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Serena | 2015 | R | - 6.7.1

It's the late 1920s and a timber baron (Bradley Cooper) falls in love and marries a woman (Jennifer Lawrence) who helps him grow his business. However, when secrets from the past creep between them their future comes into question. Also with Rhys Ifans, Toby Jones, David Dencik, Sean Harris, Ana Ularu and Sam Reid. Directed by Susanne Bier. [1:49]

SEX/NUDITY 6 - A husband and his wife are seen in bed and having sex (we see her wearing bra and panties that reveal cleavage and upper abdomen) as the man thrusts and we see his bare chest and abdomen. A husband and his wife have sex in a hotel room and we see her bare thighs with her legs wrapped around him and he thrusts; they both moan and we see them asleep later together. A husband and his wife have sex in a hotel room and we see his bare back and her bare knees and legs as he thrusts on top of her. A husband and his wife have sex and we see her bare shoulders, hips and thighs as they thrust and moan.
 A husband bathes his wife in a couple of scenes and we see her bare shoulders, chest and back (no cleavage or breasts are seen); in one scene the man puts his hand under the water at her groin and she reacts as if he is stimulating her (she moans and closes her eyes).
 A man is shown shirtless (we see his bare chest, abdomen and back) after bathing. A man is shown shirtless and we see his bare chest, abdomen and back. A woman is shown wearing a nightgown that reveals cleavage and her pregnant belly; her husband caresses her belly as the baby kicks. A woman wears a robe that hangs open to she her bare, pregnant belly, bra and conservative panties. A woman is shown wearing a slinky slip that reveals cleavage and bare shoulders. A woman wearing a low-cut nightgown reveals cleavage and bare shoulders as she sleeps in bed.
 A husband and his wife kiss in many scenes. A wife hugs her husband and he caresses her bare back (she is wearing a spaghetti strapped night gown). A husband and his wife sleep in bed together.
 A man tells another man to have a girl bring him his dinner and when she does the door is closed behind her and it is implied that they have sex (she is shown pregnant later, presumably with his child). A man admires a woman riding on horseback and later rides after her and says, "I think we should get married"; she laughs and rides away, but they do get married.
 A wife tells her husband that she is pregnant. A wife asks her husband to dance with her and when he won't she asks another man; she appears to be goading her husband and trying to make him jealous. A man appears jealous of another man's wife (he seems to be in love with the man).


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VIOLENCE/GORE 7 - Several men with guns go hunting in woods; when a bear runs near them two men take aim, one shoots at the bear and the other shoots the man (we see a bloody bullet wound in his chest and we see him being transported, dead, in a cart). A man approaches another man in bed in a hotel room and we then see him wiping off a straight razor as a part of the other man's leg twitches on the bed (the implication is of the man cutting the other man's throat but we do not see the act). A man with a straight razor approaches a woman in a train car, another man jumps him and they fight until one slashes the throat of the other (blood sprays and we see blood on the throat of the victim). A woman lying in bed lights a lighter and drops it; we then see the cabin she is in engulfed in flames and presume that she dies in the fire. We see the dead body of a woman with her throat slit and a lot of blood on the wound and the floor. We see a dead man with a panther's mouth around his throat and a knife in the dead panther's side (blood is shown on both of them). We see a man's dead, bloody body in the back of a truck. A man wraps his hands around a woman's throat and squeezes as she gasps and struggles; he drops her to the ground and she gags, but appears unharmed.
 A man slips and catches himself against a tree just as another man swings an ax and cuts the man's hand off (we hear him scream and see the very bloody stump); a woman wraps a belt around the stump and covers it with her scarf (we see the scarf drenched with blood). A piece of equipment breaks and sets off a chain of events that leads to one man being pinned under a large log on railroad tracks as a train car on the tracks moves toward him (we see that he is bloody and another man on the train car is unconscious with a bloody face); the car is stopped short of crushing the man on the tracks. We see a man with a bloody and very swollen foot being carried by another and we understand that he was bitten by a rattlesnake; we hear the man gasping for breath (it is not clear whether he survived the bite). A man takes aim and shoots at a panther, and he finds blood at the site but no panther; he turns around and is jumped by the panther (the scene then ends).
 A pregnant woman moans as a doctor examines her and tells her that she is not in labor, she continues to have pain and we see her husband carry her out of their cabin with her legs smeared with blood and sheets soaked with blood; we see her on a gurney at a hospital and understand that she lost her baby and needs a blood transfusion (her husband is shown giving blood on a gurney next to hers). A man touches another man's shoulder during an argument and he slaps it away.
 A wife yells for her husband to get rid of a baby crib in their home after she has a miscarriage; we see the man chopping it up with an ax. A woman becomes enraged when she finds a photograph and she tears it up with a sharp implement; she yells at a man who comes into the room and he seems alarmed.
 We see a dead deer with a large wound on its side. A man loads a gun while hunting and takes aim but does not shoot a creature in the woods. A man with a gun enters and searches through another man's cabin.
 A husband bathes his wife and we see her bare back with a large burn scar; she describes what happened when her family died in a fire and she was the only survivor. A woman describes a young girl's condition after a fire killed her family and says, "She was so covered with ash that they thought she was a ghost." A man describes the injuries to a deer and says, "Its chest were tore open and they ate the heart first." A man tells another man that he wants to hunt a panther. A man says that he was in jail for manslaughter and that, "He [the victim] had it coming." We understand that a woman will not be able to have any more children after a miscarriage. A woman becomes agitated whenever she sees another woman, especially when she is holding her baby.
 There are several scenes of men cutting down old growth trees using hand tools (saws, axes, etc.); a man argues that virgin forests should be maintained and logging should be limited.


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LANGUAGE 1 - 1 mild obscenity, name-calling (Aborigine, devil, pistol), 3 religious exclamations (God Knows, Jesus, God).


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SUBSTANCE USE - A man drinks liquor and smokes a cigarette in a few scenes, several men drink alcohol in a dining area in a hotel, and a woman drinks in a hotel room and appears to be drunk when she stumbles into a dining area. A man and a woman smoke cigarettes at an outdoor event, a man spits and appears to be chewing tobacco in a few scenes, a man and a woman smoke cigarettes in a cabin, a man smokes on a porch, a man smokes in an office, a man smokes in a room during a business meeting, a man smokes a cigar.


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DISCUSSION TOPICS - Death of family members, love, fear of being alone, success, greed, sacrifice, timber barons, murder, homosexuality, business dealings, secrets, bribery, miscarriages, free enterprise, pride, betrayal, prophecy, honor, childbearing out of wedlock.

MESSAGE - Be careful who you trust. Greed and love can drive people to unsavory acts.

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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