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"ALL THE PRETTY HORSES"
(2000) (Matt Damon, Penelope Cruz) (PG-13)

Alcohol/
Drugs
Blood/Gore Disrespectful/
Bad Attitude
Frightening/
Tense Scenes
Guns/
Weapons
Moderate Moderate Extreme Moderate Extreme
Imitative
Behavior
Jump
Scenes
Music
(Scary/Tense)
Music
(Inappropriate)
Profanity
Mild Minor Mild None Moderate
Sex/
Nudity
Smoking Tense Family
Scenes
Topics To
Talk About
Violence
Moderate Moderate Mild Mild Extreme


QUICK TAKE:
Drama: After losing his family farm, a young American sets off for Mexico with his best friend and discovers passion, opportunity and peril once they arrive there.
PLOT:
It's Texas in the late 1940s and John Grady Cole (MATT DAMON) has just learned that his estranged mother will be selling his family's ranch now that his grandfather has died. Yearning for the life of a farmhand, Cole sets off to Mexico with his best friend, Lacey Rawlins (HENRY THOMAS), hoping to find such work on the legendary, sprawling ranches south of the Rio Grande.

En route, they run into Jimmy Blevins (LUCAS BLACK), a troubled teen and crackerjack shot who's afraid of lightning and may or may not have stolen both his gun and the horse he's riding. After Jimmy loses the latter, the two help him retrieve the horse from its new owner, but barely end up avoiding the gun-toting posse that sets out after the teen.

The two then make it into Mexico where they find work on a sprawling ranch owned by Rocha (RUBEN BLADES). Cole and Lacey are handy around a farm, and Cole's expertise and knowledge about horses lands him a plum equestrian job working directly for the big boss. Of course, that might not have happened had the owner realized that his beautiful adult daughter, Alejandra (PENELOPE CRUZ), has eyes for the young American and vice-versa.

Alejandra's wise and knowing aunt, Dona Alfonsa (MIRIAM COLON), however, sees just that, and warns Cole not to be responsible for ruining her niece's reputation and honor since those are the only things Mexican women can control. Disregarding that advice/warning, Cole and Alejandra fall into each other's arms, prompting her family to send her off for a while to cool things off.

In the meantime, Cole and Lacey's previous association with Jimmy lands them in a Mexican jail where a corrupt Police Captain (JULIO OSCAR MECHOSO) wants them to confess to crimes they didn't commit. From that point on, the two men must deal with the repercussions that follow, as well as Cole's desire to see and be with Alejandra once again.

WILL KIDS WANT TO SEE IT?
If they're fans of anyone in the cast, Western-style movies or the original novel from which this film is based, they just might. It doesn't seem likely, however, that preteens will be interested in it (unless they fall into any of the above groups).
WHY THE MPAA RATED IT: PG-13
For violence and some sexuality.
CAST AS ROLE MODELS:
  • MATT DAMON plays a young American who travels to Mexico looking for work on a ranch. He discovers that, along with the owner's pretty daughter whom he beds. He also smokes, lies some and kills a man in prison, who was trying to do the same to him, after being sent there with his friend.
  • HENRY THOMAS plays his friend, a fellow farmhand, who smokes, cusses and also finds himself imprisoned in a Mexican prison.
  • LUCAS BLACK plays a teen who cusses, is into all sorts of trouble (including reportedly killing a man) and drags Cole and Lacey into it as well.
  • PENELOPE CRUZ plays the beautiful daughter of a wealthy ranch owner and ends up ruining her reputation and thus life by seeing and sleeping with Cole.
  • RUBEN BLADES plays her father, the powerful and wealthy ranch owner.
  • JULIO OSCAR MECHOSO plays a corrupt Mexican police captain who kills a prisoner and makes life bad for Cole and Lacey.
  • MIRIAM COLON plays Alejandra's wise and knowing aunt who wants to make sure that Cole doesn't ruin her niece's reputation.
  • CAST, CREW, & TECHNICAL INFO

    HOW OTHERS RATED THIS MOVIE


    Curious if this title is entertaining, any good, and/or has any artistic merit?
    Then read OUR TAKE of this film.


