Reckoning, The

MPAA Rating: R

Entertainment: +1 1/2

Content: -1 1/2

Nicholas (Paul Bettany), a priest in 14th-Century England, is seeking to live a moral and holy life, but he commits a grievous crime, gives up the priesthood and ends up a fugitive. He encounters Martin (Willem Dafoe) and his traveling troupe of actors and joins up with them, performing in different cities. While entering a town, they see a woman (Elvira Minguez) on trial for witchcraft and murdering a young boy. The actors decide to reenact the cold killing of the young boy to portray the natural justice that takes course in the lives of the guilty. But as the play progresses, new evidence comes to the surface, possibly vindicating the woman. Nicholas risks his life investigating the incident so that justice will prevail and the innocent be free. But his own past crimes are revealed, and he must wrestle with the consequences while seeking to preserve justice for another.

This film presents the struggle between justice and mercy and how they unfold in peoples lives. While not depicting the two as enemies, the films message is that people should contemplate very carefully before casting stones at others. The Reckoning also raises the issue of Gods sovereignty and mans free will. The films complex portrayal of these issues encourages contemplation. The actors are shown to be loyal and merciful to each other in spite of knowledge of each others wrongs. But they and the townspeople demand justice for the murder of the boy. It unfortunately contains a short, but unnecessary, nude sex scene. Church officials are also cast unfavorably. Although moderate violence is woven throughout, the message on justice and mercy is positive and relevant. Due primarily for the nude scene and strong profanity, Preview gives The Reckoning a negative acceptability.

Preview Reviewer: Troy Dandrea
Paramount Classics

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 (3) times mild (hell 2, damn 1)

Obscene Language: None

Profanity: Few (4) times strong (C 2 and JC 2)

Violence: Many times mild (scenes of pushing and fighting); moderate (many scenes of dead bodies, autopsy scenes, murder by stabbing with some blood, beating of a man, hanging of a man by his neck on a fence)

Sex: Few times moderate (one scene of naked couple having sex)

Nudity: Few times moderate (couple naked in bed)

Sexual Dialogue/Gesture: Few times moderate (reference to being so long since they had sex)

Drugs: Few times mild (alcohol use at party)

Other: Appropriate use of God three times, accusations of witchcraft

Running Time: 110 minutes
Intended Audience: Adults

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