A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
Not much in the way of positive messages in this Western shoot-'em-up.
Positive Role Models
Although the movie and characters are firmly rooted in the conventions of a Western, Ellen emerges as an atypically tough and independent woman and a refreshing variation on the classic "strong, silent type."
Violence & Scariness
Frequent Western-style gun violence. Explosions, fistfights, knife fights. There is an implied rape of a young girl by an old man.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
After an all-night drinking binge, Ellen wakes up in the bed of a younger man who implies that they slept together. Prostitutes walk around and leer at passersby.
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"A--hole." "Ass." "Chickens--t." "Playing with yourself."
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Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Characters drink whiskey and beer to excess and act intoxicated. They also smoke cigarettes.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that The Quick and the Dead is filled with Western-style violence in the form of shoot-outs, gun and rifle play, fistfights, knife fights, and hangings. There also is a scene in which the rape of a young girl by an older man is strongly implied, and, in a flashback sequence, a young girl is forced to shoot a gun at her father, who is on the verge of being hung by bandits, and accidentally kills him. Although the general violence and mayhem isn't much different from classic Westerns, this movie does not shy away from showing, for instance, the hollow space left in the head after a bullet blasts through it. There is profanity ("chickens--t") and drinking and smoking. Families with older teens who enjoy Westerns will get a kick out of how this movie both celebrates and plays with the conventions and tropes of the genre. To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
THE QUICK AND THE DEAD is very aware of the tropes and conventions of the classic Western and has fun using those elements to their fullest, as well as turning those conventions on their head. Although it's as violent as other Westerns -- and perhaps even more so at times -- there is an element of dark humor at play, both in the different gunslingers competing in the barbaric showdown competition against one another and in the way many of these gunslingers die.
As Ellen, Sharon Stone brings a "strong, silent" character to life and presents a strong female lead not often seen in Westerns. As the bandit/warlord of the rather depressing Western town, Gene Hackman brings a strong sense of wicked style as the evil Herod. The action is unrelenting, and although it treads heavily on familiar territory, The Quick and the Dead still manages to take a familiar genre and make it into something entirely its own.
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.