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The Rover [2014] [R] - 4.7.8

 
 

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ASSIGNED NUMBERS

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
Profanity
1 to 10

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A decade after a global economic collapse, a depressed man (Guy Pearce) drives around the scorching Australian outback. Three armed men rob him (David Field, Tawanda Manyimo and Scoot McNairy) and steal his car, but leave behind one of the men's wounded brother (Robert Pattinson). Taking the wounded man hostage, he chases down the thieves on an obsessive road trip. Also with Gillian Jones and Susan Prior. Directed by David Michod. [1:42]

SEX/NUDITY 4 - A man says that he followed his wife to a house, saw a man stick his fingers inside her sexually, and then shot and killed her (please see the Violence/Gore category for more details). An older woman in a house asks a middle-aged man if he wants to sleep with a boy whose skin is as soft as the inside of her wrist and the man does not reply.
 Several men are shown shirtless and wearing shorts, revealing their chest and abdomen. An older man sits in a dim corner, clad only in shorts, revealing his bare chest. An older man is shown wearing only briefs, revealing his chest, back and abdomen. One man on a dark front porch at night sponge bathes and we see his bare back and in a mirror his bare chest. A man wears his jeans sagging low and we see part of his briefs. In a long shot, a shirtless man wearing jeans is covered from the waist up in tattoos.
 A man walks into high grass where he begins to lower his jeans and bend his knees, probably to relieve himself and the camera quickly cuts away (we see no flesh).

