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In a Better World | 2011 | R | - 4.8.5

After the death of his mother, Christian (William Jøhnk Nielsen) moves with his father (Ulrich Thomsen) to a new Danish city where he becomes friends with Elias (Markus Rygaard), a boy who is bullied at school. After the two boys gang up on the bully, they set their sights on a violent revenge plan. Also with William Johnk Nielson, Mikawl Persbrandt and Trine Dyrholm. Directed by Susanne Bier. In Danish and Swedish and subtitled in English. [1:53]

SEX/NUDITY 4 - A man approaches a woman lying on a bed, they kiss passionately, the man climbs in bed and moments later we see the man's bare chest and back when he takes off his shirt and positions himself above the woman (it is implied they have sex). A man reaches for a woman's hand and she pulls away.
 A man makes a crude remark about the genitalia of a deceased girl as he looks at her body covered with a sheet and then remarks that another man would like to have sex with her because she is not moving. A boy asks his father, using crude language, if he had sex with another boy's mother, the man says he has not and the boy says he does not care who the man is "banging." A man tells another man and a woman to not interfere with their personal life after the man asks if they are happy in their relationship.
 We see man's bare back and upper chest as he takes off his shirt and washes his face. A portion of a man's bare upper chest is visible as he takes off his shirt to go swimming. We see a woman wearing a tank top and brief-style underwear.

