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"V FOR VENDETTA"
(2006) (Natalie Portman, Hugo Weaving) (R)

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


QUICK TAKE:
Action/Drama: After a masked vigilante rescues her, an ordinary woman joins him in his quest to overthrow their totalitarian government.
PLOT:
It's around the year 2020 and England is ruled by a totalitarian government run by the fanatical Chancellor Adam Sutler (JOHN HURT) and his cabinet led by its brutal enforcer Creedy (TIM PIGOTT-SMITH). Following a cultural revolution known as the Reclamation that stemmed from mass viral deaths that killed thousands, the government has banned most forms of art, has set nightly curfews and delivers its own virtues and rules through the media, such as vehement TV personality Lewis Prothero (ROGER ALLAM).

Yet, not everyone blindly follows the government, with the main dissenter being a masked vigilante known only as V (HUGO WEAVING). On the night that he blows up a building as a symbol of his protest, he also saves mild-mannered TV employee Evey (NATALIE PORTMAN) -- who works for TV show host Gordon Deitrich (STEPHEN FRY) -- from a bunch of thugs.

When he later runs into her again at the TV station where he hijacks the airwaves to announce his dissent to everyone, he once again saves her -- this time from certain government torture for helping him -- and returns her to his secret lair. It's there that she learns he's planning to blow up Parliament on the next anniversary of Guy Fawkes Day (an early 17th century protestor who tried to do the same). But he's also on a spree of avenging past wrongs committed against him and others.

Those acts leave a trail of bodies that quickly grab the attention of Chief Inspector Finch (STEPHEN REA) and his assistant Dominic (RUPERT GRAVES) who not only want to solve them, but also want to find Evey and learn what's going on before Creedy and his goons get their hands on her. As the weeks and months pass by, V -- eventually with Evey's help -- sets out to carry out his plan that he hopes will wake up the masses and lead them into revolt against their oppressive government.

WILL KIDS WANT TO SEE IT?
Male teenagers and those who are fans of someone in the cast or the films by the Wachowski brothers (the ones responsible for the "Matrix" films) might just want to.
WHY THE MPAA RATED IT: R
For strong violence and some language.
CAST AS ROLE MODELS:
  • NATALIE PORTMAN plays a TV station employee who's inadvertently thrown into V's world and initially finds herself an unwilling hostage in his plan. After enduring some training-based torture, she decides to assist him. She uses some profanity.
  • HUGO WEAVING plays the masked anti-hero and vigilante who seeks revenge on both those who wronged him in the past as well as the overall totalitarian government. He murders various people and carries out bombings that are essentially terroristic in nature.
  • STEPHEN REA plays the chief inspector who's trying to find Evey and V, and stop the latter from carrying out his announced bombing of Parliament.
  • STEPHEN FRY plays Evey's boss, a closeted homosexual who goes out on a dangerous limb doing a TV satire about the chancellor and his government.
  • JOHN HURT plays the overzealous head of the totalitarian government that represses its people's rights. He's also responsible for spreading lies via the media, as well as many deaths in his quest for power. He also wants V and his rebellion squashed.
  • TIM PIGOTT-SMITH plays his chief enforcer, a brutal man who's at odds with Finch.
  • 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 dramatic action film that's been rated R. Profanity consists of at least 5 "f" words, while other expletives and colorful phrases are uttered. Sexually related dialogue is present, some showgirls are briefly seen in thong-type bottoms, dead nude bodies are briefly seen (bare breasts and butts), a pedophilic bishop comes after a woman dressed like a school girl, and some brief gay and lesbian related material is present.

    Violence consists of people being killed by various means (mainly weaponry), while other fighting, beatings, and destruction of buildings occurs. Some of that violence has bloody results (other imagery shows bad looking lesions and burns), while those scenes and other moments of peril (including some torture material and a scene where several men seem intent on raping a woman) may be disturbing and/or suspenseful to viewers. Some of the stunts, fighting and other action may be enticing for some kids to imitate.

    All sorts of bad attitudes are present (from both the "good and "bad" characters), as are various thematic issues. A flashback shows a girl seeing her mother beaten and then taken away (never to be seen again), while other tense family material is also present. Some characters drink and/or smoke, while there's brief talk of drugs being present at a person's home.

