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Ride with the Devil | 1999 | R | - 3.7.4

Ang Lee's Civil War drama about young Southern men who join the "bushwhackers," a rag-tag civilian guerrilla unit, after their town is destroyed by Union soldiers. With Skeet Ulrich, Tobey Maguire, Jewel Kilcher, Jeffrey Wright, Simon Baker-Denny, Jonathan Rhys-Meyers, James Caviezel, Tom Guiry, Tom Wilkinson, Jonathan Brandis, Matthew Faber, Stephen Mailer, John Ales, Zach Grenier and Margo Martindale. [2:18]

SEX/NUDITY 3 - Mild sexual innuendo and a couple of kisses. In two scenes we see most of a woman's breast as she breastfeeds. It's implied that a couple has intercourse in two different scenes: in one a woman undresses a man, removes her slip and then they fall onto a bed and kiss (only their bare shoulders are visible); in the other, we see a woman in her undershirt, post-coitus.


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VIOLENCE/GORE 7 - Several shoot-outs and battles scenes in which lots and lots of men are shot, sometimes at very close range and sometimes in close-up (we see a man shot through the cheek, another shot in the throat, another shot in the side and another's pinky is shot off); we often see blood spray from the wounds. In one extended scene, hundreds of soldiers on horses stampede into a town, shooting many men, burning buildings and looting stores. Afterwards, we see corpses strewn throughout the streets and piled in large stacks. We see a man's extremely bloody, ripped-to-shreds arm after he's been shot; in a later, excruciating to watch scene, we see an aerial view of someone beginning to saw off his bloody arm (he eventually dies). Some human scalps are thrown onto a table. A horse rolls over a man who's been shot. A man is thrown through a second-story window of a building (we see him hanging onto the ledge), several men are tied to a post (their faces are bruised and cut) and a man kicks another off a chair. We see several buildings engulfed in flames. Lots of threatening with guns.


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LANGUAGE 4 - An anatomical reference, several scatological references, lots of mild obscenities, some insults and lots of racial epithets.


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DISCUSSION TOPICS - The Civil War, The Old South, bushwackers, militias, murder, massacres, loyalty, friendship, separation from loved ones, slavery, racism, marriage.

MESSAGE - War is fueled by vengeance and emotion rather than rational thought.

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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