Men With Guns

MPAA Rating: R

Entertainment: +2

Content: -1 1/2

Set somewhere in Latin America, MEN WITH GUNS is a thought provoking film about an educated doctor ignorant of the political situation in his own country. Dr. Fuentes (Federico Luppi) is a wealthy, recently widowed doctor on a mission. He travels to remote villages hoping to find former students whom he trained to minister to the poor. But before he even leaves the city, he finds one of them pushing drugs in the slums. As Fuentes makes his way from one village to another, he picks up a starving orphan boy who becomes his guide, a runaway soldier-thief, a disgraced priest and a mute young woman who is also a rape victim. The doctor's former students have been killed by 'men with guns,' and he sees the atrocities inflicted on the poor by both the army and the guerrillas. He and his motley 'family' eventually make their way to a small village high in the mountains where the doctor finally delivers medical help to the poor.

MEN WITH GUNS, written and directed by the highly respected John Sayles, is an art film in Spanish with English subtitles and will not appeal to wide audiences. A country's neglect of the disadvantaged paints a depressing picture, and each of Dr. Fuentes' traveling companions has a tragic story to tell. Flashbacks of a young soldier forced to shoot another point-blank, then later prodded by his companions to rape a young girl are graphic and disturbing. This soldier now wants the former priest to hear his confession. The disgraced priest tells of how the men in one village sacrificed themselves in order to save the others. But the priest elected to escape, and now his guilt is destroying him. A field of skeletons, a mass execution, a burning village and a brutal stabbing are not gratuitous but difficult to watch. However, 15 obscenities, including 8 f-words, are gratuitous. MEN WITH GUNS has no sex, nudity or homosexual content. The doctor's kindness, courage and determination to help the less fortunate is indeed refreshing. Also noteworthy is the priest seeking redemption by risking his life to save the other travelers. With some editing of the foul language, MEN WITH GUNS would be appropriate for adults.

Preview Reviewer: Mary Draughon
Sony Pictures Classics, 711 Fifth Avenue, NY, NY 10022

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: Several (9) times - Mild 3, Moderate 6

Obscene Language: Many (15) times (f-word 8, s-word 6, other 1)

Profanity: None

Violence: Several times - Moderate and Severe (field of skeletons, soldier forced to shoot another point-blank, then forced to rape young girl; mass execution of villagers, stabbing)

Sex: None

Nudity: None

Sexual Dialogue/Gesture: None

Drugs: None, but drug dealing once

Other: None

Running Time: 128 minutes
Intended Audience: Adults

Click HERE for a PRINTER-FRIENDLY version of this review.