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A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
The movie tells a simple revenge story. A man decides to exact his own justice when the law fails him. He learns no lessons, and everything ends in despair.
Positive Role Models
The main character tries hard to be a good person, fails on all counts, and winds up having nothing in his life but violence and revenge.
Violence & Scariness
Some of the sequences involve underground, bare-knuckle boxing, which is brutally violent and bloody. Characters go crazy and pummel their fallen opponents, resulting in gory injuries. There is a brutal prison fight. Characters are smashed in the face with guns. One character is a vicious psychopath who beats up innocent bystanders and murders characters in cold blood (with guns). In one scene, he treats a female date roughly, grabbing her and throwing her to the ground. We see an auto accident, and a bloody head is visible through the wrecked car window, as well as a pair of immobile, child's feet. A character tells gruesome stories about the Iraq war. Hunters gut and clean a dead deer.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
A loving couple is shown waking up in bed together. They talk about having a baby. Later, the woman mentions that she's pregnant by another man.
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Very strong language includes mainly uses of "f--k" and "motherf--ker." "S--t," "c--t," "Goddamn," "son of a bitch," "balls," and "swear to God" are also used. A middle finger gesture is used.
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Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
The main character drives drunk, causes an accident, and goes to prison. A supporting character is a drug dealer. He injects some kind of unknown drug (with a needle and spoon) that seems to give him energy. "Glass" (crystal meth) is mentioned as drug for sale. The main character buys drugs as a means of finding the bad guy. Most characters are seen drinking fairly often, mostly beer and whisky, but sometimes other hard liquor.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Out of the Furnace is a revenge thriller set in steel mill town in Pennsylvania near the Appalachians. It features some bloody, gory violence, mostly in the form of underground, bare-knuckle boxing matches. One character is a psychopath who beats up, shoots, and/or kills several characters. He also roughs up a woman. The main character drives drunk, causes an accident, and goes to jail. Characters drink a good deal of beer and whisky, and the bad guy is a drug dealer, and hard drugs are sometimes shown and/or discussed. Language is very strong, with fairly frequent use of "f--k." Sex is not an issue, though there is a loving couple shown, and the woman is said to be pregnant. The movie's strong suit is its acting, and it may enthrall some older teens, but it's not recommended for younger viewers. To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
The performances of the entire cast iin this film easily rank with their best work. Former actor Scott Cooper made his directorial debut with Crazy Heart, which won a long-deserved Oscar for actor Jeff Bridges. Cooper follows that film with his second directorial effort, OUT OF THE FURNACE. It's another exercise in superb acting, even if it's sadly lacking in the storytelling department. It's sometimes confusing, glossing over simple details. For example, it's not clear at first why Russell goes to jail, and it's unclear just how long he's there. Cooper succeeds in establishing a deliberate, gritty, moody pace, reveling in a small-town atmosphere. Unfortunately, this pace does not serve the simple, pulpy revenge story. It drags on too long, and it's too grim; the climactic chase appears to be unfolding in slow motion. However, the tone does help to establish the strong characters. Woody Harrelson in particular makes a memorable backwoods villain, vile, vicious, and unpredictable.
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.