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"HART'S WAR"
(2002) (Bruce Willis, Colin Farrell) (R)

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


QUICK TAKE:
Action/Drama: A young American officer finds himself representing a black officer accused of killing a white soldier in a German WWII POW camp.
PLOT:
Lieutenant Tommy W. Hart (COLIN FARRELL) is a young officer from a privileged background working in an Allied field headquarters in 1944 Belgium. Ordered to drive another officer to another location, the two are ambushed and Tommy is captured and imprisoned by the Germans. Briefly interrogated by officials interested in the location of Allied fuel dumps, Tommy is eventually sent to the POW camp in Augsburg, Germany.

There, he meets the German commandant, Col. Werner Visser (MARCEL IURES), who has no problem executing prisoners, as well as the ranking American officer, Colonel William McNamara (BRUCE WILLIS), who's in charge of the POWs. Sent to bunk with the enlisted men due to McNamara's belief that he ratted out secret information to the Germans, Tommy tries to fit in, especially with Staff Sgt. Vic W. Bedford (COLE HAUSER) who seems to have connections to get him whatever he needs.

When Lieutenants Lincoln A. Scott (TERRENCE HOWARD) and Lamar T. Archer (VICELLOUS SHANNON), two downed black pilots from Tuskegee are assigned to the same barracks, however, things go from bad to worse for Tommy. That's because Bedford and many others share racist attitudes and aren't happy to have two black men bunking with them.

After a related execution, a white soldier ends up dead and Scott is charged with the crime. McNamara manages to convince Visser that they must have a military trial, and that Tommy, who has two years under his belt at Yale Law School, should defend the accused. From that point on, Tommy tries to prevent Scott from being found guilty and executed, all while uncovering all sorts of interesting clues and facts about the truth.

WILL KIDS WANT TO SEE IT?
If they're into war movies or are fans of someone in the cast they probably will, but this one seems most attractive to older male teens.
WHY THE MPAA RATED IT: R
For some strong war violence and language.
CAST AS ROLE MODELS:
  • COLIN FARRELL plays an idealistic young officer who not only finds himself suddenly captured and put into a POW camp, but is also assigned to defend a black officer in a trial where the man is accused of killing a white soldier. He uses some strong profanity and smokes while trying to come up with a solution.
  • BRUCE WILLIS plays the ranking American officer in the POW camp whose actions and attitudes cause some to question his judgment. He uses some strong profanity and smokes a few times.
  • TERRENCE HOWARD plays a black officer who's assigned to a POW barracks with racists soldiers. He uses some strong profanity and finds himself accused of killing a white soldier.
  • COLE HAUSER plays one of the POWs who's a racist and is mean and disrespectful to Archer and Scott. He also uses some strong profanity and smokes.
  • MARCEL IURES plays the German Colonel who runs the stalag and seemingly finds himself amused by the prisoners' military trial. He smokes, drinks and is responsible for several executions.
  • VICELLOUS SHANNON plays another black officer who finds himself the target of racism in the POW camp.
  • 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 R-rated war drama. Profanity consists of at least 10 "f" words, while other expletives and colorful phrases are also used. Some of them include racist statements and words, while various other characters have varying degrees of bad attitudes as well.

    Violence consists of various people being wounded or killed by military action, as well as others who are directly executed/murdered. Some of that material has bloody results, while some of those scenes and others may be disturbing and/or tense for some viewers. Various characters drink (with one being a bit drunk), nearly everyone smokes, and some brief male nudity (rear ends) is briefly seen in nonsexual moments.

    If you're still concerned about the film and its appropriateness for yourself or anyone else in your home, we suggest that you take a closer look at our detailed listings for more specific examples of the content that's present and occurs in it.


