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Nebraska | 2013 | R | - 3.4.5

A grumpy old alcoholic (Bruce Dern) convinces his adult son (Will Forte) to travel 800 miles to Lincoln, Nebraska with him to claim the winnings from a sweepstakes letter. Before the end of the road trip, Dad finds himself in his boyhood hometown, trying to settle old scores. Also with June Squibb, Bob Odenkirk and Stacy Keach. Directed by Alexander Payne. [1:55]

SEX/NUDITY 3 - An elderly woman tells her son that one of his aunts began having sex (using a crude term) at age 15 and then called her sexually suggestive names; the woman goes on to say that in the past, one of the son's uncles felt her up, grabbed a handful of her boobs and wanted to get into her pants; with her back to the camera, the woman lifts her shirt and tells the uncle's headstone to look at what he is missing (we see the back of her bare calves and knees). In a motel scene we see a man wearing a T-shirt and briefs and his bare thighs and legs are shown.
 A woman moves out of an apartment after living with her boyfriend for two years and the man asks, "Are we still having sex?" and she replies, "I gotta go"; he says, "We can't be together unless we're married?" and she replies that they need to do something different from living together and she leaves; the man asks his father's advice and the older man replies that he liked to have sex (using crude terms) and his wife was Catholic, so they married, had children and "love" was never discussed.
 We hear that a man committed a rape and must do community service as punishment; the man's mother says that it's sexual assault, not rape. An elderly woman tells her son that a man from her youth was always trying to get into her bloomers; her son asks, "Is everyone in town trying to seduce you?" and she replies that the men in their small town grow up looking at the butts of cows and pigs and when they see a real woman, they chafe in their pants. A woman tells another woman that a neighbor is an old cow and "knocked up" (pregnant). A woman says that an old boyfriend of hers married another woman, because she would not allow him to "round the bases." A man says that another man (a married man) was having sex (using a crude term) with "some half-breed down at the reservation" because divorce was a sin back then.


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VIOLENCE/GORE 4 - A man walks up to another man, stares into his eyes, turns around, then turns back and punches the man to the floor (we see the man later with a large bruise on his cheek). Two men at a family reunion start a slapping fight over money when an elderly woman breaks up the fight by shouting that the whole family is a bunch of vultures demanding money from an old man who has none; later, two cousins wear black knit masks and jump the elderly man and his son outside a bar at night and a brief struggle causes no injuries, but the cousins steal a sweepstake letter from the elderly man and throw it away.
 A drunken elderly man enters a motel room at night in the dark, stumbles and falls; the man's adult son awakens, finds him lying on the floor with a blood on his forehead, runs to the bathroom and applies a wet cloth to his father's head; the camera cuts to a clinic where a doctor stitches up the gash shut in close-up and a large bandage is seen on the man's head in several scenes.
 An elderly man attempts to walk onto a highway when a sheriff stops and picks him up; the man's adult son picks him up at the sheriff's station and the two argue about taking a trip; the elderly man's wife shouts at him and calls him names when he returns home and also criticizes their son; the three of them continue to argue throughout the film, sometimes loudly and the wife threatens to put her husband into a nursing home. An elderly woman tells her husband that he is sick in the head and stubborn as a mule; she shouts at her adult son in several scenes, complaining that she does all the work in the family and that no one ever helps; she also says that her husband needs to go to a nursing home. Two men argue about drinking for a few minutes. An elderly man threatens a younger man in a restroom, saying that he had better receive some money from the younger man's family or he will take legal action.
 An elderly man becomes dizzy and leans against a car parked on a street; his adult son helps him to a seated position on the steps of an abandoned store when the man passes out and his son becomes alarmed, and then drives him to the local hospital; in the middle of the night, the son wakes up in a chair beside his father's hospital bed to find him missing; the son runs out of the room and drives along a street, where he finds his father with the hospital gown under his shirt, walking and stumbling in an attempt to walk to another city. An elderly man is consistently disheveled and unshaven; he walks somewhat stooped over and often becomes confused.
 Visiting his childhood home that is in disrepair and crumbling, an elderly man says that his parents whipped him every time they found him in their bedroom, but that they can't whip him anymore. An elderly woman tells her disheveled husband that he looks like he is dead; she asks him and her adult son to drive her to the cemetery where she points out graves, saying that a woman died of cancer, a two-year-old boy died of scarlet fever and a teen woman died in a car accident. We hear that an elderly man who was an army mechanic in the Korean War was shot down in a transport plane.
 While on a road trip an elderly man stands by the side of the road and urinates in two scenes; we see streams of urine hit the ground. A man helps his elderly father find his lost partial plate along a railroad track and the older man places it back into his mouth without cleaning it.
 We hear that a man committed a rape and must do community service as punishment; the man's mother says that it's sexual assault, not rape. On the news, we hear that after an accident a snowmobiler lost his legs. We hear that a female TV anchor is off work with a bad infection. A man says that he needs to take a leak.


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LANGUAGE 5 - About 2 F-words, 2 sexual references, 11 scatological terms, 3 anatomical terms, 19 mild obscenities, name-calling (moron, thief, liar, dumb cluck, stupid, pathetic, useless, bananas, drunk, losers, old cow, brats, pig, vultures), stereotypical references to senior citizens, alcoholics, adult children of alcoholics, the unemployed, small town residents, greedy relatives, the Japanese, Hispanics, Native Americans, exclamations (shut-up), 9 religious profanities (GD), 9 religious exclamations (My God, Jesus Christ, Christ, Jesus, Almighty God, Jeez, Good Lord).


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SUBSTANCE USE - Family members and old friends say that an old man is an alcoholic, a woman says that in their small town alcoholism begins early with young men because of the availability of alcohol and "other stuff," a few men and women in a bar attached to a gas station drink from beer bottles, an elderly alcoholic drinks from a beer bottle and tells his adult son that consuming beer "ain't drinking," a few men and women in five small-town bar scenes are shown drinking beer from cans as well as bottles and glasses, a diner scene shows a few older men and older women drinking from bottles of beer, two living room scenes feature three men drinking from beer cans, several older men at a large family dinner are shown drinking from beer cans and beer bottles while a younger man has a glass of wine beside his plate (he does not drink it), an elderly man drinks a beer from a bottle in a diner, a man orders a soft drink saying that he is trying to quit drinking because it is not healthy, an elderly man (an alcoholic) says to his adult son, "Have a beer with your dad, son. Be somebody" and the son orders a beer, we see a diner tabletop filled with empty beer bottles where two men have been drinking all day, an elderly man says that he is not an alcoholic because he drinks only beer and his adult son replies that he knew at age eight that he (dad) was an alcoholic, a man says that he used to find his father's stash of booze and pour it out, and a man brings a large can of beer in a brown paper bag to his elderly father to drink in the car on a trip.


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DISCUSSION TOPICS - Aging, alcoholism, dementia, family, relationships, friendship, greed, regrets, understanding, rape, reconciliation.

MESSAGE - Don't give up on your dreams, even if you are confused.

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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