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Reservation Road | 2007 | R | - 2.5.5

A family returning home after the 10-year-old son's cello performance stops at a roadside gas station and nobody notices that the young boy has walked near the roadway; a speeding car swerves out of control, the boy is struck and killed. The lives of the boy's family and the life of the driver, who has sped away from the scene of the accident, are forever changed as a result. With Joaquin Phoenix, Mark Ruffalo, Jennifer Connelly, Mira Sorvino and Elle Fanning. Directed by Terry George. [1:42]

SEX/NUDITY 2 - A husband and wife lie in bed together (he's bare-chested), they hold each other, they kiss, the wife moves on top of the husband, he stops her and they argue. A husband and wife hug.
 A man is shown bare-chested when washing his face. A man is bare-chested when climbing into bed. Women wear low-cut dresses and tops that reveal cleavage in a few scenes.


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VIOLENCE/GORE 5 - A man drives his car fast on a dark road, he answers his cell phone, the car crosses the center line and nearly runs into an oncoming car, he swerves, and he strikes a boy standing on the side of the road (we hear a thump and see a bloody body lying on the side of the road).
 A man shoves a man, pushes him to the floor, holds a gun to his face, and pulls away when he hears a boy's voice in the next room.
 A man holds a man at gunpoint, forces him to get into the trunk of a car, drives with him in the car, forces him to get out of the trunk after striking him in the head with a gun and they walk through dark woods.
 A man punches a man in the face, they struggle on the ground, and punches him again in the face a few more times (we see blood in his mouth).
 A boy inside a car that struck a boy on the side of the road lurches forward and strikes his head on the dashboard (we see him with a bruised and swollen eye later).
 A man holds a gun to his own temple (we do not see him shoot). A man shops for a handgun and we see him loading one.
 A man is arrested at gunpoint for photographing a foreign diplomat's house and car.
 A woman screams and panics when she feels responsible for her son's death. A young girl calls for her mother when her father tells her that her brother will not be coming home again. People gather and grieve at a 10-year-old boy's funeral. A man and woman argue about how to cope with grief, and they yell and grab each other.
 We hear that a boy's ribs were broken and one piece pierced his heart killing him instantly. A man talks about his parents fighting when he was a child and being afraid to interfere because his father would hurt him. A man talks to another man about what happened on the night his son was killed. We hear a news report of a hit and run fatality. People debate the ability to cope with loss and pain in different parts of the world.
 A man yells when he climbs into bed and feels something at his feet (it is a rubber snake that his son hid there).


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LANGUAGE 5 - 8 F-words, 6 scatological terms, 1 anatomical term, 3 mild obscenities, name-calling (coward, dweeb), 2 religious profanities, 16 religious exclamations.


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SUBSTANCE USE - A man is shown waking up after apparently drinking alcohol to the point of stupor (we see an open bottle on a table near him), and a bottle of beer is on a table near a man. A man smokes a cigarette.


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DISCUSSION TOPICS - Death of a child, death of a sibling, family, lying, dishonesty, strength, guilt, grief, cowardice, divorce, justice, insulation, child abuse, the American legal system, vengeance, hit and run fatalities, terrorism, forgiveness, regret, talking through problems, isolation, murder, media and politics.

MESSAGE - Grief is a pain that cannot be quelled by vengeance.

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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