    ALCOHOL OR DRUG USE
  • Some men bring a case of champagne into military headquarters.
  • We see some liquor next to some German prison officials.
  • Visser drinks, appears a bit intoxicated, and then offers some liquor to McNamara who drinks some.
  • BLOOD/GORE
  • Blood splatters onto Tommy and a fake MP when another man is shot.
  • Tommy lands in a pile of snow-covered corpses in the woods.
  • Over several scenes, we see various shots of Tommy's very bloody feet, while he also has a slightly bloody cut on his face.
  • We see more dead people next to some attacked vehicles.
  • Some blood squirts out, and some wounded and dead men are bloody when fighter planes strafe Germans and prisoners (including the back of a man's head that's very bloody).
  • A man's hand is bloody after a bullet grazes him.
  • One of the men lights one of his farts.
  • We see a dead man's body, but it's not bloody or gory. We later see it and other dead bodies in a morgue.
  • DISRESPECTFUL/BAD ATTITUDE
  • The Germans obviously have both for the harsh and/or inhumane way they treat their prisoners at times.
  • Some may see Tommy as having both for giving up information about the location of fuel dumps (after being kept in prison for several days before being sent off to the POW camp).
  • Various white soldiers, including Bedford, have racist attitudes toward Scott and Archer in various scenes, using comments such as "nigger" and "boy" toward them (despite the two men being superior officers to them).
  • We see that someone planted a sharp metal object under Archer's bunch.
  • Those responsible for a prisoner's death and setting it up to look like Scott killed him obviously have both types of attitudes.
  • McNamara wants Tommy to discuss his casework regarding Scott with him (thus breaking attorney/client privileges), but claims he's doing so to protect secrets the prisoners may have.
  • A man lies about seeing the above murder.
  • FRIGHTENING SCENES
  • Scenes listed under "Violence" and "Blood/Gore" may also be unsettling or suspenseful to some viewers.
  • As Tommy drives a Captain to another destination through a snowy, wooded road, they encounter two MPs who state they're headed the wrong direction. The Captain realizes something is amiss and slowly reaches for his handgun, but is suddenly shot in the head, splattering blood onto Tommy and the other "MP." Those men, now realized as enemy soldiers, hold guns on Tommy (and backhand him once) as they search his jeep. He decides to take off, and in doing so knocks the men down as the jeep momentarily backs up. As he races down the road, those men and others open fire on him (with handguns and machine guns), riddling the jeep with bullets (and the captain's body is flung from it). It then careens down a hill, smashes to a dead stop upon hitting a tree and sends him flying through the air where he lands in a pile of snow-covered corpses.
  • Allied fighter planes strafe German soldiers and POW trains that they can't identify. Various people (guards and prisoners) are shot and wounded or killed, while some buildings explode. The planes then return and do the same again, until the prisoners manage to get out of the trains and use their bodies to spell "POW" to notify the pilots.
  • Bedford throws loaves of bread from a cart across a fence to other prisoners, drawing the ire of the Germans. A guard fires a warning shot into the ground near him to make him stop, but he doesn't. With the next throw, that guard fires a shot that grazes his hand (with some blood). McNamara then intervenes, but decides to throw another loaf anyway (and we think the guard is going to shoot him, but Col. Visser waves him off).
  • Guards take a prisoner out of the barracks at night and shoot him dead (while Scott kicks out a window trying to get outside to stop that from happening). We hear the shots and then see the man fall to the ground.
  • An Allied fighter shoots down a German plane that then crashes into the POW compound, with its burning wreckage careening across the ground toward the men who try to get out of the way. Some are injured and some property damage occurs.
  • While drinking with Visser (who's a bit drunk), McNamara spots the Colonel's disassembled gun. He then quickly assembles it and briefly holds it on Visser (but nothing ultimately happens).
  • Tommy sneaks around outside the barracks at night and tries to get a better view of what looks like suspicious behavior.
  • Guards prepare to execute a prisoner.
  • GUNS/WEAPONS
  • Handguns/Rifles/Machine guns/Fighters/Bombs: Seen, carried and/or used to threaten, wound or kill people and/or cause property damage. See "Violence" for details.
  • IMITATIVE BEHAVIOR
