Hacksaw Ridge | 2016 | R | - 4.9.4
Based on true events: During WWII a conscientious objector (Andrew Garfield) enlists in the US Army but suffers condemnation from other recruits and recriminations from his commanding officers. Finally cleared to serve as a medic in Okinawa, he works alone to save 75 wounded men, earning the Congressional Medal of Honor and three Purple Hearts, without ever using a weapon. Also with Vince Vaughn, Hugo Weaving, Sam Worthington, Luke Bracey, Teresa Palmer and Rachel Griffiths. Directed by Mel Gibson. [2:18]
- A close-up shows a husband's chest and his hand raised to show his new wedding ring as his wife enters the room wearing a long nightgown; they kiss and move off-screen and sex is implied as the scene ends.
► We see the bare back, buttocks and thighs of a man doing chin ups in close-up, and then again bare-chested (we see his bare chest and abdomen). A sergeant makes a nude man stand in a line and the man holds his hands over his private parts in profile (we see profile nudity); the man is ordered to run an obstacle course nude and we see him crawling fast through muddy water (we see parts of his buttocks). Several men are shown wearing wide loincloths, some crouched down on knees and elbows (we see bare chests and backs). A woman wearing a low-cut dress reveals cleavage. The cover of "Gals" magazine shows artwork that shows a woman wearing a long shirt that has blown up to show nudity, including buttocks (her arms cover her breasts).
► A man kisses a woman and she slaps his face. A man and a woman kiss passionately for several seconds, twice. A man and a woman kiss after deciding to marry. A man and a woman kiss goodbye briefly at a bus station. A man and a woman kiss briefly in a darkened theater. A man flirts with a woman, telling her she makes his heart beat faster.
► A man asks another man, whom he called "hillbilly," if he married his own first cousin. Two men joke about women flocking around any man wearing a military uniform.
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- Three extended battle sequences each show soldiers climbing a cargo net nearly 400 feet to a jagged ridge and engaging in heavy fighting: splotches of blood drip from the cliff top onto the uniforms of the climbing men, fires burn on smoldering black land in the background and we see dead soldiers already on the ground each time covered in mud and caked blood; GIs fire rifles, machine guns, mortars, and toss grenades and satchel bombs causing the screen to fill with fire balls and smoke three times in quick succession and several additional scenes fill the lens with flames and thick smoke; dozens of men grunt or scream and fall on both sides of the battle, bullets tearing through chests, backs, heads, and limbs with blood spewing while bullets speed through metal helmets with clunking sounds and blood flying and several men are thrown off-screen in explosions; GIs throw small missiles by hand and a few soldiers are thrown as men stab other soldiers with long bayonets in the background (no blood is shown) and in the foreground (blood is seen flowing); some hand to hand combat features several pairs of soldiers choking and punching each other, a soldier pushes another soldier onto a grenade that explodes with a muffled sound (the first soldier survives) and a soldier tosses a satchel bomb into an enemy bunker as soldiers stand nearby causing the bunker to explode in large fireballs and smoke as bodies are thrown off-screen.
► A battle sequence features soldiers retreating and climbing down a cliff, leaving 100 men behind; a medic tends to those left behind all night and carries and drags groaning men to the cliff edge, sending each down in a sling made of knotted rope that cuts the medic's hands (we see blood flow) and one injured man hits the ground below with a thud (he is not injured further); we see a dozen men sent down and hear that 75 Americans and two Japanese were lowered, and a man says that the two Japanese did not survive, implying that they were killed.
► Soldiers stand on a cliff edge and other soldiers below shoot them all, and some of the shot men fall over the side and smash into the ground. A man chokes a GI and another GI shoots the choker (blood spews). A man kneels, holds a sword to his abdomen, begins to insert it as the camera cuts to his shuddering face, and the camera cuts to a grimacing man with another sword held high; a second man slashes downward and the camera cuts to the first man's upper chest, where blood splatters across in an arc (we see the shadow of the first man's head falling off-screen). A flaming soldier's corpse spins through the air in slow motion across the screen.
