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Godzilla | 2014 | PG-13 | - 1.5.3

The dinosaur-like Godzilla returns to find humans fighting the wrath of nature: Two scientists (Ken Watanabe and Sally Hawkins) are observing the effects of nuclear power on animal fossils related to the Hiroshima bombing and nuclear testing. When monsters appear, they join forces with other scientists to defeat the threat. Also with Elizabeth Olsen, Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Bryan Cranston, Juliette Binoche, David Strathairn and Richard T. Jones. Directed by Gareth Edwards. [2:03]

SEX/NUDITY 1 - A wife kisses her husband and a phone call interrupts them; after the call, she kisses him goodbye several times as he is about to leave and she says that they will be apart again for some time and the camera abruptly cuts away to Japan (sex may be implied).
 A woman wears short-shorts at home. Two male patients on gurneys in a medical center are shirtless.


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VIOLENCE/GORE 5 - Two men are arrested by police wearing hazmat suits and are taken to a military office where one of the men argues with military staff and scientists, an earthquake occurs and we see a tall, bony structure glowing with a kind of heartbeat before the structure breaks and a huge monster bursts forth with lightning bolts shooting outward, as people panic and run: the monster has a bony wolf-like head with jagged red eyes, a beak, a slimy mouth full of fangs, mammalian hind legs, huge leathery wings, praying mantis forelegs and several pairs of tiny legs in between; the monster clicks and screeches as it eats equipment and breaks tall metal cranes before flying away with a nuclear device and sending a van over a cliff (the occupant is OK); the camera cuts to a scene of several dead bodies and patients lying on the ground or on gurneys and one man dies on the way to a hospital (his adult son becomes tearful as he watches his father zipped into a body bag).
 In an abandoned street, we see soldiers wearing camouflage uniforms and helmets lying in small groups, covered in dust and dirt and presumably dead; in the background, a huge insect-like creature swallows half a dozen soldiers that are shooting rifles at it. A female monster as tall as a skyscraper has six powerful, black legs and one pair of small legs, a wolf-like head with a beak and an abdomen filled with glowing red and black eggs; soldiers nearby find a nuclear device covered in white slime and a nuclear sub wrecked on land; the monster eats submarine parts and sends out a shockwave, followed by a fireball that kills many soldiers (we see them on the ground, dead from the blast but without blood or wounds).
 A building falls on Godzilla, who looks at a man nearby, and the man blinks slowly and falls unconscious as dust covers him and a female insect-creature attacks buildings that crash to the ground; a soldier fires a missile that sticks in its tongue and Godzilla appears from behind, biting the distracted creature in the neck (no blood appears); after a struggle, Godzilla grabs the female by the head, holds her mouth stretched open, breathes blue fire down her throat and rips her head off to kill her, dropping the head into a bay (we see some black gore around the torn neck). Godzilla dives under ships and a bridge in a bay while soldiers shoot at it without effect; it roars loudly and fights a screeching monster, each monster biting the other in the neck without bloodshed; several buildings fall and people run, screaming as Godzilla knocks the other monster out and then finds a female monster and they fight; the other male monster joins the fight and after all the monsters bite, screech and slap each another Godzilla grabs the male monster by the neck, breathes blue nuclear fire down its throat, and then uses its tail to slap it into a building to be killed. A nuclear warhead explodes in a bay, sending a shockwave and flame toward the shore, knocking Godzilla out; the camera cuts to Godzilla lying on the ground and it begins to breathe, stands up slowly and walks into the bay as people cheer loudly.
 A tidal wave sends people screaming and running as the rushing water breaks hotel windows and business doors; an insect-like monster walks into town, followed by soldiers and helicopters shooting rifles and SWAT snipers line rooftops, shooting; two helicopters crash to the ground in flames in a long shot, city power goes off and on and a giant monster walks through town; we see the beachfront wrecked, littered with debris and pieces of buildings, boats and planes.
 Two men in Japan argue by phone about a nuclear reactor as earthquake tremors begin and become increasingly stronger and smoke and dust barrel down the hallway away from reactors and toward people that shout and run; a scientist closes a safety door, but hears a loud knocking and his wife's voice on a walkie-talkie; he looks through a porthole and sees his wife as additional lead doors seal off the passage, a loud earthquake occurs and we see three nuclear towers crumble and fall. We see an explosion in the night sky and a fireball falls to ignite part of a forest as a piece of flaming equipment hits the side of a hill and rolls away from the camera; two army scouts encounter a male insect-like monster and turn to see the train they just came from on fire and racing toward them; they fall into a river as a bridge collapses, and one of the men is rescued and we see him covered with dirt and crumbled concrete, and he has a bloody mouth and nose.
