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In the Heart of the Sea | 2015 | PG-13 | - 2.5.3

In 1820 the main crew (Chris Hemsworth, Benjamin Walker, Cillian Murphy and Tom Holland) of the Nantucket whaling vessel Essex sail to break records of whale oil production. When they are attacked by a giant white whale, they lose their ship and attempt to save three boats full of survivors. Also with Ben Whishaw and Brendan Gleeson. Directed by Ron Howard. Several lines of dialogue are in Spanish with English subtitles. [2:01]

SEX/NUDITY 2 - A man finishes carving the head and nude bust of a woman including breasts and nipples on a piece of whalebone and another man asks if he is married; he replies that the carving is of his wife. A few men are shown shirtless.
 Two couples hug and kiss briefly and one of the couples kisses again for several seconds.
 An woman calls her husband "My Love" twice. A woman says that she is pregnant and touches her abdomen; her belly is flat and we see her toddler later.


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VIOLENCE/GORE 5 - A whale breaks up a ship by ramming it head-on (we see its large mouth and many sharp teeth) and slapping it with its giant scarred tail; men fall overboard, and a dead man floats above the camera lens in close-up, with his eyes open and his arms outspread as other men and debris float by in the background.
 Four men draw straws and the one with the short straw will be killed for food; one man draws the short straw, gives a pistol to another man and tells him to shoot, but the second man pulls the pistol away and shoots himself in the temple (we see blood spray as the man falls dead).
 A man in a boat from a whaling ship stabs four whales with harpoons and we see some blood as a giant, scarred, blotchy whale breaches in the center of the whale pod and slaps water with its tail upturning a boat and the men fall out, but regain the boat and bail out the water; the whale smashes two other boats completely, and we hear it roaring and trumpeting as men shout and it dives, then slams the whaling ship nearby and we see that it is longer than the ship; a hole in the hull causes the ship to list and we see a dead man on deck among debris and we later see the ship in flames with burning whale oil and we see the ship completely engulfed in a long shot as men in three boats salvage some supplies and wash up on a small island. A giant whale harasses boats with tail flapping that causes waves and a few men fall overboard, presumably dead.
 A man in a boat stabs a whale several times with harpoons until it goes belly up and one eye closes in close-up; before dying, the whale pulls the boat out to sea and a man yells, "He's gonna pull us under!" (we see the whale's long mouth and many sharp white teeth several times); blood gushes from a harpoon wound and the ocean water turn red near the boat as a man shouts and we see that his hands are all bloody from handling ropes attached to a harpoon.
 We see the filthy deck of a whaling ship covered in blood, gore and chunks of blubber as men haul the remains of a whale carcass aboard with red ribs and meat showing in the dark of night by firelight; a man chops up blubber in close-up and another man squeezes flesh, pours oil into a large container and pours blood into another container. After harpooning and killing a whale, we see blood spray all over the faces of a teen boy and a few men. In a sea port, we see close-ups of men chopping up octopus legs and other chunks of meat. Men in sail-equipped boats sight land and whales and we hear whale sounds come from off-screen; a giant whale breaches and a man stabs a hatchet into it (no blood is showing), but the whale escapes. A man in a boat raises a trident harpoon to stab a giant whale that has a harpoon stuck in its head above one eye, and then lowers his weapon and a man in another boat shouts, "Why didn't you kill him?"
 Whaling survivors in a boat at sea for months look thin, sunburned and sick; one man dies and another man prepares to toss him overboard until another man tearfully instructs the crew to prepare the man to be eaten; we hear that they cut the dead man open, removed organs and flesh, then sewed him up, tossed him overboard and they ate the heart first; we are told that they repeated the procedure whenever another man died. Men in three sail-equipped boats lose weight after several days pass and they burn in the sun (some have red, raw wounds from severe sunburn); one man becomes ill, lying on the bottom of a boat, but he says he is OK. Men in three sail-equipped boats after a shipwreck sail away from South America and one man raises a pistol to the first mate as another man points a rifle at the gunman, but both men lower their weapons. Four men are left behind on a small island and three of them are rescued months later (we hear that one man died). Men in two boats are shown to be dehydrated and unable to speak, severely sunburned, and emaciated as they drift into a harbor where church members stare at them, having prayed for their safe whale hunt. A scar runs down the side of a man's face from whaling accidents. The captain of a whaling ship has lost an arm to a giant whale (his jacket sleeve is pinned up) and says the whale also took six of his crew members.
 A man orders a teen boy to scrape off the last of the oil from inside a whale carcass and that if the boy refuses, he has to sleep inside the carcass; the boy squeezes through gore in the blow hole, slides through gore and torn flesh and falls into a puddle of slime, oil, and blood as the scene ends; inside the animal, the boy bites on a piece of rope to keep from vomiting, but gags nonetheless (he does not vomit). A captain steers directly into a storm to test his crew; a young teen boy becomes sea sick and the first mate grabs him and holds him by one foot over the railing and then brings him back to the deck and the boy vomits brown chunky material on their shoes. A man eats raw, slimy eggs in close-up and another man eats a small raw fish. Several men find human skeletons in a cave and one man cries alone in a cave.
 Three rainstorm scenes feature black skies and heavy clouds, high winds, with tall waves that buffet a sailing ship and large boats in close-up, with heavy rain, thunder and lightning; a large sailing ship and a boat suffer damage and require repair after the storms and few men fall to the deck of the ship and suffer some facial bruising and cuts to the forehead or temple (we see some narrow streaks of blood). A man climbs ropes high into a rigging and cuts loose a trapped sail with a knife. We see a giant whale under water as a ship breaks apart and six men fall into the sea in a flashback.
 A husband and his wife argue about his work in the whaling industry and she cries. A man and his employer's argue over his title and pay. Two ship's officers disagree and argue several times, raising their voices and often shouting at each other. Several whaling ship scenes feature two dozen or more men shouting loudly above the noise of the sea and whether to ready the ship to sail or to adjust sails. A woman says a female neighbor lost two men to death in the whaling industry. A man says about another man, "He would watch his own brother die." Two men and a ship's owners argue about a wrecked ship and one of the men refuses to lie about the damage, stating that insurance fraud is wrong. At an inquiry hearing, a ship's captain states that the ship was wrecked by a whale and several men were killed; this creates an uproar as the scene ends. We hear that a man went out to sea looking for a whale, but never found it.


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LANGUAGE 3 - 1 possible scatological term, 2 anatomical terms, 7 mild obscenities, name-calling (fool, greenhorn, monster), 9 religious profanities (GD), 7 religious exclamations (e.g. May God Help Us All, May God Have Mercy, Oh Father, By Everlasting God, God Be With You, Amen, With God's Grace).


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SUBSTANCE USE - Two men take turns pouring wine and whiskey from decanters and a dark bottle into small cups and drink four times, two men drink wine and a third man refuses alcohol at a ship's meal, a man holds onto a bottle of wine or whiskey in a boat and on an island (he never drinks it), a man drinks whiskey from a small glass in his ship's office, and three men drink small cups of wine at a table at a dock. A man holds a whalebone pipe in his mouth aboard a ship (he does not smoke).


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DISCUSSION TOPICS - Social status, greed, business ethics, snobbery, whaling, damaging the environment, danger, survival, vengeance, obsession, cannibalism, honesty, determination, courage, sacrifice, cooperation, friendship, respect, justice, Moby Dick.

MESSAGE - No industrial business or profit is worth the cost of losing many lives.

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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