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Guardians of the Galaxy | 2014 | PG-13 | - 3.6.4

The Guardians of the Galaxy are a group of alien humanoid, animal and plant-life misfits on the run. These odd heroes follow a human (Chris Pratt) after he escapes retribution for stealing a magic orb. Almost too late, they discover that the orb is dangerous and that they must save the universe. Also with Zoe Saldana, Dave Bautista, Vin Diesel, Bradley Cooper, Lee Pace, Michael Rooker and Karen Gillan. Directed by James Gunn. [2:01]

SEX/NUDITY 3 - A man stares at a woman's leather-clad buttocks as she climbs stairs. Sitting in a chair, a woman wears only a T-shirt and we see cleavage, along with legs to the hip (we cannot see any underwear). A man wearing shorts receives a hosing down with a decontaminating liquid; we see his bare chest, back, shoulders, arms and legs to mid-thighs. Many women wear clingy catsuit spacesuits, some baring the midriff and others revealing cleavage. Several women wear short skirts that reveal most of their bare legs to the thighs. A few male prisoners in jail appear shirtless, with bare chests, shoulders, backs and arms.
 A man tries to kiss a woman, but she puts a knife to his throat to stop him; he briefly mentions women that he has dated, but she is unimpressed. An elderly man chats up a woman on a bridge (we cannot hear the conversation).


