A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this movie.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Bushwick is a Brooklyn-set thriller that speculates about what would happen if several "red" states seceded from the union and invaded the rest of the country. The movie's violence is extremely strong and realistic, with tons of guns and shooting, fighting, stabbing, bloody wounds, dead bodies, a suicide, burn victims, explosions, and so on. A man tackles a woman and tries to tie her hands, and a man cauterizes his own wound with a hot knife. Language is also strong, with frequent use of "f--k," "s--t," and more. There's one brief scene of attempted seduction/flirtation with a sexual reference, and one scene of pot smoking (characters also take pills to help with their painful wounds). Shot in what appears to be one continuous, unbroken take, the movie is extremely effective, terrifying, and timely. Guardians of the Galaxy's Dave Bautista stars, albeit in a very different role from Drax.
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What's the story?
In BUSHWICK, Lucy (Brittany Snow) and her boyfriend, Jose (Arturo Castro), step off the train on their way home from college to visit Lucy's grandmother. The subway station is mysteriously deserted, and then a man engulfed in flames runs by. Peeking out on the street, they discover that something terrible is going on: an invasion/attack led by people from "red" states that want to secede from the country. Jose is burned alive, and Lucy is shot at by mysterious figures in black. Running from the scene of an execution, she ducks into someone's home; that someone turns out to be former military man/medic Stupe (Dave Bautista). Using Stupe's weapons and knowhow, Lucy hopes to survive the handful of city blocks between her and her grandmother's house. But after that, can they all get out of the city alive?
Is it any good?
An intensely physical, adrenaline-propelled experience -- with touching, vivid depictions of human connection, pain, and fear -- this thriller about a full-scale invasion is terrifyingly timely. Shot, like Rope, Russian Ark, Silent House, Birdman, and Victoria, in what appears to be one continuous, unbroken take (although "hidden" cuts are easy to spot), Bushwick plunges viewers into a street-level experience. Running alongside the characters, it's impossible to know what's around any corner, or what could jump through a door at any second.
Directed by Cary Murnion and Jonathan Milott (whose distasteful Cooties never would have suggested they could produce anything this good), the camerawork in Bushwick is startlingly clear and intuitive, suggesting a human's point of view, rather than a shaking camera's. It must have taken an impressive level of choreography and timing. That also goes for stars Snow and Bautista, who turn in athletic, full-blooded performances under great duress. Doing away with any foreign bad guys or greedy corporate types, this movie fits squarely into our current times; it is, very simply, about the deep, seemingly insurmountable divide between America's "red" and "blue" ideologies. Yet the heroes are squarely on the side of compassion and common sense.
Talk to your kids about ...
Talk about the divide between "red" and "blue" states. What do those designations refer to? What separates the two groups? How does this movie take the existing conflict and run with it?
What are the attackers' beliefs? Where are they from? What's the significance of that? How does it relate to real life?
How would you describe the relationship between Lucy and her "sister"? What does this relationship show about both of them?
For kids who love thrills
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