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"THE CLAIM"
(2000) (Wes Bentley, Sara Polley) (R)

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


QUICK TAKE:
Drama: The lives of a 19th century man and the residents of the small frontier town he runs are forever changed upon the arrival of three visitors.
PLOT:
It's winter 1867 in the small town of Kingdom Come in the Sierra Nevadas. Run by Daniel Dillon (PETER MULLAN), who years earlier traded his wife and young child for gold and a claim to the property that he then built up into what it is today, the remote frontier town isn't much more than a stopping point for those looking for alcohol or the company of prostitutes, both of which are managed by Dillon's lover, Lucia (MILLA JOVOVICH).

The latest visitors to the town are Dalglish (WES BENTLEY) and his survey team from the Central Pacific Railway, which includes his partner, Bellanger (JULIAN RICHINGS) who's sweet on one of the hookers, Annie (SHIRLEY HENDERSON). The team is looking for a route through the area to run their tracks and Dillon is keen on making sure his town is along one of its stops.

Then there's Elena (NASTASSJA KINSKI) and Hope Burn (SARAH POLLEY), a mother and daughter who've traveled to Kingdom Come to meet Dillon. It seems that Elena is terminally ill and hopes that Dillon, a man from her past, might be able to care for Hope financially.

As Dillon's past and future collide in the snowy winter, the arrival of the three visitors and revelations related to them then set into motion a series of events that will forever change Kingdom Come and the man who runs it

WILL KIDS WANT TO SEE IT?
Unless they're fans of someone in the cast, it's rather unlikely.
WHY THE MPAA RATED IT: R
For sexuality, and some language and violence.
CAST AS ROLE MODELS:
  • WES BENTLEY plays the lead survey engineer for a railroad who stops in Kingdome Come where he partakes in alcohol and the company of hookers. He also shoots and kills a man, drinks, and uses some profanity.
  • MILLA JOVOVICH plays Dillon's lover who runs both the tavern and brothel. She uses some strong profanity, smokes, drinks, and sleeps with both Dillon and Dalglish.
  • NASTASSJA KINSKI plays a terminally ill woman who comes to Kingdom Come hoping that Dillon will care for her adult daughter.
  • PETER MULLAN plays the man who built up a town and runs it years after he sold/traded his wife and young daughter for the land. He shoots several men dead, sleeps with Lucia, smokes cigars and then tries to pay penance for his past actions.
  • SARAH POLLEY plays a young woman who travels to the town with her ailing mother and must contend with her attraction to Dalglish and a revelation that catches her off guard.
  • JULIAN RICHINGS plays Dalglish's survey partner who becomes romantically involved with a local hooker and drinks some.
  • 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:
    Here's a brief summary of the content found in this R-rated drama. Some of the story revolves around the various hookers in the frontier town, and several instances of varying degrees of nudity are present (one including full frontal and rear female nudity, another with bare breasts). Several sexual encounters are seen (one including a threesome with nudity and another with related sounds and movement) and some explicit, sexually related dialogue is present.

    Profanity consists of at least 2 uses of the "f" word, while a handful of other expletives and colorful phrases are used. Violence is listed as extreme due to several people being shot to death, another dying in an explosion (that also burns a horse), the burning down of a town (with imitative arson), a man allowing himself to freeze to death, and several instances of non-lethal fighting. Some of these scenes are a bit bloody and, along with those involving a terminally ill woman progressively getting sicker, may be unsettling for some viewers.

    Finally, various characters drink and/or smoke, some display varying degrees of bad attitudes, and some tense family scenes are present. Should you still be concerned about the film and it appropriateness for yourself or anyone else in your home, you may want to take a closer look at our detailed content listings for more specific examples of what occurs and is present in it.


