A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this movie.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Fury is an extremely violent World War II drama about a tank crew stationed in the middle of Germany during the final months of the war. Heads and legs are shot off, gruesome body parts are shown, and there's lots of splattering, flowing blood and hundreds (or possibly even thousands) of dead bodies. A young American soldier disappears into a bedroom with a German girl; they're shown kissing, and sex is implied, but nothing is shown. The men exchange plenty of strong innuendo, and some non-nude girly pictures are shown. Language is quite salty, with several uses of "f--k," plus "s--t," "a--hole," "son of a bitch," etc. Characters occasionally smoke cigarettes in a background way (accurate for the '40s setting), and in one scene, they share a bottle of what looks like whisky. The movie -- which stars Brad Pitt -- manages to be dramatic and exciting without being preachy, and older teens and parents may come away with their own ideas of what war is really about.
- Parents say
- Kids say
What's the story?
In the final days of World War II, American tank crews are stationed deep within Germany, just barely hanging on until the war ends. Commander "Wardaddy" (Brad Pitt) has a gift for keeping his men alive -- although they recently lost one, and a rookie (who's been trained for office work), Norman (Logan Lerman), is ordered to join them. At first, the rest of the crew (Michael Pena, Shia LaBeouf, Jon Bernthal) resents him. But after a series of attacks and battles, small victories and big losses, they eventually bond and learn how to work together and respect one another. They're put to the ultimate test when their tank hits a land mine, and they end up stranded in enemy territory.
Is it any good?
The cinematography and editing here are striking. Ayer color codes the bullets' paths so that incoming and outgoing are easily identified, and the interior workings of the cramped tank are given remarkable clarity without the use of explanatory dialogue. The device of the "rookie" character is a little worn, but then this entire movie harkens back to a simpler age, when war movies were made by tough guys; when they feel pain, it really matters.
Though he has a few duds on his resume, writer/director David Ayer is best known as the writer of Training Day and the writer/director of End of Watch, two movies that focus on the detail-rich workday of cops on the street. After a pause for a disappointing action flick, Sabotage, he's back in that same vein with the FURY. And rather than using his small, focused story to heavily underline themes about the horrors of war, Ayer simply follows characters and moments, letting viewers draw their own conclusions.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about Fury's extreme violence. How realistic is it, and how does that affect you? How does the impact of this kind of violence compare to what you might see in a horror or superhero movie? Why do you think the filmmakers chose to show the violence in this way?
Why do we watch war movies? What lessons are there to be learned today about a war that happened many decades ago?
How do the characters cope with being in such an extreme, horrific situation? Do they react in negative ways? Positive ways? Would you consider any of them role models?
How much teamwork is shown here? How do the characters work together? When do they not work together, and how does it affect the team?
- In theaters: October 17, 2014
- On DVD or streaming: January 27, 2015
- Cast: Brad Pitt, Michael Pena, Logan Lerman
- Director: David Ayer
- Studios: Columbia Pictures, Sony Pictures Releasing
- Genre: Drama
- Topics: History
- Run time: 134 minutes
- MPAA rating: R
- MPAA explanation: strong sequences of war violence, some grisly images, and language throughout
- Last updated: March 13, 2020
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