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The Spirit | 2008 | PG-13 | - 4.8.4

Based on Will Eisner's graphic novel, Gabriel Macht stars as The Spirit, a masked vigilante who fakes his own death in order to fight crime -- and especially a ruthless arch villain called The Octopus (Samuel L. Jackson). Also with Scarlett Johansson, Eva Mendes, Sarah Paulson, Dan Lauria, Stana Katic, Johnny Simmons and Louis Lombardi. Directed by Frank Miller. [1:48]

SEX/NUDITY 4 - A man and a woman kiss, they are interrupted and the woman buttons up her top (we see cleavage and a bit of her bra). A man and a woman kiss in a few scenes. A young man and a young woman kiss.
 A teenage boy and a teenage girl flirt and the girl asks the boy, "Do you want me to be your girl?" We see a photo of a man and a young person (not sure whether it is a boy or a girl) and it is implied that they have a relationship.
 A woman dances behind a curtain, and then comes out and dances seductively wearing a belly dancing outfit that reveals cleavage and bare abdomen. A woman wearing a towel wrapped around her (we see bare shoulders) enters a room where a man is standing, he tells her she is under arrest, she raises her arms, and the towel drops to the floor (we see her nude from the side and back as she exits the room, and we see the side of her breast, hips, legs, buttocks and back). A woman sits on a copier and runs a copy of her clothed buttocks (we can see the outline covered by her skirt). A woman wears a skintight outfit that accentuates her figure (the outline of her breasts and buttocks is obvious). A woman wears an extremely low-cut dress that reveals deep cleavage. A woman wears a dress that is cut low down the sides and that reveals her side, waist and hip. A woman wears low-cut tops and dresses that reveal cleavage in several scenes. A teenage girl wears a short top that reveals her bare abdomen. A man is bare-chested. We see a man wearing boxer shorts (his bare chest and legs are visible). A man's pants fall down when he removes his belt and we see his boxer shorts.
 A man makes a comment about little girls selling their souls or themselves for the "octopus's poison" (presumably a drug). A man says "Zeus couldn't keep it in his pants." A man refers to a woman as "The most beautiful woman ever."


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VIOLENCE/GORE 8 - Many men shoot at each other, one man is blown up by an explosive device (we see bits and pieces thrown through the air and a bloody rib cage is shown on the ground, as well as a severed finger that wiggles).
 A man is shot several times in the forehead (we see the bloody bullet holes). A man is attacked by another man, we hear a crunch and understand later that his head was ripped off (we see the severed head).
 We hear a woman scream and see her with two men who are threatening her with knives; another man attacks the two men, punches them, they are thrown through the air, we see in silhouette an arm being bent and hear a snap, and after the fight is over we see the man with a knife in his abdomen -- he pulls it out and it's covered with blood but he is fine.
 A man is shot many times (we see him thrown back and we see holes open in his coat) and another man is shot and he falls back onto the ground. A man walks through muck and shallow water, a woman with a gun stands up and points the gun at him, and the man is shot (we see two bloody bullet holes in his chest and we later see him with blood in his mouth). We see a dead man on the floor with blood on his mouth. A man is shot repeatedly and falls to the ground. A man is shot and falls to the ground, and another man kneels by his side and shoots himself in the head. A man is shot in the chest and blood splatters. A man is shot in the arm (we see blood in the water where he swims). A man is shot and is thrown up and back and onto the ground. A man shoots himself (we hear the shot and later see him with the back of his head missing in silhouette). A man is shot and falls back dead.
 A man is cut across the abdomen with a sword. A woman stabs a man through the chest (we see the blade poking out of his back, covered with blood, as he pulls the blade out). A woman throws a star-shaped blade and a man is struck in the shoulder (he moans and we see the star sticking out of his shoulder with a bit of blood). A woman with a sword slashes two men and they fall down a flight of stairs. We see blood on a man from multiple bullet wounds as another man removes the bullets.
 A man is thrown into power cables and is electrocuted (we see him thrashing and we hear buzzing; then we see him smoldering and charred on the ground).
 A small foot with a man's head attached at the ankle is alive and hops on a table, and then into a beaker of liquid (presumably an acid); it sizzles and bubbles and we do not see the foot with the head any longer. A cat is either given an injection or drinks a chemical that causes it to melt: we see it wash down a drain and two eyeballs remain in the sink (there's no blood, but we hear squishing).
 A man who's buried alive in a coffin scratches at the lid (we see his hands become bloody), we hear him breathing heavily and his hand then pushes up through the dirt. A doctor is covered with sprays of blood after working in an operating room. A woman picks up a severed finger and tucks it in the front of her dress.
 A man is run down by a truck, we see him pinned under a tire (still talking), we then see the driver back up and we hear a crunch; we see the man later with tire impressions on his neck and face but he is otherwise unharmed. A man is struck with a heavy box and a large metal pipe, he is struck in the crotch with a heavy metal beam and lifted off the ground, and he is struck with a toilet, but he pins his attacker on the ground and punches him in the face repeatedly and then holds him under water. A man punches another man repeatedly, and he throws a manhole cover at him (he is pushed back into a wall). A man strikes another man in the head with a rock. A man is struck in the head by another man, who's using a severed head as a weapon. A man is struck in the hands with a heavy metal pipe and his hands break (we hear a crunch and see the hands bend unnaturally. A man punches another man and he falls to the ground.
 Four people with guns threaten each other. A man with a gun threatens another man. Two men threaten to kill each other. A teenage boy and a teenage girl yell at each other and argue.
 A man collapses. A woman opens a door and two men on the other side are knocked down. A woman pushes a man out a window, he falls toward the ground below, his clothing is caught on a sculpture, he dangles, and he uses his belt to swing across to an elevator and ride down safely. A man jumps from a rooftop onto the roof of a moving car, the driver stops the car and the man gets in to drive. A man jumps across rooftops and climbs across cables. A teenage boy and a teenage girl hang off the back of a speeding train.
 We see an animation of a man attacking three men with swords: one man has a star imbedded in his head, and one is cut in half with a sword (we see the pieces separate).
 A man says he has a "freezer full of dead beagles" (from experiments). A woman says a man is dead. A man says, "Bring me his toes." A man says, "I'll turn you into hamburger." We hear a female voice saying "I am death" and "I am always with you" in a few scenes and see a wispy, female specter. A man says, "We're going to kill him." A man with visible wounds says he's not hurt that badly, stating, "I don't even have bones sticking out of me."
 There are swastikas seen on flags, two characters wear Nazi uniforms and we see a photo of Hitler.


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LANGUAGE 4 - 5 sexual references, 4 scatological terms, 12 anatomical terms (1 mild), 24 mild obscenities, name-calling (broad, dames, doorstop, toe cheese, rodent, lounge lizard, skirt, idiot, lug nuts, pretty boy, frog), 12 religious profanities, 3 religious exclamations.


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SUBSTANCE USE - A man offers a man a drink from a bottle, and a woman pours a glass of champagne. A woman smokes a cigarette, another woman smokes a cigarette, and a man puts a pipe in his mouth. A woman injects a man in the neck with a syringe filled with a blue liquid and he falls unconscious. A man makes a comment about little girls selling their souls or themselves for the "octopus's poison" (presumably a drug).


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DISCUSSION TOPICS - Heroism, power, greed, the treasure of the Argonauts, suicide, Hercules, love, death of a parent, guilt, miracles, menace, immortality, genetics, Elektra complex, Oedipal complex.

MESSAGE - Sometimes vigilantism is the only solution.

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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