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"THE ALAMO"
(2004) (Billy Bob Thornton, Dennis Quaid) (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 None Mild None Mild
Sex/
Nudity
Smoking Tense Family
Scenes
Topics To
Talk About
Violence
Mild Mild Moderate Moderate Extreme


QUICK TAKE:
Drama/Action: Severely outnumbered American forces try to defend the Alamo from the much larger Mexican army that wants to retake the Texas garrison.
PLOT:
It's 1836 and Lt. Col. William Travis (PATRICK WILSON) has been sent to the Alamo, a former Franciscan mission in San Antonio, Texas, to control what's now an American fort in the Texan war of independence from Mexico.

Joining him is Jim Bowie (JASON PATRIC), a commissioned colonel in the Texan army who doesn't believe Travis is the right man to defend the position. Congressman and frontier legend Davy Crockett (BILLY BOB THORNTON) and his men also arrive on the scene, having been sold on the idea of traveling to Texas by General Sam Houston (DENNIS QUAID).

Little do any of them know that Mexican General Antonio López de Santa Anna (EMILIO ECHEVARRÍA) is leading an Army of thousands to retake the Alamo. With less than two hundred men in the garrison -- including Mexican born Col. Juan Seguin (JORDI MOLLÁ) -- the American forces prepare for the onslaught.

Yet, it doesn't occur right away, leading to a tense standoff between the two military forces. With the Mexican army repeatedly testing the resolve of their opponents and their defense of the Alamo, the much smaller American forces hope that Houston will be able to gather and send reinforcements before it's too late.

WILL KIDS WANT TO SEE IT?
If they're interested in the true story or are fans of someone in the cast, they just might.
WHY THE MPAA RATED IT: PG-13
For sustained intense battle sequences.
CAST AS ROLE MODELS:
  • DENNIS QUAID plays the Texan general who's reluctant to send reinforcements to the Alamo for fear that a defeat of all of them might prevent Texas' march toward independence from Mexico. He also drinks and then leads a retaliatory attack on Santa Anna's army.
  • BILLY BOB THORNTON plays the legendary frontiersman and Congressman who arrives at the Alamo and helps in trying to defend it from the Mexican army.
  • JASON PATRIC plays a Colonel in the Texan army who initially clashes with Travis over command of the garrison. He also drinks, uses some profanity and suffers from a progressively worsening case of typhoid pneumonia.
  • PATRICK WILSON plays the young Lt. Col. who's left his wife (over his adulterous ways) and has his mettle and command tested when he's put in charge of defending the Alamo.
  • EMILIO ECHEVARRÍA plays the Mexican general who sees himself as the Napoleon of the West and wants to retake the Alamo at any cost.
  • JORDI MOLLÁ plays a Mexican born officer who's assisting the Americans in their quest for independence from his native country.
  • 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 quick look at the content found in this action-based drama that's rated PG-13. Several battle scenes feature a great deal of 1830 era fighting with hand to hand combat as well as people being killed by various means (gunfire, cannons, bayonets, etc.). While much of that's blood free, we do see various bloody results of such violence. Some of those scenes may also be unsettling or suspenseful to some viewers.

    Profanity consists of at least 3 "s" words, while other mild expletives and colorful phrases are present. Some comments are made about adultery, and a young woman awaits a Mexican general on his bed (with implied sex). Various characters have varying degrees of bad attitudes, while some smoke and/or drink. Some tense family material (a divorce and remembering a dead wife) is also present.

    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.


