavy wooden staves; the nobleman knocks the other men down and stomps on the head of one of the men four times in a middle distance shot (we don't see blood and the man is still breathing). A clan of clandestine samurai visits a sword-making village; one of the unarmored visitors fights five armored guards, killing them all with swords, knives and an arrow to the back (we see a little blood from the knife cuts). A woman in a hallway pulls a knife from her sleeve and stabs a guard with it (he falls without blood showing).
► A man wearing armor battles an 8-foot tall samurai in heavier armor within a square at a tournament; sword strikes and kicks are used without drawing blood until the first man's helmet is thrown off and a Shogun stops the battle, ordering the man to be beaten and a samurai cuts off the man's armor with a knife before three other men beat him on his clothed back with wooden staves; a fourth man strikes him once, hard enough for him to lose consciousness and we later see his bare back, covered with large red, raw scrapes. A man tied at the wrists with rope receives a strong kick to the back and a strike to the head with a staff.
► Two men enter a cave, telling their comrades to wait outside the cave; inside, one man confronts a yellow-skinned demon-man with golden eyes and bumpy facial and scalp skin and another man hallucinates and sees a group of dozens of demons like the yellow-skinned one, as these demons appear to jump on, stab, and slice his comrades (we hear screams and grunts, but see no blood); the demons change to yellow smoke and then back to men but then disappear and so do the humans. A man and a yellow-skinned demon-man fight over a sword, both turning to smoke and back.
► A clan of samurai carry two swords each, knives, longbows and long feathered arrows; they chase a creature that appears part dinosaur and part huge elk, with horns and antlers, six golden eyes, cloven hooves, a scaly tail and a furry back; several horses and men fall (we see no blood) and one man picks up a fallen sword, rides under the beast, stabs it in the heart and is dragged by it for several yards (the creature dies and we see blood on the man's hands and the point of the sword); later, we see the man's back with some scrape marks. In a fight in the hold of a boat, a man fights an ogre using kicks as well as swords, knives and a mace on a chain; the man beheads the ogre, without much blood, and another man grabs the head and dances around the floor with it.
► A samurai leader stands on a palace wall and holds the severed head of a man high for the fighting men below to see (no blood appears); the man's men surrender and the next day the samurai leader carries the severed head in a muslin bag through the village and to the gravestone of his deceased master.
► A dishonored samurai is tossed into a deep pit for solitary confinement for one year; he is then pulled back up with ropes and we see him dirty and with long hair and beard, trembling from cold before being kicked into a muddy street to walk home in a heavy rain; later, he tells his teen son to find horses and help him find other samurai, who were banished from the village, in order to seek revenge against an evil nobleman.
► At a samurai camp one man places compresses on the chest of a comrade who suffered arrow wounds; the wounded man coughs several times and dies. A man dies on his floor, gasping with glazed eyes as we hear that he was bewitched.
► A young boy runs through a forest and collapses in muddy water; after being found by a samurai, the boy places a sword blade to the man's throat, but does not harm him; long claw scratches appear on the boy's bald scalp and we hear that he was raised by demons.
► A man leads his comrades through a mystic forest and hears voices of the demons that raised him. He says the forest is filled with spirits of the old, infirmed and unwanted children and we see white smoky blobs with eyes like ghosts. A witch watches a princess at night and stabs a large knife into the floor by her head, suggesting that she slit her own throat; the princess picks the knife up later, but does not use it.
► A dragon-snake snarls with large teeth into the audience. Several mythical creatures appear in the film, including an 8-foot tall samurai, a huge ogre, a shape-shifting witch, and a clan of men with yellow reptilian skin.
► Forty seven samurai sign a document of war and revenge against an evil noble; they each touch a thumb to their own swords and put a bloody thumbprint on top of their signatures. A screen caption on a black background states that the Japanese people visit the graves of the ronin every December.
► A witch tries to make a princess eat food from the witch's long hair, but the princess refuses. At a dock filled with tall-boats an Englishman appears shirtless, covered with crudely done tattoos from bald scalp to waistline and down his arm and his face resembles a skull with black eyes.
PROFANITY 1 - 1 mild obscenity, name-calling (half breed, demon). [profanity glossary]
SUBSTANCE USE - A maid gives a woman a vial of white poison for suicide (the woman decides not to use it), a woman uses a towel dipped in clear medication to soothe the wounds on the back of a man, and a spider dispenses purple poison onto a man's lips. Two men drink Saki at a grave to honor their samurai master.
DISCUSSION TOPICS - Japanese history, warrior code, honor, sacrifice, duty, war, courage, corrupt politicians, murder, revenge, justice.
MESSAGE - The 47 ronin are celebrated by Japanese people every December as the epitome of honor.