    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 what look like beer bottles as well as a liquor bottle on someone's table.
  • Lewis Prothero drinks.
  • There's talk of drugs related to Lewis Prothero (being found at his place), including something about pharmaceutical involvement.
  • Gordon pours liquor for Evey and himself when she shows up at his house looking for help.
  • Finch drinks.
  • Deitrich pours champagne for Evey and himself.
  • Miscellaneous people have beer and wine.
  • Miscellaneous people drink in a bar.
  • Finch has a drink by him.
  • BLOOD/GORE
  • We briefly see a tiny bit of blood on a wall.
  • Evey has a bump, bruise and a little blood on her head after a man punches her.
  • V's bare hands (seen only once) have bad burn scars on them.
  • Lewis Prothero slips in his shower and falls to the floor. Later, we see him dead on the floor, with what looks like foam around his head (we later hear he was poisoned).
  • We see a flashback to when Evey's younger brother was in the hospital with some blood and/or lesions on his face.
  • We see a dead body on the floor, with some blood from the mouth and some sort of foam nearby.
  • We briefly see some bare feet sticking out from under a sheet on an autopsy table (but beyond being dead, they're not discolored, etc.).
  • We see a flashback to various test subjects with bad lesions on their faces, etc. We then see a nude body being tossed down into a pit containing other nude, dead bodies (we see bare breasts and butts).
  • We see a flashback to an explosion at a facility and the resultant fire. We then see a backlit view of V whose body has been badly burned (including a close-up of his face -- but the backlighting obscures details -- we can just see that he's badly burned).
  • As Evey hides under a bed, agents break down Deitrich's door and hit him (with bloody results). Creedy then hits Deitrich on the head with some sort of rod (bloodying him even more).
  • In a flashback, we see lesions on a woman's face.
  • We see a flashback to a body being carted away on a cart.
  • We see another view of the above dead and nude bodies in the trench.
  • A man shoots a young girl in a V-type mask, killing her (blood comes out upon the impact and we see blood on the road after that).
  • A government official has blood on his head and he's then executed by one of his own men.
  • V kills two government agents, hitting and slicing them (with bloody results).
  • V kills various government agents, throwing daggers into some, slicing and stabbing others and throwing another dagger into one's head (all seen in slow-motion footage, with blood coming out from such contact).
  • After being wounded, V leaves a bloody smear along a wall.
  • DISRESPECTFUL/BAD ATTITUDE
  • Since he's breaking the law of the land and committing acts of terrorism against the standing government, technically V is a villain, but he's portrayed as the hero (or anti-hero) here.
  • Sutler has extreme cases of bad attitudes for his beliefs, actions and treatment of the people under his rule, and Creedy enforces that for him.
  • Some viewers might not like the film's anti-government stance (particularly as it seems to be related to the current administration), while others might not like a bit about a pedophilic bishop.
  • A TV commentator, Lewis Prothero, equates Muslims with homosexuals with terrorists.
  • Out past curfew at night, Evey runs into several men in some deserted alleys and they appear intent on raping her (but that doesn't occur as V comes along and takes care of them.
  • The media, under the control of the government, put a positive spin on most everything related to V (blowing up a building turns into pre-scheduled demolition, etc.). They also report other lies.
  • In a TV drama shown on television, an exaggerated Arab character is a terrorist.
  • We see that V has all sorts of forbidden items (so ruled by the government) in his lair, including artwork, a jukebox and more
  • Lewis Prothero is self-obsessed and mad about the way he looked on TV.
  • V has Evey (dressed as a slightly provocative school girl) go see a pedophilic bishop. It's not long before he's coming on to her and eventually pins her to a bed. When she says that V will be arriving, he thinks it's a role-playing game and is excited about that, commenting on the "firmness" of his faith. But nothing else happens as V then does arrive.
  • We see that Deitrich has outlawed paraphernalia in his place, including a large Nazi swastika and a mocking "God save the Queen" poster (but the implication is that he has these just for their illegality).
  • We hear that a previous, government unleashed virus killed around 100,000 people (all to instill fear in the masses) and that various people, including V, were the subjects in some horrible tests.