    ALCOHOL OR DRUG USE
  • People drink in the local tavern/bar, including Dalglish who drinks whiskey and Lucia.
  • Various people drink.
  • In a flashback, Daniel drinks from a flask.
  • Various people drink.
  • Lucia and various hookers drink shots of liquor.
  • Dillon tells Elena that he doesn't drink anymore.
  • Dalglish and Bellanger drink shots of liquor.
  • People drink at a wedding reception.
  • Dalglish has a drink.
  • People drink in the local tavern where Dalglish announces that the railroad is buying the drinks that night (Dalglish and Lucia drink).
  • It looks like Hope gives Elena some wine to drink in relation to her illness.
  • Some people drink after a wedding.
  • BLOOD/GORE
  • We see some blood on a handkerchief that Elena was coughing into.
  • We see bloody lash marks on a man's back after he's whipped (while shirtless).
  • We see what look like body parts on the snowy ground after an explosion, but can't really tell what we're seeing.
  • Elena has some blood on her mouth from being sick (where she appeared to be vomiting, but we don't see or hear anything graphic).
  • We see a little bit of blood on a man's shirt after he's just been shot dead.
  • Dillon has a little blood splatter on his face from where he shot several men dead (who had some blood on their shirts).
  • DISRESPECTFUL/BAD ATTITUDE
  • A man makes disparaging remarks about Hope.
  • Dillon runs his town with an iron fist, and tries to sweet talk and then intimidate Dalglish into running the railroad by Kingdom Come.
  • Some may view the prostitutes and those who use their services as having both.
  • We learn that a man stole something (and he receives 25 lashings in public for that).
  • In a flashback, we see a young Dillon trade/sell his wife and baby to another man for gold and a claim.
  • He later reacts badly to the turn of events in his life and ends up killing several people and burning down his town.
  • FRIGHTENING SCENES
  • A horse-drawn carriage explodes when the nitroglycerine it's carrying is rattled around too much. This kills one man and catches a horse on fire (we see it running off through the snow while engulfed in flames).
  • Dalglish and his men arm themselves as Dillon and his men approach with their guns (as Hope innocently walks toward this confrontation). After someone suddenly makes a move, Dalglish shoots one of Dillon's men dead.
  • Dillon and his men march toward where the survey team is located (with a bunch of hookers). He shoots several of the surveyors dead and threatens to shoot Bellanger's fiancée. Others are removed at gunpoint.
  • Dillon then goes looking for Dalglish and shoots a mirror in an intimidating manner before aiming his gun at Dalglish (but Lucia calms him down and nothing else happens).
  • The scenes of Elena on her deathbed (gasping for air, etc.) may be unsettling for some viewers.
  • GUNS/WEAPONS
  • Various firearms: Carried by Dalglish and his team, and Dillon and his men, and used to threaten or shoot various people dead. See "Violence" for details.
  • Nitroglycerine: Used by the survey team to blast through mountains and the cause of an explosion that kills one man.
  • IMITATIVE BEHAVIOR
  • Phrases: "You're so full of sh*t," "Get your skinny ass in here," "Whore" and "What the hell is going on?"
  • Celebrants toss Bellanger up and down in the air (horizontally).
  • Under the notion that electricity can cure whatever ails Elena, a man has her hold two contacts to which he supplies hand-cranked electricity (not enough to shock her, but kids might get the wrong idea about electricity and "curing" physical problems). Earlier, he applied electricity to a dead frog.
  • A man pours gasoline throughout a town and then uses a lit torch to set it on fire (and breaks windows with the torch, smashes other things, and overturns a bookcase, etc.) eventually burning down the entire town.
  • JUMP SCENES
  • None.
  • MUSIC (SCARY/TENSE)
  • None.
  • MUSIC (INAPPROPRIATE)
  • None.
  • PROFANITY
  • At least 2 "f" words (both used sexually), 1 "s" word, 1 slang term for male genitals ("d*ck"), 1 ass, 1 damn, 1 hell, 2 uses of "Jesus Christ" and 1 use each of "G-damn," "For God's sakes" and "Oh God" as exclamations.
  • SEX/NUDITY
  • Someone comments that a prostitute is going to give Dalglish "lessons" and another comments that he's taken such "lessons" everywhere he's been.
  • Dillon sits behind Lucia, undoes her bodice and then undoes her boots. We then see them passionately kissing and then a long shot of him on top of her on bed that's followed by a head and shoulders shot of him kissing her neck (no other movement or nudity). We see some of her cleavage as she rolls on top of him and they then roll back and forth on the bed in an embrace. When he rolls onto her hair, she says that he's hurting her and then playfully asks if he likes to hurt her (he says no).
  • We see a bare-breasted prostitute and see Annie moving her clothed butt around Bellanger's clothed crotch in a suggestive manner.