    (Note: The "Our Take" review of this title examines the film's artistic merits and does not take into account any of the possibly objectionable material listed below).


    OUR WORD TO PARENTS:
    The following is a brief summary of the content found in this PG-13 rated drama. Violence consists of several prison stabbings (one of which is lethal), a person being shot in the leg, another being shot to death off camera, and other instances of people being threatened or harmed. Such scenes, along with other moments and some related blood/gore, may be unsettling or tense for some viewers, and many of the perpetrators of such violence obviously have bad attitudes.

    We see a young man and woman making out in several scenes (in bed and while skinny-dipping), with very brief partial nudity and suggested off-camera sex. Profanity consists of at least 17 "s" words and other expletives and colorful phrases, while various characters smoke and drink (with some related, but brief drunkenness), and a young man must leave his home after the death of his grandfather.

    If you're still concerned about the film and its appropriateness for yourself or anyone else in your home who may wish to see it, we suggest that you more closely examine our detailed content listings for specific examples of what occurs in the film.


    ALCOHOL OR DRUG USE
  • After stopping in a Mexican outpost and getting something to drink (what they believe to be cider), we then see that Cole, Lacey and Jimmy are all drunk (with the latter being of the fall down variety).
  • Various ranch hands, including Cole and Lacey, have beer in front of them with dinner. We later see beer on a bedside night table.
  • Various people have beer while watching Cole and Lacey attempting to break some wild horses on the ranch.
  • Lacey drinks liquor from the bottle, while Cole later does the same.
  • We see some bottles of booze next to a piano in a bar/club.
  • Alfonsa and Cole have drinks by them while playing chess.
  • BLOOD/GORE
  • We see Jimmy's feet that are discolored and maybe a bit bloody.
  • Lacey has a tiny bit of a bloody lip and later his face is somewhat cut up.
  • Cole has a bloody slash on his cheek, while the man who attacked him has some blood on his shirt. We later see some haphazard medical stitching on both Cole's cheek and chest from where he was earlier stabbed.
  • Cole has some blood on his leg after being shot there. Later, he tries to cauterize that clearly seen wound with the glowing hot barrel of his pistol. Even later, Cole shows off the partially healed entry and exit wound on his leg.
  • A man has some blood on his head.
  • DISRESPECTFUL/BAD ATTITUDE
  • Cole and Lacey act like they're going to shoot Jimmy and take his horse (just to intimidate him), but the boy knows they're only fooling around.
  • Cole lies to Rocha about riding with Jimmy.
  • Jimmy admits to killing one man while retrieving his pistol that, like his horse, may have been stolen in the first place.
  • A Mexican captain goes over his limits in how he deals with and treats his prisoners, going so far as to killing one.
  • Lacey seems concerned that doctors put "Mexican blood" into him after he was injured.
  • Cole takes a man, who earlier wronged him, hostage at gunpoint.
  • FRIGHTENING SCENES
  • Scenes listed under "Violence" and/or "Blood/Gore" may also be tense or unsettling to some viewers.
  • As Cole and Lacey are helpless to watch, a Mexican cop takes a prisoner out into the woods and shoots him (heard, but not seen).
  • Cole notices everyone in a prison cafeteria getting up and standing along the walls, all except for one man. That man then suddenly lunges at Cole with a knife/shiv, cutting and punching him several times. Cole then punches that man in return and pulls out a switchblade that he repeatedly uses to stab that man, killing him (we don't see any graphic penetration or related wounds).
  • GUNS/WEAPONS
  • Rifles/Pistols/Knives/Shiv/Switchblade: Carried by various characters and used to threaten, wound or kill others. See "Violence" for details.
  • IMITATIVE BEHAVIOR
  • Phrases: "You're a lying sack of sh*t," "I don't give a sh*t," "Bullsh*t," "I'm drunker than sh*t," "He's gone completely dip-sh*t," "Sh*t for brains," "Shut up," "Quit assing around," "What the hell is wrong with you?" "Take a leak" and "Whore" (in English subtitles).
