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A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
This was a turbulent era, and often cruel to those who lived through it -- lots of casual sexism, racism, and violence is to be expected. Still, even in the gritty muck, Deadwood: The Movie winds up its story with flashes of hope: new families and partnerships forming, well-loved community members being respectfully laid to rest, troubled adventurers striking out to seek new beginnings. The main theme at work in this series coda is the inevitability of progress and the growing pains that accompany it.
Positive Role Models
Even the most upright citizens in Deadwood are seriously flawed folk. Even when a character's anger is justified, or their cause is righteous, the way they go about expressing such things is usually highly questionable and often involves a lot of violence and alcohol.
Violence & Scariness
Everyone's packing heat; gunfights are part and parcel of life here and someone's always mopping up blood. A character is dragged around with a noose and nearly hanged, others are stabbed, shot, and beaten senseless.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
Sex is a commodity in Deadwood, with many scenes taking place in a brothel. Characters include former prostitutes, madams, and pimps. There's a shot of a woman opening her dressing gown and exposing her breasts, the camera doesn't linger. A scene of three female characters laying in bed together in various states of undress.
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Over its three-year run, Deadwood became known for it's filthy yet oddly sophisticated-sounding dialogue, the movie is no different. You'll hear nearly every expletive under the sun, as well as new and creative combinations thereof, with "f--k" and "c--ksucker" the most common culprits. Racially insensitive, misogynistic, and religion-based slurs fly out of characters' mouths with wild abandon, which fits the time period -- yet by and large, the movie treats the characters they're aimed at with respect.
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Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Tons of drinking and smoking. A character has so abused himself with alcohol over time that he's wasting away from cirrhosis of the liver, a condition for which he stubbornly refuses medical treatment.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Deadwood: The Movie is an expletive- and violence-laden Western that wraps up the critically acclaimed three-season HBO series by the same name, which was canceled in 2006. The story takes place in Deadwood, South Dakota in 1889, and the cultural attitudes among the characters reflect that: racial slurs are uttered without a second thought, violence is an everyday occurrence, and women's life choices are extremely limited. Viewers can expect to see shootouts, beatings, and knife fights; a character falls prey to an attempted hanging. References to prostitution and drug addiction are common; characters are hard drinkers, with many scenes taking place in saloons or brothels. One of Deadwood's hallmarks, as a series, was its creative blend of flowery, Shakespearean-type language mixed with outrageous amounts of profanity -- and the tradition continues in this film, big time, with "c--ksuckers" and f-bombs galore. To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
Picking up a storyline over a decade later seems like a fool's errand, but writer David Milch wisely makes use of the passage of time by turning the inevitability of change into the theme of the film. Fans of the late, lamented series will find much to love in Deadwood: The Movie, which thankfully proves itself to be more than just an exercise in nostalgia. The characters may be older and grayer -- some are much worse for wear, thanks to a lifetime of hard living and alcohol abuse -- but they're all still themselves at their core, and the reunions and confrontations feel earned and natural. A remarkable thing about Deadwood the series was its portrayal of characters in a way that was very much in keeping with the time period (life was rough, especially for minorities and women), yet it still afforded them a humanity and agency not always seen in period pieces. This nuanced approach continues in the film, which provides a highly satisfying send-off to a series that was cut down in its prime.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.