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Rango | 2011 | PG | - 3.4.3

The Nevada desert town Dirt, plagued by water rustlers, needs a new sheriff and a lost chameleon (voiced by Johnny Depp) fills the bill. He's always played heroes on his terrarium stage, but doesn't like the look of the Boot Hill cemetery that's filled with sheriffs. Also with the voices of Isla Fisher, Alfred Molina, Ned Beatty, Stephen Root, Harry Dean Stanton, Timothy Olyphant, Abigail Breslin, Bill Nighy and James Byrkit. Directed by Gore Verbinski. [1:47]

SEX/NUDITY 3 - A male lizard in a female costume with a long skirt rides atop a running bird and a rabbit pops his head out from underneath the skirt and declares, "That was not altogether unpleasant!" perhaps suggesting sexual stimulation.
 A male chameleon says that he wants to play a great lover on stage, he has the bare torso of a broken Barbie doll in his terrarium, he sits next to it, puts his arm around it, pretends that she puts her hand on his knee, and he asks, "Are those real?"
 A male lizard kisses the cheek of a female lizard and she smiles. A huge rattlesnake captures a female lizard and licks her face in front of her boyfriend.
 Several actors are announced as "thespians" and a male townsperson exclaims, "Thespians!?" That's illegal in 7 states!" (the assumption seems to be that it implies homosexuality). Two female characters, a fox and a lizard, call each other "floozy" and "trollop" several times. A male lizard cautions townspeople that without law and order, cats and dogs will get together and create aberrational mutants. A rabbit says that problems are like mammograms, but he does not explain further. A reptile threatens a lizard and says that he'll cut off the lizard's head to use to wipe off his unmentionables.
 A large female bird and a large female ground hog wear dresses that reveal substantial human cleavage. A female fox wears a tight, one-piece swimsuit garment that reveals human cleavage and thigh high-hose (we see furry fox legs).
 An old possum calls his children together and 100s of hybrid individuals appear.


