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Red Riding Hood | 2011 | PG-13 | - 4.6.3

A beautiful young woman (Amanda Seyfried) is in love with an orphaned woodcutter, her childhood sweetheart (Shiloh Fernandez), while her family has arranged for her to marry a wealthy villager (Max Irons). Unwilling to lose each other, the couple plans to run away when the young woman's older sister is killed by a large wolf, who takes human form by day. The terrified villagers call on a werewolf hunter (Gary Oldman) to help them kill the wolf, but his arrival brings unintended consequences. Also with Julie Christie, Virginia Madsen, Billy Burke and Michael Shanks. Directed by Catherine Hardwicke. [1:40]

SEX/NUDITY 4 - A man and a woman are shown in a dream sequence and we see them from the shoulders-up, kissing briefly, and holding hands; sex is implied. A man and a woman lie in front of a fire at night in a stack of hay and kiss for a prolonged time (we see cleavage at the woman's scoop-necked bodice), and he unties the laces at her neckline, but they are interrupted by a call for help.
 Throughout the film, women wear scoop neck dresses that reveal a bit of cleavage. An older teen girl speaks with a priest, removes her shawl to reveal a thin-strapped, slip-like top and says she'll do anything to help her imprisoned brother (implying sex); the priest tells her to turn around in a circle so he can look at her and puts her shawl back on.
 A man and a woman kiss several times briefly. In a party scene, a man and a woman dance with suggestive moves, including pelvic thrusting and shoulder and hip shaking; two women walk next to the couple and dance in the same manner and two lines of dancers form and the dance continues briefly until they are interrupted by two men fighting over a woman (please see the Violence/Gore category for more details).
 A man tells a woman, "I know you don't want me." A woman asks a man if he wants her and he replies he does, but must leave town. A woman tells her daughter that the daughter's older sister is the daughter of a man she loves and not the daughter's father; the woman says she grew to love her husband after their arranged marriage. A woman tells a man that she will wait for him as he rows off in a boat. A man and a woman plan to run away to be together; they do not. A man and a woman lie in leaves near a forest and talk.


