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"AN UNFINISHED LIFE"
(2005) (Robert Redford, Jennifer Lopez) (PG-13)

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


QUICK TAKE:
Drama: Running away from an abusive relationship, a single mom and her 11-year-old daughter arrive at the farm run by her estranged father-in-law who still holds a long-standing, tragedy-based grudge against her.
PLOT:
Ever since her husband died more than a decade ago, Jean Gilkyson (JENNIFER LOPEZ) hasn't had any luck with men. When her latest boyfriend, Gary Watson (DAMIAN LEWIS), continues his abuse, she packs up her bags and 11-year-old daughter Griff (BECCA GARDNER) and heads for the last place she ever thought she'd go. And that's to the Wyoming farm run by her long estranged father-in-law Einar Gilkyson (ROBERT REDFORD) who lives with his disabled farmhand Mitch Bradley (MORGAN FREEMAN) who was seriously mauled in the past by a bear.

Einar isn't happy to see Jean and the feeling is mutual, but he allows her and the granddaughter he never knew he had to stay with him until things settle down. After informing local sheriff Crane Curtis (JOSH LUCAS) about her ex-boyfriend, Jean gets a waitress job alongside Nina (CAMRYN MANHEIM), but realizes she must eventually confront Einar about his long-standing grudge against her.

It seems that he's never forgiven her for his son's death, an accident that forever changed Einar and his outlook on life. With Mitch trying to talk some sense into his lifelong friend and the two getting to know Griff, the extended family tries to sort through their feelings about one another, all as Gary eventually tracks down Jean and arrives in the small town, wanting her back.

WILL KIDS WANT TO SEE IT?
Older teens might be interested in it, but unless anyone else is a fan of someone in the cast, it's not that likely.
WHY THE MPAA RATED IT: PG-13
For some violence including domestic abuse, and language.
CAST AS ROLE MODELS:
  • ROBERT REDFORD plays a farm owner and former alcoholic who's never gotten over his son's accidental death more than a decade earlier and still blames Jean for that loss. He reluctantly allows her and Griff to stay with him as refuge from her abusive boyfriend, but he isn't happy to see them and initially isn't nice to either. He uses profanity, roughs up people he doesn't like, and has a bitter outlook on life.
  • JENNIFER LOPEZ plays his estranged daughter-in-law who still harbors guilt over her husband's accidental death but has tried to get on with her life, although she's had bad luck with abusive boyfriends since then. She tries to rebuild her life in the small Wyoming town and has sex with Crane.
  • MORGAN FREEMAN plays Einar's best friend who lives on the farm with him (separately) and must contend with the aftereffects of a severe bear mauling sometime in the past. He tries to talk some sense into Einar regarding Jean and Griff and uses some profanity.
  • JOSH LUCAS plays the local lawman who takes a liking to Jean (with whom he has sex) and tries to keep law and order in his town, especially when Gary shows up.
  • BECCA GARDNER plays Jean's 11-year-old daughter whose life has been upended and doesn't trust men who like her mom, but finds some unexpected stability through Einar and Mitch.
  • DAMIAN LEWIS plays Jean's obsessive and abusive boyfriend who tracks her down at Griff's place and comes after her. He smokes a few times.
  • CAMRYN MANHEIM plays a waitress who befriends Jean and gives her a place to stay when things don't work out at Einar's.
  • 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 drama that's been rated PG-13. Profanity consists of at least 2 "f" words, while other expletives and colorful phrases are uttered. Some brief, sexually related dialogue is present, we see the movement of a vehicle (from a distance) from the sex occurring inside it (accompanied by some slight, related sounds), and a part of a man's disfigured bare butt is seen when he receives a shot there.

    Violence consists of an older man beating up some younger troublemakers in two different scenes (with some brutal blows in one and the use of a rifle to threaten or blast a car), as well as viewed and implied domestic abuse by a boyfriend.

    Some of that material may be unsettling or suspenseful to some viewers, as might several other scenes involving a large, menacing-looking bear and its encounters with people. Some blood, bruises and badly scarred flesh are seen, while various characters have varying degrees of bad attitudes. Some of that involves tense family material revolving around a family death by accident years ago and the related guilt, grief and blame among family members. Some characters drink and/or smoke, with one major one noted as being a former alcoholic who briefly drinks while stressed.

    If you're still concerned about the film and its appropriateness for yourself or anyone else in your home who may be interested in seeing it, we suggest that you take a closer look at our detailed listings for more specific information regarding the film's content.


