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Winchester | 2018 | PG-13 | - 2.5.1

Set in 1906 California, the heiress to the Winchester Repeating Arms Company (Helen Mirren) lives in her unusual mansion and she becomes convinced that the spirits of all those killed by a Winchester rifle haunt the house and that she must give them the opportunity to pursue any unfinished business. Also with Sarah Snook, Jason Clarke, Angus Sampson, Eamon Farren and Laura Brent. Directed by Michael & Peter Spierig. [1:39]

SEX/NUDITY 2 - A man and a woman are shown in a room presumably after having had sex; the man wears a robe that reveals part of his bare chest and the woman wears thigh-high tights and underwear that reveal cleavage, bare upper thighs and part of her abdomen. A woman walks in the background of a scene and appears to be topless (we only see her bare back). Women wear low-cut dresses that reveal cleavage in a few scenes. A shirtless spirit is shown with shackles around his wrists and neck.
 A man is shown in a room with three women and he kisses each one as they leave the house later (they may be prostitutes).


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VIOLENCE/GORE 5 - A man enters a building and shoots 15 people, and then sits in a chair where he is shot repeatedly by police (we see blood on the stock of the gun he is holding and on his hand after he falls to the floor dead). A woman holds a rifle and puts it under her chin to shoot herself when a man lunges toward her and she shoots him in the chest, and then shoots herself (we see the man lying motionless with blood on his vest and a large pool of blood forms near the dead woman).
 A boy is discovered missing from his bed and he is found holding a rifle in a hallway; the boy shoots at a woman several times (he misses) and then beats her in the arm and back with the gun butt until a man pulls him away (we do not see injuries). A woman points a gun at a man. A boy with a bag over his head (he seems like he is in a trance) walks toward a ledge and falls off; a man on the ground runs to catch him and they both land hard on the ground (there are no visible injuries).
 A house shakes and lights flicker; then the house shakes violently with objects breaking and a man is thrown into a wall, down a flight of stairs and is buried under falling debris and presumably killed; another man is thrown out of a room and down a flight of stairs before the room collapses and we later see a man dead, buried under rubble, and his twisted hand sticks out of the rubble (no blood is evident). Many guns and shards of glass from broken display cases rise off the floor and seem to point at a man in the room, but then crash back to the floor.
 A spirit shoves a woman, holds her against a display case filled with guns and another cabinet falls onto a man. A man flips a mirror around to point away from him and the mirror turns itself back to him, and then it flips sideways to reveal a man behind it (presumably a spirit with dark gray-tinged skin and whitened eyes along with some deep gashes on his face); the spirit is then seen on a chair in the room and it seems to be holding a pitchfork (the other man is startled). A man is startled when he sees a spirit in shackles in a hallway.
 A woman and a boy sleep in a bed until the boy hears noises and singing and leaves the room; we then hear a bell tolling and the woman wakes up to search for the boy only to find him in a hallway with a bag on his head and when she removes the bag we see that the boy's eyes have gone white and he seems to be in a trance. A man walks through a dark house and hides behind a small door that leads down a flight of stairs and he sees a spirit that may be a boy with dark gray skin and white eyes crawling up the stairs toward him (he recoils and rushes back out the door). A sleeping boy wakes up and hears noises under his bed; he leans over to see nothing and an unattended roller skate rolls across the floor. A man climbs out his window, across a roof and through a dark house where he finds a woman frantically drawing building plans by candlelight; the candles blow out and the man sees a spirit appear at the office door startling him and he runs away. A man walks through a hallway with another man, and then up a flight of stairs and when he turns around the man sees the other man as a spirit with gray-tinged skin and white eyes. A woman searches for her young son in a dark house and finds him with his eyes white (he seems like he is in a trance); they turn around when they hear noises behind them and the boy's hand stretches out making cracking noises.
 A man sees what looks like thick blood trickling down a painting hanging on a wall. Objects move in a room where a man sits and a cabinet door jostles; when the man reaches for the door a woman on the other side of it pushes it open (it opens through to a hallway). We hear crying or voices through a communication tube and when a man puts his ear near it a gray-tinged finger with a long nail moves through a hole and toward his ear (he leaves the room before anything happens). A man dreams of his dead wife and we understand that she killed herself. A rocking chair rocks on its own in an empty room. A man kicks a desk in anger.
 A man and a woman bicker and she tells him that she will confiscate his medication (it's Laudanum). A woman asks a man what it is like to die and he says it is painful. A boy in a trance tells his mother, "He's coming for us" and we hear footsteps on a floor above them. We hear that a woman has been a widow for 25 years and that her only child also died. We hear that a woman has visited a spiritual medium. We hear that a woman forbids guns in her home. A boy tells a man, "We are here because father died" and continues to say that he is not sorry about it. We hear that a boy witnessed the death of his father. A woman says, "I am cursed." A woman talks about profiting from violence and death. A woman says that she has kept records of everyone who has died by a Winchester. A woman describes using 13 nails on braces that lock spirits into rooms. A woman describes her husband as having demons. A woman says of another woman, "She would die to save us." We hear that a man's two brothers (one only 14 years old) were killed during the Civil War. A woman tells a story about a mule that fell into a well and a farmer that shoveled dirt into the well trying to put the animal out of its misery, but instead the mule climbed on the dirt and out of the well to safety. A house is called, "The most haunted house in North America." We hear that a man was dead for 3 minutes after being shot and then revived.
 A woman is shown draped in a black veil and wearing only black clothing throughout the movie (she is a widow). A mansion is built with many rooms and hallways that do not connect and walking through it resembles a labyrinth.


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LANGUAGE 1 - 1 mild obscenity, name-calling (crazy, whore, odd), 4 religious exclamations (e.g. Oh My God, Jesus, Christ).


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SUBSTANCE USE - A woman takes a draught from a glass dropper filled with Laudanum, a woman asks a man if he is an abuser of medication, and a man takes a draught of Laudanum a few times. A man drinks from a flask, a man drinks what could be sherry with a meal, a man drinks from a glass of amber liquid (possibly whiskey), a woman says that her husband loved the drink, and woman tells a man that another woman would not approve of him drinking before dinner. A man holds a pipe (we do not see him smoke).


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DISCUSSION TOPICS - Guilt, Winchester Repeating Arms company, death due to violent acts, death of loved ones, recluse, sanity, inventions, indiscriminate killing, roller skates, delusional disorder, creativity, flights of fancy, erratic behavior, fear, cruelty, grief, spiritual mediums, illusion vs. reality, ghosts, grief, witchcraft, tuberculosis, alcoholism, remorse, mental illness, magic tricks.

MESSAGE - Violence cannot bring justice. Let go of guilt.

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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