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Hell or High Water [2016] [R] - 4.6.8



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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


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An unemployed divorced father (Chris Pine) and his ex-felon brother (Ben Foster) rob a chain of banks that is foreclosing on the family ranch after their mother's death. At the same time a Texas Ranger (Jeff Bridges), just weeks from retirement, is confronted with bringing the brothers to justice in what will be his last case. Also with Gil Birmingham, Kevin Rankin and Katy Mixon. Directed by David MacKenzie. [1:42]

SEX/NUDITY 4 - We see a nude woman in profile from thighs and buttocks to the shoulders in a blurred and partially obscured background as she straddles and bounces on the groin of a nude man lying on a bed and we hear sexual moaning (we see her side, part of her abdomen, and blurred breasts bouncing; and his lower legs, thighs, and part of his side); another man lies in another bed, facing the camera, with his jacket over his head, trying to ignore the couple.
 A waitress wearing a backless, low-cut dress sits down beside a man, rubs his leg, and says, "It's not shameful to touch a woman" as she touches his face (her dress reveals cleavage and part of one knee and thigh); another man approaches and shouts at the woman to leave the first man alone, holds up a casino chip and asks, "Can I sample the goods?" (implying that the woman is a prostitute) and she leaves angrily. A man puts a one-hundred-dollar bill down V-neck and bra of a woman teller's dress top after he robs her bank. A man points out four women at a bar to another man and says to keep drinking and the women will look prettier (please see the Substance Use category for more details); the second man grunts.
 A woman wears a loose cotton tank top over a bra (we can see the straps and a little cleavage). A waitress wears her uniform open at the neck to reveal cleavage and most of one breast from a side view. A man lies in bed wearing a T-shirt, long boxer shorts and long black socks while another man is shirtless in another room and we see his bare abdomen, chest and some age spots briefly.

VIOLENCE/GORE 6 - In an extended scene, two masked gunman enter a busy bank, cursing and shouting at the patrons while forcing them to lie on the floor and tellers to open cash drawers; a man on the floor pulls out a pistol and a guard aims a pistol at the robbers from around a corner until people scream and a robber empties his automatic pistol into the guard (we see bloody bullet holes in his chest as he falls), then shoots the patron holding a pistol in the face at close range (we see a little blood); the shooter hyperventilates in a getaway truck that has bullet holes in the windshield and sides and we see that the shooter has a bloody shirt (we see the wounded man wrap gauze and tape around his midsection later and in one scene, we see a close-up of the bullet hole and smeared blood).
 Police officers hide behind vehicles and shoot at a man behind a ridge on a hill while the man fires back, creating holes in all vehicles; one shot hits the head of an officer who falls away from the camera and his partner wails briefly as we see the victim's hat on the ground, filled with blood and bits of brain matter.
 A police officer commandeers a vehicle and driver and travels a few hundred yards behind a gunman on a ridge where the officer shoots the gunman in the throat (we see some blood spurt in a long shot and the man falls forward to die).
 Two men wear ski masks and latex gloves as they point pistols at people in several bank robberies: In one sequence, a gunman grabs a teller by the hair and forces her to open a cash drawer and to kneel on a floor as a bank manager enters and both gunmen point guns at him, one gunman hitting him in the face with his pistol (we see a bloody cut on the victim's nose and a reddening eye later); in another bank, a man tells two gunmen that he also has a gun as the robbers take money and leave, but the first man shoots through the glass door and at the getaway car (the glass shatters loudly, but he misses the car that speeds away); in another town, a gunman walks into a small bank and points a gun at a teller who looks scared and the camera cuts to the man running out of the bank with money stuffing his shirt as some bills float away as he runs.
 A man sitting in his car at a gas station pulls out a handgun when two other men pull up and one of them calls the first man names; another man slams the car door on the gunman's legs, and pounds him hard with a fist several times, leaving him on the ground (we cannot see the injuries) as his passenger whimpers and the other men leave. A man holds a rifle as he meets another man in his yard and continues to hold it as they talk. A man wakes up another man who is asleep on the couch; the second man startles, grabs the first man's arm and starts swinging, misses, then wakes up and calms down.
 Several police vehicles with sirens and lights operating chase a driver in a pickup on a rocky hill; the pickup driver stops, soaks a rag with gasoline, sticks the rag in the can, and lights it, then exits the truck and pushes it down the hill, where it collides with a police vehicle (as men run away from it) and explodes filling the screen with flames and smoke. Several police vehicles with sirens and lights operating chase a pickup truck until it stops and a man exists, firing an automatic rifle; the bullets puncture all the SUVs as men run behind them and deputies scramble into the SUVs and drive away quickly. Two scenes show a smoldering grass fire spreading slowly across farms, with short flames and smoke rising while cowboys herd cattle away from the fire and along a road.
 A man with stolen money in a stolen car drives past three police vehicles going in the opposite direction with sirens sounding; the driver slows down, tightens his seatbelt around his wounded right side (we see some blood on his shirt), grimaces, stops at a road block, and speaks with an officer while another officer spreads a strip of tire spikes in front of the car.
 A man uses heavy machinery to bury a stolen car in a deep hole in a farmyard in a couple of scenes. A town is shown with many dirty, old, and abandoned buildings and farms where rusty tractors and dusty cars are seen in yards and on the roads. A driver honks at a steer crossing the road.
 Two men argue several times about which banks to rob and how, sometimes yelling and cursing. A man and his ex-wife argue mildly. Two police officers argue several times. Two police officers in a motel room argue about a TV evangelist's show; one says, "He wouldn't know God if He climbed up his leg and bit his [anatomical term deleted]," and goes on to make fun of Native American ceremonies (using a derogatory term), but says they're better than TV evangelism as his Native American-Mexican partner says, "I'm Catholic," and asks his partner to leave. We see a dust-covered bedroom with a hospital bed, crutches, and a bureau with many large prescription bottles; we hear that a man's mother died in the room, a bank is foreclosing on her and her son's reverse-mortgaged house, and her unemployed son must pay for her funeral. We hear that a man's wife died some time ago. A police officer checks a man's criminal record and finds that he shot and killed his father in a "hunting accident," and several other violent crimes follow, like assault and robbery with a weapon. A man hears a TV announcement that his brother was shot and killed by police. We hear that a man died and left a large family. Two masked men with pistols drawn find a small bank chained and padlocked shut, curse, and rush away. A man says that poverty is like a disease that passes from generation to generation. A server waits on two men in a café and bullies them into ordering what she wants to serve.
 A man brushes his teeth in bed without toothpaste and we see no spit.

