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John Carter | 2012 | PG-13 | - 2.6.4

John Carter, a Civil War veteran (Taylor Kitsch) is mysteriously transported to Mars where he becomes immersed in the conflict between the various nations of the planet. When he meets a princess (Lynn Collins), he vows to help against her enemies. Also with Willem Dafoe, Thomas Haden Church, Ciaran Hinds, Samantha Morton, Daryl Sabara, Mark Strong and Dominic West. Directed by Andrew Stanton. [2:12]

SEX/NUDITY 2 - Human fighting uniforms and daily wear for men and women include short skirts, togas, or loincloths that reveal partial buttocks, leather strips that cover women's breasts reveal cleavage, and men's bare chests are shown as well as bare abdomens of both men and women. One man is bare-chested throughout the film and wears a loincloth. A Harem scene shows several women in floor length gowns that are slit up the front to the top of the thighs, with a cutout at the waistline that bares flesh and deep v-necks that reveal cleavage.
 A princess is forced into an arranged marriage with an evil prince, but she loves another man. A man proposes to a woman and she accepts; they marry and kiss briefly.


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VIOLENCE/GORE 6 - Shape-shifters are male, bald, float in the air, and threaten the people of four warring factions; they shock many individuals with blue lightning that they emit from their hands and their victims are thrown into walls and rocks, and they change appearance, taking on the form of males, females, old, young, etc. as they spy on and threaten people in a sinister manner. Some aliens have large tusks projecting from the corners of their lower jaws and become entangled with each other during several arguments. The shape-shifters travel in a huge ship that uses many drilling legs on land to drain resources. Hundreds of reptilian eggs hatch slimy reptilian babies with 4 arms.
 Throughout the film four different civilizations on Mars, two human and two reptilian humanoid, war with one another: a dozen sword fights end in large piles of dead reptilian bodies with scratches and cuts (but little blood, except on a few swords), and we see men and women in hand-to-hand combat with swords and knives, using martial arts kicks, punches and throws; when moving toward a city they ride rhino-like beasts that have 6 or 8 legs, charging and raising sand clouds, and in three battles flying ships with glass feathers attack humans and aliens on the ground, shooting them with cannons and rifles (we see people fall, but no blood is visible).
 A man kills two alien apes using a long chain with a rock at the end and a sword: one of the apes swallows a female alien that fell into the area and another female alien helps the fight by throwing her spear into the shoulder of an ape (we see lot of blood on the shoulder); the human falls under the last ape, but cuts up through him with a sword, and we see a gash spurting blue blood (the human is covered in blue blood).
 A sinister man wearing black clothing follows another man, walks up behind him, shape-shifts into a bald man wearing a metallic robe, pulls a knife and we hear a gunshot as the stalker falls off screen, presumably dead.
 A man is chained several times to rocks, choked by a reptilian humanoid, and raised off the ground by his throat, but escapes each time. In a holding cell, a reptilian- humanoid and a man argue, and the reptilian collapses because guards have beaten him and he is severely bruised; the two are sent into an arena to fight two giant white apes with long fur, 6 legs and tusks; as they enter the arena they see the dried out bodies of humans and aliens that have fought there before, each pinned to the ground with a long spear.
 A disillusioned veteran gets into several fights in a general store: shots are fired but no one is struck, three soldiers overpower the vet and put him in a stockade cell where he punches anyone that approaches the cell, spits blood on the floor and urinates (we see the stream); the vet grabs one soldier that approaches his cell, chokes him, steals the keys and escapes on a stolen horse, soldiers chase him until a band of Apaches stops them, a man is wounded by gunfire (we see some blood) and the vet carries him to a cave.
 In a fight scene, a man jumps continually over a horde of aliens killing them all with his sword (we see little blood on his sword) and dead bodies pile on top of him; when he is uncovered he has a bloody nose and a few scrapes on his face. A man is shot in the buttocks and he shouts, but heals quickly (no blood is shown). Humans kill an alien with a punch and another alien says, "You killed him with one blow. You will fight for us." Adult reptilian humanoids fight over babies as they are hatched, grabbing them to keep, punching each other and stealing babies (no one is seriously harmed).
 We see a mausoleum behind a mansion and in flashbacks a man is shown digging graves, covering his dead daughter's legs with dirt and pounding a black cross into the gravesite. We hear that a man died suddenly in his study; in a flashback, we see him lying on the floor, and we see his body being carried into a mausoleum and placed on a slab (we hear that he was not embalmed). We see a man's body being carried into a mausoleum. A man experiences several flashbacks of his wife and young daughter and he mourns their death (he wears both his and his wife's wedding rings).
 A reptilian female is covered with scars and we see her branded as punishment (she gasps) because she is too independent; she receives a warning that there is no more room for brands and next time she will be executed.
 A man and his daughter scream loudly at each other about the future of their community. A man says that he used curare to fake his own death. A shape-shifter tells a human that all civilizations evolve into constant war and die, so shape-shifters manage civilizations and drain the resources at the point of a civilization's death.
 Several scenes show blue electricity in matrices in a cave, or around human legs or forearms, sparking and sometimes knocking people down, though without resultant marks or wounds. In a science lab, a large machine that projects blue-white energy explodes when an alien shape shifter sends his own blue energy into it; no one is harmed.
 A man and some aliens learn to fly one-seater aircraft, bouncing off the ground, grazing walls, scaring a crowd that runs off screaming and crashing through the walls of a wedding ceremony (no one is hurt).
 After touching an amulet that radiates blue-white energy, a man finds himself on a different planet and cannot walk; he falls on his face repeatedly, causing bruises and then learns to jump great heights in the lower gravity. Throughout the film a man jumps over obstacles, like bands of warriors, tall buildings and rock formations. A shape-shifter delivers a blue shock wave to a man and sends him to Earth; the man comes to in a cave, lying covered in filth and dust, groans in pain and slowly walks out and away.
 Apaches are fearful of a large spider carved above a cave entrance.


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LANGUAGE 4 - 2 scatological terms, 11 mild obscenities, exclamations (shut up), name-calling (loon, inferior species, idiot, fool, worm, monster, madman, liar, flying monkey, Professor, Earthman), stereotypical references to Mars, men, women, aliens, class, differences, soldiers, war veterans, politics, Native Americans, whites, spiritual priests, 2 religious profanities, 6 religious exclamations.


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SUBSTANCE USE - We hear that a man took curare to fake his death. A bar in a general store sells bottles of beer and shots of whiskey and four men are shown drinking, a captured man on Mars drinks a food beverage that causes him to hallucinate distorted images and he passes out, and two couples in marriage ceremonies drink a holy blue beverage which may or may not be alcoholic.


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DISCUSSION TOPICS - Fantasy and reality, space travel, extraterrestrial life, history, war, different races and beliefs, family, convictions, justice.

MESSAGE - Avoid prejudices and take up a cause you can be passionate about.

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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