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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: R

Revenge tale with Mel Gibson as a widowed American farmer drawn into the American Revolution when his son is killed by a British Colonel. Also with Joely Richardson, Jason Isaacs, Tchéky Karyo, Trevor Morgan, Bryan Chafin, Heath Ledger, Chris Cooper, Rene Auberjonois, Lisa Brenner, Tom Wilkinson, Donal Logue, Leon Rippy, Adam Baldwin and Gregory Smith. [2:39]

SEX/NUDITY 2 - Mild sexual innuendo and a brief mention of implied rape. Some kisses. We see a few shirtless men.

VIOLENCE/GORE 10 - Numerous hand-to-hand battle scenes (some involve many men, others are small ambushes) during which lots and lots of soldiers are shot or stabbed to death in the chest, shoulders, neck or back (sometimes in slow motion, and sometimes in close-ups or at a distance), often resulting in very bloody wounds (blood sometimes gushes or spurts from the wound); we also see some of the men fall to the ground and die. Also during battles we see a man beheaded by a flying cannon ball (we see his head fly off his body and blood spurting from his neck), a man's leg knocked off by a cannon (blood gushes out), a few men and a horse shot with and killed by a cannon ball, a man shot in the forehead, a man shot in the heart at close range, a few men shot and knocked off their horses into water, a few men stabbed up-close (one of the stabbed men writhes in pain with blood flowing from his mouth), and two men sliced in the chest and another sliced in the back with a sword; nearly all result in blood squirting or gushing from wounds. In one scene a man chops a man's chest with a tomahawk, slices another's neck, shoots a man in the forehead, throws the tomahawk into a man's forehead (it sticks in his head and blood gushes out), throws a tomahawk and lodges it in a man's back (blood squirts out), and then he chops a man many, many times, obviously killing him (lots of blood flies onto the man with the tomahawk, drenching his face and clothes; two boys witness the violence). A boy is shot in the back; we see a close-up of the very bloody gunshot wound and see him become pale and then die. Two young boys are given guns and instructed to kill several men (the boys are obviously nervous but follow the orders). Three men are lined up and shot to death (bloody wounds are visible). A man shoots himself in the temple (we see this happen and hear the loud shot). A wagon is ambushed, blown up and several men are shot and killed. There's discussion of cutting people apart piece-by-piece (beheading, gouging eyes and tongue). A man stabs a horse. A church filled with many people locked inside is set on fire; we see them choking and they all eventually die. A few houses are also set on fire. A ship is blown up (all we see is the fire but no casualties). Several scenes in which we see lots of dead bodies are lying on the ground; also, we see the corpses of a woman and a boy who've just been killed, several frozen corpses scattered about in the snow, and three corpses hanging from a tree. A man threatens to shoot several young children, and soldiers threaten to hang a young man. We see a bloody man writhing in pain while having his leg amputated; a close-up of an open cut on a man's stomach; a bloody, purplish, infected and ripped apart leg; men with wounded faces, chests and legs; and several bandaged soldiers with bloody wounds and blood-soaked clothing. A man is poked with a needle, a man headbutts another, and a man hits another with the butt of a gun. A man sits in a rocking chair and it falls apart, knocking him to the floor. We see dummies in nooses during a mock hanging. We hear loud cannon fire and see smoke and explosions; several times we hear cannon fire in the background though we see nothing. A man threatens to shoot two dogs, and there's some talk of eating dogs.

PROFANITY 2 - A few anatomical references and mild obscenities, and several insults. [profanity glossary]

DISCUSSION TOPICS - Vengeance, loyalty, loss of a child (and spouse and parent), war, love, the American Revolution, prayer, equipping kids with guns, kids killing (and one professing to be proud of it), slavery, anti-French jokes, treason, suicide.

MESSAGE - War is a hellish but sometimes necessary affair that requires personal sacrifice for the greater good of the country.

Special Keywords: S2 - V10 - P2 - 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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