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Gods and Generals



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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: PG-13

This prequel of sorts to 1993's "Gettysburg," focuses on the early military encounters between the North and South during the Civil War. Within the numerous battle scenes, the film focuses on two officers who were instrumental in the battles of Manassas I and Fredericksburg, Lt. Col. Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain (Jeff Daniels) and Gen. Thomas Jonathan "Stonewall" Jackson (Stephen Lang). Also with Bruce Boxleitner, Robert Duvall, C. Thomas Howell, Bill Campbell, Malachy McCourt, Mira Sorvino, Royce D. Applegate and Mac Butler. [3:49]

SEX/NUDITY 1 - A man and a woman lie in bed together wearing 19th century bedclothes and she kisses his face tenderly. A man and a woman kiss tenderly a few times. A woman wears a dress that reveals cleavage.

VIOLENCE/GORE 6 - There are several military encounters with soldiers firing cannon across fields, lines of armed soldiers marching toward each other and firing their guns, and hand-to-hand combat between soldiers using bayonets and gun butts: the cannon fire takes down numbers of men (tossing some into the air); the gunfire fells many men (we hear some of the bullets hitting their targets, we see men jerk and fall to the ground, we see bloody wounds, and as the lines of soldiers dwindle they are replaced with new troops); and the hand-to-hand combat shows many men being stabbed and pounded upon (we see men falling to the ground dead and some of their bloody wounds are visible). We see several shots of a field hospital with wounded men; one man suffers and eventually dies from a very bloody stomach wound, and a surgeon wears blood-soaked clothing. A man is wounded in the stomach and dies. We see a man with a bloody face and a bloody stump for an arm. Two men on horseback are fired upon and one is hit several times; we see him bloody in a hospital and a surgeon talks about amputating his arm. A group of deserters are blindfolded, shot by a firing squad, we see bloody holes in their clothing and they fall back into a hole. Soldiers attempt to construct a temporary bridge over a river and are shot at as they move across -- many men are hit and fall. Cannons fire at a town, and civilians and buildings are hit. Also, people run through streets in panic (a young boy is injured), soldiers fight in the streets and we see many fall dead. A cannon explodes killing the men manning it and knocking others nearby to the ground (we see a man's bloody face). A man is shot in the hand: we see blood and then see his hand wrapped with a blood-soaked bandage. During and after the battles we see fields strewn with bodies of men and horses, and birds circle overhead in one scene. Soldiers are shown sleeping among the many dead bodies on a battlefield. Soldiers are shown practicing with bayonets. Soldiers are shown ransacking homes after a battle, and soldiers march through streets filled with rubble and smoldering buildings. A young girl is sick with scarlet fever and dies and we see a man grieving. A man dies and we see people grieving at his funeral.

PROFANITY 3 - 6 mild obscenities, 4 derogatory terms for African-Americans, 6 religious exclamations. [profanity glossary]

DISCUSSION TOPICS - The Civil War, slavery, racism, bravery, astronomy, the U.S. Constitution, secession, dishonor, freedom, peace, faith, patriotism, tyranny, grief, anarchy, desertion.

MESSAGE - Beliefs can cause wars and divide nations. The South was basically fighting for sovereignty.

(Note: People are shown drinking alcohol.)

Special Keywords: S1 - V6 - P3 - MPAAPG-13

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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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