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A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
Working together to avoid harm. Standing up for yourself and for others. Learning from people who are different from you.
Positive Role Models
Quigley is hard working, open-minded, and despite being a skilled sharpshooter dislikes harming others. However, he does quickly resort to violence to defend himself and settle disputes. Marston is cruel and racist, and typifies brutal colonial attitudes. He and Quigley clash because of this. Cora is strong-willed and does not allow herself to be intimidated by men who try to intimidate her.
International cast, but mostly White and male. Aboriginal actors feature in supporting roles. Different languages spoken. Some characters hold racist, colonialist attitudes and describe indigenous populations as "backward." Character with mental health issues referred to as "crazy." Brief discussion about trauma.
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Violence & Scariness
Character handles guns and knives for work and self-defense. Character struck in crotch with bat, played for comic effect. Punches and kicks in scuffles. Bloody injuries but not serious. Weapons and ammunition discussed and appraised. Character thrown through window, not seriously hurt. Characters shot and killed. No gore. Character discusses the accidental death of a child. Characters shot to death and fall from cliff's edge. Other characters herded over a cliff's edge to their deaths. Discussion of murder by poisoning. Character is roughly abducted by someone. Wild dogs fight. Gnashing and tearing sounds but no graphic injury. Arson and property damage.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
Character light-heartedly propositions someone for sex. Reference to intercourse. Kissing. Topless nudity. Full nudity shown from behind.
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Language used includes "bugger," "bloody," "bastard," and "s--t." Americans are referred to as "Yanks." "God almighty," "goddammit," and "Jesus" all used as exclamations.
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Products & Purchases
A character travels from the U.S. to Australia for a high-paying job, initially shown to be motivated by money. Another character is callously prepared to kill for profit.
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Characters roll and smoke cigarettes, drink alcohol with meals. Reference to drunkenness.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Quigley Down Under is an Australian Western set in the Outback in the 1800s and has gun violence and nudity. Matthew Quigley (Tom Selleck) is an American sharpshooter who is hired by brutal landowner Elliott Marston (Alan Rickman). Reflecting the movie's colonial-era setting, Marston and others frequently show racist attitudes toward them. When Marston orders Quigley to kill Aboriginal people, he refuses, showing courage, compassion, and integrity. Violence features frequently, mainly in the form of gunfights, which leads to on-screen deaths and bloody injuries. Quigley is a skilled shooter so also discusses his modified weapons with others at length. There is topless nudity and bare buttocks are also displayed in a non-sexual context. Swearing is frequent and includes "s--t," "bugger," and blasphemy. Both Quigley and Marston are motivated by money to different degrees, although the former doesn't let it cloud his judgment or morals. Drinking and smoking appear in moderation, with one story told relating to drunk characters. To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
Transplanting '90s-era Selleck into the 1860s Australian desert to star as a rugged sharpshooter will be all the information some people need to tune into this reliable but not spectacular Western. In the years since its 1990 release, Quigley Down Under has also amassed a cult following for its detailed depiction and discussion of firearms from the period, with the "Quigley rifle" now a standard term for the Sharps guns used in the movie.
However, anyone with a low boredom threshold for lengthy shootouts might find the movie's two-hour runtime akin to sitting a bit too long in the sun. Selleck delivers as the brawny, compassionate hero that the script requires him to be. But there's no escaping the repetitive nature of his battles with Rickman's petty, murderous Marston, who finds out the hard way that the Outback isn't going to be big enough for the both of them. Adding a dash of emotional depth is Laura San Giacomo's "Crazy Cora," whose hyperactive performance is eventually allowed to settle down into something more measured. Like the rest of the movie, it might not be subtle, but it hits its intended target.
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.