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The Current War: Director’s Cut | 2019 | PG-13 | – 1.5.3

content-ratingsWhy is “The Current War: Director’s Cut” rated PG-13? The MPAA rating has been assigned for “some violent content and thematic elements.” The Kids-In-Mind.com evaluation includes a few kissing scenes between married couples; a scene of accidental death by electrocution, an implied gun death, a demonstration of electrocution on a horse, a hanging death, discussions of the use of the electric chair and the outcome of its first use, and death by illness; and several arguments and some strong language. Read our parents’ guide below for details on sexual content, violence & strong language.”


Inspired by true events starting in the 1880s, the movie documents the race to provide electricity across the US as a frantic battle between Thomas Edison (Benedict Cumberbatch) and George Westinghouse (Michael Shannon) as they each attempt to establish their own electrical system as the nation’s dominant one. Also with Tom Holland, Matthew Macfadyen, Tuppence Middleton, Katherine Waterston, Nicholas Hoult and Damien Molony. Directed by Alfonso Gomez-Rejon. [Running Time: 1:42]

The Current War: Director’s Cut SEX/NUDITY 1

 – A husband and his wife kiss. A wife kisses her husband.
 A couple of women wear dresses that reveal slight cleavage.


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The Current War: Director’s Cut VIOLENCE/GORE 5

 – Men discuss the use of electricity to execute people and describe horribly botched hangings; we see a man being hanged and when he is dropped with the rope around his neck two other men pull on his legs until they break his neck (we hear a crunch). A man is strapped into an electric chair, referred to as the “death chair,” and we hear about what happened — the man had to be shocked several times before dying (we hear sizzling sounds as the switch is flipped). A man misconnects a generator and is electrocuted (we hear a surge and see the lights go out). A horse is hooked up to electrical current and a large switch is flipped to demonstrate it as being deadly; we see the horse’s body being dragged out of the area (we do not see the electrocution).
 A man covered with blood on his face, neck, hands and clothing enters a police station and says, “I killed my wife.” A man has flashbacks to being held at gunpoint by another man; they discuss the kind of gun the man is holding as a distraction and we hear a gunshot off-screen (we understand that the man being threatened killed the other man but we do not see it).
 A man throws something (probably a lightbulb) that shatters in a lab and yells at men in the area when he is angry about a competitor. Two men argue in a few scenes. A man describes what might happen when using an electric chair (“a death chair”); he says the skin might burn at the point of contact, that the blood may evaporate and the person would ignite, or that the person would be roasted to death. A man insists that AC electricity is deadly. A man insists that he will never create something that will be used to take the life of another man.
 A dead woman is shown in an open casket as mourners gather around. A woman is shown to be very ill and a doctor describes her condition and projected deterioration. A woman collapses while walking through a field and we see her in bed, as a doctor says that all she needs is glasses. A woman has difficulty remembering a word.
 A man talks about his father beating him with a branch until it broke and that as a child he suggested that his father use a belt instead. A man offers a man a job and states a sum of money that he later says was just a joke; the employee is annoyed and leaves. A man fires another man and tells him that he owns his patents, stating, “You’re just an immigrant looking for a handout.” Two children ask their father, “Do you not love us anymore?” when he won’t take them for a walk. A man says, “If you want to be remembered, shoot a president.” A man testifies about having killed a horse using an electric current. A man says that he felt like he was, “Digging my own grave.” A man argues that providing power should be detached from profit. A man confesses to having stolen documents that shed a bad light on a competitor and giving them to the press. A man describes another man as engineering “his own reality.” A man says that another man has a “huge” nose. A boy says (through Morse code) that a man’s nose looks like a cherry.


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The Current War: Director’s Cut LANGUAGE 3

 – 6 mild obscenities, name-calling (disgustingly poor, rip-off, poor bastard, idiots, shoddy work, lowlifes, ankle biters, secret dreamers), 1 religious profanity (GD), 3 religious exclamations (e.g. Christ, For the Love of God, Jesus). | profanity glossary |


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The Current War: Director’s Cut SUBSTANCE USE

 – A bottle of Laudanum is seen on a nightstand along with a large syringe. Two men drink whiskey, and a man drinks a glass of whiskey. Men on a train smoke cigars, two men smoke cigars in the White House, a man lights a cigar, and a man smokes outside a house.


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The Current War: Director’s Cut DISCUSSION TOPICS

 – Patents, practicality, electricity, grief, anger, AC vs. DC, George Westinghouse, principles, invention, obsessive behavior, Thomas Edison, Nikola Tesla, credibility, physics, fear, promises, death of a loved one, human rights, electric chair, the Chicago World’s Fair.

The Current War: Director’s Cut MESSAGE

 – The creation of electric power was a hard fought battle.

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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