► An opening flashback shows the bloodied bodies of six dead soldiers on the ground as flames and smoke flow above them. A woman in a hospital has a severe rash covering one half of her swollen face and a soldier exits with his face completely scarred from burns. In a medical tent on a battlefield, we see men with gauze bandages around arms, legs and heads; one man's face is half covered by a blood-soaked bandage; a man has bandages around leg stumps at the knees and a shirtless man has large bandages on a shoulder, a shoulder blade, his left side, and his hands. Two open army trucks on a road are stacked four-high and four-wide with dead GIs, their faces and hands bloody and mud caked; another truck carries injured men with bloody faces and bloody bandages on faces and hands. Three scenes show men whose bodies have been torn in two at the waist (we see a severed head lying in dirt, and we see close-ups of dirt- and blood-encrusted entrails piled on the ground). Half a dozen men, dead and alive, have lost legs at the knees (bloody streamers of flesh and uniforms dangling from the wound). A seemingly dead man sits up fast and screams into the face of a GI and bullets rip into the screamer's back to spew blood all over the other man. A GI picks up the dead upper body of halved man and uses it as a shield as he advances on enemy soldiers and shoots several, killing them with some blood flow. Four scenes show several scruffy rats nibbling at the faces and wounded arms of dead men on a battlefield and on one man in a cave passageway in a deep puddle of water. A corpse on a field has a blackened skull covered in maggots as a rat nibbles his throat. We see a line of six dead GIs covered in mud and blood. At the end of one day's battle, a medic stands in a fountain at a hospital and the water washes off large amounts of blood. A teenage boy sees a young man who has been run over by a car, pulls him out from under and sees blood pulse from a leg; he uses a belt as a tourniquet and takes the young man to the hospital, where a doctor says there is a severed artery, but the victim will survive.
► Two soldiers each have a large canister of flammable liquid on their back as a flamethrower, engulfing several enemy combatants in flames and we see four men on fire shudder and flail their arms as they fall to the ground before one man points his weapon at the camera and the screen fills with flames; an underground passage fills with speeding flames that engulf men and flames fill the screen as we hear some screams and one man's canister is shot, exploding loudly into flame and smoke (he is blown off-screen). Several soldiers raise a white flag as a bluff, they exit a cave opening with hands raised as one of them pulls the pin on a grenade; he and an enemy soldier scream at each other as the grenade is held between them and blows them both up. A man slaps an incoming grenade away with a hand and kicks it with a foot, flying backwards in the explosion; when the smoke clears we see the medic on a stretcher with blood caked on his throat and down his leg as men lower him over a cliff and he seems to float suspended in the sky for several seconds.
► During two days and an extended afternoon-through-morning period, a GI medic on a ridge feels bodies for pulses and treats several men, applying tourniquets to bleeding legs and compresses to wounds; he runs at least a hundred yards through gunfire and shelling without injury to help or carry the wounded, he places an IV bottle of plasma above a wounded man and a bullet breaks it. When enemy soldiers arrive at a ridge a man buries one surviving soldier in a mound of dirt and pulls a dead soldier over himself; the enemy pass and one slams a bayonet through the corpse, narrowly missing the medic and when the enemy leave the medic digs out the survivor and carries him to safety. A GI medic runs through puddles in underground passages in a cave, avoiding a line of exiting soldiers and we see a dead soldier sitting up with open eyes; he confronts an enemy soldier with a shoulder wound, who shudders and flails in fear whereupon the medic places a compress and administers morphine. A medic drags a blanket on which sits a wounded sergeant firing a rifle on enemy soldiers who are chasing them; several men shudder and fall dead (we see some blood spew). A soldier asleep in a foxhole dreams that three enemy soldiers look into the hole, shoot and kill him and another man, and then stabs them with bayonets (he awakens shouting). A man punches another man in the face, but the second man refuses to return a punch; the first man throws a picture of the second man's fiancée onto the floor. In a fight between two brothers about age 10, their father says he will whip the winner and the mother shouts angrily; one boy hits his sibling in the head with a brick leaving a red gash down the forehead, around the eye, and down into the mouth and the boy becomes tearful, saying that he could have killed the boy; his father removes his belt for a beating, but the mother prevents it. In barracks, a man throws a knife into the floor a few times below the frame with a loud "thunk" and the camera cuts to the knife in the instep of another man's booted foot; a drill sergeant pulls the knife out and the man yelps (we see no blood).
