What You Need To Know:
WINTER’S BONE is a powerful story of a teenager trying to keep her family together. The heroine knows that the lives of her vulnerable brother and sister depend on her saving their small, rundown family farm. In that respect, the movie is a captivating, moral tale of courage, love and survival that ultimately is inspiring. It does, however, include plenty of strong foul language, drug references and violence. So, extreme caution is advised, although WINTER’S BONE is one of the better independent movies made in recent years.
(CC, BB, LLL, VV, S, A, DD, M) Strong Christian worldview with strong moral elements set in a poverty-stricken, dark world of dysfunctional family life with overt Christian references in the background in a rural family’s farmhouse, especially on the radio as a Baptist worship service is introduced and Country Gospel music with Christian lyrics is heard, though the positive religious elements could have been made more overt and explicit; 34 obscenities, two strong profanities and two light profanities including girl exclaims, “Lord!”; 17-year-old girl is threatened for looking into her father’s disappearance and is beaten up off screen inside a barn where later you can see her face has been bloodied, and she apparently spits out a tooth, hands of corpse have to be chain-sawed off for identification purposes, but nothing is shown, plus man almost shoots it out with sheriff and takes a hatchet to the windshield of one man’s truck; no sex scenes but references to father’s former adulterous affair with one woman when teenage daughter comes asking woman if she’s seen her father recently; alcohol use; cigarette smoking, cocaine use by heroine’s uncle depicted, a reference to marijuana, and discussion about operating meth labs in a rural setting in the Missouri Ozarks; and, teenager’s mother has withdrawn from life mentally and her father is disengaged so she must take care of her younger brother and sister and save the family home while stuck between local drug dealers and the law in rural Missouri.
WINTER’S BONE is an excellent realistic drama about a poverty-stricken family in a section of rural Missouri where drugs and meth labs have taken their toll.
The movie stars Jennifer Lawrence as 17-year-old Ree Dolly. Ree has to take care of her younger brother and sister in a rundown cabin in the Ozarks because her mother has become mentally unfit to care for them and her father is always away helping out with her extended family’s illegal drug business.
Ree must track down her missing father when she learns that he put up their rundown farm for his bail bond and then disappeared. The sheriff tells Ree that, if her father doesn’t show up for his court date, she will lose the house. Her no-good relatives, including her cocaine-addicted uncle, threaten her that she better stop looking for her father if she knows what’s good for her.
Knowing she can’t take care of her mother and her siblings without the rundown farm, Ree keeps pushing her evasive relatives to tell her the truth about her father’s whereabouts. She begins to suspect her father is dead, but how can she prove that to the bail bondsman?
WINTER’S BONE is a powerful story of a teenager trying to keep her family together. The heroine knows that the lives of her defenseless brother and sister depend on her saving their small, rundown family farm. In that respect, the movie is a captivating, moral tale of courage, love and survival that ultimately is inspiring. The performances are also excellent, including Jennifer Lawrence as Ree. The movie does, however, include plenty of strong foul language, drug references and violence. In one scene, for example, Ree’s relatives, including the women, drag her into a barn and beat her up off screen. That’s when her drug-addicted uncle decides to take some responsibility and try to protect her.
WINTER’S BONE is one of the best independent dramas made in recent years. That said, MOVIEGUIDE® advises strong caution because of its foul language, drug references and violence, which is strong but not excessive or gory.