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The Highwaymen | 2019 | R | – 1.7.4

content-ratingsWhy is “The Highwaymen” rated R? The MPAA rating has been assigned for “some strong violence and bloody images.” The Kids-In-Mind.com evaluation includes several scenes of murder by shooting and reports of killings by a gang of bandits, a prison break leaving a dead prison guard and a wounded guard, crime scene photos, a car with two people inside shot repeatedly by several men on the side of a road leaving the car’s occupants dead and very bloody, and some strong language. Read our parents’ guide below for details on sexual content, violence & strong language.”


Based on true events: It’s 1934 and notorious outlaws Bonnie Parker and Clyde Barrow are on a multi-state bloody rampage, robbing banks and killing indiscriminately, while also becoming celebrities with an almost cult-like following. Desperate to catch them, the Texas governor (Kathy Bates) brings two legendary lawmen (Kevin Costner and Woody Harrelson) out of retirement and they set off to hunt the idolized bandits. Also with John Carroll Lynch, Thomas Mann, Dean Denton, Kim Dickens, William Sadler and W. Earl Brown. Directed by John Lee Hancock. A phrase is spoken in Spanish with translation. [Running Time: 2:12]

The Highwaymen SEX/NUDITY 1

 – A husband and his wife hug and kiss goodbye. A woman sleeps in bed and reaches for her husband next to her (he is not there); she is wearing a nightgown that reveals bare shoulders above the covers.
 Men and women dance closely in a bar. A man speaks in a flirtatious manner to a woman in a bar. A young man talks about a young woman in school and that “Every boy was sweet on her.”


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The Highwaymen VIOLENCE/GORE 7