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VIOLENCE/GORE 8 - We see a massive cut on a man's leg with dried and caked-on blood as well as maggots crawling from it; the man tells a doctor he does not want his leg cut off, and we see the man's leg later with glistening blood and then healing but the wound is still partially open as the doctor explains that he had a serious infection.
 We see a woman covered in blood, with blood pouring from her abdomen and a long and deep gash in her torso; a man attempts to operate on her, he shouts at two people to help him, and then tells the woman's husband that she had survived the operation but they will have to "wait and see."
 A man tells another man and a woman that he needs to operate on a girl immediately, and we see two men and a woman lift the girl (a bloody wound is seen on her torso) onto a gurney and cover her with a sheet (we are able to see a medium sized, deep, bloody gash on the girl's torso through a hole in the sheet); one of the men wipes the girl's bloody wound and we later see the man with a patch of blood on his T-shirt -- he assures the other man and woman that the girl will recover.
 Three men wearing scrubs surround a girl on a stretcher, one of the men applies pressure to the girl's chest, and we see blood caked on the girl's clothing and on the men's scrubs and gloves; one man tells the doctor applying pressure that the girl is dead and to stop trying to save her, and he pulls a blanket over her deceased body.
 A man shoves another man with a partially healed cut on his leg to the ground, the two men shout at each other and the injured man is surrounded by other men that drag him away and kick and whip him, presumably killing him.
 A boy shoves another boy to the ground and repeatedly beats him on the back, torso and head with a bicycle pump as another boy watches (the boy is bleeding from the head and we see the stream of blood on his forehead); the attacker puts a knife to the other boy's throat and threatens to kill him if he talks to anyone, and the two boys rush away as the injured boy gets to his feet slowly, coughing and crying (we later see the injured boy with scabs on his forehead and face).
 Two boys set a small bomb under a car and light the fuse, and they hide and watch as a woman and a girl approach the car; one boy rushes toward the woman and the girl and shouts for them to get away as the car explodes and flips over, the hidden boy runs toward the burning car and we see the other boy lying face-down on the ground.
 A woman grabs a boy by the neck and pushes him against a wall with her hands around his neck, and she slaps him, saying that he had killed another boy and calls him names.
 A boy throws a basketball at the face of another boy, laughing as it smashes his nose, saying the other boy should have caught it (we see a small amount of blood dripping from the boy's nose).
 A man breaks up a fight between two young boys: one of the boys tells the man that the other boy had stolen something from him and tries to punch him, the man pulls the boys apart, and another man grabs the man's shirt and pushes him back, telling him not to touch his son; he then slaps the man three times. A man confronts another man who had slapped him, he asks the man if he remembers slapping him, and the man says he does and slaps the man twice.
 A boy shoves another boy and other boys laugh, and he cups his hand over the boy's face and teases him. Several boys tease a boy, calling him names and trying to shove him out of the way as another boy watches.
 A man approaches a doctor and makes a crude remark about a deceased girl (please see the Sex/Nudity category for more details) and the doctor attacks the man, knocking him to the ground.
 Several men holding assault rifles rush into an open-air hospital where women are seen running for cover with their children and two of the men lead another man to a car at gunpoint.
 A man finds a boy standing on the edge of a tall silo, the man shouts for the boy to step back, and the man grabs the boy as it looks like he is about to jump to his death. We see several boys and girls playfully surrounding a child and laughing, as the child appears to cry.
 Two boys discuss fireworks as being dangerous, one says that they could use them to make a "huge bomb," the other says they could be used to blow up a house, and they imply that they are going to use the fireworks to injure a man that had slapped one boy's father; the boys discuss how they will use the fireworks to explode a man's car, and we then see the two boys blowing up a model lighthouse. A boy shows another boy a knife, and he hides it under his shirt after the boy acts surprised.
 A boy yells at his father and says that the man had wanted his mother to die, the man explains that he had wanted her to die because her brain was "eaten away by the cancer" and she was in pain, the two shout at each other, and the boy punches the man in the chest and rushes away. A boy shouts at his father, saying that the man was glad that the boy's mother had died. A boy shouts at a woman, he tells her he hates her and runs off. A man shouts at two boys and chases them away from his car. A woman shouts at a boy after discovering a knife he was hiding, and she confronts him asking him if he had used a knife to attack another boy. A man confronts his son, asking him if he had used a knife to attack a boy and the boy shouts back.
 A boy tells another boy that his mother had died of cancer and that her body was cremated; the other boy remarks that funerals are disgusting, and that "bodies rot and seep into the groundwater" to which the other boy says he wants to be cremated after he dies. We hear that a woman had been attacked by a man, who sliced open her abdomen to see if she was pregnant with a boy or a girl; we also hear of two other women that had died from their wounds. A man says that he has heard that another man takes bets to see what sex a child will be, and then he will "cut open" the mother to ensure the gender. A man is identified as being a person that cuts open pregnant women; two women look at the man with disgust, and one of the women says she cannot help the man because he had killed all of her children. A man tells another man that he could kill him, just as he had killed women and children. A boy tells his father that a boy is going to blow up a man's car with fireworks. A man tells a woman that her son has a large wound in his abdomen and his pulse is unsteady but they will pack his injury and try to stabilize him; we later see the boy in the hospital, his head wrapped in gauze and hooked up to an IV and monitor, and he has small abrasions on his face and arms. A boy tells another boy that he does not want to fight him. A boy asks his father if he is going to "go beat up" a man that had slapped him, and the man says he will not, because he does not want to go to jail and you should not fight back. A man and a boy discuss how people appear when they are dead; with the boy saying his mother had looked different when she was dead. A woman asks her son why he had not told her that another boy struck him, and the boy says that he had to fight back or people would think he was weak.
 A police officer questions a boy about another boy that was beaten, the boy says that he had hit a boy with a bike pump and the police officer asks the boy if he had a knife. A boy tells a man that he thought he had killed another boy (the boy is not dead). A woman tells another woman that her son had beaten up another boy, and that a knife had been involved in the fight. A boy tells his parents that he had been involved in a fight and that the police had told him that the other boy was blinded and we hear that the injured boy will have a headache and a scar on his face. A boy tells another boy that he wants to blow up a man's car and the other boy says he does not want to hurt anyone.
 A woman shouts, and rushes a girl in wheelbarrow to a hospital (we see the bloody and swollen face of the girl). A woman screams as she sees her son being carried into the hospital on a gurney, with a breathing apparatus coming from his mouth and blood is seen on his face and clothing.
 While standing in front of a casket a boy recites a poem about "Death" giving back flowers and coming through windows and an emperor falling to sleep; the boy implies that his mother had died, and the poem was his eulogy for her.
 A man looks at a photograph of a woman who appears sick; her head is bald and she is lying in bed. A boy flinches and shouts at a younger boy, telling him to stop poking the scabs on his face. A boy identifies a man as being the man that had punched his father.
 A boy plays a first-person-shooter video game. A boy looks at his bike and sees that the tires had been deflated.
 A woman jokingly tells a boy that if he lies to her she will eat him up; then playfully she wrestles him, and he angrily pulls away.

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LANGUAGE 5 - About 7 F-words and its derivatives, 4 sexual references, 2 scatological terms, 7 anatomical terms, 11 mild obscenities, 1 derogatory term for homosexuals, name-calling (ratboy, rat, mutant, sadistic little sociopath, gross, idiot, wimp, moron, wanker, "Sweden," mad, liar, monster, evil, weird man, psycho, spoiled little brat, mean, bitter), exclamations (be quiet, shut up).

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SUBSTANCE USE - A boy remarks that his injuries do not hurt because he was "given these pills." A woman warns an elderly man in a hospital bed that they have changed his medication and that he might be a bit confused.

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DISCUSSION TOPICS - Revenge, death of a parent, suicide, acting out, bullying, forgiveness, divorce, Sudan, war lords, anger, cancer, euthanasia, assisted suicide, dishonesty, London, Sweden, bomb making directions found on the Internet, sacrifice.
MESSAGE - Sometimes it takes something very serious happening to learn that revenge and violence are not the correct way to resolve a problem.
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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