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A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
Female characters struggle in a world where they must rely on men for their livelihoods.
Violence & Scariness
A man is whipped as punishment for a crime. The town boss murders several people in a fit of rage. A man commits suicide when he's unable to win the respect of the adult daughter he abandoned as an infant.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
Several of the leading characters are prostitutes who work in the town bordello, and nudity and sex figure prominently in several scenes, though they're not of an exploitative nature.
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Some strong language.
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Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
The town's recreational centers are the bordello and the saloon.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that this movie isn't likely to interest most teens, which is probably for the best -- pervasive adult themes and some sexual and violent content make this a movie best for mature viewers only. To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
British actor Peter Mullen gives an excellent performance and the other actors are as capable, especially Sarah Polley, but the story gives them less to do. In fact, some of their stories seem to have been truncated, as if the filmmakers decided in the editing process to concentrate solely on Mr. Dillon's character.
The epic photography of this harsh land is quite beautiful, as is the majestic yet troubling score by Michael Nyman (The Piano). But the movie's overall bleakness, while appropriate to its themes, makes it unlikely to appeal to a broad range of viewers. It's certainly not recommended for teens, except perhaps those with an interest in Thomas Hardy, from whose novel The Mayor of Casterbridge, this was loosely adapted.
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Our Editors Recommend
Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.See how we rate