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The Dark Tower | 2017 | PG-13 | - 1.6.3

Adapted from the Stephen King series: A pre-teen boy (Tom Taylor) discovers an alternate world through his dreams and soon learns that he is the key to saving his own world with the help of a Gunslinger (Idris Elba). Also with Katheryn Winnick, Matthew McConaughey, Jackie Earle Haley, Abbey Lee, Nicholas Hamilton, Dennis Haysbert and Claudia Kim. Directed by Nikolaj Arcel. [1:35]

SEX/NUDITY 1 - A teen boy and a teen girl hold hands on a playground. A pre-teen boy and a pre-teen girl look at each other and smile a few times.
 A man tells a young woman, "Choose a pretty face and the world is your oyster."
 A man's shirt is open to reveal his bare upper chest in several scenes. A young woman wears shorts and a crop top that reveals her bare abdomen.


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VIOLENCE/GORE 6 - A giant bat-like creature with a long sharp tail stabs a man through the shoulder and pins him to a tree (leaving a part of the appendage to hold the man and wrap around his neck); then it leaves the man and chases a boy, trying to stab him through metal frameworks as the boy is hiding, and the man cuts himself free and shoots the creature several times. Creatures with malformed faces run through a village slashing people with long knives and setting everything on fire; a man shoots many of them, a woman stabs one in the back with a spear and the man shoots it when it turns toward the woman; the man fights a creature and shoots it dead, and a creature grabs a pre-teen boy and runs away with him. A man shoots a creature from a great distance and we follow the bullet through laundry hanging on a line and other objects before reaching its target and felling it.
 Two gunmen hold guns toward a voice they hear in the woods, a man appears and says, "Stop breathing" causing one gunman to fall to the ground and die unable to breathe; the other gunman shoots at the man as he walks away and he catches the bullet between his fingers (he's unharmed). A man is stabbed through the back (we see the blade push through his chest and hear a squish); several other men are shown dead on the ground (there are no visible injuries). A man tells another man to stop breathing and he falls to the floor dead. We see a pile of ashes and charred floor in the shape of a body and a pre-teen boy cries over it. A man with a bloody head wound lies on a bed and another man waves his hand over his face killing him.
 A man stabs another man in the back (we see blood in his mouth) and we see many other men dead on the ground as another man is thrown against a wall and many others are shot (we see them fall in a pile on the ground with no visible injuries); many gunmen shoot at the man hiding behind a pillar, he then shoots and runs and jumps from a ramp while shooting, and then shoots a gas canister that explodes throwing some men (we hear them scream). Two men fall out of a window and into a bus, one throws the other out the bus window, he shoots the thrower and the shot man lands on the windshield of a passing car that crashes through a brick wall. We see several dead bodies on the ground (no wounds are visible) as a man approaches a wounded man and sets him on fire (we see flames reflected in the second man's eyes and we hear the burning man scream). A blaring alarm sounds and several children walk (as if in a trance) toward a structure; we see them clamped into chairs and a bright light flashes, the children scream and a large beam of energy shoots through the sky and strikes a tall tower (we see some debris fall away); this scene repeats a few times and one time there is only one child clamped into a chair. A man walks past a young girl on a park bench and says, "Hate"; we then see the girl's eyes turn black and her expressions changes. A man tells a woman, "Shame on you," for letting people take away her child and we understand that he kills her. A man with a gun threatens a pre-teen boy and the boy falls back onto the ground when he startles him. A man holds a boy over a rocky ledge and threatens him, and then pulls him to safety. A man shoots a gun in a gun shop and the shop owner shoots back at him, and he is then shot in the shoulder (we see blood and he falls backward).
 A man shoots at another man who blocks the bullets with rocks that he lifts off the ground with telekinesis, the second man throws a shard of glass at the shooter and one piece sticks in the man's hand (we see blood and he uses his teeth to pull the shard out of his hand), the second man throws bullets at the shooter and then an I-beam, that pins the man to the floor motionless (we see blood on his face) as the second man holds a flame in his hand and walks toward the unconscious man who wakes up and shoots the other man several times (we see bloody wounds open and the man lies dead with a bloody bullet hole in his head).
