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Stronger | 2017 | R | - 6.6.10

Based on the true story of the treatment, recovery, and reluctant celebrity of a double amputee (Jake Gyllenhaal) injured in the Boston Marathon bombing of 2013. Also with Tatiana Maslany, Miranda Richardson and Clancy Brown. Directed by David Gordon Green. [1:59]

SEX/NUDITY 6 - A woman sits on a bed and touches the clothed stump of a man's amputated leg; they kiss for several seconds and lie down as the camera cuts to them from the waist up (we see his chest and her breasts) and they kiss passionately, he kisses her breasts and we see some thrusting; the camera cuts to the morning, when the woman wears a long sleeve sweatshirt with bare legs, and the man's mother asks, "Did you have sex with my son?" to which the other woman says "Yes" as she walks away.
 A man sitting in a bathtub removes his shirt and shorts below the frame and turns on the shower; an aerial view shows him nude, lying back in the tub under the shower spray and his body is blurred from mid-chest to knees (he has no lower legs and we see a large hairy area around the groin, blurred by the water). In a prosthetics lab, a man removes his shorts to reveal thighs and healed knees with his lower legs missing; he lies on a table and his briefs show an outline of his genitals briefly. Hundreds of men and women wear short shorts, tights, tank tops and some men are shirtless in a marathon (some women reveal cleavage in a long shot). In several scenes, a woman displays significant cleavage in deeply cut necklines. A few women wear short shorts and short skirts that bare the legs to the upper thighs. A woman removes a shirt at home and we see her bra and some cleavage briefly.
 A man under a sheet lies spooning a woman under the sheet, and both asleep (we see their bare shoulders and arms). A man and a woman hold hands in a restaurant and he says, "I love you."
 A woman moves in with a man and she becomes pregnant in a few weeks; she shows a friend a pregnancy test stick. A caption and a picture report that a man and a woman had a baby girl about a year after the Boston Marathon bombing.