  • Spoiler Alert -- We learn that V was the one who held Evey as his prisoner (making her think it was government agents who were torturing her, etc.). He does all of that to make her stronger, but she's mad at him once she learns the truth.
  • A miscellaneous masked man robs a store at gunpoint.
  • A government official has blood on his head and he's then executed by one of his own men.
  • Finch lets a terrorist plot go through to its conclusion (after having stopped it).
  • FRIGHTENING SCENES
  • Scenes listed under "Violence" and "Blood/Gore" may be unsettling or suspenseful to younger viewers and/or those with low tolerance levels for such material.
  • The use of London's subway system for a bombing might be unsettling due to its similarities of terrorist-related activities in the real world.
  • We see a brief flashback to a brief, early 17th century hanging (the hooded body drops and then twitches, etc.).
  • Out past curfew at night, Evey runs into several men in some deserted alleys and they appear intent on raping her. They drop various innuendo-filled bits of dialogue, including that maybe she can look after them (meaning sexually), with one referring to his crotch when he says "you can touch it" and there's something about "you can swallow it." One also says that if she's not the "sorriest piece of ass...you'll certainly be the sorest" and drops another related line about sparing the "rod" and spoiling the child. V then comes along and saves the day.
  • Evey's door is kicked in and agents enter with their guns drawn.
  • V shows up at the TV station with bombs strapped to his body (so that they're forced to play his prerecorded message to the public). The guard there pulls his gun, but can't do anything.
  • Agents find bombs on a timer in a TV station and one of them must cut a lead to stop it (he does).
  • We see a flashback to various test subjects with bad lesions on their faces, etc. We then see a nude body being tossed down into a pit containing other nude, dead bodies (we see bare breasts and butts).
  • After Evey has been captured, we see her head being shaved.
  • Evey is held (for what seems like a long time) in a barren cell where she's terrified most of the time.
  • We see Evey's head under some water and then pulled up, briefly, before being dunked into the water again (as a means of torture).
  • Evey is told she's to be executed if she doesn't give up info on V. She refuses and thus accepts her fate (but is then let go).
  • We see another view of the above dead and nude bodies in the trench.
  • A major character dies in the end.
  • Finch holds his gun on Evey, but then lets her go.
  • GUNS/WEAPONS
  • Handguns/Machine guns/Daggers/Explosives/Clubs/Electric prod/Poison/Swords: Carried and/or used to threaten, wound or kill others and/or cause property damage. See "Violence" for details.
  • IMITATIVE BEHAVIOR
  • Phrases: "F*cking hell," "Big f*cking man," "You f*cking little whore," "Give me the f*cking money," "Jesus f*cking Christ," "Oh sh*t," "Someone who doesn't give a sh*t about you," "Bullsh*t," "Who's bloody with me?" "Load of bollocks," "Piece of ass," "What the hell /is this?" "Are you like a crazy person?" "Balls" (testicles), "What the bloody hell is going on?" "Bloke," "You're insane," "Bleeding sod," "Screwed up," "You little bitch," "Shut up" and "Bollocksed up."
  • All of the stunts, fighting and possibly even acts of terrorism might be enticing for some kids to emulate.
  • JUMP SCENES
  • None.
  • MUSIC (SCARY/TENSE)
  • A heavy amount of suspenseful and ominous music plays during the film.
  • MUSIC (INAPPROPRIATE)
  • None.
  • PROFANITY
  • At least 5 "f" words, 8 "s" words, 1 slang term each using female and male genitals ("c*nt" and "rod"), 6 bollocks, 6 hells, 2 asses, 2 damns, 1 crap, 1 S.O.B., 1 sod, 6 uses of "God," 4 uses of "Oh my God," 3 each of "Jesus Christ" and "Oh God," 2 uses each of "G-damn," "Christ," "Good God," "Jesus" and "My God," and 1 use each of "For God's sakes" and "Holy Christ."
  • SEX/NUDITY
  • We briefly see Evey (seated) in her bra (from in front and behind) before she gets dressed.
  • Out past curfew at night, Evey runs into several men in some deserted alleys and they appear intent on raping her. They drop various innuendo-filled bits of dialogue, including that maybe she can look after them (meaning sexually), with one referring to his crotch when he says "you can touch it" and there's something about "you can swallow it." One also says that if she's not the "sorriest piece of ass...you'll certainly be the sorest" and drops another related line about sparing the "rod" and spoiling the child.
  • Some showgirls are seen in a dressing room and some are wearing thong-like bottoms (at least in the back) over fishnet-style pantyhose.
