Claim, The

MPAA Rating: R

Entertainment: +2

Content: -3

In the cold and snowy Sierra Nevada Mountains, the small mining settlement of Kingdom Come sits nestled near the rich claim of Daniel Dillon (Peter Mullan). Dillon has become a wealthy and powerful man since striking it rich, but his life changes dramatically when surveyors from the railroad come to town. The chief surveyor, Donald Daiglish (Wes Bentley), wants to build through Dillons town, which would send financial prospects sky-high. But included in Daiglishs caravan are two women, Elena and Hope (Nastassja Kinski and Sarah Polley), who knew Dillon many years before. What they plan for him is even more dramatic than the railroad deal. A cool and morally oppressive film, THE CLAIM is difficult to watch. Based on Thomas Hardy's "Mayor of Casterbridge, the story twists do not always work, but the depth of characters and emotion portrayed in the movie are likely to win a small following.

Its easy to see how biblical names and images are sometimes utilized to add layers of meaning to the story. Hope rides into Kingdom Come with the railroad men, who seek to give Dillon his wish for a railroad and bring new prosperity to the town. Both Hope, who selflessly cares for the dying Elena, and Daiglish, who refuses to be bribed into placing the railroad through Kingdom Come, have admirable traits. However, Daiglish participates in a scene with two prostitutes, implying sexual acts, and eventually shoots a man. Several scenes take place in the local brothel, and viewers are given glimpses of partially or completely nude women on a few occasions. One scene of graphic sex occurs but does not include nudity. Foul language is less than expected in an R-rated film although three obscenities and three strong profanities are heard. Combining obscene and profane language with the sexual content will keep many from staking a claim on THE CLAIM.

Preview Reviewer: John Adair
MGM/UA Distribution, 2500 Broadway St., Santa Monica, CA 90404-3061

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: Few (2) times Moderate

Obscene Language: Few (3) times - F-word 2, s-word 1

Profanity: Few (3) times Regular (GD 1, JC 1, For G Sake 1)

Violence: Several times Moderate (men fight, punch, and wrestle with one another, man whipped until he bleeds, men shot, explosion that leaves man dead)

Sex: Few times Implied and Graphic (man and prostitutes undressing with nudity; once with motions and sound but no nudity)

Nudity: Few times (female breast few times, full female nudity, female breast as prostitute undresses); Near Nudity - Few times (woman breast feeds, cleavage emphasized, women in undergarments and skimpy clothes)

Sexual Dialogue/Gesture: Few times (man and women discuss sex, couple rolls around on bed together, woman thinks man after another woman sexually)

Drugs: Many times (smoking, alcohol)

Other: Biblical imagery used in names of town (Kingdom Come) and character (Hope); local brothel well attended

Running Time: 130 minutes
Intended Audience: Adults

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