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A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
This movie shows, through discussion and example, how faith, valor, and camaraderie can help people who are going through extraordinarily difficult circumstances.
Positive Role Models
The soldiers learn the importance of bravery, valor, and camaraderie as they struggle to survive behind enemy lines. The soldier nicknamed "Deacon" sees the average German people not as "Krauts" the way the other soldiers do but as ordinary human beings struggling under extraordinary circumstances.
Violence & Scariness
Frequent war violence. Dead soldiers are shown on the battlefield covered in blood. Soldiers are shown being shot and killed at close range. After a solider is shot in the thigh, his injury is graphically shown as a medic works to remove the bullet by slicing open the thigh and working around exposed muscle. A French woman who has allowed Allied soldiers to hide out on the first floor of her house is grabbed roughly by a German soldier on patrol; he pulls and yanks at her dress, implying a potential rape. In a flashback scene, one of the main characters, who is suffering through shell shock, is shown throwing a grenade into a church, accidentally causing the death of two women and six children.
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Infrequent mild profanity: "damn," ass," "hell." German soldiers are called "Krauts."
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Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Characters smoke cigarettes. A running joke is how an English paratrooper refuses to share his cigarettes with one of the American soldiers.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Saints and Soldiers is a 2003 low-budget World War II-themed movie about five Allied soldiers trapped deep behind enemy lines who need to get important information back to their armies that could save thousands of soldiers from an enemy attack. There is frequent battle violence -- dead bodies and blood, as well as a graphic scene in which one of the main characters is shown getting a bullet removed from his thigh. In a flashback scene, a soldier recounts throwing a grenade into a bombed-out church and accidentally causing the deaths of two women and six kids. There is cigarette smoking and the occasional mild profanity ("hell" and "damn"). Overall, fans of World War II movies should enjoy this film inspired by the true story of what transpired in the wake of the Malmedy massacre and the courage, valor, and camaraderie that develops among these four surviving soldiers. To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
All in all, SAINTS AND SOLDIERS proves that a great story with a low budget is always better than a lousy story with a big budget. The acting is strong, and the production is solid. Although the story occasionally veers dangerously close to wartime clichés -- the soldier who just wants to "kill some Krauts," the snobby British soldier, one-liners riffing on the theme of "war is hell" -- war, unlike so many other movies, is not glorified or glamorized here. The bullets fired don't care if the characters are heroes or not. The characters do break out of their archetypes into three dimensions, and even the enemy and the civilians emerge as human.
Although it's certainly a movie more likely to be enjoyed by fans of World War II-set films, the movie's themes of faith, valor, and camaraderie should have appeal even if war movies aren't a family's favorite. It isn't the greatest war film ever made, but it's thoughtful and engaging on its own terms.
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.