 - Two people in a car stop on the road to help another man with a flat tire; a man with a gun steps out of the woods and opens fire on the two in the car along with several other men using different types of rifles, riddling the car and the occupants with bullets (we see many holes in the car and the bodies thrash around on impact (there is a lot of blood on the car, windshield and the bodies). Two police officers are shot by a man and a woman in a car: the woman walks to the officers on the ground and shoots one point plank in the head (we see blood and matter on the body and the road later). Two police officers are shot on the road and a woman shoots one in the face at pointblank range as she says, "He sweetie," (we don't hear or see the last shot). Inmates work in a field clearing brush and are monitored by armed guards on foot and on horseback; one inmate finds two handguns hidden in a tree trunk and one man shoots a guard (we see him on the ground with a bloody wound on his abdomen) and the other inmates scatter; a woman carrying a large automatic rifle limps across an empty field and opens fire into a line of trees bordering the field where the inmates are working, and several inmates run out of the trees chased by guards on horseback; a few of the inmates and the woman make it to a waiting car and speed away with the woman inside the car continuing to shoot (we hear that one guard was killed and one was wounded).
 We see photos of dead men with blood on their clothing and one with a bloody gunshot wound to his head. Two armed men approach a man and a woman in a car and the scene ends with a view of their frightened faces. A dead man is shown on the floor with a lot of blood on his clothing, head, face and blood and matter around him on the floor. A dead body is shown with a lot of blood on the head and ground around the head (we also see brain matter). A dead body is shown on the ground with blood on the clothing. Mounted deer and boar heads are shown in a man's office. A car with two dead bodies is driven into a town and a crowd of people surround it and grab at the bodies. Actual photos of the Bonnie and Clyde shooting accompany end credits and we see bodies in a car and guns and ammunition piled up around the car (no blood is visible).
 Several men surround another man in a restroom as he urinates; one man holds a knife and threatens him, he turns and urinates on his shoe (below the frame), he punches one man and holds him in a toilet (we see dark tinged water), and draws a gun on the others. A man slams another man's head onto a desk and another man pounds a pitchfork into the desk next to the man's head (there are no visible injuries). A man punches another man in the face and abdomen and holds him in a chokehold (we see blood on his nose and mouth), and then holds a gun under his chin until another man pulls the gun away.
 A man chases a teen boy through streets and yards and over a fence (the man can't make it over the fence); the man and another man are shown winded. Many police and federal agents are shown gathered waiting for a group of bandits that they think will come their way; one officer wears heavy armor (he looks like a robot). A man speeds through a police road block. Several men prepare to ambush a group of bandits on a road and arm themselves. A man in an alley takes aim at people in a car but is unable to shoot because many people crowd around the car screaming and trying to touch the people inside as if they are celebrities. A car chases another car and they speed around in circles in a field creating dust clouds as they shoot at each other and when they stop only one car remains.
 A man says that he doesn't sleep much because he keeps dreaming of "dead Mexicans" (he is a retired Texas Ranger). A young boy tells his grandfather that another boy told him that the grandfather "shot lots of folks." A reference is made to a person shooting a man in the head in cold blood. Men talk about a "prison break." Men talk about having to put someone "down." A sign on a gun store reads, "No guns sold to minors." We hear that a group of bandits stole a car and shot their way through a roadblock. A man says, "I never shot a girl before." A reference is made to bandits being "armed to kill." A comment is made about a group of bandits avoiding a multi-state dragnet. A man says of a young man that he has, "The mental range of a windshield wiper." A man talks about a woman getting "her leg burned up in a fire" and causing her to limp. A man yells at a young man and says, "They are not human anymore." A character says, "Banks are the devil." We hear several radio news reports of killings as a group of bandits make their way from state to state. A man asks another man, "How many bullets you got in you?" and the other man replies, "Maybe 16"; and the first man says, "You can't pass bullets like kidney stones." A man tells a story about his son having stolen a chicken. A man tells a story about when he was 16 his boss asked him to kill another man, the boy refused and the boss shot him in the head and the back; the boy returned to the boss later and shot him dead. A man talks about his son being an outlaw and that the authorities are "gonna hang him." A man asks another man if it's true that he and another man had killed 50 men; the other man says that they had killed 50 men in one night. A man tells a story about as a Texas Ranger, along with other officers, rode into a camp of sleeping bandits and shot them all before they woke up; he goes on to say that he shot a man riding a mule 6 times before realizing that it was a 13-year-old boy.
 A boy throws empty glass bottles into the air for a man to use as target practice; the man misses all but one and that one does not break. A man takes target practice and misses the target every time. A man shoots an automatic gun that shoots many holes in a target and the tree it is mounted on. A man buys many high powered guns and ammunition and we see store clerks helping him load the weapons into the back seat of his car. A man is shown with a jagged scar on the back of his neck.
 We see a few scenes of people and families living out of their cars and in squalor. A small boar toddles toward a man until another man whistles and the boar stops (trained like a guard dog). A man urinates in a bar restroom we see and hear the trickle. A man urinates against a tree (we hear the trickle). A man urinates in an alley (we hear and see nothing). Several references are made to the frequency that a man needs to urinate. A man says, "Nature calls," as he leaves a bar.


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The Highwaymen LANGUAGE 4

 - 6 scatological terms, 6 anatomical terms, 26 mild obscenities, 1 derogatory term for African-Americans, name-calling (Robin Hoods, cold blooded killers, old man, useless, has been, vaqueros, G-Men, fool, hard lady, peacock, bad folks, bad boy, bad seed, little bitty thing, crooks, Fu Man Chu, superhuman, toothpick, high-flying sissy, cowboy, mad dogs, junior gangster. Granddad), exclamations (for pity sake, dang), 10 religious profanities (GD), 9 religious exclamations (e.g. Jesus, God, Amen, Judas Priest, Dear Lord, Oh Lord, Lord, Jiminy Christmas). | profanity glossary |


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The Highwaymen SUBSTANCE USE

 - Two men find empty bottles of laudanum and alcohol at a camp site. A man drinks from a flask in a couple of scenes, men and women drink and smoke in a bar scene, and a man asks another man if he is drinking. A man smokes a cigarette in his yard, a man and a woman smoke in a parked car and we see several butts on the ground, a man smokes on a porch a few times, a man smokes in a car in several scenes, a man uses chewing tobacco and spits on the ground a couple of times (we do not see residue), and a man smokes by a car in an alley.


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The Highwaymen DISCUSSION TOPICS

 - Texas Rangers, Bonnie and Clyde, celebrity, wiretaps, right and wrong, idol worship.

The Highwaymen MESSAGE

 - To catch unrepentant murderers you need lawmen who are willing to shoot without much warning.

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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