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The Great Wall | 2017 | PG-13 | - 1.7.3

Two men (Matt Damon and Pedro Pascal) stumble upon The Great Wall of China, which is defended by a huge army of highly-trained soldiers that are preparing for a battle with an unknown entity. The men must decide whether to stay and fight or run away. Also with Tian Jing, Willem Dafoe, Andy Lau and Hanyu Zhang. Directed by Yimou Zhang. Several lines of dialogue are spoken in Chinese with English subtitles.[1:43]

SEX/NUDITY 1 - Several men are shown shirtless with leather straps crossing their bare chests and backs. Women wear fitted breast plates that are in the shape of breasts. A man is shown shirtless (we see his bare chest, abdomen and back).


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VIOLENCE/GORE 7 - We hear screeching in the distance and see a disturbance in water as a huge number of creatures swarms toward a giant wall and as men and women on the wall prepare weapons: we see huge stone balls slathered with oil and set aflame before being launched through the air (creatures are struck and are thrown with some green-blue blood splatter). Tethered warriors with spears jump off the top of a wall and pierce creatures gathered at the foot of the wall before being pulled back up to the top (we see several creatures struck and blood splatters); several warriors are bitten and pulled off their cables before being eaten by the creatures (we hear crunching and see some blood, and then see a pile of blood-stained harnesses).
 Many creatures pile on top of each other to climb a wall and many fall back to the ground while one reaches the top and climbs over to attack soldiers: several soldiers are eaten (we hear crunching and see some blood), and another is thrown off the wall (presumably into the mouths of creatures below) before a man shoves a spear into the open mouth of another creature (we see green-blue blood), and another creature is shot with an arrow at close range. Many creatures attack a huge wall and climb up to the top while blades like scissors open and close chopping many of the creatures in half (green-blue blood pours) while others grab soldiers from the top of the wall and eat them (we see some blood). Many creatures swarm toward a city where the seat of government resides. A young man holding an explosive stands in a passageway where many creatures charge and blows himself and the creatures up (we see a pile of rubble after).
 Many creatures lunge toward a man with their mouths open and exposing their pointed teeth; the man strikes the creatures with arrows, spears and axes (we see green-blue blood spray and pour from wounds). Many armed soldiers with shields move in unison along a wall and find bloody bodies on the ground; a large creature moves toward them and another from behind before attacking the group (we hear crunching); one creature is struck with thrown blades and lands on a commander with its mouth open (we see the man die later with a bloody arm/torso wound). We hear a strange noise in a camp and two men grab their weapons; they see that a third man in their party has disappeared (we see blood on the ground but we do not see the attacker and we hear screeching as one man slashes at something that we do not see; we then see a severed hand and lower arm covered by green reptile-looking skin with large clawed fingers and splatters of blue-green blood). People in flying balloons drift over rooftops where creatures lunge at them and grab some people off; we see a person being thrown to the ground where he is swarmed and eaten by creatures (no blood is evident); a woman hangs from under a balloon and is snapped at by creatures as a man pulls her up to safety; she drops an explosive that blows up several creatures on the ground. A man is swarmed by many creatures and we see movement and rubble from a distance. A creature eats an arrow with an explosive on it and when it blows up it ignites black powder and many other creatures (we see flames and tissue splatter).
 Black powder is used during a battle sequence and several creatures are blown up (we see blast and matter spraying) along with two men being thrown from the blasts (one man is shown with an injury on his arm and it is bandaged). A man crawls along a heavy chain that is attached to a creature with a spear head; the spear head pulls out of the creature and the man wraps the chain around its leg and then pulls it to the top of a large wall where it is locked inside a cage. Many men walk down a large wall and prepare to fight many creatures. Two men use black powder to blow a store room door open and they are thrown by the blast (no injuries). A man dumps a heavy net with its contents onto the head of another man who falls to the ground motionless (we see him fine later). Many giant hot air balloons are lit and lift off only to catch fire and crash (presumably their occupants die in the crash).
 Many creatures are struck by harpoons attached to chains and the point is covered with a sedative; some of the creatures pull the harpoons out and others pull harpoons out of other creatures with one remaining and struggling to move. A creature thrashes while locked in a cage and knocks a man against a pillar in one sequence (the man is shown with a bloody abrasion on his forehead).
 Men on horseback are shot at by other men with bows and arrows; they exchange fire and we see several men fall off their horses with one man's bloody wound shown later. Two men on horseback ride up on a giant wall and are encircled by many arrows that hit the ground around them; they dismount, drop their weapons and are taken inside the wall as prisoners and soldiers hold them at spear point. A man is locked in a cell alone. A man is bound and gagged and watches as other men play with black powder containers (we hear an explosion later and understand that one of the men ignited the black powder and was blown up). A man with a stock around his neck and chains on his wrists is shown in a cell.
 A man stands over a sleeping man who draws a knife and lunges toward him (they talk and no one is harmed). A man shoves another man against a wall and holds a blade to his throat before backing away (no injury). A woman holds a blade to a man's chin, and then puts it away. A man demonstrates his archery skills in a large hall with many people watching. A man stands high on a wall and walks out on a long arm where he is told to jump (he does not). A man lights a few granules of black powder and it sparks and flares. A man leaves another man alone in the wilderness and gets away with all of their horses and goods.
 A man describes when a meteor struck a mountain and released beasts that now attack every 60 years (the tale is accompanied by animation of creatures with large claws and teeth) and that they fight for food to feed their queen.
 A man says, "We'll kill them in the mountains." A man talks about having been left for dead. A man says, "We must kill them to protect our secret." A man says, "We are under siege." A man asks, "What god made those things." A man asks about his captors, "Do you think they'll hang us now, I could use the rest." A man tells two other men, "You smell like animals." A man talks of his youth and that he was a member of a pack of children that would clean the field after a battle, and then describes his advancement to other positions and that he did the work for food, and then money. Men talk about killing the queen of attacking creatures.
 Creatures vary in size and all have large jaws with many sharp teeth as well as large claws; some have retractable collars that act as shields. We see the severed hand and lower arm of a creature placed on a table (it has reptilian flesh and large claws). In several battle scenes we see many creatures with numerous arrows sticking out of their bodies (some alive and still fighting). A large creature feeds from the mouths of other creatures (we see blood and tissue) and they are surrounded by larger creatures that create a protective barrier around them. A man is shown with many healed scars on his chest, abdomen and back. A creature snarls and we see strings of slime hanging off its teeth before it devours a large pile of raw meat.
 Many lanterns are lit and set afloat while many people gather to mourn a dead man.


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LANGUAGE 3 - 2 scatological terms, 8 mild obscenities, name-calling (stupid, bastards, thief, liar, killer, coward, useless idiot, fool), 3 religious exclamations (My God, Good God, By Grace Of The Ancient Gods).


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SUBSTANCE USE - A mixture is smeared on spear points that will act as a sedative when shot into creatures using a harpoon.


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DISCUSSION TOPICS - The Great Wall of China, legends, friendship, greed, fighting for a purpose, fear, betrayal, heroism, virtue, trust, faith, black powder, common goals, courage, heroism.

MESSAGE - Trust allows people to work together to achieve a common goal.

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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