 A soldier breaks the cap off a large gasoline supply, sending hundreds of gallons into a chamber where mutant eggs cover a nuclear device; a monster's black beak, mouth and fangs fill the screen as it screeches loudly and the gas ignites and burns all the eggs and an explosion throws the soldier to the ground (we see some blood and scrapes around his mouth and nose).
 Soldiers drive into the Nevada desert to check nuclear waste disposal and find a large underground chamber blown open and waste material missing. Casino lights in Las Vegas go out and come back on as an insect-like monster smashes through buildings; men and women scream and run through the streets and the camera cuts to a long shot of the Vegas Strip, demolished, as fire fighters and police look on, helpless (we hear a recording of Elvis singing, "You're the Devil in Disguise"). At night, parachutists jump from a transport plane with red flares in their hands after a prayer read by their chaplain; they find rubble everywhere on the ground and we hear that two men died before reaching the ground.
 Godzilla walks ashore and flocks of birds fly away, some crashing into school busses on a bridge while soldiers in tanks and on foot fire on the school busses to keep them from crossing, but one bus makes it through. Power fails in vehicles, boats, ships and airplanes, sending three planes falling into the water (the occupants presumably die); a male insect-like creature stalks by and grabs a nuclear device from a ship, stomps through a city and gives the device to a much larger female creature after they rub beaks; buildings have fallen while empty cars have been smashed and the female creature destroys a part of town by stomping through it. A female insect-like monster lays glowing black and red eggs all over a nuclear device that seems covered with tentacles that fill up with the eggs.
 We see a huge gouge in the ground at a mine in the Philippines and hear that 40 men fell into the collapsed ground; inside, a group of men wearing hazmat suits discover many fossil vertebrae and ribs and a large, bony fossil that emits radiation on a Geiger counter. An aerial view of a city shows a large collapsed building, what looks like the nosecone of an airplane, and streets packed with unmoving vehicles; then from the ground we see people honking car horns and looking for escape routes. A man with a bloody nose, mouth, and face sits on a medium-sized boat, dazed and unable to disarm a nuclear warhead on deck; the man falls over to his side and bright light fills the screen as an image of his dead father appears, telling him to continue his work; the camera cuts to a scene of a stadium filled with survivors of a monster attack and we see the man from the boat walking with a crutch and wearing a bandage and elastic support around his forearm and hand. Soldiers dig a woman out of collapsed building rubble and find her alive, but shaken and scratched.
 An adult son argues with his father about nuclear power before they don hazmat suits and explore an area suspected of being radioactive and find that it is not; we see dogs chasing an oversized rat, and a long worm, a large cockroach and a large cocoon in a fish tank. Scientists and military officers argue loudly about the use of nuclear power as a weapon and about killing an animal that could restore the balance of nature. A man yells harshly at his son when police release the son from jail.
 Black ink drawings depict sea monsters, followed by scenes of nuclear radiation signs in close-up accompanied by ominous music. Military men wear goggles to watch a nuclear bomb explode and produce a mushroom cloud in close-up. Film footage shows Godzilla standing up in the Pacific Ocean. Scientists look at a series of seismic readings and declare them unnatural and identical to those that accompanied an incident with a giant monster (Godzilla) in 1954 after a nuclear explosion in the Pacific Ocean.


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LANGUAGE 3 - About 4 scatological terms, 4 mild obscenities, name-calling (maniac, crazy, crackpot, cuckoo), stereotypical references to the Japanese, Americans, the US military, scientists obsessed with a theory, men, women, parents, 19 religious exclamations (e.g. Oh God, Oh My God, God, Holy [scatological term deleted], Thank God, Jesus).


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SUBSTANCE USE - A man sets a drinking glass of an unknown purple liquid on a table, and we see mixed drinks on a tray in a casino.


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DISCUSSION TOPICS - Natural and unnatural disasters, movie monsters, nuclear power uses, nuclear mutations and illnesses, the Hiroshima bombing in 1945, American-Japanese racial problems, genocide, the balance of nature.

MESSAGE - Humans can reconcile their differences and trust nature in order to save their planet.

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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