Walter (Kevin Bacon) is released from prison after a 12-year sentence for molesting young girls in this crime drama. He returns to his hometown seeking desperately to rebuild his life. While re-establishing himself, he runs upon others who have been abused, and he identifies another perpetrator in his neighborhood that has yet to be caught. There are only a handful of people who are willing to give Walter another chance. He works hard at a lumberyard but is a loner, hoping no one will learn of his past. A coworker named Vickie (Kyra Sedgwick, Bacons real-life wife) befriends him and believes that there is something in him that has value and is redeemable. Walter seeks to conquer the demons that have plagued him for many years. The film presents a sympathetic, redemptive view of this tormented man who seeks reform from his old ways.
With a focus on child molestation, The Woodsman will be troubling to many. The films attempt to draw sympathy from the audience for the hardships of convicted sex offenders will outrage some. Vickie learns of Walters depraved acts but thinks that she can redeem him by showing him true love. The sex scenes are graphic between this couple, and sex is not the solution to his problem. Verbal abuse by Detective Lucas (Mos Def) is rooted in his many memories of child victims that he has investigated in the past. The officer equates molesters to wolves, and children to Little Red Ridinghood. In the story, the wolf eats the little girl, and then the woodsman comes and chops open the wolf with his ax, and Red Ridinghood climbs out without a scratch. Perhaps what we need are more woodsmen. Preview does not recommend this film because of its taboo subject matter, sexual content, nudity and rough language.
Several (5) times mild (damn 1); strong (-sshole 2, b-tch 1, other 1)
Many (40) times strong (f-word 24, s-word 10, BS 1, d-ke 2, j-off 3)
Few (3) times strong (GD 1, J 1, JC 1)
Several times mild (men in a locker room shove another man into some lockers, a man yells at another in anger because of a question that was asked of him, a man yells at a counselor during a session, a man spends much of the movie in inner turmoil); moderate (a man attacks and pummels another mans face); strong (a police detective is verbally abusive to another man)
Several times mild (man and woman kiss, man and woman are in bed together implying that theyve been sexually intimate during the night); moderate (woman removes mans clothing in preparation for sexual intimacy); strong (man and woman are involved in sexual intimacy)
Many times mild (woman in a t-shirt with no bra, man in the shower shown through smoked glass); moderate (man and woman are completely nude on several occasions with breasts and buttocks exposed during sex); strong (brief shots during sexual activity where coupling could be seen, womans upper thighs shown close up while wearing panties)
Few times mild (man asks a woman if she is a d-ke, and she says not at the moment)
Sexually Suggestive Action/Dialog:
Many times mild (man asks girl if she wants to sit on his lap, man notices another pedophile around a school yard and writes in his journal what the man is probably saying to the children); moderate (discussions of previous experiences of abuse are discussed); strong (a police detective uses descriptive words to describe what a man is probably doing lurking around school yards, busses and malls when around children)
Several times mild (beer and hard liquor are used both socially as well as to numb oneself from feeling pain, cigarette use)
While the primary theme of this movie is one mans struggle with past offenses against young girls, another man in the movie is portrayed as actively preying on young boys. Actual offenses are not shown, but his lurking and enticing young boys is shown. There are two instances where boys either go into his car or leave his car, but actual violations are only assumed.
Copyright Preview Family Movie Review (www.previeoOnline.org)