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"LORD OF WAR"
(2005) (Nicolas Cage, Jared Leto) (R)

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


QUICK TAKE:
Drama: A gun runner becomes the biggest arms dealer in the world while dealing with dangerous clients, bitter rivals, a government agent who's after him and trying to keep his occupation secret from his trophy wife.
PLOT:
After his family moved from the Ukraine to Brighton Beach and assumed a Jewish identity, Yuri Orlov (NICOLAS CAGE) was looking for an occupation that suited his personality. After witnessing an attempted gangland hit, he thinks he's found it in becoming an arms dealer, a job with seemingly endless clients around the world. Enlisting the aid of his younger brother Vitali (JARED LETO), Yuri quickly climbs through the ranks of such a vocation, hoping one day to be as big as legendary arms dealer Simeon Weisz (SIR IAN HOLM).

At his every turn, however, he must deal with Interpol agent Jack Valentine (ETHAN HAWKE) who's determined to catch Yuri in the act, but the wily arms dealer is always one step ahead of him. He's so good that he even has time to sweep model turned aspiring actress Ava Fontaine (BRIDGET MOYNAHAN) off her feet and start a family with him.

And with the end of the Cold War, Yuri realizes he can tap into a seemingly endless supply of now decommissioned Soviet munitions. With the aid of corrupt former Soviet officer Dmitri (EUGENE LAZAREV), Yuri suddenly becomes one of the biggest players in the game, arming the likes of Liberian dictator Andre Baptiste Senior (EAMONN WALKER) and his equally volatile adult son Andre Baptiste Junior (SAMMI ROTIBI).

With the money rolling in and brushing off any potential guilt regarding what the Baptistes and others do with his goods, Yuri's on top of the world. Yet, unexpected developments involving Vitali, Ava and especially Valentine soon threaten to undermine his livelihood and lifestyle.

WILL KIDS WANT TO SEE IT?
Older teens and/or fans of anyone in the cast might want to, but this one doesn't otherwise seem too attractive to kids, especially younger ones.
WHY THE MPAA RATED IT: R
For strong violence, drug use, language and sexuality.
CAST AS ROLE MODELS:
  • NICOLAS CAGE plays an international arms dealer who becomes the best at what he does. He uses strong profanity, drinks, smokes, uses drugs and lies to and cheats on his wife by having casual sex with various women.
  • JARED LETO plays Yuri's younger brother, a chef who joins him in the gun-running business until becoming a drug addict. He then goes in and out of rehab, smokes, drinks and has casual sex.
  • ETHAN HAWKE plays the Interpol agent who's always on Yuri's trail, won't break the law to get him, and uses strong profanity.
  • BRIDGET MOYNAHAN plays a model turned actress/painter who Yuri sweeps off her feet via deception and marries. She doesn't question her husband's activities until it's too late for their marriage.
  • SIR IAN HOLM plays a legendary arms dealer who becomes Yuri's main rival in the business.
  • EAMONN WALKER plays a brutal despot who's one of Yuri's biggest clients.
  • SAMMI ROTIBI plays his son who's a more volatile version of the old man who also kills and enjoys doing so.
  • EUGENE LAZAREV plays a former Soviet officer and drunkard who supplies Yuri with all sorts of now defunct cold war weaponry to sell.
  • 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 drama. Profanity consists of at least 52 "f" words, while other expletives and colorful phrases are also used. Sexually related dialogue is present, as are several sexual encounters (with movement, sounds and nudity) and some nonsexual nudity (in the background of shots and/or in the dark/shadows).

    Violence consists of people killing others via various means (mostly gunfire including some massacres that occur off camera), with extremely gory/bloody results on several occasions. That material and various moments of peril might be unsettling and/or suspenseful to some viewers, while most of the characters have bad attitudes of one form or another.

    Characters smoke and/or drink (sometimes to excess) while several snort cocaine (with one becoming an addict who repeatedly enters rehab). Tense family material includes witnessing a sibling's death as well as the progressive straining of a marriage. 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.

    For those prone to visually induced motion sickness, a POV shot of a bullet rolling on the ground might affect some viewers (as the image rolls over and over).


