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A Walk in the Woods | 2015 | R | - 4.2.6

A harried non-fiction author (Robert Redford) feels burned out and dislikes people. He escapes it all to hike the Appalachian Trail for adventure and his only option for a hiking partner is a grating old friend (Nick Nolte) who owes him money. Both in their 70s, the hikers find a fresh perspective and unexpected challenges on the trail. Also with Nick Offerman, Kristen Schaal, Susan McPhail, Emma Thompson and Mary Steenburgen. Directed by Ken Kwapis. [1:44]

SEX/NUDITY 4 - A man and a woman drink whiskey as he drives a car (please see the Substance Use category for more details) and from a back seat view, we see her bend down towards his groin and disappear; the man leans back, raises his bottom from the seat slightly and says, "Ahhh" (oral sex is implied).
 A man says that he dreams often of one of his dates, who had the biggest breasts he ever saw, and a man says that his high school librarian never wore a bra and he loved the school. A man asks a male friend covered in mud if he was having sex with hogs; the friend says no. A motel manager smiles and says that to a guest that if he needs anything else, he knows where she is and the man's male friend teases him about the woman. An older man says that he never had sex with anyone but his wife. A man says, "Having just one woman all your life cannot be good for you," and, "I've been with way more married women than you have," and later says, "I feel a stiffening of the old resolve." A man asks another man, "How long has it been since you..." and stops. A man at a gathering says that the father of the family, his friend, once had a date with a redhead and after going to the washroom in a restaurant returned while scratching and blaming the redhead for the itch; the man's wife smiles and the man's children (elementary and middle-school ages) laugh.
 In a Laundromat a man helps extricate panties from a washing machine agitator as he says that he is a panty-ologist and a woman smiles. A man pulls out a giant pair of panties and tells a friend that the panties are a gift for a large woman with whom he is to dine (the dinner never happens).
 A man crawls into a tent in a middle-length shot and the waistband of his trousers is seen below his buttocks (we see his bare buttocks briefly). A woman briefly reveals slight cleavage in a scoop neckline.


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VIOLENCE/GORE 2 - An older male writer in a TV interview states that "We are [writers] destined to drink ourselves to death or blow our brains out" as the camera cuts to the coffin of one of his recently departed male friends and the widow stands in front of it, shaking as she shakes hands with a line of adult mourners dressed in black.
 Two elderly men hike in a blizzard and one of them shouts because the wind is heavy; the camera cuts to morning as the men hike to a campground and one of the older men smells a pillow and grimaces at a bad smell. Two older men walk across some wet rocks and fall into shallow water (neither of them are injured). Two older men slip and fall down the side of a short cliff onto a rock platform, where they sleep that night, because they cannot climb out; much farther below them, we see a river and two younger men help them back onto the trail the next morning. A man lies on a top bunk and his friend lies in the bottom bunk just before the top bunk collapses on him (no injuries are shown). An older man tries to cross a busy street on a bridge and cannot make it across, because cars honk at him and come too close to striking him; he walks underneath the bridge and sinks to above his knees in mud as the scene ends.
 A man and a woman each take several drinks of whiskey from a bottle while the man drives and swerves back and forth. At night, two bears appear at a campsite, where two elderly men stand up with their tents around them and roar like bears; the bears roar back and take bags of food away into the woods.
 We hear that a woman's 600-pound husband is pursuing another man who was to have dinner with the first man's wife; the first man appears at the wrong motel room door in a long shot, shouting, cursing, and pounding with a crow bar as the second man and his friend jump out another room's rear window and one of the jumping men falls, but is not hurt as the scene ends. Throughout the film, a man stumbles slightly when he walks. An older man who wants to hike has a raspy voice and is in poor shape.
 A husband and his wife argue about his plans to hike from Georgia to Maine and she informs him of potential accidents, dangerous animals, insects, infections, poison ivy, poison oak, poison salamanders and even murderers that could harm him on the Appalachian Trail. We see a an article headline that reads, "Trail Murders Mystery." A wife insists that her husband takes someone with him on a long hike and after several men turn him down, an old alcoholic friend asks to join him. A woman becomes upset and raises her voice during a more intense argument, but finally agrees to her husband's hiking partner; however, she predicts that she will be sitting by her husband's hospital bed and standing at his funeral giving a eulogy soon. Two older men argue on a long hiking trail, raising their voices and shouting a few times. A man says that he has an injured knee and the other knee is a "trick knee." A man tells friends that he has seizures if he does not eat every hour (we never see a seizure). A man says that he is going on a long hike to escape two outstanding legal warrants (we never hear the allegations). In phone messages, we hear that one man had a colonoscopy and that another man has a newly prescribed beta-blocker. On a hiking trail, a woman tells a man that he is fat and "liable to have some sort of "heart thing" on the trail." A woman speaks about astrological signs and a man says that he wants to kill her. A man hikes about a block-long length of trail and says, "Kill me now" as he stops to rest. A man says that the word "bunkhouse" makes his testicles suck up into his stomach. A man says that the American chestnut tree is extinct and that elm trees of various sorts are dwindling, all because of fungus, time and natural change. A man says, "Everyone's sitting around waiting for the end."


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LANGUAGE 6 - About 10 F-words and its derivatives, 13 scatological terms, 7 anatomical terms, 20 mild obscenities, name-calling (horse-face, crazy, wimps, quitter, dumb), exclamations (wow), 7 religious profanities (GD), 22 religious exclamations (e.g. Jesus, Jesus Christ, Christ, Holy [scatological term deleted], God Almighty, Oh God, Jeez, Oh my God, God Forbid, Christ.


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SUBSTANCE USE - A man and a woman each take several drinks of whiskey from a bottle while the man drives and swerves back and forth, an older man carries a small bottle of whiskey in his backpack and a male friend confronts him about the bottle, a man says that he likes to drink and likes the alcohol buzz but carries a bottle only as a reminder not to drink, a man opens a bottle of whiskey and another man pours it out onto a rock after smelling it, a man says that he spent half of his life drinking and chasing women (using a crude term), a man orders a beer in a café and then changes his order to a soda, a man says that he lost his driver's license because of drinking, a man says that he stopped drinking when he rolled his car and a police officer found him hanging upside down in his seatbelt, and a husband tells his wife about his long time friends and says that they all had drinking problems.


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DISCUSSION TOPICS - Job burnout, cynicism, regret, failing health, alcoholism, senility, aging, mortality, death, reconnecting with friends, forgiveness, deforestation.

MESSAGE - Reconnecting with nature and old friends can refresh the mind.

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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