Based on a true WWII story: A famous Olympic runner (Jack O'Connell) serving in the Army Air Force is stranded with two of his crew (Domhnall Gleeson and Finn Wittrock) after crashing in the Pacific Ocean. They survive in open water for two months before being captured and tortured by Japanese troops. Also with Garrett Hedlund, John Magaro, Alex Russell and Miyavi. Directed by Angelina Jolie. Several lines of dialogue are in Italian and Japanese with English subtitles; a few phrases are not translated. [2:17]
SEX/NUDITY 3 - Small Vargas pinup-girl cartoons line an airplane gun turret on one wall; we see small figures wearing negligees, revealing some cleavage. A man stares briefly at a Japanese woman wearing a long dress, hat and heels as she walks away; we see her posterior wiggle slightly. A teen boy sits under bleachers at a track meet and looks up at the bare lower legs of girls, smiling. In a POW scene, we see full back nudity of two emaciated men; we see the bones of the ribcages pressing against the flesh. The camera cuts to a long shot of the front and above the two men kneeling on wooden boards and they appear to be wearing flesh-colored Speedo-type underwear. One scene features shirtless soldiers. A dozen track scenes feature high school males wearing sleeveless shirts and mid-thigh shorts (we see shoulders, arms and legs to the thighs).
► A teen boy stares at an older girl until she smiles at him; he smiles back at her. American men perform "Cinderella" as a play for Japanese staff in a prison camp; the Americans wear wigs made of mop heads, shirts stuffed with material to look like large bosoms and they speak in falsetto voices as the Japanese nod and laugh; they wear something on their faces to look white, like Kabuki players, and their lips are bright red.
VIOLENCE/GORE 6 - A warplane releases two bombs and we see ripples far below in grass, but hear nothing; an enemy plane flies close to the bomber and shoots (we see bullet holes in the body of the plane), narrowly missing one man while another man is shown with a bloody face and we see a machine gun stand covered with blood, another man screams and holds his forehead and we see a little blood, and a soldier bandages a pilot's head and hand and another crewman's head as the plane skids to a stop on the ground as we see a motionless crewman and apparently dead (his shirt has large pinkish bloodstains).
► A Japanese destroyer finds two US Airmen in a raft, troops point rifles at them and take them into custody as the camera cuts to a Japanese man forcing the captives to disrobe in cold weather and kneel (please see the Sex/Nudity category for more details), the man beats one man on the legs with a club, and then pours cold water over both captives as they gasp and one captive cries; we then see a Japanese man slamming an American into a dark solitary-confinement hole with a wooden door and locks him inside as we hear screams and groans off-screen and one man shouts for the Japanese to stop hurting his friend; one man screams in his hole and beats the wall with fists and someone throws about ¼ cup of rice clumps into the hole for him to eat; an enemy soldier pulls him out and beats him with a short club, makes him stand in cold rain and forces him to answer questions and draw pictures we do not see (he shivers and his hands shake).
► A Japanese camp leader forces an emaciated American to run a race against a healthy man as guards cheer; the American falls on his face twice, but finishes the race. In several scenes, a Japanese man savagely strikes an American on and off-screen with a 4-5 foot long bamboo staff. A Japanese man wakes a prisoner at night and beats him in the left side of the head with a leather strap several times, slicing his ear in two places (he bleeds and gasps). In a bamboo-beating scene, an American has visions of himself running in the Olympics to distract himself from the bamboo strikes, punches and kicks he receives. We see a man's red and blue bruised face, with swollen eyes and cheeks, cut lips and some cuts on his forehead. A man's beating is bad enough to cause him to lie on the ground unconscious all afternoon and all night where he fell; the next day, he is standing in the usual morning lineup with his face bruised and small red cuts all over of it. A Japanese camp commandant shouts at an emaciated POW to lift a heavy mining beam, telling him to lift it above his head, ordering a guard to shoot the POW if he drops it; the POW holds it up for hours, defiantly stares at the commandant even though ordered to look elsewhere, then lifts the beam higher, to full arm extension, screaming in defiance; the commandant trembles, then strikes the POW in the stomach, head and chest, also punching and kicking him after he is down while screaming at the other POWs to get back to work; the injured man lies on the ground all night, but is in line the next morning with cuts and bruises on his face.