► Two flashbacks show a young man listening to his parents fighting in the next room; he rushes out to find his father pointing a pistol at his screaming mother and the gun going off into the ceiling three times before the young man grabs the pistol away from his father and points it at him as all three people cry; the second flashback goes on to show the father shouting in slow motion, "Pull the damn trigger," but the young man does not do so.
► Army officers harass a conscientious objector and attempt to force him to carry a rifle, but he refuses. Climbing a high wall with ropes, a soldier kicks a conscientious objector in the face to the ground and we see bruises. Several men beat and kick a conscientious objector until his face is cut and bloody; a sergeant finds the man's pillow half-covered in dried blood in the morning as the man walks in from another room with a bruised, cut face and a bloody towel. A man is put in the brig on his wedding day and cannot contact his bride; he screams and punches the cell door several times, bruising his knuckles.
► Two close-ups of a battleship show the firing of at least a dozen guns. The camera cuts to a ridge where a cannon-shot explodes in dirt and throws up flames in several places as the screen fills with smoke. A theater news reel shows footage of a WWII bombing with smoke.
► A man and a woman crossing the street are nearly run over by a passing car and the man is nearly run over by another car as the woman reaches a sidewalk.
► Two medics argue loudly about triage with one refusing triage and saying he will save all the casualties. A medic is wounded, refuses plasma, and gives it to another soldier; we later hear that he died without the plasma. A drill sergeant shouts insults at recruits in a barracks and an obstacle course. A WWI veteran argues with army MPs and struggles his way into a courtroom, where he argues with an officer. In a commander's office, a recruit argues with a commander who belittles him for refusing to fire a gun. A man says his father was often drunken and abusive to him and his mother. A flashback shows a woman telling her son that his father was not abusive before serving in WWI. A man says that two men were classified 4F, so they committed suicide. In a WWI graveyard, a veteran argues with his son about joining the army. At a dinner table, a man berates his son, who shows up in an army uniform. A man says with a shudder and a shaking voice that a friend in WWI was shot through the back, his intestines blown out the front of his uniform.
► A man gives blood at a hospital where we see a large needle go into his arm and blood flow down through a tube. A man cuts his hand on a broken whiskey bottle (please see the Substance Use category for more details) and wraps the hand in a handkerchief as we see blood flow. A man spews vomit onto the ground and wipes his mouth on his sleeve, gasping during a battle sequence. A man is given kitchen duty, extra guard duty, and must scrub toilets (we see no human waste). A man pours a bottle of whiskey on a grave and breaks the bottle on a headstone.
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- 7 scatological terms, 9 anatomical terms, 26 mild obscenities, name-calling (crazy, nut, fool, idiot, beanpole, cornstalk, chowder-head, ghoul, cheater, slowpoke, coward, hillbilly, grease-ball, Nips), exclamations (shut-up, pipe down), 8 religious exclamations (Praise The Lord, Please Lord Help Me Get One More, Good Lord, God, For God's Sake).
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- A medic injects morphine from single-shot tubes into the arms of five men (we see four of the needles going into arms). A man holds a small bottle of whiskey in a graveyard before taking a drink and pouring some on a grave, and six men drink small cups of sake as a ritual. One or two men smoke cigarettes in a barracks or outdoors in a dozen scenes, and in two of these scenes we see one man both light and smoke a cigarette.
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- Moral struggle, faith, Christian victimization, conscientious objectors, standing by one's convictions, physical abuse, alcoholism, cowardice, patriotism, recrimination, war, death, loss, grief, wounded warriors, amputees, heroes, saving lives, courage, sacrifice, respect, honor, recognition.
- A person can be a hero without using a weapon.
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.
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