  • Some ancient and classical statues in V's lair show various styles (abstract and realistic) of bare breasts. There's also a classic style painting that shows bare breasts.
  • We see a middle-aged, male TV show host/newsman (Lewis Prothero) shirtless at his place. We later see him with just a towel around him as he prepares to shower.
  • V has Evey (dressed as a slightly provocative school girl) go see a pedophilic bishop. It's not long before he's coming on to her and eventually pins her to a bed. When she says that V will be arriving, he thinks it's a role-playing game and is excited about that, commenting on the "firmness" of his faith. But nothing else happens as V then does arrive.
  • We see that Deitrich has outlawed paraphernalia in his place, including some related to his closet homosexuality (a few photos of tattooed men, with one looking like he's biting someone else -- but only briefly and partially seen).
  • We see a flashback to a nude body being tossed down into a pit containing other nude, dead bodies (we see bare breasts and butts).
  • We see Evey's bare back as she's strung up and blasted with some sort of shower (she screams as this occurs).
  • We see a brief slow-motion, lesbian kiss.
  • There's a brief comment about what sounded like a "blow job" (related to an unseen suicide via a gun, rather than something sexual).
  • We see another view of the above dead and nude bodies in the trench.
  • SMOKING
  • Deitrich smokes once in a flashback, while a few miscellaneous characters smoke.
  • An actor portraying the chancellor has a fake cigar that blows up in his face (but he's not harmed).
  • TENSE FAMILY SCENES
  • There's talk that Evey's mom is dead.
  • We see a flashback to when Evey's younger brother was in the hospital, terminally ill from a virus, and his mother is crying, etc.
  • We see a flashback to police or government agents bursting into Evey's house (when she was a girl). Her mom gets her to hide under the bed just before they knock down the door, punch the mom to the floor and then put a bag over her head. Evey then says (in voice-over narration) that she never saw her parents again after that.
  • Evey reads an autobiographical note passed to her by another prisoner through a small hole in the wall. We then hear the voice of that female prisoner telling her tale as we see a flashback to it. During this, she talks of her first girlfriend (who "got over" her lesbianism) and then her coming out to her parents (in the presence of her latest girlfriend), where her father tells her to leave and not come back.
  • TOPICS TO TALK ABOUT
  • The use of London's subway system for a bombing might be unsettling due to its similarities of terrorist-related activities in the real world.
  • The notion of remembering an idea vs. the man who proposed it.
  • The notion that doubt leads to chaos.
  • The media, under the control of the government, put a positive spin on most everything related to V (blowing up a building turns into pre-scheduled demolition, etc.). They also report other lies.
  • We hear that Evey's parents were political activists who were then beaten and taken away by the government.
  • The comment that fairness, freedom and justice are more than just words.
  • The comment that people shouldn't be afraid of their governments, but rather that governments should be afraid of their people.
  • The talk of symbols having great power.
  • The notion that violence can be used for good when it's distributed in the form of justice.
  • The comment that you wear a mask so long that you forget who you are beneath it.
  • We hear that a previous, government unleashed virus killed around 100,000 people (all to instill fear in the masses) and that various people, including V, were the subjects in some horrible tests.
  • Evey reads an autobiographical note passed to her by another prisoner through a small hole in the wall. We then hear the voice of that female prisoner telling her tale as we see a flashback to it. During this, she talks of her first girlfriend (who "got over" her lesbianism) and then her coming out to her parents (in the presence of her latest girlfriend), where her father tells her to leave and not come back.
  • After the chancellor says he wants the public to remember why they need the government, the media starts spreading fear through its stories.
  • The comment that ideas are bulletproof.
  • A major character dies in the end.
  • Finch lets a terrorist plot go through to its conclusion (after having stopped it).
  • VIOLENCE
  • We see a flashback to a brief, early 17th century swordfight (but no one appears to be harmed during it).
  • We see a brief flashback to a brief, early 17th century hanging (the hooded body drops and then twitches, etc.).
