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A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
A character learns to think about and feel empathy for others. Hope takes the place of some pessimism. Occasional talk about the hope for the oncoming of civilization.
Positive Role Models
The characters live by the rules of the old West. They occasionally resort to violence, gunplay, drinking, or smoking, though Jay is generally good-hearted and remains hopeful and kind.
Violence & Scariness
Many characters shot and killed. Dripping, pooling blood. Blood spatters. Dried-up corpse smashed by a tree. Arrow through the hand. Two children orphaned after a shootout. Robberies. General menace.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
Very brief, mild sexual reference.
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Infrequent strong language includes "f--k," "s--t," "bitch," and "bastard."
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Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Characters get very drunk from absinthe, with hangovers the next morning. Consistent cigar smoking. Brief reference to psychedelic mushrooms.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Slow West is a Western with a very subtle, slightly dark sense of humor. There's lots of shooting and killing, and things get very bloody; a character is shot through the hand with an arrow, and in one dark scene, two kids are shown waiting for their parents, who were just shot to death. Language includes occasional uses of "f--k," "s--t," "bitch," and "bastard," plus a very mild, brief sexual reference. Characters get drunk on absinthe and wake up with hangovers; they also smoke cigars and cigarettes regularly (accurate for the era), and there's a brief reference to psychedelic mushrooms. Viewers who are at least casual fans of Westerns will best appreciate the movie, but adventurous older teens and indie film lovers may want to check it out, too. To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
Writer/director John Maclean -- a musician and former member of The Beta Band -- makes a noteworthy feature debut with this Western. SLOW WEST definitely revels in the glories of the genre; it's filled with beautifully composed shots, graceful movements, and masterful uses of color, light, and dark -- not to mention striking images of man at odds with his environment. Many shots are simply beautiful, such as one in which Jay pauses to listen to some music. Others are bemused, such as when Jay wanders into the wrong camp and overhears an amusing story.
But this is no traditional Western; Maclean's taste for the absurd creeps in around the edges -- as when the characters coolly observe the corpse of a man crushed by a tree he was chopping down -- sometimes causing unexpected laughs. The cast is terrific, especially Fassbender, who makes a fine Western outlaw, even if his character is kept at a bit of a distance through murky motivations.
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.