PROFANITY 8 - About 32 F-words and its derivatives, 16 scatological terms, 6 anatomical terms, 25 mild obscenities, name-calling (crazy, stupid, dumb, idiot, fool, blind pig, rattlesnake, fat, half-breed), exclamations (shut-up, keep your mouth shut), 4 religious profanities (GD), 5 religious exclamations (Lord Knows, My Lord, Good Lord, God, God Has Told You No). [profanity glossary]

SUBSTANCE USE - A bureau top is shown with about 40 large prescription bottles with their labels unreadable (please see the Violence/Gore category for more details). A man puts down a beer bottle on a porch and pulls another beer from a cooler (we do not seem him drink), several porch scenes show two men with a six pack of bottled beer as each opens a beer and drinks it, a man drinks from a beer bottle and gives his 16-year-old son a bottle of beer (the boy does not drink and his father says, "good boy"), a man in a motel room has a six pack of beer and drinks one, a man carries two cans of beer out of a building (we see no one drink), three casino scenes show a few men drinking from beer bottles at a bar, three close-ups at one casino bar show two men drinking short glasses of whisky and we see a bartender pour whisky in one of the scenes, a man at a bar has a beer bottle and a whiskey glass and drinks from both, a close-up shows a man drinking a short glass of whisky, four women at a bar drink from beer bottles, and a white man tells a Native American-Mexican man "You know how [derogatory term deleted] like the bottle" and the second man ignores him. A man with his back to the camera takes a puff from a short cigarette and tosses it away, and a man in an office blows a large cloud of smoke from an e-cigarette.

DISCUSSION TOPICS - Poverty, unemployment, large medical bills, long term illness, death, divorce, responsibility, corrupt banks, crime, justice, gambling, prostitution, retirement, loneliness, loss, brothers, friendship, family, loyalty, determination, sacrifice.

MESSAGE - Some men will do anything to protect and provide for their children.

Special Keywords: S4 - V6 - P8 - MPAAR

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