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"MASTER AND COMMANDER: THE FAR SIDE OF THE WORLD"
(2003) (Russell Crowe, Paul Bettany) (PG-13)

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


QUICK TAKE:
Action/Drama: An early 19th century navy captain sets out to outsmart and catch his wily and more heavily armed French opponent.
PLOT:
It's April 1805 and the only thing that stands between Napoleon and world domination is the British Navy. Accordingly, Captain "Lucky" Jack Aubrey (RUSSELL CROWE) is ordered to take his warship, the H.M.S. Surprise, and intercept the French frigate Acheron. Unbeknownst to Aubrey, the French captain has come around on the Surprise. After she mounts a fearsome attack on Aubrey's vessel and crew, the Brit manages to get the Surprise into a fogbank and escape capture and/or destruction.

Aubrey's decision to stay the course and repair the ship while at sea rather than returning to port doesn't sit well with the crew, including the ship's surgeon, science officer and friend to the captain, Dr. Stephen Maturin (PAUL BETTANY).

While tracking the course of the Acheron, Aubrey pushes the crew - that includes coxswain Barrett Bonden (BILLY BOYD), Lt. Tom Pullings (JAMES D'ARCY), uncertain midshipman Hollom (LEE INGLEBY) who doesn't have the respect of those under him, sailing master Mr. Allen (ROBERT PUGH) and young members Peter Calamy (MAX BENITZ) and Lord Blakeney (MAX PIRKIS) - to their limits.

With additional violent encounters with the more heavily armored and armed Acheron as they sail around part of the world, Aubrey's determination to catch and defeat the enemy soon causes Maturin and others to question whether his motives are professional, personal or a combination of both.

WILL KIDS WANT TO SEE IT?
If they're fans of someone in the cast, director Peter Weir and/or period high seas adventure flicks, they just might.
WHY THE MPAA RATED IT: PG-13
For intense battle sequences, related images, and brief language.
CAST AS ROLE MODELS:
  • RUSSELL CROWE plays the British captain of an early 19th century warship who pushes his crew - perhaps too hard - to repair their vessel, find and then outsmart their opponent. He drinks wine and kills enemy sailors during the battle.
  • PAUL BETTANY plays his friend, the ship's surgeon and science officer who thinks the Captain has gone too far in his quest to capture and battle the enemy. He drinks wine and ends up performing major surgery on himself.
  • JAMES D'ARCY plays one of the ship's officers.
  • BILLY BOYD plays the ship's coxswain.
  • LEE INGLEBY plays a young and indecisive officer who doesn't have the respect of those serving below him.
  • ROBERT PUGH plays the ship's older sailing master.
  • MAX PIRKIS plays the young midshipman who has his arm amputated but nevertheless assists the doctor in his scientific collections and the captain in his battle.
  • MAX BENITZ plays another young midshipman.
  • 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 action-laced drama that's been rated PG-13. Profanity consists of at least 1 "f" word, with only a handful of other expletives and colorful phrases, while one non-explicit, sexually related comment is uttered.

    Violence consists of various scenes of maritime battles, with naval crews attacking, fighting and firing upon each other, with bloody and lethal results and a great deal of structural damage. Those scenes and others, including one where a doctor begins to amputate a boy's injured arm and later performs surgery on himself, as well as a suicide via drowning, may be suspenseful or unsettling for some viewers.

    Various characters have varying degrees of bad attitudes, while some drink and/or smoke. Should you still be concerned about the film's appropriateness for yourself or anyone else in your home, you may want to look more closely at our detailed listings for more specific information regarding the film's content.

    There are bright flashes of light on the screen during a thunderstorm for those concerned with such matters.


