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Hostiles | 2017 | R | - 1.7.5

Set in 1892: an army captain (Christian Bale) reluctantly agrees to escort a dying Cheyenne chief and his family back to his homeland in Montana. Many obstacles complicate the treacherous trip and challenge the captain's racial prejudices. Also with Rosamund Pike, Wes Studi, Jonathan Majors, John Benjamin Hickey, Scott Shepherd, Stafford Douglas, Jesse Plemons, Ben Foster, Timothée Chalamet, Adam Beach, Xavier Horsechief, Q'orianka Kilcher and Tanaya Beatty. Directed by Scott Cooper. Several lines of dialogue are spoken in an Algonquian language with English subtitles. [2:13]

SEX/NUDITY 1 - A man and a woman sleep in a tent together in a few scenes; one night the woman holds the man and caresses his face tenderly.
 Two women and a teenage girl are tied up in a camp and we see their clothes are torn (we see the bare shoulders and upper chest of one woman) and they are bloody (it may be implied that they were raped by their captors).
 A man describes another man being killed and his scrotum removed and put in his mouth.


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VIOLENCE/GORE 7 - Native Americans ride on horseback toward a house where a man arms himself and a woman with three children runs away; the man opens fire on the riders and they shoot back hitting him in the leg (blood spurts), then shooting him in the back with an arrow and one rider scalps him (we see the knife crossing the flesh and blood pours); the woman runs with the children and one young girl is shot (blood spurts), the other young girl is shot (blood splatters) and the infant in the woman's arms is shot (blood splatters). A man on horseback is shot in the shoulder (blood spurts) and he falls to the ground yelling; he is shot again and killed. A man is shot in the shoulder, he attacks another man on a horse and they wrestle on the ground until the first man is shot again in the back and falls still (he is not dead and we see his wounds being treated later). Several men with guns and knives charge into tents and we hear fighting and gunshots happening inside; one man comes out saying that another man in their party is dead and he has blood on his hands and face.
 Two men fight and wrestle in the mud until one man shoots the other in the head and runs away chased by another on horseback and the first man is shot at (we understand that he was struck). Several men on horseback threaten another group of people and gunfire is exchanged (we see blood spurt from wounds and men fall off their horses); a woman and a teen girl are shot and a man hobbles away from the scene but is caught by another man and killed with a knife (we hear the blow and see the attacker covered with blood afterwards).
 A Native American is lassoed with ropes and dragged behind a horse by several army soldiers as the man's child and wife watch and the woman screams; they are all taken to a fort where they are placed in a cell. Several men in a camp with guns patrol through the camp and point their guns into the surrounding woods; one man kicks and punches a tied woman and we hear grunting and thuds. A woman shoots a dead Native American repeatedly until the gun is empty. Two women and a teenage girl are tied up in a camp and we see their clothes are torn (we see the bare shoulders and upper chest of one woman) and they are bloody (it may be implied that they were raped by their captors).
 A woman runs through thick woods and hides under a fallen tree from Native Americans hunting for her; she is carrying her dead infant wrapped in a blanket and she and the blanket are soaked with blood. An Army officer orders a Native American off his horse and hands him a knife wanting to fight him to the death (they do not fight). An army officer orders a soldier to put chains on the hands of their Native American prisoners. Several men on horseback approach two women and a teen girl and a young boy at a river's edge; the boy is then shown running into a camp calling for his father and saying that the women had been taken.
 Two dead men are shown by a tree; one man appears to have been shot in the back and we see blood on his clothing and head while the other seems to have a self-inflicted gunshot wound in the temple and we see the wound and blood on his head and down his shirt front. Several dead and blood-covered Native Americans are shown on the ground around a tree where another hangs dead. We see a dead man on the ground with blood pooled under his head and an arrow sticking out of his back. A woman is found inside a burned out cabin with her two young daughters lying dead (covered with a blanket and we later see them on horses backs as they are led away from the cabin) and her dead infant wrapped in a blanket in her arms; the woman seems to be in shock. Native Americans on horseback steal several horses from a ranch and set a cabin on fire. Several men and women on horseback ride past dead bodies and burned out wagons (we see arrows and bloody wounds on the bodies). An injured man is shown with a bloody bandage on his shoulder in a few scenes. A dead man is shown with a bloody head wound as another man covers him with a blanket. A dead man is shown on a platform as his family performs a death ceremony; we later see his body wrapped in cloth and buried with stones piled on top of the grave..
 A woman frantically digs in the ground with her hands trying to prepare graves for her dead family members as she yells and moans. A man falls to his knees and screams, pulls out his handgun and appears to be considering suicide (he does not). A woman screams and panics when she sees a Native American family in the company of the Army personnel that she has joined. A woman takes a handgun and walks to the graves of her family members; she kneels and seems to be considering suicide until a man takes the gun away from her.
 A man describes another man being killed and his scrotum removed and put in his mouth. A man describes a prisoner as having "chopped up a family and their horse." A man describes an attack when a Native American put his war lance in another man's belly and the first man was trying to "hold his guts in." A man talks about another man cutting a Native American from "end to end." A man describes another man as having been cut from stem to stern. A man is described as being "eat up with the cancer." A man says of Native Americans, "They're like ants, they just keep coming." A man says, "There wasn't enough left of them to fill a slop bucket," about a party of men murdered by Native Americans. A man says, "I'm not fit," that he suffers from melancholia and that they took away his guns. An army officer is threatened with court martial. A man says, "I hate 'em." A man says of a woman, "She's broken." A man says of God, "He has been blind to what is going on out here." A woman talks about "God's rough ways." A man says, "I've never killed a man before. That was my first," while another man says that he killed his first when he was 14 and then, "If you do it enough you get used to it." A woman talks about the Native American population and their oppression; she goes on to talk about how they are suffering from sickness and starvation. An Army officer tells another officer that he will hang him from a tree if he ever falls asleep on watch again. A man talks about "slaughtering them Reds," at Wounded Knee.


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LANGUAGE 5 - About 7 F-words, 2 scatological terms, 17 mild obscenities, name-calling (Red, savages, cutthroat, bastards, butcher, pasty face, belligerents, rattle snake people, demons, Frenchy, animals, retched savages), 5 religious profanities (GD), 7 religious exclamations (Oh Dear God, Lord Willing, Good Lord, Oh God, Jesus, a man says a prayer over the graves of a woman's family members).


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SUBSTANCE USE - Two men drink Bourbon at a table in an army fort, a man drinks whiskey in an office, and two men drink liquor and smoke cigars after a dinner. A man smokes a cigarette outside a camp, men are shown smoking cigars or cigarettes in a few outdoor scenes, and a man chews (apparently tobacco) and spits on the ground.


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DISCUSSION TOPICS - Westward expansion, Native American reservations, humanity, kindness, understanding, murder of family members, Comanche, Cheyenne, faith, grief, love, weakness, finality of death, Wounded Knee.

MESSAGE - Bigotry can give way to tolerance when you get to know people. Native Americans were extremely ill-treated by settlers and some settlers were violently dispatched by groups of Native Americans.

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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