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"BLINDNESS"
(2008) (Julianne Moore, Mark Ruffalo) (R)

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


QUICK TAKE:
Drama/Suspense: Save for one woman who fakes being in the same state, various people must contend with being institutionalized when they become afflicted with a contagious form of blindness.
PLOT:
On an ordinary day in a big city, a Driver (YUSUKE ISEYA) suddenly goes blind while on the road, with a Thief (DON McKELLAR) taking advantage of that strange situation. The Driver's Wife (YOSHINO KIMURA) takes him to see an eye specialist, but the Doctor (MARK RUFFALO) can't find anything wrong with him, and is mystified that the Driver's visual state is marked by all encompassing milky white rather than pitch blackness. It's not long, however, before those in the Doctor's office, including a Boy (MITCHELL NYE), the Man with the Black Eye Patch (DANNY GLOVER) and even the doctor himself, similarly go blind, indicating the illness is contagious.

It soon spreads to others, including an apparent prostitute, the Woman with the Dark Glasses (ALICE BRAGA), but oddly enough, not the Doctor's Wife (JULIANNE MOORE). When those afflicted are rounded up by the government and put into an abandoned asylum/hospital, she goes along, feigning blindness so that she can stay with and care for her husband. It's not long, however, before she starts caring for others in their ever-growing ward, although only her husband knows she can see, including the sight of armed guards who won't allow any of them to leave.

Things become more complicated when a bartender (GAEL GARCÍA BERNAL) proclaims himself the king of his ward and then of the entire asylum. With a Lieutenant (MAURY CHAYKIN), who was born blind and thus had an advantage over those more recently afflicted, as his enforcer, the King sets up his own rules, thus putting a greater strain on those now under his control. From that point on, the Doctor's Wife must decide what she should and can do about this development and their overall situation.

WILL KIDS WANT TO SEE IT?
If they're fans of anyone in the cast, the director and/or apocalyptic type dramas, they might, but older teens seem the most likely audience among kids for this offering.
WHY THE MPAA RATED IT: R
For violence including sexual assaults, language and sexuality/nudity.
CAST AS ROLE MODELS:
  • JULIANNE MOORE plays the doctor's wife who feigns blindness so that she can accompany her husband when he's taken away, but then becomes the nurse and mother figure for all of the blind people in her ward. When push comes to shove and with no alternative, she ends up performing sexually for the King (in his demand of that in exchange for food) and then resorts to murder to deal with the situation.
  • MARK RUFFALO plays her husband, an eye doctor who goes blind after examining the first patient. He hates that his wife has become that mother/nurse figure to him, and thus ends up having sex with the Woman with the Dark Glasses.
  • GAEL GARCÍA BERNAL plays one of the victims, a bartender who decides to deal with the food supply problem by proclaiming himself King of his ward and then the overall facility, demanding material goods and then sex in exchange for distributing food.
  • MAURY CHAYKIN plays his brutal enforcer, a man born blind who thus has an advantage over those who've just turned that way.
  • ALICE BRAGA plays an apparent prostitute who similarly goes blind and has sex with the Doctor.
  • DANNY GLOVER plays an older man who goes blind and seems to appreciate the condition in that the Woman with Dark Glasses, with whom he develops a connection, can't see how he looks.
  • YUSUKE ISEYA plays the first person who goes blind, while YOSHINO KIMURA plays his concerned wife.
  • DON McKELLAR plays a thief who takes advantage of that driver's unexpected condition, but then goes blind himself.
  • 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 thriller that's been rated R. Profanity consists of at least 36 "f" words, while other expletives and colorful phrases are also uttered. Sexually related dialogue is present, as are various sexual encounters (with movement, nudity and sounds), some consensual, others where the women are forced to perform sexually in exchange for food rations. Nonsexual nudity (full frontal and rear nudity of both sexes) also occurs.

    Beyond the coerced sex, violence includes people being killed by various means, while some fighting and other violent contact is also present. There are varying degrees of bloody results from that, and those scenes, moments of peril, the coerced/forced orgies and the overall apocalyptic situation might be unsettling and/or suspenseful to viewers.

    Various bad attitudes are present, including a husband cheating on his wife, leading to increased tense family material between them. There's a little bit of drinking, and some scatological material is present in several scenes.

    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 concerned with bright flashes of light on the screen, there's some flicker from a fire.

    For those prone to visually induced motion sickness, there are varying amounts of handheld camera movement in the film.


