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The Constant Gardener | 2005 | R | - 5.8.6

Ralph Fiennes stars as a British diplomat who defends pharmaceutical testing because of his government position. When his wife (Rachel Weisz), a lawyer and an outspoken activist, discovers that a multinational drug company is testing a tuberculosis remedy on unsuspecting Africans, with fatal side effects, she's murdered. He takes it upon himself to continue her work hoping that in the process he will find those responsible for her death. Also with Danny Huston, Archie Panjabi and Bill Nighy. Directed by Fernando Meirelles. [2:09]

SEX/NUDITY 5 - A woman lies nude in a bath tub, and her bare breasts and pregnant tummy are exposed; her husband puts his hand in the water (presumably toward her crotch), and we see her bare buttocks when she steps out of the tub.
 A man and a woman kiss, and they undress each other (she's in a bra, and we see their bare backs, bare buttocks, and his bare chest); they caress each other, and we see them later lying in the bed covered by sheets, and the man gets out of the bed and we see his bare back and buttocks briefly.
 Women wear low-cut tops and dresses that reveal cleavage in a few scenes. A man is shown bare-chested. We see several totally nude toddlers, with their penises exposed.
 A man and a woman kiss in several scenes. A man touches a woman's face tenderly (she's married to somebody else).
 A man walks up to another man and a woman who are talking, he misunderstands what she is saying, and begins to suspect that she may be having an affair with another man. We are told that a man is gay and another man is relieved to know that he and his wife are not having an affair. A woman bribes a man with sexual favors (she says, "You can have me").
 A woman nurses another woman's newborn after miscarrying her own (her breasts are not evident).

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VIOLENCE/GORE 8 - From a distance we see a man hanging by his feet from a tree, and he seems to have a large bloody gash on his side; he also appears to be charred and we are told several additional gruesome details of his brutal torture and murder.
 Two men walk through a morgue where many bodies lie on metal tables -- some are covered with sheets and some are not, there are pools of blood on the floor, and we see the charred feet and an arm of one person (flaps of reddened skin are visible); a man pulls the sheet away from the body's face, another man identifies the body and another man vomits loudly (we also see the charred and bloody body of a small child on a table nearby).
 Many men ride on horseback into a village, they kill many women and children and burn their huts, people are running and screaming, and several people are shot (we see their bloody wounds; one woman is shot in the neck and we see blood spurt) and some young people are taken away with the men.
 A man enters his hotel room and is beaten badly by two men who punch and kick him repeatedly; he coughs up blood and they stuff a handkerchief in his mouth.
 A man in a car pulls up alongside another man, he tells him to get in the car, and they drive to a mass gravesite and are told that people are buried there -- we see a pile of charred and twisted bodies.
 A man is followed while driving along a road, he speeds up, he drives off the road and to the end of a road, he stops and a man gets out of the other car to talk to him. A motorcycle nearly hits a woman and her young son while walking across a street. A truck is tipped over onto its side on the water's edge on a beach, men in a jeep approach the truck, the men take a large bag out of it and we understand later that there is a body in the bag.
 A man tells another man that there is a contract out on his life. We hear that a man was killed by being shot 8 times from 3 different weapons. A man tells another man that his wife was found dead (presumably murdered). A man talks about a woman having been raped and murdered. Two men at a funeral begin to shovel cement onto a coffin, a man protests and a woman tells him they do this to prevent grave robbers from getting at the coffins. A man says that he is dying of cancer.
 Several men threaten a man trying to convince him to stop looking into a suspicious death. A woman yells at a man and insults him in front of a group of people.

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LANGUAGE 6 - 16 F-words, 2 sexual references, 4 scatological terms, 1 anatomical term, 4 mild obscenities, 8 religious exclamations.

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SUBSTANCE USE - People drink alcohol at a gathering and people drink alcohol at a dinner. A man smokes in a few scenes and we learn that he is dying of cancer.

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DISCUSSION TOPICS - Unscrupulous business practices, government cover-ups, betrayal, trust, diplomacy, death of a spouse, death of a baby, miscarriage, desperation, suicide, AIDS, drug testing, extreme poverty, health ministries, revolution, malnutrition, drug companies, invasion of Iraq, the criminalization of homosexuality.
MESSAGE - Stand up for what is right; even if you can help only one person in need, it's better than not doing anything.
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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