  • Dalglish asks for two prostitutes to service him and they comply. One of the women then removes her top and we see the side of her bare breasts and then the full things. The two women then start taking off his clothes (he ends up shirtless and one works on his pants). One then mentions, "I'm going to f*ck you so deep. So, so deep that your d*ck will come out somewhere in the middle of China." The scene ends there, however, with nothing more seen.
  • We see the side of a woman's bare breast as she breastfeeds.
  • The manager of the brothel tells Annie that she's not "giving it away" to Bellanger (after we see them together and can't tell whether he's dressing or undressing her) and a comment is made about a woman being a "good ride."
  • We see a hooker's full frontal nudity as she walks down a hallway (and also see her bare butt) to meet a client.
  • Various hookers show cleavage.
  • We see Bellanger and Annie in bed together (but nothing's happening between them).
  • We hear a woman's sexual sounds as we see an out of focus shot. We then see Lucia's head moving rhythmically on a pillow and then a partial shot of Dillon having sex with her from behind as both lie on the bed (but we don't really see anything beyond a head and shoulders shot).
  • Lucia says "You want to f*ck that little girl" when she thinks Dillon's in love with Hope.
  • A classic statue shows a female bare breast.
  • Lucia asks Dalglish if he wants a girl tonight and he says that he doesn't.
  • Lucia passionately kisses Dalglish in the tavern.
  • Lucia tells some men not to sit around "like a bunch of virgins," but instead for them to have a good time as she announces that the services of the hookers are on the house that night.
  • We see Lucia and Dalglish making out again. We later see them in bed together, thus implying sex or some fooling around (although we don't see any of that).
  • A man tells a hooker that he has a "stiff one" (meaning his erection) that he could dig gold or coal with. She then says something about him having to use his hands and getting them sticky a bit, and he replies that it would only take a few minutes.
  • SMOKING
  • Dillon smokes cigars around 5 times, while Lucia smokes several times and miscellaneous people smoke cigarettes and cigars in various scenes.
  • TENSE FAMILY SCENES
  • Dillon's earlier actions (seen in flashback) create some tense family moments as he sells/trades his wife and young daughter for gold and a claim and must then deal with them returning into his life.
  • Dillon and Hope must contend with Elena's progressively worsening terminal illness and her eventual death.
  • TOPICS TO TALK ABOUT
  • In a flashback, we see a young Dillon trade/sell his wife and baby to another man for gold and a claim (and one could discuss this and its later repercussions on those later affected by it).
  • Prostitution.
  • The gold rush and railroad expansion of the mid 19th century.
  • Under the notion that electricity can cure whatever ails Elena, a man has her hold two contacts to which he supplies hand-cranked electricity (not enough to shock her, but kids might get the wrong idea about electricity and "curing" physical problems).
  • VIOLENCE
  • Dalglish comes up, punches another man (for making disparaging remarks about Hope), and then repeatedly punches him on the ground. Others then fight as well, with someone hitting another person with what looks like a shovel. A man then comes out and fires a rifle into the air to stop them.
  • We see a fight in a brothel with one man knocking another to the floor where he repeatedly punches him.
  • A man who's admitted to being involved in a wrongdoing receives 25 lashes in public (without his shirt and in the middle of the snowy winter). We see a few bits of the impact from a distance and then see his bloody back up close.
  • Dillon slaps Lucia to the bed when she states that she thinks he wants to have sex with Hope.
  • A horse-drawn carriage explodes when the nitroglycerine it's carrying is rattled around too much. This kills one man and catches a horse on fire (we see it running off through the snow while engulfed in flames).
  • Dalglish and his men arm themselves as Dillon and his men approach with their guns (as Hope innocently walks toward this confrontation). After someone suddenly makes a move, Dalglish shoots one of Dillon's men dead.
  • Dillon and his men march toward where the survey team is located (with a bunch of hookers). He shoots several of the surveyors dead and threatens to shoot Bellanger's fiancée. Others are removed at gunpoint.
  • Dillon then goes looking for Dalglish and shoots a mirror in an intimidating manner before aiming his gun at Dalglish (but Lucia calms him down and nothing else happens).
  • A man pours gasoline throughout a town and then uses a lit torch to set it on fire (and breaks windows with the torch, smashes other things, and overturns a bookcase, etc.) eventually burning down the entire town.
  • A man allows himself to freeze to death.
  • Some men struggle with each other trying to get to some discovered gold.



  • Reviewed April 18, 2000 / Posted April 20, 2001

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