  • Phrases: "F*ck 'em," "F*ck you," "What the f*ck would you know about duty?" "Sh*tload," "Bullsh*t," "Lying sack of sh*t," "You pampered little sh*t," "Sh*t shovelers," "Piss," "What the hell is that?" "Niggers" (said by white men toward black men), "I'll be damned," "Bastard," "Crackers" (white people), "The hell I didn't," "Shut up" and "Come hell or high water."
  • One of the men lights one of his farts.
  • JUMP SCENES
  • A person is suddenly shot (the sudden sound of it may also startle viewers).
  • A man suddenly surprises Tommy.
  • MUSIC (SCARY/TENSE)
  • A heavy amount of suspenseful music plays in the film.
  • MUSIC (INAPPROPRIATE)
  • None.
  • PROFANITY
  • At least 10 "f" words, 8 "s" words, 1 slang term using male genitals ("pr*ck"), 5 hells, 1 crap, 1 damn, 1 S.O.B., 3 uses of "G-damn" and 1 use each of "Jesus Christ," "Oh Christ" and "Oh Jesus Christ" as exclamations.
  • SEX/NUDITY
  • We see the side of Tommy's bare butt as he crouches down on his feet in the fetal position while kept nude in a freezing jail cell.
  • We briefly see some partial male rear nudity as prisoners are deloused.
  • SMOKING
  • Tommy smokes more than 5 times, while McNamara, Bedford and Visser each smoke several times. Many other soldiers and officers smoke throughout the movie.
  • TENSE FAMILY SCENES
  • We hear that Visser's son is dead (killed sometime ago in the war).
  • TOPICS TO TALK ABOUT
  • WWII POW camps.
  • Racism and racial issues in the 1940s compared to today.
  • The good of the many outweighing the good of the few.
  • Honor, courage and sacrifice.
  • VIOLENCE
  • As Tommy drives a Captain to another destination through a snowy, wooded road, they encounter two MPs who state they're headed the wrong direction. The Captain realizes something is amiss and slowly reaches for his handgun, but is suddenly shot in the head, splattering blood onto Tommy and the other "MP." Those men, now realized as enemy soldiers, hold guns on Tommy (and backhand him once) as they search his jeep. He decides to take off, and in doing so knocks the men down as the jeep momentarily backs up. As he races down the road, those men and others open fire on him (with handguns and machine guns), riddling the jeep with bullets (and the captain's body is flung from it). It then careens down a hill, smashes to a dead stop upon hitting a tree and sends him flying through the air where he lands in a pile of snow-covered corpses.
  • We see more dead people next to some attacked vehicles.
  • Allied fighter planes strafe German soldiers and POW trains that they can't identify. Various people (guards and prisoners) are shot and wounded or killed, while some buildings explode. The planes then return and do the same again, until the prisoners manage to get out of the trains (with the first person landing quite hard on the ground and possibly breaking his arm) and use their bodies to spell "POW" to notify the pilots (but not before another strafing run that injures or kills more people, as well as more explosions, including a dropped bomb that hits one of the train cars).
  • German guards/soldiers fire warning shots into the air.
  • We see three Russian men hanged in the Stalag (their bodies briefly twitch and sway).
  • Bedford throws loaves of bread from a cart across a fence to other prisoners, drawing the ire of the Germans. A guard fires a warning shot into the ground near him to make him stop, but he doesn't. With the next throw, that guard fires a shot that grazes his hand (with some blood). McNamara then intervenes, but decides to throw another loaf anyway (and we think the guard is going to shoot him, but Col. Visser waves him off).
  • Guards take a prisoner out of the barracks at night and shoot him dead (while Scott kicks out a window trying to get outside to stop that from happening). We hear the shots and then see the man fall to the ground.
  • Scott tries to go after Bedford after the above and must be restrained.
  • A German guard smashes an illegal radio.
  • An Allied fighter shoots down a German plane that then crashes into the POW compound, with its burning wreckage careening across the ground toward the men who try to get out of the way. Some are injured and some property damage occurs.
  • We see a man's dead body after he's been murdered (we later learn that his neck was broken).
  • McNamara grabs Tommy in a threatening fashion and pushes him back against a wall.
  • We hear some bombs exploding in the background.
  • Visser smacks someone.
  • Huge explosions rock a nearby bomb factory (seen from a distance).
  • Colonel Visser executes a prisoner dead by shooting him in the head (no blood).



  • Reviewed February 11, 2002 / Posted February 15, 2002

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