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A Private War | 2018 | R | – 7.7.8

Why is “A Private War” rated R? The MPAA rating has been assigned for “disturbing violent images, language throughout, and brief sexuality/nudity.” The Kids-In-Mind.com evaluation includes full female nudity, a sex scene and a couple of implied sex scenes, almost perpetual dread of war violence, several violent encounters with bloody results that include children dying and shown dead, and nearly 40 F-words. Read our parents’ guide below for details on sexual content, violence & strong language.”


content-ratingsThe story of the real life of intrepid Marie Colvin (Rosamund Pike), one of the most celebrated war correspondents of recent times, who reported on violent conflicts across the globe from Sri Lanka to Syria. Also with Jamie Dornan, Stanley Tucci, Tom Hollander, Greg Wise, Faye Marsay, Nikki Amuka-Bird and Alexandra Moen. Directed by Matthew Heineman. Several lines of dialogue are spoken in Arabic and Sinhalese or Tamilese with English subtitles and others that are not translated. [Running Time: 1:50]

A Private War SEX/NUDITY 7

 – A man and a woman are shown in a dark room; we see them both in silhouette and the man’s chest and abdomen are seen as the woman straddles him on a bed (she wears a bra and we see her abdomen and a glimpse of buttocks); they kiss and lie back, we hear moaning and see brief thrusting. A man and a woman kiss passionately as they enter an apartment (sex is implied) and we see them later with the woman in bed wearing a short negligee (her bare legs and cleavage are shown) and the man wears a T-shirt and boxers as he climbs on top of her and they talk and kiss. A fully nude woman stands facing a mirror (we see her bare breasts, abdomen, back and buttocks) and she steps into a bathtub (we see her bare breasts, abdomen and genital area) with a shirtless man (we see his bare chest); he pulls her toward him and he kisses her wounded eye (sex is implied). A man and woman are shown in an apartment in the morning after a party and it is implied that they have had sex.
 A man and a woman flirt at a party and there are references to one-night stands and sexual adventures. A woman says to a man after they have had sex, “We should get married again,” (they are divorced) and that she wants to try to have a baby again (she had had two miscarriages).
 A woman showers and we see her bare back to the waist. A woman is shown wearing pants and a bra while talking to a man (we see cleavage and abdomen).


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A Private War VIOLENCE/GORE 7