 A pre-teen boy goes into an abandoned house where we see the floorboards move; the boy opens a portal (a brightly lit tunnel) and as he steps toward it the floor boards twist around him and press against him until he yells and the boards splinter and fall to the floor. Sands clouds like tornados clouds swirl around a pre-teen boy and then stop. Masks made to look like human skin hang in a large room like a warehouse. A pre-teen boy and a man take target practice in the woods.
 A pre-teen boy wakes up with a start when he hears a man's voice calling him; he follows the voice into dark woods and finds what he thinks is his dead father, the man reaches for the boy and then turns into a flaming monster (with a flaming skull and bones) that tries to grab the boy; a man shoots it and it disappears.
 A man and a woman fight with each other in a crowded diner after a man says, "Kill each other" (we do not see the result). A pre-teen boy takes a drawing book away from another boy; the second boy punches the first in the face, knocks him to the ground and tries to grab the book back before they are separated by an adult (no injuries are evident). A man squeezes a young woman's face and we see bloody wounds on her cheeks after he lets go and she falls off-screen (we see her alive later, with scars on her face). A woman's nose bleeds.
 A pre-teen boy is grabbed by two men in a van and taken, blindfolded, to a warehouse where he is clamped into a chair. A pre-teen boy climbs out a window, climbs on a roof, down a fire escape and through a subway before losing a man and a woman chasing him.
 A pre-teen boy tells a man to shut-up as they argue about him going to a psychiatric clinic for help. A man talks about his father dying and his seeking revenge. A man wakes with a start when he hears a man say to him, "Everyone who walks with you dies." A man says that he killed everyone another man cared about. A doctor tells a man that he is suffering from chronic radiation sickness, Hepatitis A, B and E. A man says, "I will kill him for both of us" to a pre-teen boy.
 A large structure collapses and explodes and we see a lot of rubble in a city's streets. A pre-teen boy wakes up as his room is shaking and items fall off his shelves; this happens in a few other similar scenes.
 A man sniffs and tastes blood; he pulls away startled and identifies the owner of the blood. A man has a scar on his neck and we see a flap of skin lift away and he presses it back in place; many other people are shown with lines/scars on their necks and they are referred to as "skins." A man's face seems to be malformed and when he presses on his cheek it seems to go back into place. A woman's hand twitches and we hear squishing sounds. A man is cut on the neck by a metal bar and it looks like there is no blood and that the skin is fake. A man is shown wearing a metal mask over most of his face. We see a festering wound on a man's shoulder and see blood on his jacket and shirt later. A wound on a man's shoulder appears to be getting infected and we see darkening veins under his skin. Blood drips from a man's finger and onto the ground.
 A pre-teen boy draws dark images that he sees in his dreams: creatures with malformed faces, a dark tower, a man dressed in black and a gunslinger. We read an explanation of a tower and the fact that as long as it stands evil will be kept at bay. We understand that a pre-teen boy's father died and that the man was a firefighter (he apparently died in a fire).
 We hear a gagging/squishing sound and then see a man with a dead rabbit in his hand (no blood is evident). A pre-teen boy picks a berry in the woods and a man tells him not to eat it. A man picks up a tarantula by a leg and places it on the ground.
 We see dark woods with the rubble of a theme park scattered throughout.


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LANGUAGE 3 - 2 scatological terms, 1 anatomical term, 4 mild obscenities, name-calling (shrinks, creepy, dude, fake skins, brat, psycho camp, crazy, bat [scatological term deleted] crazy, sorcerer, trespasser, dog, stalker, savages), exclamations (shut-up), 5 religious exclamations (e.g. Christ, Jesus, Holy [scatological term deleted], I Swear To God).


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SUBSTANCE USE - A man takes a handful of pain pills and vitamins and remarks about how successful they are. We see a half-filled glass of wine and an open bottle of wine on a counter (no one is shown drinking).


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DISCUSSION TOPICS - Good vs. evil, magic, apocalypse, bad dreams, step parenting, death of a parent, psychiatry, appearances, deception, revenge.

MESSAGE - Vengeance can help solve unbearable situations; but death always wins.

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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