    ALCOHOL OR DRUG USE
  • Houston downs a drink and talks of others getting their first taste of Mescal in Mexico.
  • Houston and Crockett drink, as do others.
  • Houston guzzles down more booze and then offers to buy Bowie a drink.
  • Bowie grabs a bottle from a man's hand, takes a swig and then hands it to someone else as he walks by.
  • Houston shares a drink with Bowie.
  • Bowie and others drink.
  • Bowie briefly struggles with another man and appears to be a bit drunk.
  • Bowie tells his men that none of them can drink anymore and then takes one last swig for himself.
  • Santa Anna and others have wine.
  • A sick Bowie states that he doesn't deserve mercy, but that he does deserve a drink. Travis states that he doesn't drink.
  • BLOOD/GORE
  • We see various dead bodies following a battle (some being dragged off, etc.) but there's no blood. We then see some streaks of blood down one hand (seen in close-up and then again later in the film).
  • Bowie coughs up some blood onto his handkerchief.
  • We briefly see a butcher's cleaver hacking down into part of an animal carcass.
  • A wounded solider has some blood on his pants leg and some from his mouth.
  • We see varying amounts of blood on men's faces during and following the battle. We also see one man with a bloody bullet hole wound in his head and a pool of blood behind it. A dead man's shirt is very bloody after repeatedly being stabbed with bayonets (we don't see the impact), while we see many dead bodies following the battle, including some up in a tree.
  • We see an underwater shot looking up at a dead body floating on the surface with blood floating on and mixing with the water.
  • DISRESPECTFUL/BAD ATTITUDE
  • The opposing forces obviously have bad attitudes toward each other.
  • Houston uses what's presumably a derogatory comment toward a Scotsman who gets mad, pulls a knife and must be restrained from going at Houston.
  • Travis comments on adultery regarding his apparent divorce from his wife.
  • Bowie and Travis initially clash over who controls the Alamo, but eventually put their differences behind them and join forces.
  • Crockett uses the terms "Injuns" and "Redskins" when referring to the Indians he fought.
  • Bowie lets his black slave leave the Alamo, but reminds him that he and a woman are his property and he'll reclaim them after the battle.
  • When told he could save his soldiers' lives by waiting a day for a larger cannon that will destroy the Alamo, Santa Anna asks that what are the lives of his soldiers but chickens.
  • FRIGHTENING SCENES
  • Scenes listed under "Violence" or "Blood/Gore" may be unsettling or suspenseful to some viewers.
  • Houston uses what's presumably a derogatory comment toward a Scotsman who gets mad, pulls a knife and must be restrained from going at Houston. Bowie then shows that he has a much larger knife.
  • Bowie and his men confront Crockett and his men at night outside the Alamo (each holding guns on each other until they realize they're all on the same side).
  • As the Mexican army approaches, villagers flee into the safety of the Alamo.
  • Crockett tells a graphic story about a battle with Indians where many of them were burned alive in a cabin and that the grease from their burning bodies actually cooked potatoes below them (and that he and the other men ate those potatoes -- from hunger -- but that he can't anymore).
  • We see the Mexican soldiers advancing toward the Alamo at night as all but Crockett sleep.
  • GUNS/WEAPONS
  • Rifles/Pistols/Bayonets/Cannons/Knives: Used to wound or kill others in battle. See "Violence" for details.
  • IMITATIVE BEHAVIOR
  • Phrases: "Dying for nothing means sh*t to me," "To hell with Tennessee," "Idiots," "Two-bit dandy," "Jackass," "What is it about that damn place?" "Damn shame," "You can all go to hell," "Smell like a skunk's ass," "Let's give 'em hell," "Ain't worth a damn," "Injuns" and "Redskins" (what Crockett calls Indians) and "Whores."
  • All of the fighting, etc. might be enticing for some younger kids to imitate.
  • Bowie spits.
  • JUMP SCENES
  • None.
  • MUSIC (SCARY/TENSE)
  • A mild amount of dramatic and suspenseful music plays in the film.
  • MUSIC (INAPPROPRIATE)
  • None.
  • PROFANITY
  • At least 3 "s" words, 4 damns, 4 hells, 3 S.O.B.s, 1 ass, 2 uses each of "God" and "Oh God" and 1 use of "Swear to God."
  • SEX/NUDITY
  • A person asks if it's true that men and women bathe together in public in Mexico (Houston responds that cleanliness is next to Godliness).
  • We see a young woman on Santa Anna's bed, showing some cleavage. He then enters the room and closes the door (implying sex).
  • Travis comments on adultery regarding his apparent divorce from his wife.
  • Travis admits that he doesn't drink, but does gamble and visit whores.
  • SMOKING
  • Houston smokes a cigar a few times, as do some miscellaneous characters.
  • TENSE FAMILY SCENES
  • Travis signs what are presumably divorce papers from his pregnant wife. Their daughter goes with her and their son stays with him, but he soon puts the boy in a boarding school or something similar.
  • Travis comments on adultery regarding his apparent divorce from his wife.
  • We learn that Bowie's wife apparently died (and we later see a hallucinatory vision of her while he's sick).
  • A wife holds her child and cries over a battle she knows will leave her husband dead.
  • TOPICS TO TALK ABOUT
  • The history behind the movie and the historical accuracy and/or artistic liberties taken with the truth.
  • The historical figures in the film.
  • Typhoid pneumonia.
  • Crockett uses the terms "Injuns" and "Redskins" when referring to the Indians he fought.
  • Bowie lets his black slave leave the Alamo, but reminds him that he and a woman are his property and he'll reclaim them after the battle.
  • VIOLENCE
  • Unless otherwise noted, the following violence is blood free.
  • We see Mexican soldiers struggling with some rebels, including repeatedly dunking one's head into a body of water. Santa Anna then orders that the rebels be executed and we see a firing squad shoot a line of them dead (they fall, with no blood).
  • Bowie slightly pushes Travis aside.
  • Bowie briefly struggles with another man and appears to be a bit drunk.
  • An American cannon fires into the Mexican stronghold, causing some property damage.
  • The Mexicans fire cannonballs into the Alamo, resulting in various explosions and property damage.
  • Crockett fires a shot at Santa Anna and grazes his shoulder.
  • A cannonball lands in the Alamo with its fuse still burning. It then appears to be a dud and Travis walks over to it, cuts off the fuse and hands the ball to his men to fire back at the Mexicans. They do, with resultant property damage. More such shots are fired with more structural damage and shots of Mexican soldiers falling or being blown aside by the explosions.
  • Gunfire and cannon fire hit various soldiers, downing and wounding or killing them (with no blood).
  • Crockett shoots two Mexican soldiers at close range, with Travis shooting a third from a distance as he approaches Crockett.
  • Mexican cannon fire causes some structural damage to the Alamo.
  • A soldier stabs an enemy with his bayonet (no blood).
  • Crockett shoots a soldier, as do others as the Mexicans rush the Alamo. More people are shot, stabbed by bayonets, or blown aside by cannon fire in a full-scale battle that includes hand to hand combat and continues for several minutes, leaving many people on both sides dead.
  • Soldiers rush and repeatedly stab a wounded and captured man who's bloody (we don't see the impact).
  • Various building structures are set on fire.
  • Cannons and rifles are fired into the enemy and we see many of the soldiers fall or be blown to the ground. Hand to hand combat ensues, with many more soldiers being shot and otherwise attacked and killed.



  • Reviewed March 30, 2004 / Posted April 9, 2004

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