 - Several trucks speed along a road as explosions blow up around them, they stop and people get out running toward a building as they are shot at. Several Humvees with gunmen on the roofs speed along desert roads until they come upon a truck that has flipped on its side after being struck by an IED: we see several bodies on the road, including two boys with bloody wounds on their heads and women cry nearby. Two men and a woman are stopped at a roadblock in Iraq, they are pulled out of their truck, searched and questioned about what they are doing there and they are eventually released. A woman trips over the body of a man (we see blood on his face and clothing) and gunmen shoot at her as she walks away (it's part of a nightmare flashback). We see a young woman lying on a bed with blood on her hands and wrists (she appears dead) several times in a woman's nightmares and flashbacks.
 A woman flanked by men with guns walks through a wooded area and along a dirt road; gunfire erupts killing several men (blood is not evident) and an explosion throws the woman to the ground (we see her bloody face and eye and she is kicked in the head). People run out of a building and onto a road where explosions blow sand and rubble all around them; one large explosion throws them to the ground, they try to pull themselves to cover and another explosion throws them again and 2 of the 3 people are shown dead with rubble piled around them and another person has a very bloody leg wound (we hear that he survived).People are told that an assault is coming and that they have to leave a place where they are hiding; many people scramble out and a few turn back and stay as explosions send rubble down around them and gunfire rings out. People run through caves after being shot at and we see people huddled inside.
 Wounded people on stretchers are carried through a bombed out building to a makeshift clinic; we see a man on the floor with many bloody bandages piled around him and blood on his clothing (the man is dead and we see bloody and charred skin on his face and chest) while a man attends to another injured person on a table. A woman is taken to a hospital after being caught in an explosion and she thrashes and panics as she says, "I can't see"; we see blood on her face and clothing. A teen boy moans and is shown with bloody wounds as a man attends to his injuries; a child with a bloody wound is brought in and a man performs CPR on him to no avail (the child's parents pray and cry). During a flashback a woman remembers seeing a severed leg and a pile of bloody body parts on a wall and we hear gunshots and explosions.
 A large digging machine digs up the ground where it is rumored there is a mass grave; many people gather and watch as several bodies in various stages of decay are pulled out and women shriek and cry. The dead body of a shirtless man is shown lying on a mattress on the floor as many people line up to see it (we see blood on the body) and celebrate that he is dead.
 A young man is held on his knees at gunpoint and questioned and he confesses that he was forced to rape a girl as a form of punishment for an uprising. A woman sits on the edge of a rooftop with her feet dangling over the side as a man talks to her and tries to convince her to come back inside. A woman hides in a potato truck and is taken to meet a man who will driver her through a dangerous area in Iraq. A woman wears a pad and surgical tape on her eye after an injury and she later wears an eye patch and still later nothing at all and we see that the eyelid is droopy, covering her discolored eye. A man pulls a curtain to the side to show many very sick people (including children) in a tent. We see a bombed out city with buildings in rubble from an aerial view in a couple of scenes.
 A man uses a walking stick and we hear that he has been shot three times. A man tells a woman, "If the government catches you, they will kill you," as she argues that she wants to report on the situation in Sri Lanka. A woman talks to a man about half his people starving and the other half are sick. A woman writes about the condition of bodies that were pulled out of a mass grave. A woman writes about mothers not knowing if their children will see the next morning. A man talks about watching Serbian soldiers posing with decapitated heads. A man and a woman argue. A woman talks to another woman about not being well and asks, "When did you become an alcoholic?" A man talks about being court-martialed. A woman talks about fearing growing old and fearing dying young. A man reports that the Taliban opened fire on civilians. A woman says, "If we don't face what war does, we have failed." A woman receives a text that says, "Reporters are being targeted." A woman describes a woman holding her wounded child as the child was bleeding out. A man talks about 28,000 civilians being trapped in Syria. A woman talks about her husband not coming back and that she fears for her children. A woman describes not being able to produce milk to feed her infant because of the stress she is under and that her 5 year-old-daughter was killed when a wall fell on her after a bombing. A woman describes a peaceful uprising being crushed by violence and that people are killing with impunity. We read that 500,000 Syrian civilians have been killed since 2012.
 A woman in a hospital vomits into a waste can next to her bed (we hear her gag, with no visible goo). A woman spits out a darkened tooth while brushing her teeth.


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A Private War LANGUAGE 8

 - About 39 F-words, 1 obscene hand gesture, 10 scatological terms, 4 anatomical terms, 8 mild obscenities, name-calling (pirate, sexy, stupid, grim, poor sods, rats, crusty, crazy, prize pig, creepy), 18 religious exclamations (e.g. Oh God, Oh My God, God, Jesus Christ, God Given Talent, Holy [scatological term deleted]). | profanity glossary |


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A Private War SUBSTANCE USE

 - A man talks about hiding hashish in his locker to get discharged from military service. A woman hyperventilates and tries to light a cigarette while pacing in a room and drinking from bottles of liquor, people in several party scenes are shown drinking alcohol and smoking cigarettes, people drink alcohol at a celebration, people drink alcohol at a restaurant, people drink wine with a meal, a man holds an empty bottle of beer, a woman says that the chatter in her head won't go quiet until she has a quart of vodka inside her, a man makes reference to drinking and doing "other substances," and a woman tells a man in a few scenes that he should save her a seat at the bar. A man and a woman smoke in a game-room, a woman smokes in bed, a woman smokes in nearly every scene we see her in, a man smokes in many scenes, and a woman smokes a cigarette in a restaurant where smoking is prohibited and puts it out in her food.


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A Private War DISCUSSION TOPICS

 - War correspondents, embedded reporters, Bashar al-Assad, Yasser Arafat, Muammar Gaddafi, Al-Qaeda, the Taliban, the Tamil Tigers, Syria, Palestine, Sri Lanka, Afghanistan, Libya, addiction, PTSD, equal rights, starvation, suffering, murder, torture, civil war, alcoholism.

A Private War MESSAGE

 - It can be very hard to maintain faith in humanity after covering wars.

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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