    ALCOHOL OR DRUG USE
  • Various officers have wine.
  • A sailor complains that one can't dance to Aubrey and the doc's violin and cello playing even if drunk.
  • Aubrey orders an extra ration of rum for two men who provide him with some important details.
  • Officers have wine with dinner.
  • Aubrey has wine.
  • Officers have wine, as does a boy who's with them. They then have more wine.
  • Aubrey and Maturin have wine.
  • Aubrey has wine.
  • Aubrey says he'd rather have his men "three sheets to the wind" (drunk) than mutinous.
  • Sailors drink from what appears to be a still and one comments that it's good.
  • Maturin has wine.
  • BLOOD/GORE
  • Following a battle, some of the wounded are bloody and there's some blood on the floor. We then see blood on the wounded and the dead's clothes as well as on those of the doctor and his assistant. We later see various cuts on people.
  • There's some blood on Aubrey's face and a small piece of shrapnel is pulled from his head.
  • The doctor has a wooden spoon at an injured man's bloody head. We then briefly see a shot (from a distance) of the man's brains through a small hole in his skull (after a sailor asks about them).
  • Several sailors vomit from being seasick.
  • We see Maturin cutting open a dead fish (with bloody/gory results).
  • A sailor shoots Maturin by accident when trying to shoot a bird. We see blood on his shirt and then see the bloody bullet wound in his chest.
  • With no one else onboard who's competent to perform surgery, Maturin decides to operate on himself and does so via a mirror held by someone else. We see the mirror reflection of the ensuing surgery (from a little bit of a distance, so there are no close-ups but one can see what's occurring). Accordingly, we see the bullet hole wound again, and then the incision and blood that flows out from that. There's talk of having to lift a rib (to remove debris from the wound) and we see blood on Maturin and another man's hands.
  • Various sailors on both sides of a battle are bloody to varying degrees.
  • A man nicks Aubrey with his blade, leaving some blood on Aubrey's shirt.
  • We see a great deal of blood on sheets and clothes in an operating room and on the wounded and dead. We then see various dead sailors, including a boy (who's bloody), being prepped for burial at sea.
  • We see a few sailors with ragged looking stitches in their skin.
  • DISRESPECTFUL/BAD ATTITUDE
  • Some could view Aubrey as having a bad attitude for seemingly recklessly pursuing the enemy at the risk of life and limb by what could be personal rather than professional motivation.
  • The French ship and her crew are portrayed as the enemy.
  • Aubrey jokingly states, "To wives and sweethearts. May they never meet."
  • Maturin and others question their captain's decisions and orders.
  • A young sailor purposefully bumps a superior office, Hollom, that he doesn't like or respect and others feel the same way.
  • FRIGHTENING SCENES
  • Scenes listed under "Violence" and "Blood/Gore" might be unsettling, tense or suspenseful to some viewers. Younger viewers and those with low tolerance levels for violence and blood may view the material as more intense than those who don't fall into those categories.
  • Men hold a boy down as the doctor amputates his injured arm (we just see the beginning of the holding down and the retrieval of the saw).
  • The enemy ship is suddenly after the Surprise and the crew races to elude her.
  • A mast suddenly breaks off the Surprise, sending one man into the ocean during a bad storm with high waves. The crew tries to rescue him, but then realize that the mast is dragging behind the ship and starting to turn it over sideways. Reluctantly, Aubrey gives the order to cut the lines to the mast and thus save the ship at the expense of the sailor's life. We last see him floating away in the very high waves.
  • With no one else onboard who's competent to perform surgery, Maturin decides to operate on himself and does so via a mirror held by someone else. We see the mirror reflection of the ensuing surgery (from a little bit of a distance, so there are no close-ups but one can see what's occurring). Accordingly, we see the bullet hole wound again, and then the incision and blood that flows out from that. There's talk of having to lift a rib (to remove debris from the wound) and we see blood on Maturin and another man's hands.
  • GUNS/WEAPONS
  • Muskets/Rifles/Swords/Knives/Cannons/Explosives: Used to wound, kill or cause property damage. See "Violence" for details.
  • IMITATIVE BEHAVIOR
  • Phrases: "Like f*cking pirates," "Bloody," "I'll be damned" and "Shut up."
  • All of the fighting and stunts might be enticing for some kids to imitate.
  • A sailor has the words "Hold Fast" tattooed on his knuckles.
  • Some miscellaneous sailors have tattoos.
  • JUMP SCENES
  • None.
  • MUSIC (SCARY/TENSE)
  • A moderate amount of ominous and suspenseful music plays in the film.
  • MUSIC (INAPPROPRIATE)
  • None.
  • PROFANITY
  • At least 1 "f" word, 8 damns, 4 uses of "My God," 3 of "For God's sakes" and 1 use each of "G-damn" and "Oh God."
  • SEX/NUDITY
  • An officer tells a sailor to put a woman down, stating that it's a ship, not a brothel.
  • SMOKING
  • Maturin smokes a cigar once (and offers one to Aubrey who declines the offer), while miscellaneous characters smoke (mostly pipes).
  • TENSE FAMILY SCENES
  • None.
  • TOPICS TO TALK ABOUT
  • The historical backdrop of the story.
  • The notion of the good of the many outweighing the good of the few or one.
  • The Galapagos Islands and the animal life on them.
  • Aubrey's comment that strength and leadership are the way to earn the respect of subordinates.
  • Aubrey's comment that men must be governed.
  • Suicide.
  • Amputation (a boy's arm is amputated, but he gets along rather well after that).
  • VIOLENCE
  • An enemy ship opens fire on the Surprise with its cannons, causing a great deal of property damage and some injuries and deaths. The Surprise then fires back with her cannons and does some damage to the enemy ship. This goes on for a while in a rather intense battle until the Surprise manages to escape.
  • The enemy ship fires upon the Surprise, but misses.
  • A young sailor purposefully bumps a superior office that he doesn't like or respect.
  • Aubrey has a sailor flogged for being disrespectful to a superior officer. We see the first lashing (and some red marks on the man's back) and then hear others.
  • An officer commits suicide by jumping overboard while holding a cannonball. We then see his face disappear into the depths of the water.
  • A sailor shoots Maturin by accident when trying to shoot a bird. We see blood on his shirt and then see the bloody bullet wound in his chest.
  • The Surprise suddenly fires upon the enemy ship, causing some damage and we see people onboard her get hit (no blood). Both sides then open fire on each other with cannons, rifles and pistols, with more damage and people being hit (and wounded or killed). The crew of the Surprise then boards the enemy ship and engages in hand to hand combat, while shootings also occur (including a brief shot of a person being shot in the forehead with a quick view of the hole there).
  • More fighting continues, with people being shot, stabbed or sliced with knives, and explosives dropped down into portions of the ship. As a result, various sailors on both sides are bloody to varying degrees.
  • A kid shoot an enemy sailor and many others are killed (many by Aubrey) during a great deal of intense fighting. During that, one man nicks Aubrey with his blade, leaving some blood on Aubrey's shirt.



  • Reviewed October 27, 2003 / Posted November 14, 2003

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