A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
In spite of an ultimate stand against violence, the arms dealers are not redeemed or sorry for what they do.
Violence & Scariness
Explosions and action, as well as brutal torture and murders.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
Prostitution; several undressed women and R-rated sex acts.
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Hard, pointed cursing; frequent f-words.
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Products & Purchases
Theme is selling arms, with references to commercial culture specifically.
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Drinking, smoking, drug use; addiction is a theme.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that this movie is about an international arms dealer and includes explicit images of explosions, gun battles, dead bodies. An early, striking sequence follows a bullet from manufacture through sales and shipping to its eventual endpoint in a boy's head -- the screen goes red. It also features frequent cursing, smoking, sexual promiscuity and unclothed female prostitutes, as well as drug use; one of the dealers becomes a serious cocaine and heroin addict, the other becomes addicted to the rush of selling contraband. The film reduces complex points about international markets and politics. To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
Ambitious, uneven, and occasionally philosophical, LORD OF WAR ultimately argues against war and violence. While this is hardly a new idea, it's rare to find a movie so determined to make its case -- sometimes too heavy-handedly, though always earnestly. This despite the fact that Andrew Niccol's movie is something of a comedy, in that it frames its subjects -- violence, militarism, cutthroat business practices, avarice, depression, and addiction -- with dark irony.
Less effectively, the film sets Yuri against an Interpol Agent (Ethan Hawke), who embodies a legal system that has little to say about international gun-running. While Yuri plainly gets off on risk, he's also broadly representative of cavalier attitudes toward risk concerning vulnerable individuals and communities. As he resists considering moral or cultural dimensions when making sales, he becomes a drug addict. Though the film is not subtle, it does make its case: taking sides is inevitable.
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Our Editors Recommend
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