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Man on Fire [2004] [R] - 4.10.6



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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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Denzel Washington stars as a down-and-out ex-assassin who goes to Mexico City to work as a bodyguard for a businessman's (Marc Anthony) young daughter (Dakota Fanning) -- Mexico apparently has a very high kidnapping rate and the only way to protect the children of the wealthy is to hire expensive bodyguards. Having befriended the young girl, when she's abducted and feared dead, he vows terrible revenge against all who are responsible. Also with Christopher Walken, Giancarlo Giannini and Radha Mitchell. Directed by Tony Scott. [2:26]

SEX/NUDITY 4 - A woman caresses her husband's face, she removes her robe (we see her in bra and panties), she climbs on his lap, they kiss and although we see nothing it is suggested that they have sex. A man and a woman kiss and hug in a few scenes (they're married). A man kisses a woman on the cheek, and a woman kisses a man on the cheek. A woman dresses, apparently after having had sex with a man (we see her in pants and a bra). A man asks a woman when they will be able to sleep together again. Men and women dance at a rave: some women wear tiny outfits, one woman takes off her top (we see her in a bra), some men are shown bare-chested, and we see couples kissing. Men admire women in tight-fitting clothing in a couple of scenes. A young girl asks a man what a concubine is and he tries to define it without offering too much detail. Women wear tiny outfits in several scenes exposing cleavage, bare abdomens, bare legs and in a couple of scenes they appear to be propositioning people as they pass in cars. Women are shown wearing bikinis by a swimming pool and men admire them and make remarks. A woman wears a low-cut dress that reveals cleavage, bare shoulders, back and bare thighs. A man is bare-chested in a couple of scenes. A man is tied to the back of a car wearing only his boxer shorts. A young man is shown bare-chested wearing jockey shorts. A woman wears a tight-fitting top that reveals bare shoulders and back.

VIOLENCE/GORE 10 - A man puts a gun to a man's head and forces him to drive to a secluded spot, he shoots the man in the neck or shoulder (we see blood on the man, but not the shot), then tapes his hands to the steering wheel, and begins cutting off his fingers and then burning the stumps with a cigarette lighter; the tortured man screams and pleads and blood sprays on the car windshield, while the torturer cuts a piece off the man's ear (we see blood and a notch on the ear). A man who's sitting in a car is shot at close range in the head, and the car is shoved over a cliff (we see the car crash and explode). A man with a gun goes into an apartment where there are children and a pregnant woman, a man shoots him from behind, and the wounded man chases the assailant. A man crashes his car into a truck, he's dragged out of the car (with blood on his face), he's tied up, and his fingers are shot off (we see the fingers separate from the hand and a very bloody stump). A man is shot repeatedly (we see bullet holes in his forehead and chest) and he falls back into a swimming pool. A man is tied to the back of a car, we hear that he has an explosive device in his rectum, and we see and hear an explosion later suggesting that he has been blown up. A man shoots a man, asks him questions, shoots him again, asks him more questions then shoots him in the chest killing him. A man shoots a gun in the air, he is shot in the shoulder by another man, several men shoot back and forth across a street, and a few are hit and fall to the ground (one is shown with a bullet hole in his head); men in a car try to drive away, the car crashes, the men come out of the car and are shot -- one man shoots another man in the chest, and another man is shot in the chest and falls to the ground (we see a few bloody patches on his shirt). A young man's head is held down, a man holds a pair of shears over his ear, and we hear the young man scream as the shears snap and we see his severed blood-covered ear in a bag. A man shoots himself (we hear the gunshot and see him with blood on his face and head). A dead body that has been decapitated floats in a pool with a lot of blood around its neck and we see a bloody sword. A man fires a grenade launcher hitting a car (it explodes and flips over), he shoots a gun at another car, rolls a grenade under it, and shoots the driver as he tries to get out. A man holds a gun to a man's stomach, knocks a man down when he slams a door open, shoots into another room and shoots two men. A man is shot in the leg (we see blood and matter spray) and a woman is held with a gun to her face. A woman is tied with her hands over her head and taped across the eyes. A young girl is grabbed by a man, carried off and put in a car (we hear her screaming). A young man is shoved into a car by several men, we see him later with a very bloody face, and then he's bound and taped over the eyes and put out of a car on a very busy roadway (we see more blood on his face). A man dies from wounds. A man puts a loaded gun to his temple, and pulls the trigger (we hear a click but no explosion). A woman describes how a child was beaten. A man sets a crowded building on fire, shoots a gun in the air rousing the crowd, the building explodes and the crowd cheers from outside. A man appears tormented by his past (we do not learn many details). A man in a car pulls his gun on young people trying to wash his windows and beg for money. A woman screams at and slaps a man. A woman slaps and screams at a room full of people. A man pulls duct tape off a man's eyes. A man prepares an arsenal of weapons. A father and mother grieve over their child's kidnapping. Pool water is tinged red in a few scenes when a man gets in the water with bleeding wounds. A mother grieves over her child's kidnapping and begs for his safe return. We read that there is "One kidnapping every 60 minutes in Latin America" and that "70% of the victims do not survive." A man is bandaged and on oxygen in a hospital (we see blood seeping through bandages in a few scenes). We hear that a young man has been killed, and we hear that another child has been killed. A man has many scars on the backs of his hands (we are never told how he got them). Two dogs snarl and bark at each other. A bird bites a man's finger and he flinches. A young girl burps repeatedly.

PROFANITY 6 - 18 F-words, 1 scatological term, 4 anatomical terms, 4 mild obscenities, 1 religious profanity. [profanity glossary]

DISCUSSION TOPICS - Kidnapping, assassination, ransom, organized crime, forgiveness, paid protection, grief, sacrifice, infidelity, betrayal, death of a child, poverty, friendship, familial love, sadness, remorse, luck, police corruption, curses, emotional torment.

MESSAGE - No matter how bitter and lost one feels, one must always be open to caring for someone else. Violent revenge can be viscerally satisfying.

(Note: People are shown drinking alcohol, one man is shown drinking to excess several times, and people are shown smoking cigarettes and cigars.)

Special Keywords: S4 - V10 - P6 - MPAAR

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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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