A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this movie.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that The Baytown Outlaws follows three bandit brothers who are hired to kidnap a boy and end up blasting their way through scene after scene, leaving a pile of bloody bodies in their wake. Nobody comes off well here: not the woman (Eva Longoria) who looks like she's trying to save her godson, not the crooked sheriff, and certainly not the gangster (Billy Bob Thornton) who's determined to snuff out the brothers after they raid his home, guns a-blazing. There's near non-stop swearing (including "f--k" in almost every scene) and almost as much violence, including big guns, big explosions, and plenty of secondary characters who get shot to bloody bits. There's also some drinking and smoking, and some sexually suggestive images, including a shot of a woman's naked behind.
- Parents say
- Kids say
What's the story?
The titular characters of THE BAYTOWN OUTLAWS are three redneck brothers who roam the South with big guns, taking out rival gangs that cross their path. Their foes include a Latino gangster's henchmen, a group of barely dressed biker-girl hit women, a Native American gang that scalps its victims, and a band of African-American thugs in an armored truck. The story's action is set off when Celeste (Eva Longoria) hires the brothers to kidnap her godson from her gangster ex-husband (Billy Bob Thornton), while a corrupt sheriff (Andre Braugher) tries to steer the law in the wrong direction. Before the movie is over, dozens of bloody bodies are littering the road.
Is it any good?
THE BAYTOWN OUTLAWS seems to be trying to emulate the work of Quentin Tarantino, but it's nowhere near as interesting. Director Barry Battles isn't as skillful and doesn't seem to have that much to say. He just stages a whole bunch of big shoot outs without really having a bigger point. Nobody here really comes off as the good guys; there are the bad guys and their rivals, the even-worse guys.
Some movies about outlaws get the audience to root for the bandits to get away clean. This isn't one of them. Not only is there a glaring lack of plot to tie together the action scenes, there's also a notable lack of protagonists whom viewers will want to watch. Certainly not the three brothers, who do little to earn our affection or our attention.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about The Baytown Outlaws' violence. Is it realistic? Is it intended to be?
How does the violence in this movie compare to films by directors like Quentin Tarantino? Is the high body count here trying to say anything in particular, or do you think the goal is to appeal to an audience that likes to see people shooting big guns?
Talk about the brothers' relationship with Rob, the disabled teen they're hired to kidnap. Why do they all start to bond? Who really cares the most for Rob -- his godmother or the bandits?
- In theaters: January 11, 2013
- On DVD or streaming: April 2, 2013
- Cast: Andre Braugher, Billy Bob Thornton, Eva Longoria
- Director: Barry Battles
- Studio: Phase 4 Films
- Genre: Action/Adventure
- Topics: Brothers and Sisters
- Run time: 98 minutes
- MPAA rating: R
- MPAA explanation: strong bloody violence, pervasive language, some sexual and drug content
- Last updated: September 4, 2020
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