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A Mighty Heart | 2007 | R | - 4.4.6

While working in Pakistan in 2002, journalist Daniel Pearl (Dan Futterman) disappears the night before he and his wife Mariane Pearl (Angelina Jolie) are scheduled to leave for home. When a terrorist group claims to have kidnapped him, and begins threatening his life if their demands are not complied with, the events spark an international effort to find him. Based on Mariane Pearl's memoir and based on actual events. Also with Archie Panjabi, Irrfan Khan, Adnan Siddiqui, Alyy Khan and Denis O'Hare. Directed by Michael Winterbottom. [1:43]

SEX/NUDITY 4 - A husband and wife lie in bed together, they kiss, the man moves on top of her and it is implied that they have sex (we see his bare back while she holds him tightly).
 A pregnant woman is shown in bed with her husband (both are fully clothed) and with her bare belly showing; he caresses and talks to her pregnant belly and the man and the woman kiss.
 A woman bathes in a bubble bath with only her head and bare belly visible. A bare-chested man is shown from the waist up, hanging from the ceiling by his wrists. A brief shot of nightclub dancing is shown as part of a flashback, in which a woman lifts her skirt above her knees and her husband watches and admires her.
 A woman screams during labor and childbirth and we see the baby emerging between her legs (we see her bare thighs) and covered with blood and goo.
 Two men discuss a medical book which says that retention of urine can lead to contractions in pregnant women, and they yell, "Don't hold it in!" to the pregnant woman in the next room; one of the men asks what it says about breast feeding.


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VIOLENCE/GORE 5 - We see the badly beaten and mutilated face and body of a man in a morgue and another man opens his mouth in an effort to identify him.
 A man is shown hanging from his wrists, presumably nude, while being questioned, and the man quivers and whimpers.
 A man walking along a street is grabbed by police and taken to a cell where he sits and is slapped in the face. A man is arrested by police and struggles, he's carried out, one officer holding each of his arms, as he thrashes back and forth. Police break into the home of a man, they take the man out and gunfire is exchanged (no bodies or injuries are shown; the scene is chaotic and it is hard to discern what else is going on). A man is carried out of a building by police, screaming "God is great!" repeatedly. There are scenes of people being arrested forcibly.
 Several men sit in a room watching a tape of a man's execution (they react with disgust) and we are told that the man was beheaded. A woman imagines the torture and murder of her husband (we do not see anything).
 We see photographs of a man with chains on his wrists, and another with a man holding a gun to the man's head.
 A television is shown playing news clips depicting inhumane conditions faced by Guantanamo Bay prisoners: several prisoners are shown being handled by guards and a message from kidnappers states that their hostage will be subjected to the same inhumane treatment unless the conditions in Guantanamo change; if they do not, the kidnappers threaten to kill the hostage. There's footage of Middle Eastern warfare, which includes bombs, explosions, missiles being launched and troops in combat.
 A woman is told that her husband has been killed, she screams for a long period of time and is told that he was beheaded and that there was no question that it was him. We hear that a man's body was cut into 10 pieces. We hear that after trying to escape a man was chained to the motor of a car as a method of torture. Men are told over the phone that a man's body has been found and that it is in the morgue. An official makes a remark that he'd like to "hang them up by their feet and beat them with sticks." A man is warned by several people to be careful when meeting with another man and that as long as he is in a public place he'll be fine. Remarks are made about purifying Islam through violence. There are discussions of deplorable treatment of detainees by Americans. There are discussions of violent acts: The bombing of the Word Trade Center, the 9/11 attacks, etc. We read that several people were sentenced to lengthy jail terms, and one was hanged.
 A woman screams during labor and childbirth and we see the baby emerging between her legs and covered with blood and goo. A pregnant woman grimaces and complains of pain.
 A voiceover mentions a religious tradition that involves every family sacrificing an animal and cutting it into three pieces, and a man is shown holding a knife against a goat's neck (we do not see the animal being killed).
 A man is pushed down into a street, he gets up and is OK. Police search through a woman's home after her husband has not returned from a meeting and she becomes increasingly uncomfortable with the invasion of their privacy. A wife worries about the whereabouts of her husband when he does not return home from a meeting.


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LANGUAGE 6 - 18 F-words, 5 scatological terms, 1 anatomical term, 1 mild obscenity, several anti-Semitic and anti-Muslim references, name-calling (psychos), 3 religious exclamations.


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SUBSTANCE USE - People drink wine at a dinner party, and a man holds a bottle of wine. Men are shown smoking cigarettes in several scenes.


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DISCUSSION TOPICS - Terrorism, , 9/11, Guantanamo Bay, Islam, Judaism, the Taliban, Al-Qaeda, Pakistan, bombing of Afghanistan, religious fundamentalism, C.I.A., misunderstanding of cultural differences, the overcrowded conditions of Karachi, torture, the fragility of joy, blame game, hope, animal sacrifice, journalism, espionage, pregnancy, marriage, criminal justice, murder, kidnapping, execution, beheadings, Anti-Semitism, xenophobia, civil rights.

MESSAGE - Pakistan is home to a vast, intricate network of terrorists, a mentality that condemns all foreigners, and a culture of brutality supported by Islam. American civil liberties should be respected.

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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