Three Kings

MPAA Rating: R

Entertainment: +2

Content: -4

Operation Desert Storm has passed with the surrender of the Iraqi army. And the only action reservist Troy Barlow (Mark Wahlerg) has seen is taking in surrendering prisoners. While searching a prisoner with fellow reservist Conrad Vig (Spike Jonze), they discover a hidden map. Taking the map to Chief Elgin (Ice Cube), they suspect it leads to plunder stolen from Kuwait. Special Forces Captain Archie Gates (George Clooney), tired taking orders from political-minded superiors, sees the map as his ticket out of the army. The four soldiers plan a quick morning run for the gold and get back for lunch. But the trip becomes complicated as they encounter villagers held captive by Saddams army as rebels. The rebels seem more important to the army than the gold, but Archie has a change of heart when he sees a young mother shot. However, freeing the rebels and getting the gold may be more than four soldiers can handle. Similar plots have worked in older films like KELLYS HEROES, but this ensemble piece just doesnt gel.

When Archie describes the dangers of bullet wounds, an internal view of body organs fitting the description is shown. One particularly gross scene involves a cow, a land mine, soldiers covered in blood and a cowhead dropped on a jeep. Special effects also show a womans head spurting blood when shes shot. While possibly realistic, such graphic violence is gratuitous. Archie and a reporter having sex is also unnecessary but no nudity is shown. Male rear nudity occurs in the distasteful discovery of the map. Foul language abounds, much of it from a female reporter and an undereducated soldier. And a soldier is corrected for using ethnic slurs for Iraqis. One soldier talks about belonging to the Jesus Ring of Fire, and praying Muslims are treated neutrally. The film tries to paint a sympathetic picture of Iraqi people, but the U.S. Army and media come off bad. Unfortunately, the humanitarian message in THREE KINGS is lost to graphic violence and numerous obscenities.

Preview Reviewer: Paul Bicking
Warner Bros., 4000 Warner Blvd, Burbank CA 91522

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 (21) times - Mild 5, Moderate 16

Obscene Language: Many (83) times - F-word 52, s-word 28, other 3

Profanity: Many (15) times - Regular 11 (GD 6, JC 2, C 1, Csake 1 By G 1), Exclamatory 4

Violence: Many times - moderate and severe (shootings - some graphic, cow explodes, dead bodies, man shocked, man forced to drink oil, explosions, graphic description of bullet wound, needle put in chest)

Sex: Once graphic(unmarried couple, no nudity)

Nudity: Once - Male rear nudity; Near Nudity - woman in bra, men in underwear

Sexual Dialogue/Gesture: Woman talks about not using sex to advance in business

Drugs: None

Other: Ethnic slurs for Iraqis, men urinating, vomiting, religious beliefs portrayed, Islam religion portrayed neutrally, authority ignored

Running Time: 111 minutes
Intended Audience: Adults

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