Geronimo: An American Legend

MPAA Rating: PG-13

Entertainment: +3

Content: -1/2

Right out of West Point, young 2nd Lt. Britton Davis (Matt Damon) reports to General Crook (Gene Hackman) of the U.S. Calvary in the mid-1860s for his first assignment. The setting is Arizona, near the Mexican border, and the task at hand is to bring in Apache chief Geronimo. The mission, headed by 1st Lt. Charles Gatewood (Jason Patric) consists of these two soldiers accompanied by two Indian scouts. From the look on his face, it is obvious Lt. Davis knows well the notorious reputation Geronimo (Wes Studi) has earned as an Apache warrior. They are to accomplish a mission that 5,000 U.S. Cavalrymen unsuccessfully attempted, to the disgrace of the U.S. Army. Young Britton tells with awe about the heroism of Lt. Gatewood, a soft spoken Virginian, who understands the Apache language and culture. He also comes to respect Geronimo, a man whose freedom is threatened under the surrender terms of the U.S. government. This exciting chapter in U.S. history has all the elements of an old-fashioned western.

GERONIMO effectively illustrates that there were villains and heros on both sides of the controversy. Both Indians and "white eyes" kill each other unmercifully. When forced to live on a reservation, the Indians are treated like prisoners. The U.S. government was trying to teach them to become farmers so that the Indians could develop the land to become self-supporting. Many of them were starving on the plains and the reservation was a safe-haven. Still others, like Geronimo, were trained to be warriors and want no part of civilization. Both Lt. Gatewood and General Crook earn the respect of Geronimo. They express a deep faith in God and refuse to kill except in self-defense. Many gun battles, tension-filled confrontations and a hanging of three Indian scouts make this film too intense for young children. However, there is no sexual content and only a limited amount of foul language. Though the violence is not gratuitous, some graphic closeups of gunshot wounds could have been softened.

Preview Reviewer: Mary Draughon
Columbia Pictures, 10202 W. Washington Blvd., Culver City, CA 90232

The following categories contain objective listings of film content which contribute to the subjective numeric Content ratings posted to the left and on the Home page.

Crude Language: Many (14) times - Mild 9; moderate 5

Obscene Language: None

Profanity: Regular (2) times

Violence: Many times - Moderate and severe (gun battles, bloody wounds, hanging; point-blank shootings)

Sex: None

Nudity: None

Sexual Dialogue/Gesture: None

Drugs: Some alcohol drinking; drunkenness (not condoned)

Other: Honorable military leaders portrayed with strong religious faith

Running Time:
Intended Audience: 12 and older

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