A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this movie.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Sin City: A Dame to Kill For is the sequel to 2005's Sin City, and -- like that film -- it's insanely violent, with lots of rough sex and nudity. Though the movie is filmed in stylized black and white and the blood mostly appears as pure white, it's still accompanied by a sickly spattering sound as characters are shot or dismembered. Characters are wounded and killed by everything from hard punches and bullets to swords, arrows, and shurikens. Eyes are gouged out, limbs are chopped off, and people are shot in the face. Sex is usually shown as hard and angry, with lots of thrusting (and men are usually cheating on their wives). One female character is naked in several scenes (breasts and bottom), and there's other partial nudity. Language isn't quite as strong, but there is a use of "f--k" and a few uses of "s--t." A minor character is shown doing drugs, and a major character is shown drinking excessively, while most of the characters smoke cigarettes or cigars.
- Parents say
- Kids say
bloodier, gorier, nastier, meaner, grittier, darker, rougher, more intense, more brutal, more violent, and more graphic than the first
What's the story?
In the grim, brutal black-and-white city, several stories unfold. Marv (Mickey Rourke) tangles with some homicidal trust-fund college kids but can't remember how it started. Stripper Nancy (Jessica Alba) still grinds onstage at a sleazy bar but dreams of avenging the death of her true love (Bruce Willis, who appears briefly). Dwight (Josh Brolin, formerly played by Clive Owen), becomes entangled with a dangerous former lover, femme fatale Ava (Eva Green). And a newcomer to Sin City, gambler Johnny (Joseph Gordon-Levitt), enters a high-stakes poker game with a powerful city official (Powers Boothe). Along the way, viewers also meet wayward husbands, back-alley doctors, ladies of the night, and other souls lost among the concrete and darkness.
Is it any good?
SIN CITY: A DAME TO KILL FOR is just more of the same. Nine years after Robert Rodriguez and Frank Miller brought audiences Sin City (2005) comes this sequel. Their hyper green screen presentation is no longer as unique as it once was, and it would have been difficult to top the original. It starts off enticingly hard-boiled, with actors narrating their sorry, desperate tales, and for a while it feels like those stories are actually building to something.
But instead of developing the characters and plots, the filmmakers simply turn from crime stories to hardcore action and violence, with the thundering bullets and punches and spraying blood forming a kind of monotonous cacophony; the endings of the stories are usually a burst of violence rather than a burst of cleverness. Moreover, the treatment of women hasn't changed and is no less disturbing. Women are either sex objects or flat-out untrustworthy and dangerous. It's often dazzling, but it's also dull.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about Sin City: A Dame to Kill For's extreme violence. What effect does it have? How does it make you feel? How did the filmmakers achieve this effect?
How does the violence compare with other movies? With the previous Sin City? Why does this movie go so far over the top? How does the violence enhance or detract from the story?
How is sex portrayed in this movie? What role does it play in characters' relationships?
How do women come across in the movie? Are they defined by their bodies or by other qualities? Does their sexuality empower them or make them easier to objectify?
- In theaters: August 22, 2014
- On DVD or streaming: November 18, 2014
- Cast: Mickey Rourke, Jessica Alba, Josh Brolin, Joseph Gordon-Levitt
- Directors: Robert Rodriguez, Frank Miller
- Studio: Dimension
- Genre: Action/Adventure
- Run time: 102 minutes
- MPAA rating: R
- MPAA explanation: strong brutal stylized violence throughout, sexual content, nudity, and brief drug use
- Last updated: March 13, 2020
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