    ALCOHOL OR DRUG USE
  • Vitali drinks liquor from a bottle that Yuri then takes and drinks from.
  • A criminal pays Yuri in cocaine rather than money, with the latter and Vitali later celebrating their deal by snorting cocaine.
  • The song "Cocaine" has lyrics about using the drug.
  • A comment is made about Yuri finding Vitali "151 grams later." We then see that Vitali has made an outline on a table out of cocaine. Upset at him, Yuri swipes the drug off the table, with Vitali rushing to snort it off the floor.
  • Yuri then later takes Vitali to rehab but gives him one last snort of coke before being admitted.
  • Yuri has a martini.
  • Yuri and Ava separately have wine.
  • Ava and Yuri have champagne.
  • Yuri, Ava and others have champagne at their wedding.
  • Yuri and his father drink.
  • Vitali is drunk or high with a woman.
  • Yuri gives Vitali more cocaine before the latter enters rehab again.
  • Yuri tells Vitali "You're high."
  • A comment is made that Dmitri is permanently "sh*t-faced" (drunk) and we see him drink from a flask, while Yuri also has some.
  • Dmitri drinks from a flask.
  • Yuri and Simeon have drinks.
  • Dmitri drinks from a flask.
  • Vitali and a young woman have champagne.
  • Yuri has some champagne.
  • Yuri drinks shots in a bar where the bartender informs him that another man has sent over some "brown-brown" (a cocaine and gunpowder mix) for him. Yuri declines the offer, but the bartender says it's wise to partake and so Yuri reluctantly does so, snorting the mixture (all as the sender drinks while watching).
  • There's talk of Yuri doing coke and he's then apparently high as a woman has sex on top of him.
  • Yuri asks Batiste Jr. "Andy, what have you been drinking?"
  • BLOOD/GORE
  • We see stylized (not real) blood fill the screen in a graphic when a bullet hits a young man in the head.
  • We see some dead bodies, including a charred corpse.
  • To insure his deal with Yuri, a criminal shoots and wounds him, leaving his shirt somewhat bloody.
  • We see one man who's missing the lower half of his arm (a healed wound).
  • Batiste Sr. shoots one of his own men for the heck of it (no blood at that moment, but we then see a bloody trail on the floor as the body is dragged away).
  • We briefly see a vulture picking at a dead body on the street.
  • We see a man who's bound and gagged with some blood on the tape covering his mouth.
  • We see a small bullet hole wound in a man's forehead, with blood splattering on and then running down a window behind him.
  • While high, Yuri imagines see a recently murdered rival with a small bullet hole in his forehead and a big bloody exit wound hole in the back of his head. He also sees a girl who's missing an arm and asking if it will grow back.
  • We see a human skull on a post.
  • We see bloody bullet holes in a person's shirt after they've been riddled with machine gun fire.
  • We hear the sound of gunfire and then see blood splatter onto a tent from an unseen but partially heard massacre of many people.
  • DISRESPECTFUL/BAD ATTITUDE
  • Yuri is a gun-runner who arms various militants and other bad guys while washing his hands of any blame for what they do with them. For a while, Vitali assists him.
  • The various criminals (including the Batistes) who purchase weapons from Yuri and others for illegal and/or murderous means have bad attitudes.
  • Yuri's father tells his wife (Yuri's mother in a flashback), "Get off my back, woman."
  • Various people take bribes from Yuri so that he can go about his illegal business.
  • To meet Ava, Yuri sets up a fake photo shoot to get them alone together. He then lies and fakes other things in an effort to try to impress her.
  • Yuri is happier at business prospects than with his family.
  • Yuri gives Vitali cocaine before the latter enters rehab (on various occasions).
  • Dmitri is a corrupt former Soviet general who gets a great deal of former Soviet military weaponry for Yuri.
  • We see that Batiste is employing kids for some of his dirty work.
  • Yuri cheats on Ava with other women.
  • Some viewers may not like material aimed at mocking President Bush's first electoral victory thanks to the Supreme Court or statements about the U.S. Government being the biggest arms dealer in the world.
  • FRIGHTENING SCENES
  • Scenes listed under "Violence" and "Blood/Gore" may also be unsettling, suspenseful or scary to younger viewers and/or those with low tolerance levels for such material.
  • As Yuri sells his first Uzi, his buyer briefly points the gun at him.
  • Yuri and Vitali are shot at by unseen assailants in a bombed out city. Some dead bodies are nearby and several kids are executed (we don't see the actual impact, but do see the impact on the wall behind them).
  • Yuri orders some men to race and repaint a ship's name on the hull before Valentine and his men board her and arrest them.
  • Valentine's men hold guns on Yuri and Dmitri, with Valentine then holding his directly on Yuri.
  • A jet fighter fires upon a cargo plan to make it land, blasting some holes in the fuselage but not hitting anyone inside it. The pilot then lands on a small African road, nearly hitting various people walking on it (with the large wheel rolling right up to a baby sitting in the way, but a woman scoops up the child as the plane comes to a halt right there).
  • A man bends Yuri's arm behind his back and holds a machete to his throat, but Valentine won't let the man kill Yuri.
