A dramatic account of the Cristeros War, the 1920s conflict when Mexican Roman Catholics fought against the anticlerical Mexican government. Andy Garcia stars as a retired general recruited by the leaders of the Catholic militias to lead their fight. Also with Oscar Isaac, Catalina Sandino Moreno, Santiago Cabrera, Rubén Blades, Bruce McGill, Arián Alonso, Eva Longoria and Peter O’Toole. Directed by Dean Wright. [2:23]
SEX/NUDITY 1 - A man tells another man, using graphic terms, that groups of women had been raped in front of their children (please see the Violence/Gore category for more information).
► A man puts his arms around a woman and kisses her on the cheek. A man and a woman hug. We see a man and a woman lying in bed together.
► We see women wearing slips and brassieres while tying bullets wrapped in bandages around their stomachs.
VIOLENCE/GORE 8 - We see a boy, with blood on his face and obviously injured, tied to a chair and moments later we see what is implied to be a torture scene where a man tortures the boy: the man sharpens a knife and we hear the boy scream (it is implied that the man is stabbing the boy's feet), the boy is then taken away with his hands bound and feet bloody, he falls to the ground (we see blood on his face, arms and feet), he is led to an open grave where his parents and uncle watch and a man shoots him in the back( blood pours from the wounds); his body falls into the grave, a man shoots the soldiers that are present (blood pours from their wounds), pulls the boy's corpse out of the grave and the boy's mother holds the bloody corpse and weeps.
► Two boys with their hands bound, are led out of a prison and marched in front of a tree where we see one of the boys hanged as the other watches (the sound of crunching bone is heard as the boy dies); a man races toward the second boy, shoving him out of the way.
► Soldiers lead an older man out of a church with his arms tied behind his back, the soldiers line up as another soldier shouts, "Let this be a lesson" to unseen people, the soldiers open fire and we see the man hit the ground (we see a spray of blood on the wall behind him).
► Armed soldiers use a battering ram to smash the front doors of a church, and they push through a group of men holding the door closed; the soldiers open fire and we see many people hit the ground (no blood is visible), including a woman being struck in the head with the butt of a rifle (the woman awakens later and another woman tells her she is lucky she is alive).
► An older man is handcuffed and hanged from the ceiling of a church, and we hear his neck snap and see his body swing as soldiers trash the church, including shooting the statues. A man grabs another man and hangs him as his young daughter watches and cries.
► Two men open fire in a train car and we see people fall to the ground as soldiers rush in; a woman is shot in the forehead (we see her hit the ground and the hole in her forehead) and we see dead bodies on the floor of the train car. A man shoots another man in the back as two men embrace; we see the unharmed man scream as he holds the dying man in his arms and other men shoot at the gunman.
► Horsemen ride up behind armed soldiers, the horsemen shoot the soldiers and we see one man shoot multiple soldiers as he spins around on his horse; the horsemen drag a bloody body into a church and hang it next to the dangling body of another man already hanging from the ceiling, the horsemen pull the first hanging man down and one of them spits on the face of the other hanging man. As a group of armed horsemen approach soldiers, bombs detonate and an extended gun battle takes place; a man is shot off his horse and men are thrown through the air after explosions and many soldiers are shot. Unseen men fire on soldiers as they enter a town (we see a spray of bullets, including one that hits a man on horseback and he falls to the ground); the soldiers return fire on the men and we see one man struck (blood pours out of his mouth as another man holds him in his arms as the man dies). Soldiers rush through the door of a building, a man shoot two soldiers and stabs a third in the chest, soldiers stand outside and fire at the building multiple times, and a man inside the building shoots at the soldiers; as a group of soldiers enters the building, we see a man drag a dead soldier's body on top of him to hide, and he then shoots two soldiers as they walk passed and a third in the back as he runs away (no blood is visible in the entire scene).
► During an extended battle sequence between soldiers and horsemen we see the following: many men are shot, horses flip men to the ground and soldiers are thrown off the horses, a second group of armed horsemen arrive behind the soldiers and shoot them, many soldiers fall to the ground and we see one of the horsemen shoot a suffering soldier that tries to escape. During an extended battle scene, soldiers and gunmen fight and many shots are heard while we see the men fall to the ground; a man grabs one man that had been shot (he is covered in blood), props him up on the back of a horse and they ride away and a man shoots two men in slow motion, he runs and two soldiers shoot him.
