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The Missing | 2003 | R | - 4.8.3

Set in New Mexico in 1886, a woman (Cate Blanchett) and her two young daughters do their best to survive. When her elder daughter disappears, her companion is murdered and the local officials are not interested in helping her, she turns to her estranged father (Tommy Lee Jones) who had left his family to live with the Apaches when she was very young. Also with Evan Rachel Wood, Jenna Boyd and Aaron Eckhart. Directed by Ron Howard. [2:10]

SEX/NUDITY 4 - A man and a woman kiss, and the man begins to unfasten her corset. A man tries to pull a girl's pants down to rape her, but is stopped. We see a nude dead man (we see his bare back, buttocks and legs). After drinking a lot of alcohol (or laudanum) a man says to another man, "you're starting to look good to me." A man asks another man if he "still fools around with a woman."


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VIOLENCE/GORE 8 - A man's dismembered body dangles from a tree wrapped in a calf's skin (we see his tortured face). A man is shot in the back, he lunges after other men, he's stabbed in the back, he continues fighting, and he is dragged, slashed with knives, stabbed and beaten in the head with a club (we see him dead with blood splattered on the rocks around him). We see a nude dead man with bloody slashes and arrows sticking out of his back. A woman shoots herself in the head. A man attacks another man with a chicken claw and we see it piercing his skin (the claw has been poisoned with snake venom). A man finds a dead man with a slash on his face and blood dripping down his neck (we see their dead bodies later). A man is jumped on and slashed by another man. A man is grabbed off a horse, another man blows dust in his face, he's surrounded by many men who beat him (we see him with a bloody mouth and head), he's rolled down a hill and left for the vultures. A man blows dust into a man's eyes, they begin to bleed and he cannot see (we see him dead later). A man hits a man in the chest with a hatchet and another man in the head. A man tries to pull a girl's pants down to rape her but stops when another man hits him on the head. It is inferred that a woman was raped and became pregnant. A woman is grabbed and slammed into a stone wall, and the man who attacked her is stabbed in the back (he struggles to remove the knife from his back). A man hits another man with a club, they wrestle on the ground, they fall over a cliff, one crashes and crunches into rocks and lands hard on the ground below and we see him with a pool of blood collecting around his head (we see him later with twisted limbs), and the other lies motionless on the rocks (we see him wrapped in a blanket and slung over a horse later). A woman pours alcohol on a man's wounded shoulder (he winces) and we see her stitching up a hole (it's bloody). A girl is kicked and hit with sticks by several men. A baby lies dead and her mother screams and insists that she's still alive. A dead man's body rides on a horse, people shoot at him and others begin to shoot back and forth, a girl runs and she is chased. Three people are chased on horseback: two are shot and fall off their horses (we see one with an arrow sticking out of his shoulder). Flaming arrows are shot into a camp: a horse is hit, it shrieks and falls to the ground. A man is trampled by horses (we see his body being tossed around). A horse is shot, falls down and a girl is trapped briefly under it. A girl describes hearing a man scream while he was being tortured. A man is held at gunpoint, he runs, he's shot at, and he jumps through a window shattering it. A man throws a man into a wall, another man shoots a gun into the air and then holds the gun on one of the men. A horse throws a girl and she falls to the ground, while water rushes through the pass where she was riding, filling it; the girl and a man are swept by the current, her foot gets stuck in a rock, and the water rises over her head before she is freed. A girl is pulled off a horse and thrown onto the ground. A woman climbs on top of a woman, another woman and a girl help to hold her down, and the woman on top of her uses a pliers-like tool to pull a tooth (a bit of blood sprays on the woman's chin). A human heart is dug out of the sand near a man's dead body. We hear that a girl was kidnapped and then hear about Apache Indian raids on homesteads. A girl guts a deer (we see blood on her hands and hear squishing when the blade is inserted into the abdomen). We see a skinned calf. A girl skins a deer (we see blood on her hands and hear squishy sounds). A cow lies dead in the snow, a man fires a rifle to scare away a leering coyote and we hear that there has been trouble with coyotes killing steers. A woman screams in terror when she sees her daughter's clothing on the ground near where two men had been brutally murdered. A girl is forced to eat sand (we see her sputtering and gagging). A woman appears ill; she thrashes with a fever and has blisters on her face. We see many young women and girls gagged and tied. A woman wakes up with a start when a horse without a rider gallops past. A man talks about a woman having died from smallpox. A man does black magic with a bit of a woman's hair and we see her becoming ill. We see many live snakes hanging from a tree, a man grabs one and digs its fangs into an organ and we see venom dripping. A horse resists, snorts and appears afraid. A man has a scarred and pocked face. A girl refers to Native Americans as "savages." We see a woman sitting in an outhouse (nothing is evident other than her reaching for newspaper). A girl talks about cramping (presumably menstrual) a couple of times. A man approaches a woman, she screams and he blows dust in her face.


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LANGUAGE 3 - 1 sexual reference in Spanish (not translated), 5 scatological terms, 2 anatomical terms (1 in Spanish, not translated), 7 mild obscenities.


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SUBSTANCE USE - People drink alcohol or take laudanum.


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DISCUSSION TOPICS - Kidnapping, black magic, witchcraft, cruelty, racism, estranged fathers, selling young women for slavery or prostitution, Native American participation in the American army.

MESSAGE - We must always welcome family, regardless of past problems.

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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