Lone Star

MPAA Rating: R

Entertainment: +4

Content: -1 1/2

The folks in a dusty border town in South Texas can't agree on much. The Hispanics, whites and black live together, but like most of the families there, not necessarily harmoniously. However, the one thing they all agree on is their idol, the late legendary Sheriff Buddy Deeds (Matthew McConaughey), father of their current sheriff, Sam Deeds (Chris Cooper). Only Sam doesn't share the town's opinion of his Dad. As a young deputy in the late 1950s, Buddy stood up to the corrupt, terrorist Sheriff Charley Wade (Kris Kristofferson) while sitting in the local Mexican restaurant. Soon after Buddy's public refusal to follow his boss's order to accept bribes, Charley mysteriously disappeared. Now, almost 40 years later, Sam uncovers evidence that Buddy must have killed Charley. Sam's determination to find the truth, even at the risk of destroying the town's image of his father, uncovers many deep dark secrets of the past. LONE STAR has it all -- mystery, humor, intrigue, pathos and passion, without being melodramatic or superficial.

The original script by John Sayles has much to say about family relationships, prejudice and compassion. Teenagers who rebelled in the '50s are now dealing with their own children's painful rebellion. Sam's resentment of his father is explained when he rekindles a romance with his high school girlfriend, who also resents her mother's interference. The son of the town's leading black citizen has become a colonel in the Army and is assigned to a nearby base, where he must face his hated, estranged father. The lives of the three ethnic groups are unavoidably intertwined in spite of vast cultural differences, but Sheriff Sam maintains harmony without the dramatics of gun threats and crooked deals. He is the real hero of LONE STAR. Nonetheless, the film's foul language includes many regular profanities and obscenities. Violence is surprisingly subdued except for one point-blank shooting. Another gunshot killing is slightly off-camera, but bloody aftermath is shown in both scenes. Flashbacks of the evil Sheriff Wade evoke terror from those he stalks, intimidates and kills. Unfortunately, there is one very graphic, passionate sex scene although the couple is shown only from the shoulders up. That scene, plus the unnecessary foul language prevent a positive acceptability rating for this otherwise outstanding film.

Preview Reviewer: Mary Draughon
Sony Pictures Classics, 711 Fifth Ave., 4th Floor, New York, 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: Many (15) times - Mild 10, Moderate 5

Obscene Language: Many (13) times - F-word 2, s-word 4, other 7

Profanity: Many (10) times - Regular (G-D, J, C)

Violence: Several times - Moderate (mostly gun threats; some kicking, punching, slapping; off-screen shooting, one on-screen killing with bloody aftermath)

Sex: Once (graphic, passionate without nudity); implied once (teenage couple in backseat of car)

Nudity: None

Sexual Dialogue/Gesture: None

Drugs: Beer drinking

Other: Strong messages about importance of family

Running Time: Unknown
Intended Audience: Adults

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