  • We see a man who's bound and gagged with some blood on the tape covering his mouth. Batiste Sr. wants Yuri to shoot and kill him, but Yuri is reluctant. Batiste Sr. insists and says that they'll do so together using just one gun. Although it's disturbing to him, Yuri doesn't stop the incident that concludes with the gun firing and the man being shot in the head (with bloody/gory results).
  • Yuri encounters some hyenas, but we don't know if this is real or imagined while he's high.
  • Men chase a woman and child and hack them to death with machetes (we see the motion but not the actual impact).
  • Andre Jr. holds a gun on a man who hits him with a crow bar and then throws a grenade into a truck causing a big explosion (killing at least one person with another partially on fire). Various men then fire machine guns at him, riddling him with bullets. He then tries to pull the pin on another grenade, but Yuri stops him.
  • We hear the sound of gunfire and then see blood splatter onto a tent from an unseen but partially heard massacre of many people.
  • GUNS/WEAPONS
  • Handguns/Machine guns/Machetes/Various Explosives: Carried, sold & purchased and/or used to threaten, wound or kill others and/or cause property damage. See "Violence" for details.
  • During the opening credits, we follow a bullet as it goes through the assembly line, is shipped off, put into a gun and then fired toward a young man who it then hits in the head (all seen from the bullet's POV, including a freeze-frame before it strikes him).
  • We see massive stockpiles of weapons.
  • We see a great deal of surplus Soviet tanks and choppers.
  • There's a brief segment about the AK-47 assault weapon.
  • To get rid of the evidence after being forced to land somewhere in Africa, Yuri hands out all of his weapons to the locals who happily take everything.
  • IMITATIVE BEHAVIOR
  • Phrases: "F*ck everything up," "Stop f*cking around," "What the f*ck /do you know about guns/is that/is your problem?" "F*ck you," "You're no f*cking chef," "M*therf*cker," "Small f*cking potatoes," "Slow the f*ck down," "Merry f*cking Christmas," "I don't give a f*ck who you are," "Get the f*ck off me," "Do you take me for a complete f*cking fool?" "Resident family f*ck-up," "Why are you so f*cked up all of the time?" "For f*ck's sakes," "This is sh*t," "This is bullsh*t money," "Sh*t-faced" (drunk), "You're the sh*t," "I gotta get my sh*t together," "Cannon" (penis), "I told him to go have intercourse with himself," "A gun-runner's wet dream," "Get off my back, woman," "Blow" (cocaine), "What the hell's the matter?" "Out of the demon hole," "The guano doesn't fall far from the tree," "All over my ass," "Nuts" (crazy) and "I would tell you to go to hell, but I think you're already there."
  • It's possible the film could inspire some teens to try to sell guns and other weapons.
  • Batiste Jr. has various tattoos.
  • JUMP SCENES
  • None.
  • MUSIC (SCARY/TENSE)
  • A mild amount of suspenseful music plays in the film.
  • MUSIC (INAPPROPRIATE)
  • The song "Cocaine" has lyrics about using the drug.
  • Some rap songs had lyrics that we couldn't understand or fully hear, thus offering the possibility of them potentially containing objectionable material.
  • PROFANITY
  • At least 52 "f" words (2 used with "mother"), 11 "s" words, 1 slang term for male genitals ("cannon"), 3 asses (1 used with "hole"), 2 hells, 6 uses of "God," 2 of "G-damn" and 1 use each of "Jesus," "My God," "Oh God" and "Oh Jesus" (some of the preceding are seen in subtitles).
  • SEX/NUDITY
  • Yuri equates selling guns for the first time to having sex for the first time. He states that you don't know what you're doing, but that it's exciting and over too quickly.
  • We see two sexy models in small/tight clothing at an arms fair.
  • We see Vitali having sex with a woman up against a wall while standing (we see him thrusting between her legs, as well as views of her bare breasts). In the same room is a woman fully nude on top of Yuri (we see the side of her bare butt and breasts), but his focus is on the TV.
  • In the background of a shot behind Vitali, we see several apparently nude women sleeping on the floor. We appear to see bare butts, but any other explicit details, if any, are reduced by their distance from the camera.
  • We see Ava in a small bikini that shows cleavage.
  • Ava shows some cleavage.
  • Yuri and Ava passionately kiss while clothed and then lean back out of the camera shot.
  • Vitali is drunk or high with a woman in a tight and low-cut dress (presumably a hooker) that shows cleavage and then partially rides down to reveal her bare breasts.
  • A waitress flirts with Yuri and asks if he sells guns. He flirts back and tells her to come to his room and "I'll show you my...cannon." Later, the two passionately kiss while clothed and up against a wall where a hand goes down to a clothed butt.
  • Dmitri states that he told an agent to "Go have intercourse with himself" (a slightly bungled translation of a similar term).
  • A comment is made about something being a gun-runner's "wet dream" (a nonsexual analogy using a sexual term).
  • Two women dressed as cowgirls show some cleavage in their outfits.
  • We see two scantly clad women sashaying about in Yuri's room (a gift from Batiste). Yuri comments on there not being a condom around for 100 miles, while one of the women says they're happy to make him happy. They start to undress him, there's some talk of AIDS and the women act and talk in a sultry manner toward him.