► In a POW scene, a Japanese man forces about 250 POWs to punch a fellow prisoner in the face and for two POWS who refuse to punch, he strikes a sick POW lying on the ground, using a long bamboo staff, causing shouts of pain; the man receiving punches shouts, "Hit me" twice; the punching takes all afternoon and part of the night, at which time, guards hold up the punching victim to receive the final blows in a silhouette image and then drop him on the ground and leave him; he stumbles into the barracks, hunched over and with facial cuts and bruises, some blood showing.
► In a mining camp scene, a Japanese man announces to emaciated and sick POWs that whoever will not work will be executed; a guard pushes a man off a stairway, injuring his leg in a severe sprain and causes the man to wince and gasp; the injured man is forced to continue working, carrying coal in a large basket on his back as he hobbles, then he swoons, but rights himself and the leader strikes him in the temple with a bamboo staff, knocking him down; a man falls off a high stairway while carrying coal in a basket and we see and hear him hit the ground, presumably dead; the POWs are completely covered in soot and grime, sleep on dirt floors in damp buildings at night, are not permitted to bathe and they have one set of clothing and when the material shreds, they go without shirts; a POW says that he will kill a Japanese camp commandant and another man says that when the war is over, the Japanese will kill the POWs all at once.
► Lines of blindfolded POWs ride in trucks to a Japanese detention camp where they form lines with their blindfolds off; we see American, English and Australian POWs standing at attention as they listen to the camp commandant call them enemies and watch as the Japanese man hits one POW on the temple and one under the nose with a bamboo staff; the POW gets up from the ground several times and his nose trickles blood, then gushes a stream down his chest.
► POWs stand at attention for many hours; one POW stands at attention and another kneels on a board in place for hours, both slouching in pain. In several scenes, POWs without coats are forced to stand or exercise outside in the winter in snow and ice. There are several scenes of POWs helping each other to walk and we see one man hobbling alone on a crutch. A man has bloody fingernails and he says that he was tortured with pins under the nails, but gave up no information.
► At a detention camp, we see warplanes fly overhead as black flak bursts surround them; in the distance, we see walls of smoke and flashes of flame as bombs hit the camp and set roofs aflame (no injuries appear); the next morning, POWs ride to a new camp, but we see lines of bloodied faces on dead bodies lined beside the road outside the first camp as a woman covers some with blankets and tarps. A man carries a body in a roll of cloth and we see bloody fingers and toes sticking out.
► A warplane flying over an ocean suffers engine burnout on both left engines; the pilot announces, "Prepare for crash" and the men brace themselves as the plane hits the water with a loud crack and breaks into two pieces; one man is hanging by his life vest strap and struggles to loosen it, frees himself and swims to the surface, gasping and finds only two other survivors; they inflate two rafts and float for 47 days, firing their flare gun and shouting at two planes overhead (they do not respond), and one man says they will die on the water and another man says they will not die; the second man shouts at the first man later for eating several days' rations all at once and throwing the cardboard containers at the first man, small sharks with fins above the water circle the rafts several times, bumping the raft and startling the men and one shark attempts to jump into a raft with an open mouth that exposes many sharp teeth but one of the men beats it in the head with an oar off-camera (he continues to beat it below the frame after it stops moving).
► Over the Pacific ocean American warplanes fill the sky as Japanese Zeros attack with rapid machine gun fire; tail gunners and turret gunners fire back with large machine guns and down two enemy planes in fire and smoke and we hear one plane hit the water.