VIOLENCE/GORE 7 - A man leads another man into a house and opens a box of handguns as the other man selects a gun and cartridges; when the price is too high, the man shoots the other man pointblank in the head (we see a large splash of blood behind the victim's head as he drops quickly below a table), the shooter enters a nearby house and demands from an older woman to know if she has seen his car, but finds out little, he walks back to his truck and finds bloody handprints on it and a man who asks why the man had his brother's truck and after a struggle the first man chokes the second man (the second man faints and we see his side bloody from a previous gunshot wound).
 Two men struggle and argue and one man chokes the other and throws him onto a bed; one man walks into the parking lot and a loud knocking scares the other man, who shoots through the door; many loud automatic weapon shots come through the motel room door and glass windows, shatter everywhere with loud noises and the man inside ducks behind a bed as his roommate shoots a soldier outside (no blood is seen, but the man falls); the man inside opens the door and looks horrified to find a little girl lying dead, face up, with a large blood pool on her chest.
 At abandoned mine shacks a soldier kicks the feet of a man sleeping on the ground, arrests him and cuffs him with a tight plastic band; at the army base, the detainee learns he is to be deported to elsewhere in Australia and tells the soldier in the office to shoot him, because he killed his wife after seeing her having an affair (please see the Sex/Nudity category for more details), but no such shooting occurs; two gunshots sound outside and a man enters, firing, hitting and killing the soldier in the office and outside the building, and we see two wide four-foot-long smears of blood on a white wall where two dead soldiers sit below the stains. Two men with guns argue about who should put his gun down, then shoot at each other; one man is struck in the chest and we see him fall, bend backwards on the floor, pant and convulse and die in a pool of blood with open eyes; another man shoots the other gunman and we see a small black hole appear in the chest as the man falls backward onto a bed.
 A female doctor points a shotgun at a male visitor, but agrees to do surgery on a male patient with a wound in the side; lying on a table, the patient is covered in blood from the middle of his rib cage to his pants and the doctor sews the wound (we do not see the actual stitches); the first man sees a van and a car approaching and he demands the doctor's gun, he shoots and kills the van's driver and passenger, and then kills the driver of the car as he exits the car (we see the first two people sitting dead and bloody in the van) as the last man walks toward the building and we see a bullet exit his back toward the camera, as the gunshot sounds (no blood is seen); the man inside the house pushes the doctor to the floor and she wails as he insists the patient is well enough to leave and he forces the patient to leave.
 A close-up shows a soldier lying on the ground with his cheek in a pool of blood running from his open mouth as his mouth moves without sound; the camera pans back to show another man rise from the ground and clutch his left side that is shown to be bloody and he holds a towel to his side; the towel becomes spotted with blood.
 Three sweaty, dirty men shout, curse and slap each other over a failed robbery attempt, causing the pickup truck in which they are driving to slam into a pile of heavy coils of cable outside a building; they cannot restart the stalled vehicle, so one of the men smashes the driver's side window of a parked car and hotwires it with a computer device, the three robbers drive away as the owner comes out of a bar and watches and he gets into the robbers' truck, starts it and chases them; he drives up beside the car until one robber points a handgun at him and he backs off quickly, they stop and exit their vehicles, carrying handguns and a sawed off shotgun, the victim grabs a robber by the throat, chokes and then releases him and they argue before a robber hits the victim over the head with a shotgun butt.
 Two men arrive in a small town at dawn and find one of the men's stolen car outside the house of the other man's brother; the two men break in quietly and the car owner wakes and holds the two at gunpoint before killing them (we see some blood on their chest and abdomen after the shooting).
 A man drags three corpses outside a house to a pile of broken tree limbs and scrap wood, draping them over the wood; he carries a fourth body to the pile and the body's jeans are slightly hanging low, revealing the top of some blood-soaked briefs and then douses the pile with gasoline and the camera cuts to a large fire with wide swaths of smoke (we do not see any burning bodies). Two men driving on a desert highway see several dead people hanged on crosses in a line running parallel to the road; we cannot see their faces or determine their gender. A man parked along a two-lane highway lifts the body of his dead dog from the car trunk and lays it on the ground several yards from the car; he drives a shovel into the ground and the scene ends.
 A male shopkeeper points a shotgun at a man in his store and tells him to buy something or be shot and the customer complies. At a doctor's house, a man points a shotgun at the friend of a patient, acting as a guard and protecting the doctor against strangers. A passing train features soldiers with automatic rifles sitting at the ends of each rail car.
 A man finds several small cages containing rather large dogs left with a physician in the Australian desert and becomes tearful when the doctor says the owners were never able to come back for them; the dogs pant in the heat, even at night. A man throws a large rock at two dogs chained to a doghouse, nearly hitting one of the animals as the dogs jump back.
 A man pours bottled water on the healing wound on the side of another man to clean it; it is moderately red and shows some scar tissue. We see scar tissue at a man's collar area and two long scars on the left side of his back. A man is shown with a marked limp from some sort of injury and we see a wide bandage around his thigh.
 Two men at a desert shop argue loudly about the price of gasoline and the shop owner's preference for USD over Australian dollars. A man asks another man if he will kill the first man's brother, but receives no reply. A man says that God put a bullet into him and abandoned him. A man threatens another man that he will kill him.
 A sweaty, unshaven man in the extreme heat of the Australian outback sits alone in a dusty car among abandoned buildings one day, looking sad and angry; after a long silence, stringed instruments in a musical background drone like hornets and continue throughout much of the film.

PROFANITY 8 - About 39 F-words and its derivatives, 4 scatological terms, 2 mild obscenities, name-calling (idiot, loony, baby, halfwit), stereotypical references to the Chinese, Australians, Americans, dwarves, robbers, opium den madams, the developmentally disabled, brothers, dog owners, soldiers, exclamations (shut-up), 6 religious profanities (GD), 1 religious exclamation (I believe in God; my brother believes in God). [profanity glossary]

SUBSTANCE USE - A man enters a dimly lit opium den where he finds several men lounging in chairs or sleeping on mats (we do not see opium being smoked), and we see two large bottles of prescription medications (their labels are unreadable). A man enters a concrete and corrugated tin building and pours an alcoholic drink from a tall flagon (we see the man sit at a bar and take a sip of the drink), and an empty beer bottle sits under a chair in front of a general store.

DISCUSSION TOPICS - Economic depression, poverty, people who are different, multiculturalism and migration, developmental disabilities, dwarfism, recreational drug use, gun violence, martial law, ownership, determination, loyalty.

MESSAGE - Some people can endure incredible hardship in order to care for what and whom they love.

Special Keywords: S4 - V7 - P8 - 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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