    ALCOHOL OR DRUG USE
  • We see that Einar gives Mitch daily morphine shots for his pain from the bear attack.
  • Spotting some guys in the restaurant, Nina wonders if it's hard being that drunk in the morning. Einar says not if they drank all night, with Nina saying he should know.
  • Einar walks in with a bottle of whiskey, telling Mitch that sometimes he just likes to look at it. We later hear that he was an alcoholic.
  • Miscellaneous people drink in a bar.
  • A bartender isn't happy to see Einar when he enters her place, but he orders something non-alcoholic.
  • We see Gary with a beer by him.
  • Einar looks for, finds and is then seen sitting by his son's gravesite with a bottle of booze from which he then drinks.
  • We see that Gary is back and he confronts Jean outside the restaurant, asking if they can sit down and have a drink.
  • Einar admits that he was falling down drunk and thus unable to help the day the bear mauled Mitch.
  • BLOOD/GORE
  • We see bad scar marks on Mitch's back from the previous bear attack (mostly in the shadows in the first scene where Einar applies oil and massages his back) and then later in full.
  • We see a big bruise on the side of Jean's face from where Gary hit her.
  • A drunken guy's nose is bloody after Einar hits him there with a coffee pot.
  • Einar has some bad bruises and possible cut marks on his chest from where a large bear knocked him down.
  • DISRESPECTFUL/BAD ATTITUDE
  • Gary has a bad attitude for his physical and emotional abuse of Jean (and Griff by effect) as well as essentially stalking them once they run away.
  • Some drunken guys are disrespectful to Nina in the restaurant, with one roping her like a farm animal and not letting her go.
  • Jean sees a couple arguing with the man briefly grabbing at the woman.
  • Einar doesn't treat Jean or Griff with much respect at first, acting irritated and mad that they're there.
  • Upon first meeting Crane, Griff says she doesn't like him (based on her mother always hooking up with the wrong type of men).
  • FRIGHTENING SCENES
  • Gary slams his hand down in anger on the table and then kicks the table away from him while mad at Jean. He then storms out, scaring her and Griff.
  • A large bear makes its way through the town, standing up and looking at a young girl over a fence (she's not scared) and surprising a bunch of boys on their bikes.
  • Einar nearly shoots the bear, but Crane intervenes and allows animal control officers to capture it (not seen).
  • Jean sees a couple arguing with the man briefly grabbing at the woman.
  • Einar holds a shotgun on Gary, telling him that if he sees him back there again, he'll kill him.
  • Mitch suddenly is in bad pain, with Griff having to race to the fridge, retrieve his morphine shot and give him the injection with the syringe.
  • Einar and Griff attempt to free the large, menacing bear at night from its cage. They jury-rig a fence between the large cage and the transport cage, but Griff accidentally leans into the gearshift, thus causing Einar's truck to move forward and the temporary fencing to pull away from the main cage. The bear then comes out, knocks Einar to the ground and rears up above him. Griff is terrified, but blows on the truck horn, eventually causing the bear to leave.
  • Mitch hears sounds outside his cabin at night and heads out, only to encounter the large bear that charges him, stops a few feet away and makes various menacing sounds and movements, all as Mitch stands there frozen. The bear eventually leaves.
  • Gary returns for Jean, but after she punches him, he backhands her to the ground and grabs Griff, taking her into his car. Einar then shows up, blasts several shots into the car, smashes the windshield with the butt of his gun and then proceeds to grab Gary, pulling him from the car and punching, hitting and kneeing him many times (with rather brutal blows).
  • GUNS/WEAPONS
  • Rifle: Used by Einar to threaten Gary in one scene, shoot out parts of his car in another, and nearly shoot the bear in a third scene.
  • IMITATIVE BEHAVIOR
  • Phrases: "More than her fair share of sh*t," "No excuse for that bullsh*t," "Sh*tty," "Are you screwing Crane Curtis for protection or sport?" "Cheese-d*cks," "Pretty damn quick," "Why the hell would I do that?" "Oh hell no," "Jeez," "Screw off, you old bastard," "Your sorry ass," "Cheap ass," "Shut up," "I don't give a damn," "I'm not in the mood for this crap," "I dreamed you weren't such a miserable son of a bitch," "Sure as hell," "Weak ass," "Cripple," "Kick your ass," "The hell you are," "Shot to hell," "I'm a complete *sshole" and "You bitch."
  • Nina has a small tattoo on her shoulder.
  • JUMP SCENES
  • None.
  • MUSIC (SCARY/TENSE)
  • A moderate amount of suspenseful and ominous music plays in the film.
  • MUSIC (INAPPROPRIATE)
  • None.
  • PROFANITY
