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Frozen River | 2008 | R | - 4.4.5

Desperate to try to make enough money to buy a trailer home for herself and her two sons after their father abandons them, a woman (Melissa Leo) begins helping a young Native American woman (Misty Upham) who smuggles illegal immigrants across the Canadian/U.S. border. Also with Nancy Wu, Michael O'Keefe, Charlie McDermott, Mark Boone and Jay Klaitz. Directed by Courtney Hunt. [1:36]

SEX/NUDITY 4 - A woman in a skimpy outfit that reveals cleavage dances around a pole in an exotic dance club. A young woman wears a short top and low-cut pants that reveal her bare back to the hip. While she is dressing we see a woman wearing a bra and panties in one scene and a bra and pants in another.

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VIOLENCE/GORE 4 - A woman is shot at (she has blood on the side of her head. A woman shoots a gun into a trailer door, creating a hole (there is someone inside but she is not struck).
 Two women fight, and one is struck on the head and has a bloody spot. A woman holds a gun on another woman and tells her that her husband is dead and that his family will not allow her to have their young son. A woman holds a gun on another woman who she thinks had stolen her car. During an argument a teenage boy threatens his mother with a lit torch.
 Two women find a bag that has been left outside in the cold and a baby is inside: it is motionless but it turns out to be alive.
 The police chase a car, which is driven onto ice, the ice begins to break, but the car is stopped and the occupants get out and run.
 A large dog barks viciously at two women in a car and tries to jump on the hood. A woman runs through dark woods trying to escape police. A woman is frightened when the police stop her.
 A woman drives her car back and forth across a frozen river several times. We see several groups of people climbing into the trunk of a car and the lid being closed on them (we see them coming out unharmed later).
 We hear that a woman shot her husband in the foot. A teenage boy and his mother argue. We hear about people being smuggled over the U.S. border and forced to work to pay off debts.
 A boy tries to heat frozen water pipes using a torch and a fire starts; he puts it out but there is damage.

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LANGUAGE 5 - 6 F-words, 8 scatological terms, 1 anatomical term, 2 mild obscenities, name-calling, 2 religious profanities.

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SUBSTANCE USE - A woman smokes in several scenes. A woman talks about someone who "sells pot to kids."

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DISCUSSION TOPICS - Hope, aspirations, poverty, single parenting, abandonment, desperation, doing the right thing, death of a spouse, forced separation from children, Tribal Law, betrayal, gambling addiction.
MESSAGE - Desperate times can lead people to do things they wouldn't ordinarily do.
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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