► On multiple occasions we see the dead bodies of men hanging from telephone poles as trains go by. Dead bodies of men are seen hanging from a church's steeple. Men on horseback ride through a small town, and we see many bodies on the ground, including women with blood on their faces and covering their hands and two men are seen hanging from a window ledge. We briefly see a black and white photograph of dead bodies on the ground. A teen boy has a bloody rag on his forehead; he tells his father that he had been shot through the ankle and two of his friends had been killed. An injured man is seen being helped by a nurse; we see a bloody stump for a leg as he winces in pain.
► Armed men leave a train as it catches on fire with a massive explosion; we hear the screams of people burning inside the train and we later hear men discuss how a group of men had allowed "hundreds" of innocent people to die.
► A police officer shoves a gun in a man's face, police enter a house behind the man being held at gunpoint and moments later two police officers are shot and killed (we see one of the occupants of the house with his face bloody and beaten).
► On many occasions we see soldiers carrying large firearms including the following: Soldiers shove men at gunpoint, forcing them onto trains; in slow-motion we see armed men fighting against a soldier in an abandoned town; and a group of men on a rooftop aim at soldiers as they enter a town and we see two of the soldiers shot.
► A man pistol-whips an older man. A boy throws a handful of fruit at an older man, and it hits the older man's forehead; a man grabs the boy (his nephew) and slaps him, and a second man grabs the boy's ear and drags him in front of the older man and makes the boy apologize. A man angrily shoves two boys (they are unharmed).
► Three men on top of a train hold the conductor at gunpoint. Several armed horsemen surround two boys (the boys are unharmed). A woman panics as she walks away from a train car where two soldiers are standing with their guns drawn (the woman pants and begins to cry).
► As soldiers on horseback race over a hill, a boy in a clock tower shouts down to the village below. We watch soldiers training, kicking and stabbing large bags of flour.
► A soldier tells a man that over 500 soldiers had been killed while waiting for an ambush. Two boys are seen in a prison cell, and one of the boys asks the other if he thinks they'll be killed, adding that he does not want to die. A man tells another man that women had been raped and tortured in front of their children, and that their bodies had been left in pigsties. A man tells a boy (his nephew) that another man had killed a soldier. A man warns another man, saying that he and his men will be ambushed if they take a certain route. An older man tells another man that even if he were younger he would not fight; the man asks him to help the wounded and the man agrees. A boy tells his mother and father that an older man had been killed by soldiers; he cries as he says that he feels guilty that he did not insist that the older man hide. A boy warns an older man that he needs to hide and offers for the man to hide him at his parent's house. Two boys discuss joining a rebel alliance and that they could be killed. A man weeps when another man tells him that a boy is missing and that he should be ashamed for leaving the boy alone. A man addresses other men, saying that their country is under threat of people making their countrymen "fanatics" at the "hands of zealots." An older man asks another man if he will be kicked out of the country and the man says yes. We see text that explains that men and women "took up arms" to defend a country. A man tells another man that he has a "lifetime of memories" of war. A man sarcastically tells another man that they are going to be "shot or hang." A man jokes with his wife that their daughters will survive "without nuns slapping hands."
► We see a boy pocketing a watch that he finds, an older man asks the boy about the watch and he regretfully gives it to the older man.
► On multiple occasions we see a man spit and one scene shows spittle dripping down his face.
PROFANITY 3 - 4 mild obscenities, name-calling (flaco, subversive, monster, Bolsheviks, muchachos, heathens, "-lito" (little) added to the end of a boy's name to tease him, cabrone, fool, bums, barbarian, ragtag ranchers, trembling clergy, incompetent), 2 religious exclamations. [profanity glossary]
SUBSTANCE USE - Men are seen drinking liquor frequently including a man carrying around a bottle of tequila and drinking directly from the bottle. Throughout the movie we see men smoking cigarettes and cigars.
DISCUSSION TOPICS - The Cristeros War, religious freedom, anti-clerical governments, militia rebellions, revolutions, martyrs, Catholic beautification.
MESSAGE - War can be very horrible, even when it is being fought for religious freedom.