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Parents' Guide to

The Keeping Room

By Brian Costello, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 17+

Engaging but brutally violent Civil War drama.

Movie R 2022 94 minutes
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THE KEEPING ROOM is an extremely violent Civil War tale that is best for mature teens and older. This intense drama forces the viewer to confront some of the horrors of the Civil War and the ways in which most war movies have traditionally conveyed fighting as valorous, glorious, and without blood, unless it's the enemy, of course. It's as gruesome and bleak as it is tense and suspenseful, and what emerges are characters brought to the brink of insanity by the horrors of war and all it has wrought. There are no heroes in this movie; while the women who are trying to defend themselves and their home from two dissipated and just plain nasty Union soldiers are certainly sympathetic characters whom the audience wants to "win," they don't display the typical modes of heroism as conveyed in so many war or action movies so much as being in desperate survival mode, reacting to one traumatic situation after the other. What ultimately emerges is an unforgettable exploration of the theme of resiliency in the human spirit, manifested during one of America's ugliest and most-chronicled chapters in its history.

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