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Seabiscuit | 2003 | PG-13 | - 4.4.5

Film based on Laura Hillenbrand's best-selling book, which in turn was based on a true story about a mistreated and mishandled horse that became a symbol of hope for America during the Great Depression. Charles Howard (Jeff Bridges), a successful automobile salesman, buys the horse hoping for a distraction, and he hires a caring trainer (Chris Cooper) and a half-blind, ex-boxer jockey (Tobey Maguire) who's as angry and frustrated as the horse. Together the unlikely trio lead the knobbly-kneed Seabiscuit to his 1938 win of the Horse of the Year honors and turn him into an inspiration for millions of people. Also with Elizabeth Banks and William H. Macy. Directed by Gary Ross. [2:20]

SEX/NUDITY 4 - A man and a woman lie in their underwear in bed together, the woman stands up and takes off her top (we see her bare back) and the man admires her. Men and women in their underwear play horse race (women carry men on their backs and run down a hallway). Men and women dance together in a bar scene. A man is lifted up to drink liquor from a woman's cleavage. Prostitutes are shown talking, flirting and caressing men. Pictures (drawings) of scantily-clad women hang on a wall and we see bare breasts on one. Women wear dresses that reveal cleavage. A man says to another man "everything gets longer in the re-telling."


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VIOLENCE/GORE 4 - We see the wreckage of a car and a man holding his dead son and grieving. A man is thrown off a horse, his foot is caught and he is dragged for a great distance, he slams into a wall, falls to the ground unconscious and we see his twisted broken leg (there's blood on his pant leg and we hear that his leg was shattered). We see several boxing matches: many punches are exchanged, we see men with bloody cuts on their faces and being knocked out (one remains unconscious for a while). Two jockeys fight while racing: they whip each other and one is shoved off his horse, two others fight and exchange punches. A horse is beaten with a whip, and a horse struggles violently against men with ropes and one man with a gun, and we hear that the horse is going to be killed because he has a broken foot; we also hear about the mistreatment of a horse. A man fights with a group of men and swings a bucket at them, and a man shoves a man into a horse stall and throws a shovel at him. A horse bites a piece of a man's shirt off, and a horse kicks, bucks and struggles against men with ropes and kicks a stall door angrily. A horse is injured during a race and a man says that he "...can put him down." A goat flies out of a stall and runs away (apparently kicked out by a horse). During a bullfight we see a bloodied bull with several banderillas (brightly colored wooden sticks) sticking out of his neck and shoulders. There are several tense scenes during races and in one scene where a horse and rider race along a darkened track. A horse is startled in a few scenes and darts off. A man makes himself vomit by sticking fingers down his throat and we hear him gagging.


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LANGUAGE 5 - 1 possible F-word (during a struggle between jockeys), 13 scatological terms, 26 mild obscenities, 5 religious profanities, 7 religious exclamations.


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SUBSTANCE USE - People are shown drinking alcohol and smoking cigarettes.


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DISCUSSION TOPICS - Family, second chances, automobiles, the Great Depression, assembly lines, dreams, winning, migration, death of a child, friendship, abandonment, competition, separation of family, poverty, government works programs.

MESSAGE - Don't throw a whole life away just because of one perceived fault; we all deserve a second chance.

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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