    ALCOHOL OR DRUG USE
  • We see a wine bottle on the Doctor and his wife's table, with a little left in their glasses. She then pours herself more.
  • We see a bartender behind a bar, but don't actually see anyone drinking.
  • BLOOD/GORE
  • The Driver has a bloody towel around his hand (after apparently accidentally cutting it).
  • The Boy says he has to pee, but when he doesn't get to the bathroom soon enough, we see urine run down from his pants leg over his shoe to the floor.
  • As the blind people walk together in a line, the Thief repeatedly reaches around from behind the Woman with the Dark Glasses and gropes her clothed chest. In response, she slams her high heel down into his leg, resulting in a bloody wound.
  • We see a man's urine stream as he relieves himself out a window, and then see another man's urine stream. We then see a lot of human fecal matter on the floor, and a person's bare feet on/in that.
  • We hear but don't see guards shoot and kill a person. That's followed by a stampede where some glass is broken. Afterwards, we see several dead and slightly bloody bodies lying about.
  • The Thief's leg is all black (from his previous wound).
  • We see the Doctor's Wife and others burying a few bodies in the ground.
  • The Doctor complains about his wife now being more like a nurse or his mom, including "wiping my ass."
  • During an orgy of coerced sex (in exchange for food), one man repeatedly pummels a woman. We later see other women carrying her dead body back to their ward. She has a little blood on her head and some on her hand, with the Doctor's Wife and others cleaning off that blood.
  • The Doctor's Wife stabs the King in the neck with scissors (with blood coming out).
  • We see dogs feeding on a dead person on the street (we see blood and what looks like entrails or skin being pulled away from the body).
  • DISRESPECTFUL/BAD ATTITUDE
  • The Thief steals the Driver's car.
  • As the blind people walk together in a line, the Thief repeatedly reaches around from behind the Woman with the Dark Glasses and gropes her clothed chest.
  • A guard plays a mean game of "getting hot, getting cold" with the Doctor's Wife regarding leading her to a shovel, but forcing her to make all sorts of wrong moves for his enjoyment.
  • With control of the food supplies, the King first makes those in other wards pay for their share (with no money, they have to give up anything of value). When that's gone, the King states that each ward will provide women for sex with the men in ward three (in exchange for food rations).
  • Due to the sound of the King's voice, a white man thinks the former is a "nigger."
  • The Doctor cheats on his wife by having sex with the Women with the Dark Glasses.
  • Some blind kids steal a grocery cart and its contents from a blind man.
  • FRIGHTENING SCENES
  • Scenes listed under "Violence" and "Blood/Gore" may be unsettling and/or suspenseful to younger viewers and/or those with low tolerance levels for such material.
  • Alone on the city street and now blind, the Driver tries to make his way, while we see a car quickly approaching, but it doesn't hit him as one believes will occur.
  • The Doctor and his wife follow guards out to the ward exit, but the guards then turn and aim their guns at them, threatening to shoot and then counting down their warning, with the Doctor's Wife then turning her husband to head back.
  • The King holds his gun to the Doctor's chin and then whacks him on the head.
  • Various women are coerced and forced to have sex with the men in the King's ward in exchange for food rations.
  • The Doctor's Wife stabs the King in the neck with scissors (with blood coming out), prompting the King's Lieutenant to start wildly firing his handgun, apparently hitting a bystander.
  • A woman sneaks up and sets a fire in another ward, resulting in a big fire and panic among the bad people in ward three. That includes the King's Lieutenant who wildly fires his handgun.
  • We see rats around blind people out on the street.
  • Various blind people mob and grab at the Doctor's Wife when they realize she has food. The Doctor then comes to her rescue, pulling and pushing them aside so that his wife can escape.
  • GUNS/WEAPONS
  • Handguns/Machine guns: Carried and/or used to threaten, wound or kill others. See "Violence" for details.
  • The guards who patrol the ward boundary carry machine guns, while two aim theirs at the Doctor and his wife, yelling at them to turn around or be shot.
  • IMITATIVE BEHAVIOR
  • Phrases: "F*ck me" (nonsexual), "I don't f*cking care," "Open the f*cking door," "Whatever the f*ck you are," "Get the f*ck back," "Who the f*ck are you?" "F*ck you," "What the f*ck," "F*ck that," "Sh*t-hole," "Bullsh*t," "Shut up," "Jerks like you," "Shut the hell up," "Crazy bitch," "Sucks," "You suck," "Wiping my ass," "Nigger" (said by a white man), "Fags" and "Whores."
  • The Doctor's Wife gives a guard "the finger."
  • JUMP SCENES
  • The Thief suddenly grabs the Doctor's Wife by the shirt.
  • The Thief suddenly pops up.
  • MUSIC (SCARY/TENSE)
  • A heavy amount of suspenseful and ominous music plays in the film.
  • MUSIC (INAPPROPRIATE)
  • None.
  • PROFANITY
  • At least 36 "f" words, 10 "s" words, 3 asses (2 used with "hole"), 3 S.O.B.s, 2 hells, 4 uses each of "Jesus" and "Oh my God," 2 each of "Jesus Christ," "My God" and "Oh God," and 1 use each of "For Christ's sakes," "God," "Good God" and "Oh Jesus."
  • SEX/NUDITY
  • The Woman with the Dark Glasses shows cleavage and then goes off and has sex with a man. We see a close-up of her face as the man climaxes, and then see a full side view as he rolls off her (we see her full side nudity as she lies on her back). Later, after she's gone blind, we see her out in the hotel hallway, fully nude (bare butt, back).
  • As the blind people walk together in a line, the Thief repeatedly reaches around from behind the Woman with the Dark Glasses and gropes her clothed chest. In response, she slams her high heel down into his leg, resulting in a bloody wound.
  • The Doctor starts kissing on his wife in bed, but she gets up to take a walk.