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VIOLENCE/GORE 6 - A flashback shows a man lying face up on bloody pavement with his face bruised, cut, and bleeding as the camera pans to his injured legs, one raggedly cut off mid-shin and the other leg missing the foot (both lower leg bones are visible to the knee, covered in blood); a medic marks his head with a "C" in blood as the injured man shouts, "Help someone else!" and other men and women are seen lying around him in thick smoke and shaking, some with large third degree burns and a few with partially missing lower leg or legs and a few men and women have large spots of blood on their heads and faces (we hear sirens and shouting voices). TV footage shows the upper half of a man sitting on the pavement, stating that his legs are injured.
 At a marathon finish line, two explosions sound and we see two large clouds of smoke as people look confused and run away from the area.
 A scene is heavily blurred except for a male patient's face in the foreground and we see a doctor and a nurse slowly remove white bandages from the man's knees, his lower legs having been amputated and the patient groans and grimaces with the first leg and screams in pain with the second leg (we cannot see any blood or gore) and a woman cries. Three nurses enter a hospital room and remove a man's oxygen tube; he coughs up phlegm that we see and his face is heavily bruised and scratched and a nurse places an oxygen mask over his nose and mouth. A man is shown in a hospital bed with coverings that show the outlines of his legs only to the knees; he awakens and a friend tells him his legs are gone (he grimaces). A hall window shows a blurry image of a man with an oxygen tube taped into his mouth, lying in bed, unconscious.
 A man leaves a hospital in a wheelchair and we see bandaged knees and no lower legs; his family carries him up a long flight of stairs at home. A woman helps a man recovering from leg amputations into his bathtub and he later sits on a toilet with his bare thighs ending at the knees and we see one partial buttock as he falls onto the floor (the tub obscures him) and he picks up a towel and stuffs it into his mouth to muffle a scream. A man recovering from leg amputations falls out of bed onto his face and suffers a bloody nose, but can climb back onto the bed (we do not see his legs). A man is shown working at therapy to regain his mobility and the first time he stands with prosthetic legs he grimaces in pain and fatigue and sits back down; we see him use crutches in another scene with the legs. A man visits a prosthetics lab and has casts made of his thighs and knees with men and women in the background build metal and plastic legs.
 An argument between a man in a wheelchair and two other men starts at a bar and a fistfight breaks out, but the man in the wheelchair does not fight. A man in a wheelchair sits on the ice at a hockey game and waves a flag, but shudders as he has a flashback of lying on bloody pavement after a bomb explosion; he and his girlfriend leave the ice and enter an elevator where he starts screaming and cursing, telling her to go help someone else and leave him alone. A man without lower legs and a woman sit in a car and argue, screaming; he looks at a pregnancy test stick and screams five times, "I can't do this!" and she leaves him trapped in the car and goes into their apartment building as he shouts and falls out of the car, crawling to the apartment building door and crying as the scene ends. A woman shouts at another woman for passing out drunk and not helping a man; the two women argue and the first woman moves out after telling the older woman to back off or she'll hit her in the face. Nurses and family members often berate a man for not working at his physical therapy. Several scenes include family members in hospital waiting rooms as they shout at one another, curse, and cry. A woman and her future mother-in-law shout and scream at each other in an extended argument scene. A man and a woman scream at each other. A man tells another man that one son died from sniper fire in the military and the father locked himself up in his van and torched and wrecked it; US Marines pulled him out of it and he attended the funeral on a stretcher and his other son committed suicide soon afterward. TV reports state that two terrorists have been either killed or captured and a crowd in a bar and a crowd in a hospital waiting room cheer loudly. A man describes the face of a terrorist to a police sketch artist, but we do not see the sketch. A man says that he gives talks about PTSD after the death of his son and suicide of his other son. A man tells a recovering amputee that his brother died in a recent war from an IED bomb, making him full of anger all the time and thanks the other man for working toward recovery, because it gives people hope.
 A man without lower legs drives a car as a friend pushes on the gas and brake pedals; the car races through streets and swerves in and out of traffic until a police cruiser stops them and an officer draws his handgun, shouting at the men to show their hands; he recognizes the driver and asks to take a picture with him. A drunken man without lower legs swings in a playground swing and falls onto a friend sitting in the first man's wheelchair and another friend jumps out of a swing. A man burns his fingers on a hot oven rack and squeals. A man puts a tiny drink umbrella into his mouth and lights it with a cigarette lighter; it burns fast and he drops it.
 A woman finds her fiancé asleep in a bathtub with the side of the tub and the toilet covered in feces.


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LANGUAGE 10 - About 78 F-words and its derivatives, 1 sexual reference, 14 scatological terms, 3 anatomical terms, 11 mild obscenities, 3 derogatory terms for homosexuals, name-calling (disasters, fat, stupid, dumb, phony baloney), 2 religious profanities (GD), 14 religious exclamations (e.g. Oh My God, God, Thank God, For God's Sakes, Jesus, Holy [scatological term deleted], Jesus Christ).


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SUBSTANCE USE - A woman asks for aspirin and swallows a tablet with water, we see a pill bottle on a man's night stand, and we see five pill bottles on a night stand in two scenes and a man swallows a pill with water. Men and women drink glasses and bottles of beer in a bar, a drunken woman giggles and falls from a bar stool (unhurt), a woman falls asleep on a couch beside a large empty wineglass on the coffee table, a large whiskey bottle is shown by a television, three men drink glasses of beer and short cocktails at a table in a bar, three men drink beer and Mai Tais at a table and become drunk (please see the Violence/Gore category for more details), a man offers to make Mojitos for new friends and they accept (we do not see the drinks), a man drinks a glass of beer in a restaurant with a bar in the background where three men are shown with half-finished glasses of beer, and men and women drink from cups of beer at a baseball park. A man smokes a cigarette in a bar twice and outdoors three times, and a woman smokes a cigarette in six scenes.


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DISCUSSION TOPICS - Symbols of hope, heroes, terrorists, bombs, serious injuries, amputations, the Boston Marathon bombing, growing up, accepting responsibility, helping others, moving forward, determination, courage, sacrifice, relationships, love, respect, triumph, PTSD, justice.

MESSAGE - Some heroes can inspire themselves.

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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