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VIOLENCE/GORE 4 - A lizard fires a bullet that ricochets into a pottery plant stand, it topples over and kills a hawk; townspeople plan to cook it, but we do not see this. A hawk chases a lizard through a desert and a town, damaging old buildings and pecking at the glass windows of a business and a vending machine; the hawk picks up a bottle where the lizard is hiding, drops it from the sky, it rolls away and breaks against a rock, the lizard hides inside a Pepto-Bismol bottle outhouse, and the bird cuts it open with its talons.
 Several reptiles enter a bar, shoot-up the ceiling several times and threaten a lizard; one reptile lights a cigar, the lizard snatches and swallows it, gulps a drink and coughs fire into the reptile's face, charring him. A lizard tosses the contents of a whiskey bottle over the face of a reptile, ignites it and uses a handkerchief to put out the flames.
 A reptile threatens a lizard and says that he'll cut off the lizard's head to use to wipe off his unmentionables.
 A huge rattlesnake assassin wears a long ammo belt wrapped around himself down to his tail, which is a machine gun: he shouts he is from Hell and will take peoples' souls, he threatens townspeople, points his tail gun at several people, shoots into the air, fires at townspeople riding bats, they fire back, damaging buildings, a raven is wounded and falls (it does not die and we see no blood), and the snake backs a lizard into a corner and the lizard pulls a gun on the snake.
 A terrarium with a lizard inside it falls from a pickup truck, smashes on the highway and the lizard slides on a piece of glass among other shards, is picked up by a slimy truck mud flap, bounces among some vehicles, and finally lands on the highway shoulder.
 A lizard, stranded on a desert highway, looks at the hot sun, his skin shrinks all over and flakes off, his tongue hangs out and a tiny drink umbrella he's holding bursts into flames. We see an armadillo on his back at the edge of a road, flattened in the middle with a tire track; the animal recovers and speaks of a mystical land or afterlife on the other side of the dangerous highway.
 A male and a female lizard are hostages in a water tank that fills up and she begins to drown; one lizard had swallowed a bullet, and the other uses the Heimlich maneuver, the bullet drifts out, hits the glass wall of the tank, cracking it, and water washes them out.
 Over a hundred animals descended from a possum and various mates of different species, crawl up out of the ground like zombies, limp, speak with poor grammar and have broken yellow teeth. Tall cactuses with long, dry spindly leaves uproot themselves and march toward a water pipe near a city; two collapse dead and one develops a fiery red jack-o-lantern face at night.
 Bar fights occur and we see one animal thrown out the door twice, but unharmed. Several animals limp from gunfight wounds and one has a leg made from two sticks. Several mammals are missing an ear. A bird carries an arrow plunged through his eye and out the other side of its skull; it seems unaffected by it although he says he has conjunctivitis in the good eye, which is reddened.
 An elderly opossum and two of his sons try to steal water and fail; they are chased by a posse galloping on bird-back and riding horned bats in the sky, and the chase ends with rocks falling, machine guns firing and an overturned wagon (the robbers are tied up and taken to jail). Animals charge one way or another on a street, carrying torches and threatening to kill whomever is stealing water and shouting about lynchings. Several animals take torches into a tunnel to look for water thieves; they come out in the desert and find a squirrel drowned and lying in sand.
 A lizard walks across a road among numerous speeding semis at night (it is unharmed). A snake takes a character to Hell -- we do not see anything. A lizard experiences several petit mal seizures during the film, freezing for several seconds in mid-conversation and a squirrel makes fun of her "special times."
 A town of animals, including animal children, all carry guns, which they draw and point frequently at strangers and at each other. A lizard pulls a gun on a child mouse, shouting, "I'll shoot the ugly right off your face!" Animals shoot as a group into the air; the townspeople shoot in the air again and destroy a sign. A gunshot off screen shoots a hole in a rock to make the letter O.
 Many insects are shown crawling in several scenes; a close up shows a dead roach in a dirty water dish, silverfish run into a drop of water on a desk, huge beetles carry six-guns, a spider is undertaker and coffin builder, and a hundred large pill bugs unroll and carry an unconscious lizard and his hat into a bright empty area to meet a movie making spirit (i.e. an actor).
 A lizard rehearsing a play in a terrarium accidentally hits himself in the head with his arm and points a sword shaped olive pick at a dead bug. Throughout the film an accident prone lizard leans into and picks up cacti and impales himself with the needles, he is struck by a rock that children throw, he falls down and he is washed away by a drain full of water; he is never injured. A squirrel falls on golf balls that he dropped accidentally in a hallway, but is unhurt. An animal's hat catches fire and burns off. Two long lines of animals do a line dance in which one move is for one line to slap the others in the face; no one is injured.
 A lizard opens a bottle, eats the ashes in it, and spits them out, thinking they are another lizard's remains (they are cigar ashes). In a desert town, several lizards and mammals spit, burp loudly and flatulate. A lizard snatches a dragonfly from the air with his tongue and eats it. A lizard uses his tongue to snatch a match from the mouth of another lizard. Characters in a desert town are so dirty and ragged that their species are often indeterminate.
 Throughout the film, a mariachi band of four desert owls provides singing narration, repeatedly reciting that a lizard will die (it never dies); the owls also perform on top of a steer's skull and while hanging from nooses in a jail. A rattlesnake accuses a lizard of being a fraud, and the lizard walks away into the desert heat. A lizard accidentally pokes a stick into a friend's eye off screen, we hear an "OW," and the lizard says, "That'll heal right up." A rabbit says villains have prostate trouble and need cactus fruits as a natural laxative, puts on a blue latex glove, and the scene ends.
 A lizard in a bar tells others that he killed 7 notorious brothers with a single bullet by way of multiple ricochets. A lizard says that he kills humans early in the morning to work up an appetite and then likes sautéing and eating them. A lizard says that he lives on his own juices in the desert and in town; everyone is to stay out of his path, because he does not want their bodily fluids on his boots. A cat says he coughed up a group of pygmies in place of a hairball, and a rabbit says he found a human spinal column in his fecal matter. A lizard says he uses his belly button lint in his coffee for "extra tang."


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LANGUAGE 3 - 2 scatological terms, 5 anatomical terms, 11 mild obscenities, 12 religious exclamations, name-calling (floozy, trollop, witch, killer, failure, coward, fraud, Grim Reaper, law man), stereotypical references to western films, corrupt politics, Big Business, women, men, actors, people as animals under stress, Mexicans, Native Americans, epileptics, beautiful women as foxes, bankers as hoarders, snakes and spiders as evil, the mentally challenged as inbred.


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SUBSTANCE USE - Several bar scenes depict full whiskey glasses and bottles among patrons that drink from them, a rabbit becomes drunk and passes out on a table, and a rattlesnake draws off a glass of venom from one of his fangs and spills it over a lizard. Three animals smoke cigars, one smokes a cigarette, a lizard swallows a cigar and ignites it with whiskey when he coughs, and we hear a mention of chewing tobacco. A banker takes 2 Alka Seltzer tablets without water.


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DISCUSSION TOPICS - Hero worship of actors, Westerns, Mexicans, Native American cultures, religion, animal rights, courage, responsibility, crime, injustice, Big Business, water rights, conservation, Epilepsy, integrity, telling the truth, speaking out against injustice, redemption.

MESSAGE - You can be as brave as you think you are.

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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