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The Better Angels | 2014 | PG | - 1.4.1

A look at the childhood years of Abraham Lincoln (Braydon Denney) and the harsh realities of survival and loss. Also with Jason Clarke, Diane Kruger, Brit Marling, Wes Bentley, Cameron Mitchell Williams, McKenzie Blankenship, Ryan McFall, Madison Stiltner, Bruce Bayard and Veanne Cox. Directed by A.J. Edwards. [1:35]

SEX/NUDITY 1 - A husband and his wife sleep in bed together.
 Pre-teen boys and girls bathe in a river and we see a woman scrubbing them (we see bare chests and abdomen; the backs of the boys and the girls are covered with full undergarments).
 A woman wears a low-cut dress that reveals part of her bare chest and a bit of cleavage. A teen boy and a pre-teen boy are shown wearing long underwear only while swimming (we see their bare chest, back and abdomen).

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VIOLENCE/GORE 4 - A man seems to feel unwell and we see him in bed with his wife tending to him (he dies, presumably from bad well water). A woman holds her stomach and appears to be in pain; we see her quaking in bed with a fever and she wheezes before dying.
 After admitting to wrongdoing a pre-teen boy is whipped on the back by his father (we hear lashes). A man orders his son to empty his pockets and we see that he has a trinket that belongs to a woman; the man grabs the boy harshly and whips the boy on the back with a stick until the woman intervenes. A man grabs his son and pulls him away from the dinner table, then forces him to sit in front of a window while the rest of the family finishes eating. A man grabs his son by the arm and gives him tool that he uses to hit the ground and break up the soil for planting. Boys and a man practice wrestling and the man throws one of the smaller boys to the ground a couple of times. A woman balances on a fallen tree and stumbles (she is not harmed).
 A man sends his pre-teen boy to a tannery alone and we hear that it would be a 3-day journey. A man leaves his children alone for an extended period of time and they are seen to be struggling to care for themselves.
 A preteen boy wakes up in the woods alone and sees several slaves shackled at the ankles and wrists walking by. A woman screams in the night and we see her tortured face but do not hear the scream. A man says, "We ain't gonna wanna drink from the well anymore." A man says, "It's a plague." A woman talks about poisoned wheat making the milk sick and in one week they were gone (dead). We hear that a woman married young and died with her first baby. We hear that a woman's husband died from "bad water." A man talks about knowing they'd kill him (referring to Abraham Lincoln's assassination).
 A man and his son build a coffin for their dead wife and mother and they bury her.
 Three boys play with a turtle and we then see one of the boys hitting the turtle with a rock (presumably crushing it, but we do not see the carnage). Three boys tie a dead raccoon to the back of a dog and the dog runs away; we hear that wild dogs "demolished" the other dog to get the raccoon. A man and his son carry rifles as they walk through the woods and we hear some shots (do not see any animals injured). We see a dead animal, a horse or cow, on the ground with flies buzzing around it and a man makes reference to bad water. We hear animals howling at night.

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LANGUAGE 1- 1 mild obscenity, name-calling (stuck up, strange), exclamations (what in tarnation), 2 religious exclamations (Oh God, My God).

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SUBSTANCE USE - A teen boy smokes a pipe.

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DISCUSSION TOPICS - Abraham Lincoln, death of a parent, living off the land, maternal relationships, education, illiteracy, death of a spouse, Christian benevolence, spirit, lessons, malice, envy.
MESSAGE - Abraham Lincoln's childhood was challenging and his mother and his step-mother helped to shape him into the man he became.
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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We are a totally independent website with no connections to political, religious or other groups & we neither solicit nor choose advertisers. You can help us keep our independence with a donation.

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