  • At least 2 "f" words, 1 slang term for sex ("screwing"), 7 "s" words, 1 slang term using male genitals ("d*ck"), 14 hells, 7 asses (1 used with "hole"), 5 damns, 3 S.O.B.s, 2 craps, 13 uses of "G-damn," 2 each of "God" and "Oh Jesus" and 1 use each of "Jesus Christ" and "My God."
  • SEX/NUDITY
  • We see a partial view of Mitch's bare and disfigured butt when Einar lowers his pants to give him a shot there.
  • Mitch states that he dreamed of the ocean the night before, adding that it smelled like a woman and tasted like one too.
  • Jean shows a little cleavage.
  • Jean and Crane have sex in his truck in an isolated area. We hear her slight sexual sounds and see some brief movement of his SUV from a distance, but not the actual sexual act.
  • Thinking they're gay, Griff tells Einar and Mitch that she had a music teacher who was a lesbian. She then asks, "You guys are gay, right?" They then laugh at that and then slightly play it up, with Mitch saying he likes Einar's hands.
  • Einar asks Jean "Are you screwing Crane Curtis for protection or sport?"
  • SMOKING
  • Gary smokes several times, while some miscellaneous people smoke in the background.
  • Mitch says that he sure misses smoking, with Einar saying the same.
  • We see various cigarette butts on the ground on Einar's property.
  • TENSE FAMILY SCENES
  • Gary slams his hand down in anger on the table and then kicks the table away from him while mad at Jean. He then storms out, scaring her and Griff.
  • Griff is surprised to hear that she has a grandfather. When they arrive at Einar's farm, he's surprised to learn he has a granddaughter.
  • Einar and Jean have an estranged relationship due to past events (specifically him blaming her for her husband/his son's death in a car accident).
  • Upon seeing Jean on his farm, Einar tells her that he doesn't want her there and she says that at least they agree on something.
  • We see that Einar visits his son's gravesite on the farm everyday and talks to him (more than a decade after his death).
  • We hear that Einar's wife left after their son's death and then hooked up with some other man.
  • Griff says that she never knew her father and wishes that she missed him.
  • Griff answers "Mostly my mom" when Einar asks if Jean's boyfriend ever hit Griff.
  • Jean tells Einar the real story of what happened the night she was driving, fell asleep and her car flipped many times, killing her husband (Einar's son). Griff overhears this story from another room.
  • Griff is upset with the decisions her mom keeps making (which she thinks are wrong) and storms out, saying she's going to live with Einar (after Jean has moved them out).
  • Nina tells Jean the story about when her (Nina's) daughter drowned in the past.
  • TOPICS TO TALK ABOUT
  • Guilt.
  • Holding grudges and forgiving others.
  • Domestic abuse.
  • Alcoholism.
  • Estranged families.
  • We see that Einar visits his son's gravesite on the farm everyday and talks to him (more than a decade after his death).
  • We see that Einar gives Mitch daily morphine shots for his pain from the bear attack.
  • Einar's question to Jean, "Did it ever occur to you that not everything can be replaced?"
  • Upon first meeting Crane, Griff says she doesn't like him (based on her mother always hooking up with the wrong type of men).
  • Griff says that she never knew her father and wishes that she missed him.
  • Nina tells Jean the story about when her (Nina's) daughter drowned in the past.
  • About abusive relationships, Jean states that you stay in them because you don't think you deserve any better.
  • VIOLENCE
  • Gary slams his hand down in anger on the table and then kicks the table away from him while mad at Jean. He then storms out, scaring her and Griff.
  • We see a big bruise on the side of Jean's face from where Gary hit her (that impact is not seen).
  • Some drunken guys are disrespectful to Nina in the restaurant, with one roping her like a farm animal and not letting her go. Einar then intervenes, hitting both in the face with a coffee pot and then holding a fork on one of them.
  • Einar holds a shotgun on Gary, telling him that if he sees him back there again, he'll kill him.
  • While upset at himself and Jean, Einar slams a chair to a porch post in anger, smashing the chair to bits.
  • A bear knocks Einar to the ground and injures him (but only from the initial blow to the ground, nothing more occurs).
  • Gary returns for Jean, but after she punches him, he backhands her to the ground and grabs Griff, taking her into his car. Einar then shows up, blasts several shots into the car, smashes the windshield with the butt of his gun and then proceeds to grab Gary, pulling him from the car and punching, hitting and kneeing him many times (with rather brutal blows).



  • Reviewed August 31, 2005 / Posted September 9, 2005

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