MPAA Rating: R

Entertainment: +2

Content: -2 1/2

In this dramatic thriller, Chris Munn (Jamie Bell) is a troubled adolescent living in rural Georgia with his demanding father, John (Dermot Mulroney), and sickly younger brother, Tim (Devon Alan). Struggling to find his place in the family and the world, Chris often gets into trouble with the neighbors, his father and the law. But he also shares a strong bond with his little brother. It is that bond that prevails when their Uncle Deel (Josh Lucas) unexpectedly arrives at the family hog farm after his release from prison. At first, Deel is congenial and welcomed by the family. But soon, his true criminal habits and vengeful motives surface. He is not interested in family ties but in personal gain and in exacting revenge against his brother and family. And so this threat sends the two boys on the run across the Georgian countryside, in fear for their life.

The opening scene is disturbing as Chris jumps from a roof onto a board with a long nail that pierces his foot, and then he runs from his pursuer with the board attached to his foot. Undertow lacks a strong message and simply presents an intense and violent slice of life with little interpretation of it. Tim has an unsettling habit of eating paint and mud and then throwing up. The film does, however, have a biblical theme. It is the idea that children experience the consequences and downward pull of their parents sins (Exodus 20:5). This is symbolically explored through a treasure of gold coins that the boys grandfather managed to steal. Everyone in the family desires and pursues the coins but also knows that the treasure is cursed. Both enticing and dangerous, it threatens to pull the whole family down as part of the negative undertow of their history. But Preview suggests that you avoid the stronger negative undertow of this films demented violence, foul language, profanity and partial rear nudity.

Preview Reviewer: Shaun Daugherty
United Artists

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 (12) times mild (hell 2, damn 5); moderate (b-stard 1); strong (-ss 2, SOB 2)

Obscene Language: Few (3) times strong (f-word 1, s-word 2)

Profanity: Several (8) times moderate (G 1); strong (GD 6, J 1)

Violence: Many times mild (man threatens a boy with shotgun, men wrestle/struggle, man threatens boys with knife, man struggles with woman); moderate (boy breaks window with rock, man stabbed); strong (boy steps on a nail that pierces his foot, man kills another man by slicing his throat with knife)

Sex: One time mild (boy touches a womans breast through her shirt)

Nudity: Few times mild (young children shown naked, man herds penned pig while in long underwear with buttocks partially shown, image of the cover of a pornographic magazine)

Sexual Dialogue/Gesture: Few times mild (discussion of a boys paternity, discussion of a relationship and affair)

Drugs: Few times mild (use of alcohol and cigarettes by men and young people)

Other: Appropriate use of Gods name (praise Jesus, grace of God, the Lord Jesus Christ), stereotypical depiction of southern rural subculture, depiction of impoverished lifestyle, family feuding, boy shown eating paint and vomiting

Running Time: 107 minutes
Intended Audience: Adults

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