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VIOLENCE/GORE 6 - Hundreds of humanoids have skin colors of blue, green, Popsicle red, purple, multicolor, dark brown, Caucasian tones and chalk-white while many have a small amount of scarification on their cheeks and foreheads; one shirtless man is covered in scarification dyed red and green from his bald head and face to his waist, front and back, including his shoulders and arms, one woman has panels of red and metallic blue vertical stripes on her face, a man has black stripes down his faced to cover his eyes and his teeth are black, soldiers have coal black faces with each lip split into two parts and all four parts move in speech; other aliens have teeth filed to points and one man has a large mechanical/bionic eye. One character is a sentient alien tree that grows spikes, leaves and flowers from time to time. A variety of aliens carry and use a range of weapons: bazookas, electric shock sticks and hand cannons, high-power assault rifle-cannons, grenades, clubs, knives and swords; in battles, we see a small amount of blood on a few foreheads and cheeks. A raccoon builds a bomb and other weapons from spaceship parts.
 A tree man in a crashing ship grows thousands of additional branches and leaves to encircle his comrades and releases tiny lights like fireflies inside a ball of branches as a raccoon cries that the tree will die in saving them, but the tree continues to weave a huge ball for cushioning in the crash; we see the aftermath of the crash as the shipmates stand up, shaken and bruised (and we see many unmoving bodies on the ground, charred and presumably dead); the raccoon stands over a pile of sticks and cries as he picks up a handful of them and we see him carrying a potted twig. A large space battle wages between a giant spaceship and the combined forces of pirates, ex-cons turned heroes and a city's large police force: the extended battle includes many instances of automatic cannon fire, hand cannon and rifle cannon action and flames, smoke and sparks; many small ships crash to the ground (toward the camera) and people run as we hear that the city is evacuated (we do not see the ships' occupants after the crashes); some ships in the sky break apart and fall off-screen before a huge ship is swallowed into an electrified array as many police ships are destroyed in loud explosions and smoke that fills the screen.
 A man threatens a female slave and she grabs a magic, glowing "eternity stone" that kills her as she disintegrates in electricity and color. A robot woman is killed (in a long shot) when she is run over by a skidding space vehicle. A woman's ship breaks apart and she floats in space, unconscious as we see her face and hands crust over and dry up; a man leaves his pod ship and flies to her, removes his helmet and puts it on her, while a raccoon yells at him to stop and a huge black ship comes to pick the man and the woman up. A tree man grows one arm very long and stabs through a dozen soldiers at once (no blood); he slams the men against walls, the ceiling and floor many times, turns to the camera and smiles. A pirate uses a remote control electronic dart to threaten people and to kill two dozen soldiers, leaving scorch marks on their chests as they fall dead. Prisoners plan a prison escape, but are chased by other prisoners, guards, police officers and shooting drones; many people fall dead and some are shown with a little blood while others have scorch marks on their chest and the prisoners fight people off using karate moves, rifle cannons and clubs; they steal some drones and fly away, chased by shooting ships and other drones while a guard yells commands (we see slobber) and other guards fire bazookas that inadvertently destroy prison walls as prisoners fly off with law enforcement chasing them, shooting and clouds of flames and smoke fill the air.
 A man and a woman fight using martial arts kicks, punches, a sword and an electric hand cannon; they are each knocked down, slammed into walls and fall with a cloud of electricity around them at different times; a raccoon jumps onto the woman's head, a tree man knocks people down, the raccoon is thrown into a window and slides down the glass (essentially unharmed, but dizzy), the woman cuts off the tree's arms (no blood or fluid) and he later whimpers at the loss (they grow back quickly) and police levitate all the fighters and take them to prison, where prisoners jeer and throw fruit at them. Two women fighting reach an impasse as one woman hangs out a ship's broken hull by one hand; the other woman reaches for her, but the hanging woman (she's a robot) removes her arm from her hand and falls to the ground, where a vehicle runs her over -- she's presumably dead. We hear that a woman was taken from her planet as a child after her parents were murdered in front of her, forced to participate in violence and crime; she and a robot woman, argue and fight with knives, electronic hand cannons and martial arts; they fight in one scene and the robot is leveled and crumpled by shock blasts, but straightens out and stands up; in another scene, she opens her forearm and adjusts circuits.
 A genetically engineered raccoon functions as a human being, later stating that he was ripped apart many times and put back together; he shouts angrily at people around him, upset that bigots call him "vermin" and "rodent"; a colleague and he fist fight and he points a rifle at the man, but another man stops the fight. Several ex-cons fight with one another using fists and feet, and also insult each other with name-calling. A robot woman stomps around a cave-like room and shouts at soldiers to get out of her way; several times, she attempts to attack her sister, but fails to harm her. A man shouts at another man saying that he killed the first man's wife and daughter and the two men fight in several scenes, using martial arts moves, knives and hand cannons; the first man always loses after being slammed to the ground and into walls while the second man falls under gunfire and bazooka missiles several times, but always rises unharmed. A large band of pirates capture a former member and rough him up, choking him, but releasing him and hugging him, but still threatening him that he had better turn over some property to them.
 A police officer suffers a blow to the head that leaves exposed circuitry under his hair and scalp, but no blood. Police fell a man using a hand cannon and a prison guard thrusts an electric shock stick into his gut three times, with electric bolts convulsing him. A prison is full of yellow-suited, dirty sweaty prisoners, both male and female; two men and a woman threaten a new female prisoner and hold knives to her throat until a prisoner intervenes and stops the action, but holds her up against a wall and another man intervenes causing the man to drop the woman, who chokes and coughs. A tree man sticks his long finger-twigs up into the nose of a large threatening man, lifts him off the floor and drops him back to the floor; the man cries. A tree man rips the cover from a fuse box and tosses it away, hitting a man in the head and knocking him out. A man uses a metal prosthetic leg to knock out a prison guard. A man hits a prison guard over the head, knocking him out. A man steals a round metal object from a building and police appear with hand cannons, arresting the man after he throws a shock wave device and knocks them down temporarily. A man is knocked to a floor by the power of a stone after he has threatened to shoot his slave women and one woman grabs the stone. A female slave is held in a small glass booth in electronic handcuffs. A raccoon shouts at a man saying that he killed the raccoon's friend and is thrown away from the man in a mind-control shockwave, hitting a wall without injury.
 A building explodes, throwing a tree man and a raccoon toward the camera, which cuts to a scene of the rubble and the building owner is dirty but unharmed. Two men in a spaceship fight and laugh maniacally as they blast other ships from the sky; we see many small ships suffer cracked cockpits, while other ships fall off the screen. A raccoon flies a ship into a large black ship and mows down a man, who gets back up.
 We hear and see that eternity stones were once galaxies that collapsed into stones with great power and we see owners of the stones disintegrating quickly in flashes of light. A man grabs an eternity stone from another man and screams in pain as his skin begins to disintegrate in purple flames as the other man and a woman reaches out and yells to take her hand; as the man takes her hand, she screams in pain; a scarified man grabs the man's other shoulder and screams, and a raccoon takes the scarified man's other hand and screams as we see their eyes turn red and they send beams of power and light to destroy the other man in an explosion (they have raw patches on their foreheads and cheeks). A man grabs an eternity stone and balls of fire race around the room; his eyes turn purple and he roars with power. A tree man in a dark cave-like room creates tiny lights like fireflies that flow from one arm and hand.
 A young boy enters the hospital room of his bald, thin, dying mother and we see that he has a black eye from a fight; she reaches out and asks him to take her hand (we see this again in a flashback), but he refuses, turns away and she dies; the boy screams loudly for several minutes and his father carries him out into the hallway where he runs into the foggy night where a bright light appears and a tractor beam pulls him up into a giant spaceship.
 An overlord plots to overthrow a large space city while his henchman plots to overthrow the overlord and the henchman's two adopted and enslaved daughters plot to overthrow them both. In two scenes, different men state that they will kill another man. A man says that many have tried to kill him and shows small scars where women poked him with knives in anger. A raccoon says to a complaining widower colleague, "Boo-hoo! Everybody's got dead people." A man says that the people of a city have sticks up their [anatomical term deleted] and a woman asks him who put that sticks there. A man and a woman argue about what to do with an orb; another man walks past and says he plans to kill an overlord that wants the orb. A man asks a police officer if he may remove the spine of a man and the officer says that such action would be illegal murder; the man says, "Hmmm" and walks away.
 A twig in a pot blooms a head, mouth, eyes, and arms, and then stretches and yawns. A raccoon kicks a clump of crabgrass in frustration.
 Small dinosaurs are shown being chased and eaten by a medium sized dinosaur. Large dino-like creatures swim in a river below a cliff, snapping teeth at the camera. Tiny dinosaurs nip at one another and a man uses one as a pretend microphone as he sings 1980s songs. A growling dog wears a spacesuit and helmet and he snarls at a raccoon.
 "Knowhere" is the empty head of a huge celestial beast, mined for brain tissue, bones and connective tissue; the inside looks like an empty black shell with a sort of decrepit city of black buildings. A man lands on a dark planet and using a wide-beam flashlight discovers a dimension in which the previous residents appear as humans and a dog. A hologram shows the nervous system of a man briefly.
 A man throws another man into a vat of yellow chemicals and a tree man pulls the floating man out and sticks a long twig finger into his chest, which makes him spit up yellow fluid and wake up. A raccoon spits and we see spit fly off-screen. A man buys a prosthetic leg from a prisoner; we see the prisoner walking with it, but not without it.