  • We see a man's full rear nudity.
  • We see a woman's bare breasts while she's in a bath.
  • We see a woman's bare butt.
  • We see a woman's bare breasts, and another woman's bare butt as she lies face down.
  • From a distance, we see the Doctor's bare butt.
  • In passing, we partially see a sexual encounter (woman on top, some movement and bare skin, but the latter didn't appear explicit).
  • We see full rear female nudity in passing.
  • The Doctor gropes the Woman with the Dark Glasses' chest, the two passionately kiss, and we then hear sounds of them having sex as seen through a shroud of whiteness and only fleeting and partial views of the act. We then see the full thing, he standing and shirtless, thrusting between her legs as she's seated on a table.
  • After the King states that the wards will have to give up women for sex in exchange for food, the women initially say no and that it would be different if the same was demanded of the men. One man then says there are no "fags" there, with the woman saying there are no "whores." She then asks that just because she earlier gave herself to a particular man (above), "Now I'm a whore?" After realizing they have no option, nine of the women "volunteer," with the King's Lieutenant stating, upon hearing that number, that they'll have to do double duty. But he adds that if any of them "are on the rag," they don't want them now, but will get them later.
  • We then see what's essentially an orgy of coerced sex (movement, sounds, and some nudity, all in the shadows with the camera panning across the action). We also see the Doctor's Wife with the King, and him telling her "that's my gun" (instead of an erection). We then see her kneeling down in front of the King, with him telling her to "suck it" and her replying she could bite it off (he says he'll shoot her if she does). Oral sex is then implied, while we hear another man wanting to suck on another woman's nipples, while one woman is noted as being a "cold fish."
  • The next night, we hear and partially see the coerced sex for food orgy with the women from another ward (movement, sounds, and some nudity, also in the partial shadows like before). That includes the King apparently receiving oral sex (the act is not seen). Later, when some of the women flee, we see their full rear nudity.
  • We see male full frontal nudity from a distance.
  • During a rain shower, we see both male and female full frontal nudity as blind people discard their clothes to clean their bodies.
  • We see the Doctor's Wife and two other women showering together (nothing sexual, but we see their bare breasts).
  • We see the end of the Doctor and his wife having sex (her face, his shoulder, with movement and sounds).
  • SMOKING
  • None.
  • TENSE FAMILY SCENES
  • A man violently bangs on a door to be let in, but his wife doesn't care about him.
  • The Doctor starts kissing on his wife in bed, but she gets up to take a walk.
  • The situation puts an increasing strain on the Doctor and his wife's marriage, especially when he's frustrated by his view of her as his mom or a nurse rather than his wife. Later, she catches him having sex with the Woman with the Dark Glasses.
  • TOPICS TO TALK ABOUT
  • Being born blind or going blind.
  • The government quarantining people with the contagious blindness.
  • The film's view of the breakdown of society in such a situation.
  • VIOLENCE
  • The Driver hits his head on the car door while being helped out.
  • A man violently bangs on a door to be let in, but his wife doesn't care about him.
  • Both blind, the Driver attacks the Thief and the two fight and struggle.
  • As the blind people walk together in a line, the Thief repeatedly reaches around from behind the Woman with the Dark Glasses and gropes her clothed chest. In response, she slams her high heel down into his leg, resulting in a bloody wound.
  • We see guards struggling with some people.
  • We see a quick montage of accidents caused by the sudden blindness. That includes a bus turning over on the freeway, footage of two planes separately crashing (one into the ground and exploding, another sliding along the ground and crashing into things and bursting into flames), and many vehicles crashing.
  • We hear but don't see guards shoot and kill a person. That's followed by a stampede where some glass is broken. Afterwards, we see several dead and slightly bloody bodies lying about.
  • The Thief suddenly grabs the Doctor's Wife by the shirt.
  • A guard shoots a person (not seen) and there's talk about the resultant blood.
  • A TV (playing a government message) is smashed.
  • Some people struggle over food, with one man hitting a woman with a pole or something similar. The King then blindly fires a warning shot with his handgun.
  • The King holds his gun to the Doctor's chin and then whacks him on the head.
  • Various women are coerced and forced to have sex with the men in the King's ward in exchange for food rations (this occurs in several scenes). During an orgy of such coerced sex, one man repeatedly pummels a woman. We later see other women carrying her dead body back to their ward. She has a little blood on her head and some on her hand, with the Doctor's Wife and others cleaning off that blood.
  • The Doctor's Wife stabs the King in the neck with scissors (with blood coming out), prompting the King's Lieutenant to start wildly firing his handgun, apparently hitting a bystander.
  • A woman sneaks up and sets a fire in another ward, resulting in a big fire and panic among the bad people in ward three. That includes the King's Lieutenant who wildly fires his handgun.
  • Various blind people mob and grab at the Doctor's Wife when they realize she has food. The Doctor then comes to her rescue, pulling and pushing them aside so that his wife can escape.



  • Reviewed September 26, 2008 / Posted October 3, 2008

    Other new and recent reviews include:

    [American Made] [Battle of the Sexes] [Flatliners] [A Question of Faith] [Stronger]

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