  • Cole and Lacey act like they're going to shoot Jimmy and take his horse (just to intimidate him), but the boy knows they're only fooling around.
  • To prove his gunslinger accuracy, Jimmy shoots a hole through Lacey's wallet after that man throws it up into the air.
  • JUMP SCENES
  • The sudden sound of a gunshot might startle some viewers.
  • MUSIC (SCARY/TENSE)
  • A mild amount of suspenseful music plays in a few scenes.
  • MUSIC (INAPPROPRIATE)
  • None.
  • PROFANITY
  • At least 17 "s" words, 12 damns, 10 hells, 8 S.O.B.s, 4 asses, 7 uses of "G-damn," 2 of "Oh God" and 1 use each of "Lord," "My God," "Oh Jesus," "Good God Almighty," "By God" and "Swear to God" as exclamations.
  • SEX/NUDITY
  • Cole and Alejandra go skinny-dipping at night and we very briefly see what looks like the side of her bare breast in the water. The two then passionately make out while embraced in the water.
  • In a montage, we see the two of them kissing in his bedroom, fully clothed. In another shot from that montage, we see Cole on top of her in bed as they kiss, along with the tops of her bare breasts (in only a several second shot).
  • We see Alejandra standing in her nightgown looking out the window while Cole sleeps in a bed, thus suggesting that they've had sex (this is after they get back together after a long separation).
  • SMOKING
  • Both Cole and Lacey smoke more than 5 times each, while Rocha smokes a few times and various miscellaneous characters smoke cigarettes or pipes in different scenes.
  • TENSE FAMILY SCENES
  • We briefly see Cole sitting by his grandfather's open casket after the latter has died. We also learn that Cole's parents are divorced and his estranged mother has remarried.
  • We learn that Jimmy has run away from home due to an abusive stepfather.
  • TOPICS TO TALK ABOUT
  • Life and work on a ranch/farm.
  • Alfonsa's statement that men can lose their honor, but then get it back, while women can't do the same.
  • Cole killing someone in self-defense while in a Mexican prison.
  • VIOLENCE
  • After they help Jimmy steal back his horse (that may or may not have been his to begin with), the new "owner" fires shots as Cole and Lacey with his pistol.
  • Cole and Lacey are thrown to the ground various times while trying to break a group of wild horses on the ranch.
  • Some policemen/militia remove and arrest Cole at gunpoint.
  • Jimmy admits to killing one man (and shooting others) while retrieving his pistol that, like his horse, may have been stolen in the first place.
  • Some police throw Lacey to the floor of their jail cell after interrogating him.
  • Some guards struggle with a prisoner who doesn't want to be taken off.
  • A captain uses a gun to shoot a prisoner dead (this occurs off camera, but we hear the shot).
  • We see some people, including Cole and Lacey, being slammed up against gates and then hit while in prison.
  • A man stabs another man in the chest (although we don't see the impact/penetration) with a knife or shiv several times (although he's wounded, we later see the victim alive).
  • Cole notices everyone in a prison cafeteria getting up and standing along the walls, all except for one man. That man then suddenly lunges at Cole with a knife/shiv, cutting and punching him several times. Cole then punches that man in return and pulls out a switchblade that he repeatedly uses to stab that man, killing him (we don't see any graphic penetration or related wounds).
  • Cole holds his pistol on a man who earlier wronged him and then leads him along with it. Moments later, he hits him over the head with that pistol, knocking him out. Various other men then show up with guns and surround the building where Cole is hiding. He then comes out with that first man at gunpoint, but the other men open fire on them, hitting Cole in the leg. In turn, he shoots back at them.
  • That man grabs a gun and tries to shoot Cole, but the gun is empty. In turn, Cole grabs that man, throws him down and briefly tries to strangle him.



  • Reviewed December 12, 2000 / Posted December 25, 2000

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