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VIOLENCE/GORE 6 - A wolf bites off one arm of a man and we briefly see it lying in the snow (there's blood from the wrist); a woman picks up the severed arm and puts it in a basket. A wolf jumps, knocks down a man and leaves several men dead on the ground; we see trickles of blood at their temple and the corners of their mouth, the wolf jumps on a horse's throat and we see a dead horse on the ground in a long shot (there's no blood). A huge wolf appears and smashes a man to the ground killing him, then darts off, leaving a trickle of blood on the man's temple.
 A man is struck in the shoulder by an arrow and another is stabbed in the stomach with a knife; we see a circle of blood each time around the wound. A man attacks a woman in a cottage and another man enters and attacks the first man: one man is kicked across the room and one of the men is struck in the back by an axe (some blood is shown) and he dies. Four times we see individual men lying face-up on the ground, a man points a sword at one fallen man, stabs him off screen and the camera cuts to the man's face -- his head falls to one side and his eyes are open.
 A man and a woman open a dead man's chest with a knife (we see the red and brown edges of the incision) and load the chest with stones, sew it shut with leather, and dump the body in the river.
 A woman lies dead on the ground with a pool of blackened blood under her head and another woman stands around her, crying and screaming. We see a flashback of a woman lying on the ground and the shadow of a wolf's head on her face as she shudders and cries; we do not see an attack. We see the bodies of three men being hauled off in carts after a wolf kills them; each has a trickle of blood on the forehead or corner of the mouth, and several times we see a dark figure dash across the screen.
 Two people are put into a torture chamber: one is a mentally challenged teen, we hear him scream, we hear that he died and we see him laid out on barn straw as a woman cries. We hear that a wolf killed a woman and see her body laid out on a table.
 A priest relates a story about his wife being a wolf and that he killed her with one of his three Holy silver swords; he displays her cut-off hand in a box and we see gauze wrapped around the severed wrist and a little dried blood. In a dream, we see a woman transform into a wolf. We see a man bite another man's arm and later see bloody teeth marks in the flesh.
 In a cave where one man dies, we see the giant mouth of a wolf for a split second and hear a roar as it charges toward the audience; then we see a wolf's face and bared fangs by torchlight. A wolf's face charges the audience and roars at the end of the credits.
 A man escapes a torture chamber, but burns his hand and we see that it is a little black and red along the thumb and fingers. Warriors fire crossbows, but hit nothing. We see some blood drops here and there in snow. At a church, a wolf burns a paw on Holy Ground and we see sparks.
 Several men and women offer animal sacrifices to appease a wolf: A piglet strapped to a stump in the town square, a goat strapped to the same stump later, and a woman strapped to the stump; a little girl stands by the piglet and cries (none of the three is harmed).
 We see a huge wolf corner two women in a barn; it speaks to one of them, snarls at both, and leaves, ending the scene. A wolf tells a young girl that they are alike because she killed a rabbit. A man objects to human sacrifice, like tying a woman to a stump in the town square all night in order to attract a wolf.
 Two men fight over a woman (please see the Sex/Nudity category for more details), each threatening to chop off the other's head; one threatens to cut off the other's hands with his knife drawn, but backs away and puts away the knife
 Angry villagers gather up axes twice on hunting missions to find a wolf; they yell many times, "Let's kill the wolf!" and one man says, "A wolf will kill a whole family, taking the children from their beds." A young girl and a boy capture a rabbit in a cage trap, and the boy holds a small knife to its throat but puts the knife away as the girl says, "Kill it;" we later hear that the girl killed the rabbit. A woman asks a man what is in a stew pot and he implies that it is a woman.
 Several brief arguments occur among women about their dislike of traditional arranged marriages. A woman argues with two men about arranged marriages. A woman argues about wolves with a man and then leaves. A woman and a man argue about marriage.
 A priest has a portable furnace in the shape of an elephant, with a fire under its belly and a torture-by-heat chamber inside. A priest lunges toward people to scare them, and then laughs. A priest arrives in a village with warriors in armor carrying crossbows, axes, swords and knives, which they point at villagers constantly; they also search all the houses of a village, throwing possessions into the street as women and children cry.
 A large fire is set with drinking alcohol and a torch around the town square. A woman does fire-walking at a party and another woman performs fire-baton twirling. Woodsmen work together with large axes, chopping logs and stumps.
 When villagers think a wolf is dead, they bring out pagan idols with wheat and straw for heads atop women's bodies and build a fire for a party; people shout and dance as they wear animal masks and a man dressed as a wolf pretends to attack people, who scream and laugh -- a woman hits him in the behind with a stick to get him to stop. A double door in a church features an angel with a raised sword on one side and a wolf-headed demon on the other. Village men set up a stone idol on a rock to scare away wolves during the three days of a blood-red full moon. A young woman sees a wolf head shadow in a bed.
 A man dances and shouts with a gray wolf's head on a pike, showing a bloody neck. A man eats bloody meat from a charred joint of some animal or bird. A man's fingernails are covered with tarnished silver.


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LANGUAGE 3 - Name-calling (murderer, wolf, witch, witchcraft user, too good, too perfect, devil, devil's daughter, harlot), 27 stereotypical references to men, women, marriage, priests, backward villagers, the mentally challenged, wolves, werewolves, Christianity as violent, pagans, witches, Caucasians, Blacks and Asians, 1 religious profanity, 5 religious exclamations.


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SUBSTANCE USE - Several tavern scenes depict men drinking alcohol from metal tankards and leather flasks, women are shown drinking in a tavern scene, men and women drink a toast to a dead man, men and women drink from leather bottles as they dance in an outdoor party scene, a man is shown asleep on the ground after drinking, and two men pretend to drink alcohol from leather bottles but pour it on the ground and light it to create a diversion.


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DISCUSSION TOPICS - Wolves, werewolves, hunting, superstitions and beliefs, church authority, money, romance, secrets, marriage, family, duty, obstacles, loss, truth, justice, and redemption.

MESSAGE - Arranged marriages do not work.

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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