► A police officer chases a teen boy, who runs into several young men that beat him and call him "dego"; we see the boy's face reddened by the others' fists and the policeman grabs the boy as he rises from the ground where he has fallen and takes him home. A boy's father whips him with a belt as the boy bends over the dining room table for drinking alcohol; we see the young man from the waist up, see the end of the belt fly and hear three sharp cracks, but see no blood or wounds (please see the Substance Use category for more details). During a church service, a father slaps his son on the back of the head a few times to make him pay attention to the sermon.
► A US plane returning to base breaks a landing wheel and suffers a flat tire, crippling the landing and causing sparks and screeching noises; the plane skids sideways and stops at a short rock wall that it breaks apart (the aviators appear shaken).
► A man in a raft fires a flare gun into the sky for a passing airplane to see; the plane flies on, but returns to strafe the man and two other soldiers with machine gun fire causing the men to jump into the water and back aboard the rafts twice; a bullet hits and kills a small shark, which bleeds into the water and another shark swims up to the bleeding creature and savagely bites into it.
► A Japanese officer announces that the war is in cessation and invites the POWs to bathe, for the first time, in the nearby river; one POW says, "This is it. We're dead" as the prisoners march through a tunnel and into the shallow part of a river where they see a plane in the sky; they are frightened until they see that it is not a Japanese plane.
► Three men in a rubber raft catch a seagull; one man knocks it unconscious, slices it open (we see blood flow) and the men eat the raw meat, but sickened by it, they vomit large amounts of yellow material over the sides of the rafts. Using seagull meat for bait, three men on a raft catch a fish that one man punches unconscious below the frame and he slits it open in the frame (we see some blood) and the men eat raw fish meat. A man in a rubber raft catches a small shark by the tail, punches it in the head below frame and cuts into it in close-up so that we see him removing raw red meat and he and two other men on the raft eat the meat.
► The faces of three men on a rubber raft become sunburned as weeks pass, with peeling skin and open sores while their bodies become overly thin and their cheeks grow hollow; one man dies from dehydration in the arms of another man (his eyes are half open) and the other two men fashion a woven cross, place it in the dead man's hand and lift him overboard.
► While two men plug holes in their rafts, one man asks, "Are we gonna die?" and the other man answers, "Maybe." POWs hear that President Roosevelt is dead and one man falls to his knees and cries.
► We see a photo of a frightened little boy standing next to his mean-looking military-clad father. POWs clean out shallow latrines and we see large amounts of brown material (presumably feces); the men remark that it smells bad and they carry it in large containers to the ocean and dump it in.
PROFANITY 5 - 2 possible F-words (garbled by a man that's screaming and stomping), 3 scatological terms, 1 anatomical term, 5 mild obscenities, name-calling (WOP, dumb dego, dumb, dope, broads, bum, nothing, enemy, crazy), stereotypical references to men, women, parents, police officers, teen boys, soldiers, Americans, the Japanese, Italians, radio reporters, propagandists, labor camp commandants, exclamations (oh boy, boy oh boy, shut-up), 3 religious profanities (GD), 8 religious exclamations (e.g. Oh My God, Jesus, God Made Two Great Lights. Thank God). [profanity glossary]
SUBSTANCE USE - A middle school or early high school teen takes a puff each time from a cigarette as he drinks alcohol from a pint milk bottle behind a building in one scene and under bleachers in another scene (please see the Violence/Gore category for more details), an aviator in a warplane says that after a mission "drinks are on me," a man sits with a glass of beer in a restaurant (he does not drink from it), and a short glass of unidentified liquid sits beside a man on a porch (he does not drink from it). A man smokes two small cigars in an airplane cockpit, soldiers smoke a few cigarettes outdoors, a jeep driver smokes a cigarette as he drives, and POWs smoke many cigarettes dropped from a plane at their labor camp.
DISCUSSION TOPICS - War, torture, starvation, death, forced labor, detention camps, POWs, prejudice, bullies, survival, anger, forgiveness, the custom of men playing female parts in Japanese plays, smoking.
MESSAGE - An unbreakable attitude can help one survive almost anything.