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LANGUAGE 4 - One not fully enunciated F-word (What the f_ _ _ ?!), 1 obscene hand gesture, 5 scatological terms, 9 anatomical terms, 15 mild obscenities, name-calling (crazy, dumb, dumb tree, dumb whore, imbecile, idiot, whack job, lunatic, fool, gargoyle, pervert, fanatic, stupid, stupid tree, loser, boy, criminal, jackasses, broad, talking raccoon, honorless thief, homicidal maniac, terrorist, radical, zealot, fascists, fancy pants, Mr. Smiles, Ranger Rick, Giving Tree, Humy (sarcastic for "human"), Whitey, Star Prince, Princess, Man who has lain with a Rastafarian, murderess, vermin, rodent, hamster, jerks, saint, soft, despicable, dishonorable), stereotypical references to heroes, convicts, power-mad villains, police officers, government officials, men, women, sisters, different races. exclamations (shut-up), 7 religious exclamations (e.g. Oh God [one in a comic panel], God, Jesus, Holy [scatological term deleted], For God's Sake, Renounce Your Paltry Gods).


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SUBSTANCE USE - Pirates on a spaceship laugh loudly and drink alcoholic beverages of some kind and we see them stagger a bit and dance, men hold unknown drinks while standing around a gaming table, and a raccoon in a bar with a number of aliens drinks alcohol and becomes drunk (he shouts and starts a fist fight with a colleague).


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DISCUSSION TOPICS - Racial and species differences, bigotry, power, war, slavery, danger, death, crime, violence and revenge, consequences, families, friendship, loyalty, responsibility, cooperation.

MESSAGE - Family and friendship can defeat evil.

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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