A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
The movie highlights the importance of forgiveness, communication, and teamwork, as well as accepting the past in order to move on with the future.
Positive Role Models
Both brothers are stubborn and unable to express their emotions, stuck behind a wall of masculine behavior that prevents them from connecting with themselves or each other. Les drinks heavily and makes no effort to follow rules or get along with anyone, while Colin is more friendly, good-natured, and involved in the local village. The local women are shown to be more kind and thoughtful, with the vet in particular reaching out to Colin and attempting to help.
Violence & Scariness
Guns are used on numerous occasions, including being shot through windows and floorboards in a rage. They are also used to slaughter a herd of sheep -- after which dead animals are seen piled up and burned in a pit, and blood shown on a character's hands and face. Disease is mentioned repeatedly and there are scenes including biohazard suits. A bar fight is initiated but ends before anyone is hurt. There are moments of peril in a bush fire, a character passes out from smoke inhalation, and charred animal remains are shown. Someone is knocked unconscious with a spade.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
Occasional mild sexual innuendo. Sheep are shown mating and reference made to their genitalia on a number of occasions. Character is seen in just their underwear, though not in a sexual context.
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Occasional strong language includes "s--t," "bulls--t," "bastard," "p--k," "ass," and "bloody." One character sticks two fingers up in an offensive gesture.
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Products & Purchases
No reference to consumerism, but there is a strong friction between traditional and more modern farming practices.
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Characters drink alcohol, including beer, wine, and spirits. One character is seen drunk to the point of violent behavior and passing out, and is eventually taken to hospital. Reference is made to alcoholism.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Rams is an Australian dramedy with some upsetting scenes involving disease and the slaughter of sheep, including gunshots and dead animals. It centers on Colin (Sam Neill) and Les (Michael Caton), two estranged brothers who live on neighboring farms and compete to breed prize sheep -- and whose stubbornness prevents themselves from re-engaging. Guns are also shot to frighten people but never aimed directly at others. Strong language includes "s--t" and "bastard." Characters drink on several occasions, alcoholism is referenced, and Les gets visibly drunk and passes out. Bush fires are shown, and a character collapses from smoke inhalation. Sex is mainly mentioned in reference to sheep, though there's some innuendo, and a scene shows two sheep mating. Overall, this is a mild and heartwarming movie, although the more adult themes and moments of peril may be too much for younger kids. To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
As much a study of the trappings of masculinity, and the struggles between tradition and progress, as it is about sheep, this is a gentle comedy drama with a surprisingly big heart. Adapted from the 2015 Icelandic film of the same name -- which itself received many plaudits -- Rams could easily have wandered into farce and slapstick. But thankfully it avoids these trappings, maintaining a light tone, while offering something a little deeper from its characters.
Neill, who regularly shares photos of his real-life farm on social media, is ideally cast as the calm, loving breeder, who reminds his "girls" how beautiful they are and gives his ram brotherly pep talks. He's the antithesis of Caton's alcoholic recluse, whose temper is expressed in bullet-fueled tirades and a "get off my lawn" mentality. The pair are like repelling magnets, the emotional distance between them forever undermined by their close proximity and the unspoken connection of underlying similarity -- a strong force that continues to pull them in each other's direction. It's a tension that can never be overcome without acknowledging their place in each other's past and the inevitable role they must play in rebuilding themselves and their futures.
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.