A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
The "good guys" in the movie are flawed characters rooted in "noir" traditions. There are prostitutes, sexual predators, cannibal serial killers, pedophiles, men who are physically abusive to their girlfriends, a corrupt politician, corrupt priests, and corrupt police officers.
Positive Role Models
Women are strong and capable but also mostly hookers and/or nude. Overall, characters are too cartoonish and "noir" to be viewed as positive role models.
Violence & Scariness
Extreme, intense, constant, and graphic violence; torture, suicide, dismemberment, references to cannibalism, child molestation, and rape. A serial killer captures women, hangs their heads on the wall as trophies, and there's talk of him eating the women. Sexual abuse of a 10-year-old girl strongly implied. A woman's hand is cut off by this serial killer; she mentions how he sucked the meat off her fingers. Frequent gore.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
Female nudity. Most of the women in the movie are prostitutes.
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Frequent profanity, including "s--t" and "d--k," and the use of homophobic slurs such as "fag" and "dyke."
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Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Frequent drinking, of beer and from flasks. Cigarette smoking. Prescription drug abuse.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Sin City is an extremely violent movie with constant, intense, and exceptionally graphic battles and all-out butchery and slaughter. Body parts are sliced off (and eaten, off-camera). People are wounded and killed in just about every possible way, including being electrocuted, stabbed, impaled, shot, dumped into a tar pit, and sliced up. There are severed heads and other body parts. There are references to child rape and cannibalism. The film also includes female nudity, strippers, prostitutes, sexual references, and sexual situations as well as frequent profanity, including "s--t" and "d--k," and the use of homophobic slurs such as "fag" and "dyke." Characters drink and smoke and abuse prescription drugs. They also lie, cheat, steal, extort, and violate as many laws as can be packed into one movie. To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
Robert Rodriguez and codirector Frank Miller (the writer/artist of the Sin City graphic novels) create a faithful, shot-for-shot rendition of each stunning panel. Hard, resolute voice-overs accompany stark, inky images. There are brief flashes and flutters of color -- red for brake-lights, a heart-shaped bed, a lightning-streaked sky, a sleek getaway car, and blood. There's also yellow for the golden curls of a dead prostitute and the jaundiced skin of a cowardly villain, whose toxic perversions have turned him the color of bile. This is a masterpiece of technique, bravura filmmaking with sure and complete mastery of tone, setting, and mood. A lesser cast would be lost, even invisible, but Rourke, Willis, and especially Owen are every bit as arresting as the images around them. Most of the female characters are more props than characters, but Rosario Dawson and Jessica Alba make strong impressions.
The film is overwhelming at times, intentionally keeping viewers off-kilter by combining grand heroics, stunning beauty, hideous grotesquerie, outrageous butchery, toughness and innocence, tragedy and comedy. This is a movie where a man's hand is sliced off, and then he slips on it like a banana peel. It exists precisely on the edge between exploitation and artistic statement, ultimately saving itself from toppling over with the sincerity of its tone, the beauty of its images, and the honor of its heroes.
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