  • Out past curfew at night, Evey runs into several men in some deserted alleys and they appear intent on raping her. V then shows up and takes on the three men (who pull guns and knives on him). He easily dispatches them (one tries punching him in the face but hurts his hand on V's hard mask), hitting and knocking them aside (one is thrown into a wall) and he strikes another with a rod (we only hear, but don't see the actual impact of that).
  • V sets off explosives that destroy a building amidst a shower of fireworks (at night).
  • Police or government agents shoot a man wearing a V-like mask, but it turns out to be a victim (who's wounded, but not killed). As others show up in masks, the officials aim their guns at them, not sure which, if any, is the real V. When they do find him, he throws small daggers into two of them and fights with the rest, causing them to end up shooting each other rather than him. He hits others and there's the sound of him stabbing one official.
  • A cop holds a gun on V, but Evey approaches and sprays Mace or something similar into his face. He then punches her to the floor (unconscious), followed by V doing the same to him.
  • Lewis Prothero slips in his shower and falls to the floor. Later, we see him dead on the floor, with what looks like foam around his head (we later hear he was poisoned).
  • We see a flashback to a man zapping a test subject with an electric cattle prod device.
  • We see a flashback to police beating and otherwise getting physical with protestors on the street.
  • We see a flashback to police or government agents bursting into Evey's house (when she was a girl). Her mom gets her to hide under the bed just before they knock down the door, punch the mom to the floor and then put a bag over her head. Evey then says (in voice-over narration) that she never saw her parents again after that.
  • V has Evey (dressed as a slightly provocative school girl) go see a pedophilic bishop. It's not long before he's coming on to her and eventually pins her to a bed. She then kicks him away and V shows up, with Evey leaving and the bishop trying to shoot V who grabs his arm. V then kills him, but we don't see the act.
  • V tells a middle-aged woman (and one of his former tormentors) that he killed her ten minutes ago while she slept (he then holds up a syringe, with her then peacefully dying moments later from the poison that was in it).
  • We see a flashback to an explosion at a facility and the resultant fire. We then see a backlit view of V whose body has been badly burned (including a close-up of his face -- but the backlighting obscures details -- we can just see that he's badly burned).
  • In a parody bit (that's been edited and scored to look like the old Benny Hill TV show), there's some slapstick material (people struggling, etc.) and two actors portraying the chancellor are shot (but it's all faked).
  • As Evey hides under a bed, agents break down Deitrich's door and hit him (with bloody results). Creedy then hits Deitrich on the head with some sort of rod (bloodying him even more).
  • Evey then tries to escape, lowering herself out of the house, but she's then caught and a bag is placed over her head.
  • We see Evey's head under some water and then pulled up, briefly, before being dunked into the water again (as a means of torture).
  • We see a flashback to a person being hit in the gut and face.
  • V breaks a mirror with his facial mask.
  • Some people are hit.
  • A flashback shows two people blown through the air from an explosion.
  • V is suddenly at Creedy's throat with a knife (he does not kill him).
  • A miscellaneous masked man robs a store at gunpoint.
  • We see a flashback to several people shooting and presumably killing one person (no blood).
  • A man shoots a young girl in a V-type mask, killing her. A mob then shows up and we hear the sound of one of its members hitting that shooter.
  • We see flash images of protest-related violence (people hitting others, etc.).
  • A government official has blood on his head and he's then executed by one of his own men.
  • V kills two government agents, hitting and slicing them (with bloody results).
  • V allows government agents to riddle him with gunfire (we later see he's armor plated -- that's what saved him for the moment). When they're out of ammo, he then proceeds to kill all of them, throwing daggers into some, slicing and stabbing others and throwing another dagger into one's head (all seen in slow-motion footage, with blood coming out from such contact). The last one standing shoots V many times, but V then grabs and lifts that man by the neck, which he then breaks, killing that man.
  • A massive explosion rips through Parliament, destroying it (from a subway train rigged with explosives going off beneath it).



  • Reviewed March 10, 2006 / Posted March 17, 2006

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