  • Yuri and Ava passionately kiss while nude in the shower (in a long shot where explicit details are fuzzy or obscured and then in a head and shoulders close-up during which we also see her bare back). We then hear Yuri say in voice-over narration that he always made love to Ava as if she was the only one (meaning he has other lovers).
  • A woman has sex on top of Yuri while he's high. We see her bare breasts and then her getting off him and pulling down her skirt. He asks "I didn't do anything, did I?" with her replying, "Not much" (meaning she did all of the work).
  • We see Ava sitting nude on a bed in the dark (we see her bare back and just the top of her bare butt in the shadows/darkness) as she says she can't wear any of her clothes (due to them being purchased with Yuri's ill-gotten money).
  • SMOKING
  • Yuri smokes more than 10 times, Vitali smokes more than 5 times and Batiste Jr. smokes once.
  • We see an old, large cigarette ad on a wall.
  • TENSE FAMILY SCENES
  • Yuri's father tells his wife (Yuri's mother in a flashback), "Get off my back, woman."
  • We hear that Ava's parents are dead (from before the film starts).
  • Yuri is happier at business prospects than with his family and that puts a strain on his relationship with Ava.
  • Valentine talks about Ava's parents' deaths occurring during a home robbery in the past.
  • Ava's learning of Yuri's real profession puts a strain on their marriage that was already strained to begin with.
  • A man must deal with his brother's death (that he witnesses).
  • TOPICS TO TALK ABOUT
  • Arms dealers and how they fit into the blame of how the weapons are used.
  • We hear that Yuri's family assumed a Jewish identity to insure their safety.
  • Yuri stating that violence is human nature.
  • Simeon's statement that bullets change governments far surer (and sooner) than votes.
  • Yuri states that he never sold weapons to Osama Bin Laden (joking that he bounced his checks).
  • As Yuri watches guns being fired, he hears the "ka-ching" sound of a cash register (meaning he's making money with each shot).
  • The comment that relationships start and end with lies and deceit.
  • Yuri admits to living beyond his means to support the kind of lifestyle he thinks Ava wants/deserves.
  • The end of the cold war and what happened to all of the munitions, etc.
  • The fact that Valentine won't break the law to arrest Yuri.
  • AIDS in Africa.
  • The comment that cars and cigarettes kill more people than guns and that they don't have a safety switch.
  • Yuri defends his profession by saying that he sells people the means to defend themselves.
  • The comment that the U.S. government is one of the top arms dealers in the world.
  • Drug addiction.
  • VIOLENCE
  • We see a great deal of bullet shells on the ground (from earlier but unseen violence) and hear the sound of gunfire off in the distance as Yuri addresses the camera.
  • During the opening credits, we follow a bullet as it goes through the assembly line, is shipped off, put into a gun and then fired toward a young man who it then hits in the head (all seen from the bullet's POV, including a freeze-frame before it strikes him).
  • Yuri sees two men open fire on a restaurant patron with machine guns. That man uses the table to shield himself and then stands and shoots the two men dead.
  • Yuri and Vitali are shot at by unseen assailants in a bombed out city. Some dead bodies are nearby and several kids are executed (we don't see the actual impact, but do see the impact on the wall behind them).
  • To insure his deal with Yuri, a criminal shoots and wounds Yuri, leaving his shirt somewhat bloody.
  • A car suddenly explodes from an unseen bomb within it, killing one person inside (we don't see the death).
  • Two men shoot at each other from a distance.
  • Batiste Sr. shoots one of his own men for the heck of it (no blood at that moment, but we then see a bloody trail on the floor as the body is dragged away).
  • A jet fighter fires upon a cargo plan to make it land, blasting some holes in the fuselage but not hitting anyone inside it.
  • A man bends Yuri's arm behind his back and holds a machete to his throat, but Valentine won't let the man kill Yuri.
  • We see a man who's bound and gagged with some blood on the tape covering his mouth. Batiste Sr. wants Yuri to shoot and kill him, but Yuri is reluctant. Batiste Sr. insists and says that they'll do so together using just one gun. Although it's disturbing to him, Yuri doesn't stop the incident that concludes with the gun firing and the man being shot in the head (with bloody/gory results).
  • Andre. Jr. fires randomly at miscellaneous people and other things with his new machine gun.
  • Men chase a woman and child and hack them to death with machetes (we see the motion but not the actual impact).
  • Andre Jr. holds a gun on a man who hits him with a crow bar and then throws a grenade into a truck causing a big explosion (killing at least one person with another partially on fire). Various men then fire machine guns at him, riddling him with bullets. He then tries to pull the pin on another grenade, but Yuri stops him.
  • We hear the sound of gunfire and then see blood splatter onto a tent from an unseen but partially heard massacre of many people.



  • Reviewed August 25, 2005 / Posted September 16, 2005

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