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Meek's Cutoff | 2011 | PG | - 2.3.3

In 1845, during the early days of the Oregon Trail, several settlers (Michelle Williams, Paul Dano, Will Patton and Zoe Kazan) are lead by a frontiersman (Bruce Greenwood), but when they find themselves stranded in the Oregon desert, they soon become desperate. Directed by Kelly Reichardt. [1:44]

SEX/NUDITY 2 - A man's bare back and chest are visible throughout the movie, and a portion of the side of his buttocks is visible with a loincloth covering the majority of his buttocks.
 A woman asks a man if he "has a woman" and the man makes a crude remark implying he has had relationships with Native Americans. A man jokingly asks a woman if she is flirting with him and she responds that she is not attracted to the man.


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VIOLENCE/GORE 3 - A man's hands are bound and a rope is tied around his waist as two men on horseback lead him (a bloody cut is seen on the man's temple and we later see the cut, and blood dried and caked to his temple).
 A man punches another man on the top of the head. A man acts like he is about to strike another man. A man kicks a wagon. A man throws a plate at a woman's feet.
 A woman is startled when she sees a man, she runs away and fires two shots into the air to alert several other men.
 A man holds another man at gunpoint, shouting that he will kill him; a woman holds the gunman at gunpoint, warning him to drop his gun, and the man does so and walks away.
 A man falls to the ground, his face is sunken and he is unresponsive (he is later seen unharmed).
 On multiple occasions we hear a man telling several others violent stories: A story that Native Americans will jump out of the darkness and slit throats or will approach a group of people and kill all of them; that Native Americans had cut off a man's eyelids, buried him in sand up to his shoulders and let him die staring at the sun; that he and a group of men had chased a group of people into a river and then sat on the banks and shot the people as they surfaced for air; that Native Americans will skin people while they are still alive; that a man had shot a bear, the bear then ripped off the man's scalp, and the man killed the bear and then ate it; and that it took three men to kill a man. A boy reads a Bible story out loud to a man and a woman about how people would receive skins of animals as needed and that people would "return" to heaven, implying they had died.
 A woman is awakened by people shouting; she discovers a woman and two men arguing about a man tied to a wagon, and the woman is shouting that the man tied to the wagon will kill them. A man shouts at another man. A woman tells another woman that three men are discussing if they should hang a man to death. A man tells a woman that if there is blood to be shed, that he will shed his fair share. A man tells another man that his first wife had died.
 A drip of mucus is seen hanging from a woman's nose. A man spits out a mouthful of food, and we see the chewed-up food leaving his mouth. A man belches loudly and a woman makes a disgusted face.


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LANGUAGE 3 - 5 mild obscenities, 3 derogatory racial remarks, name-calling (vanity, slave traders, welcher, ignorant, plain evil, fool, heathens, savage), 4 religious exclamations.


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SUBSTANCE USE - A man smokes a pipe.


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DISCUSSION TOPICS - The Oregon Trail, dishonesty, the human spirit, Native Americans, racial slurs, life in the 1840's, disappointment, bartering, discovering gold.

MESSAGE - Life in the uncharted territories of North America was very hard in the 1840s.

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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