What parents should know before taking their teen to 'The Magnificent Seven'

Posted September 29

THE OLD WEST — Right now, we are in that strange time of year where the movie release schedules land right in between the summer blockbusters and the super serious Academy Award contenders.

The type of movies we tend to get at this time of year are at times just OK, with one or two really good movies that may not be Oscar material, but are a great watch nonetheless. If you're looking for something full of action and humor, “The Magnificent Seven” is exactly the type of movie you should see right now.

I really want to tell you all about the movie, but John Clyde has already done a superb job of this in his full review of “The Magnificent Seven.” Instead, I am going to talk to you about what to expect from a parent's perspective before taking your teen to see it. To help you navigate the slippery slope of PG-13 movies, here are few things to be aware of when your teenagers start begging you to go: Violence “The Magnificent Seven” is a good ol’ fashioned Western and from behind this label, Hollywood gets to embrace the violence of old west justice in all its glory. This Western is no exception— in fact I think the producers of this movie may have exploited some loopholes to include as much violence as possible while still keeping it beneath the R-rating threshold. From the opening scene, we are witness to at least half a dozen murders within the first 10 minutes, that only leaves the audience with an irrational lust for vengeance at any cost. At least that was the case for me, and the movie definitely delivers the justice we crave. The deaths in the movie range from the Western cliched cowboy getting shot off a building into the dusty street below to a column of men on horses being blown up by dynamite and everything in between. There is a lot of hand-to-hand combat in “Magnificent Seven” as well that includes stabbing, hatcheting, close quarter shootings, arrows to the chest and even a hairpin thrown directly into a man’s heart. Despite all of this killing, I believe the reason they were able to get around an R rating is because there was never really any blood shown. Other than a few superficial wounds, we didn’t see anything near the amount of blood you would expect from killing at this scale. That’s not to say what is left to the imagination is any less disturbing than what is shown. What is lacking in blood and gore is made up for in the viciousness of some of the attacks and the sounds that accompany the fights. I would estimate 250 to 300 people were killed in this movie, so yes, very violent. Sexiness Everybody stays very dressed in “The Magnificent Seven”. There is really nothing depicted that comes close to being “sexy” other than the rather out-of-place semi- low cut dresses and blouses that the vengeful widow wears throughout the movie. I found it somewhat humorous they even bothered making her slightly more sexy than the rest of the hardworking women of the plain. Other than how out of place it seemed, there really isn't much point of mentioning it. You see a lot more than this in a Fruit of the Loom commercial on TV. Language Keep in mind we are witnessing life in a PG-13 wild west so there are bound to be some PG-13 cowboy words sprinkled liberally throughout the film. However, there are no "top tier" swear words that are normally reserved for instances of road rage and slamming appendages in doors. There are plenty of words you may hear during a rodeo or on the sidelines of a little league football game. If you or your older children are sensitive to slightly coarser language than you would normally hear on many TV shows, be sure to balance that into your decision making. Conclusion “The Magnificent Seven” is weighted heavily towards violence, but balanced out by relatively light language and low sexiness factor. With all things being equal, I think the amount of violence in this film should be strongly considered when deciding if you or your kids should see this, depending on the particular sensitivities of the people watching it. I would not recommend this movie for children around the ages of 13 or 14, and I would employ some careful consideration to kids around 15 and 16. Let us know what you think of the movie if you watch it. We would love to hear what advice you would give to other parents considering it for their kids.


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