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Promised Land | 2012 | R | - 1.3.7

A high-powered land management team (Matt Damon and Frances McDormand) arrives in a farming town to sell them on the idea of natural gas extraction by hydraulic fracturing (aka fracking) from their land. When some of the farmers express concern about the process, motives become muddled and the future of the project becomes unclear. Also with Rosemarie DeWitt, Kristin Slaysman, John Krasinski and Hal Holbrook. Directed by Gus Van Sant. [1:47]

SEX/NUDITY 1 - A man wakes up in a woman's home after spending the night (no sex is implied). A man flirts with a woman in several scenes. A man kisses a woman on the cheek.
 A man answers the phone thinking it is a woman and another woman responds, "No, but I'm in room 23 if you're desperate." A man asks a woman, "If I were to ask you out..." and the woman says, "I'd say yes." A woman tells a man as he is waking up with a hangover "You kissed me before you threw up the first time."


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VIOLENCE/GORE 3 - A man approaches another man in a bar and several others join him; the man acts in a threatening manner and one of the party punches the man in the face (he falls to the floor and when he stands up we see blood on his nose).
 A woman hits a man's arm when he tries to start their car (she is driving). A woman hits a man on the shoulder. A woman hits a man on the shoulder and says, "I'm proud of you." A woman holds fingers to her temple and pretends to shoot herself.
 We see photographs of dead cattle and hear people talking about the contamination of ground water due to fracking. A man does a presentation in an elementary school classroom where he pours chemicals on a model farm and then lights it on fire.
 A man's storefront window is cracked and he tells a woman that he "got in a heated discussion last night at the bar." A man talks about his family's dairy farm and that it "died." A man talks about a boy's father having died in a war. A woman talks about her father having died. A woman talks to a man and gives him an envelope with money to stop talking about what they are doing in a town and to leave. A woman talks to her teenage son over the phone and reacts to him telling her that he burned himself with an iron. A boy is shown carrying a shotgun over his shoulder. A man talks about "dying with dignity." A man is told, "You are fired." A man threatens to punch another man in the face. A man talks about the methods used for drilling for natural gas causing contamination of water sources that kills crops and livestock and makes people sick. A man talks about another man's job performance and how successful he has been "closing towns" to drill for natural gas. A man talks about selling farmers on natural gas is the farmers' only way to survive. A man offers to help another man sell his town on natural gas for money. A man say that the "potential for error is too great" with regard to fracking. A man and a woman talk at a bar and she says something about being insulted that he thinks that she can't hold her liquor. A woman tells a man as he is waking up with a hangover "You kissed me before you threw up the first time."
 A man vomits (the sequence is blurry and at a distance so not much detail is clear).


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LANGUAGE 7 - About 26 F-words (1 mouthed), 1 sexual reference, 21 scatological terms, 4 anatomical terms, 13 mild obscenities, name-calling (delusional, gross, handsome, darling, stupid, stoner buddies, bribery, insane hippie, bane of my existence, crazy, stubborn), exclamations (shut up, holy mackerel), 3 religious profanities, 19 religious exclamations.


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SUBSTANCE USE - We see wine glass being filled in a restaurant, a man orders a second bottle of wine at a restaurant meeting with another man, people in a bar drink alcohol and beer, a man and a woman talk at a bar and she says something about being insulted that he thinks that she can't hold her liquor, a man and a woman drink shots of liquor in a bar as part of a challenge (we see the man the next morning with a hangover), people are shown drinking alcohol in a couple of bar scenes, and a man drinks wine.


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DISCUSSION TOPICS - Natural gas, fracking, cow tipping, farm towns, truth, land rights, tax revenue, educational opportunities, clean energy alternatives, government subsidies, environmentalists, bio-fuel, pride, consumption, fighting big companies, doing the right thing, manipulation.

MESSAGE - We need energy alternatives, but not at the expense of the environment. Large companies will do whatever they want to get what they want.

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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