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The Messenger: The Story of Joan of Arc | 1999 | R | - 3.9.6

Milla Jovovich plays Joan of Arc, a 15th century peasant girl who hears voices from God that help her lead the French in several victorious battles against the English. Also with John Malkovich, Faye Dunaway, Dustin Hoffman, Pascal Greggory, Vincent Cassel, Tchéky Karyo, Richard Ridings, Desmond Harrington, Timothy West, Christian Erickson, Mathieu Kassovitz, John Merrick and Olivier Rabourdin. [2:28]

SEX/NUDITY 3 - We see the bare shoulders of two people bathing, a nude woman's torso (her breasts are covered with flowers) and we glimpse the top of a woman's bare breasts as a man rips her shirt (see Violence/Gore below).


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VIOLENCE/GORE 9 - At least five extended battle scenes show lots of sword-fighting, punching and beating with clubs and spiked balls; we also see two men decapitated (blood spurts from their necks), a man's throat slit, men's legs and arms cut off, several impalings (one man is speared through the crotch) and many people shot with arrows (one man is pierced with lots of arrows and we see the bloody arrowheads sticking out of his chest; also, someone is shot in the chest, and eventually pulls the arrow out with some blood seeping and spurting). A man holds a woman against a wall and rips her shirt and skirt (see Sex/Nudity above); after she slaps him, he impales her (we see blood on the knife and running out of her mouth) then proceeds to rape her, with lots of moaning and thrusting (a young girl and two men witness this; we briefly see part of the scene again in a flashback). A woman tied to a stake is engulfed in flames; we see a close-up of her burning face a couple of times. A drawbridge crushes many men and hot oil is poured on some soldiers. A woman is kicked repeatedly by several men; they also throw her on a bed, rip off her clothes (no nudity is visible). When a girl steps toward a man, many soldiers hold knives to her neck. A man nearly crushes another's head so he can have his teeth. We see soldiers burning down a village and chasing villagers. Soldiers push a burning battering ram through a castle's door and start several fires; also flaming arrows shot into a castle start some fires. A cannonball hits a building and crumbles one of its walls; also, during battle, several men are hit with cannonballs and thrown backwards into a mound. Men climbing ladders are pushed and fall onto the ground. A group of wolves run toward a girl and look like they're going to attack her, but they run past her. We see lots of people with bloody cuts on their faces, blood on armor, a few bloody cloths on wounds and lots of blood smeared on hands and faces. Several times we see blood running down a man's face (he's supposed to be Jesus). We see lots of corpses (some of which are bloody) in a few post-battle scenes; in one scene we see a bloody head and several other bloody dismembered body parts strewn on the ground (we also see birds and a wolf pulling flesh from the corpses). We see a badly decomposing corpse. A girl drinks wine that looks like blood when it spills down her face and neck. Blood seeps onto a on a map.


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LANGUAGE 6 - About 10 F-words, many mild obscenities and some insults.


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DISCUSSION TOPICS - Religion, visions, 15th century battles, martyrs, death, revenge, betrayal.

MESSAGE - Following your destiny can be dangerous.

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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