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“One of the 50 Coolest Websites…they simply tell it like it is” – TIME


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Atonement | 2007 | R | - 7.8.6

Set in 1935, the disastrous effects of a lie are played out in the lives of a young man and a young woman (James McAvoy and Keira Knightley), who are in love but are kept from finding happiness together. Also with Saoirse Ronan, Brenda Blethyn and Vanessa Redgrave. Directed by Joe Wright. [2:02]

SEX/NUDITY 7 - We see this scene twice: The first time a young man and a young woman are pressed against a bookcase, their arms are pressed upward, her bare legs are wrapped around his waist, we hear muffled moaning, and a girl walks into the room interrupting them; the second time the young man and the young woman kiss passionately, he slips the straps of her dress off her shoulders, he caresses her breasts (not seen), he lifts her skirt and caresses her bare thigh, she unbuttons his shirt and pants, he thrusts, they moan and they are interrupted by the girl.
 While searching dark woods a young girl finds a man holding a teenage girl on the ground with his hand over her mouth and forcing himself on her (we see the man's bare buttocks); he gets up and runs away when he realizes they have been seen, the teenage girl cries and we see her with bruises on her wrists, which might have been caused by the attack.
 A young woman removes her blouse and skirt while a young man stands watching (she is wearing silk undergarments); she climbs into a fountain to retrieve something and climbs out soaking wet (the fabric clings to her body and pubic hair is discernable through it), she dresses and walks away (we see this scene twice, once from a distance and once up close). Several nude men run onto a beach (the profile of their bare buttocks is visible).
 A woman wears low-cut dresses in several scenes that reveal cleavage, bare shoulders and deep bare back. A woman wears a swimsuit that reveals cleavage, bare back, bare shoulders and thighs. A young woman's dress falls open at the thigh when she lies on the grass.
 A young man writes a note to a young woman that includes his desire to perform oral sex on her (he uses crude anatomical references); he mistakenly gives it to a girl who reads it and then gives it to the intended recipient.
 An older man looks at a teenage girl and insinuates sexual interest.
 A young man and a young woman kiss. A girl kisses a young man on the cheek. A man and a woman in a movie kiss.
 A young woman sits with a dying soldier and caresses his hand and tells him that she loves him (she does not know him). A young woman touches a man's hand and his face.
 Two girls talk about a young man being a sex maniac. A young woman says that a man has pubic hair growing in his ears.

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VIOLENCE/GORE 8 - A young man finds many dead school-aged girls, with bloody bullet holes in their heads and faces lying in woods.
 While searching dark woods a young girl finds a man holding a teenage girl on the ground with his hand over her mouth and forcing himself on her (we see the man's bare buttocks); he gets up and runs away when he realizes they have been seen, the teenage girl cries and we see her with bruises on her wrists, which might have been caused by the attack.
 We see many wounded soldiers in a hospital: one has a bloody bandage on his head and when it is removed we see a large hole with his brain exposed (we see him die); another is bandaged and missing an arm, another has a gaping wound in his abdomen and he vomits blood into a bucket, and one is badly burned (we see charred skin).
 During a bombing a large wave of water flows through the tunnels of a subway where people are hiding and the people are killed (we see some bodies floating).
 We hear a horse whinnying and then a shot, then we see a few horses being shot and they fall to the ground (there's no blood); it is not clear if they were injured or just being destroyed.
 A man lies dead and we hear he suffered from septicemia.
 Three men with guns threaten two other men who are coming into a shack where they are hiding (they mean no harm).
 A man has a large bloody wound on his chest, which does not appear to be healing.
 A girl, who has bruises on her wrists, blames them on her younger brothers and a man who has a cut on his cheek does the same (it is implied that they were not in fact the cause).
 We hear that three ships were bombed by enemy aircraft, that 3,000 men were killed, and we see many wounded soldiers, we see soldiers stumbling around in delirium, and we see others drinking alcohol and in a stupor.
 A man threatens to kill a young woman and another young woman holds him back.
 A girl falls into a lake and a young man panics and jumps in to retrieve her (she is fine) and becomes angry when he realizes that she was testing him. A soldier collapses from exhaustion.
 Soldiers walk through a burned out village (some flames are still burning), and run through tall grass toward a beach where many other soldiers are gathered and waiting to be rescued by ships.
 A young woman scrubs her hands harshly with a pumice stone (she's suffering from guilt). A teenage girl pulls on a boy's ears and yells at him for talking about their parents getting a divorce.
 A girl cries and is frightened after finding a young man and a young woman having sex. A man is arrested for allegedly raping a teenage girl.
 A woman says that she is dying from vascular dementia. A young woman tells a girl that she must be kind to two young boys whose mother ran off with another man.
 A soldier breaks a glass by throwing it at a wall. A girl angrily thrashes tall grass with a stick.
 A man vomits (we hear him gagging).

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LANGUAGE 6 - 17 F-words, 6 sexual references, 1 scatological term, 5 anatomical terms, 2 mild obscenities, 1 derogatory term for homosexuals, name-calling (idiot, stupid, ignorant, coward), 1 religious exclamation.

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SUBSTANCE USE - A woman takes a pill. Several soldiers drink alcohol in a pub (a few seem drunk), people are shown drinking wine with dinner, and a young man drinks wine. A young man and a young woman smoke cigarettes, a young woman smokes in several scenes, and soldiers are shown smoking in many scenes.

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DISCUSSION TOPICS - Love, lies, false accusations, rape, war, infidelity, divorce, hope, imagination, loose morals, guilt, love, sin, dementia, separation, jealousy, shame, betrayal, servants and their place in society, German invasion of France, cowardice, class distinctions.
MESSAGE - Lies can ruin lives.
CAVEATS

Be aware that while we do our best to avoid spoilers it is impossible to disguise all details and some may reveal crucial plot elements.

We've gone through several editorial changes since we started covering films in 1992 and older reviews are not as complete & accurate as recent ones; we plan to revisit and correct older reviews as resources and time permits.

Our ratings and reviews are based on the theatrically-released versions of films; on video there are often Unrated, Special, Director's Cut or Extended versions, (usually accurately labelled but sometimes mislabeled) released that contain additional content, which we did not review.



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