"Protecting the Innocent"

Liam Neeson's THE MARKSMAN Packs Faith With Action

Action packed and redemptive, THE MARKSMAN seems to hit a bullseye for older audiences!

Posted by Movieguide on Wednesday, January 20, 2021


What You Need To Know:

THE MARKSMAN stars Liam Neeson as Jim Hanson, a recently widowed Arizona rancher and former Marine. Jim tries to protect a Mexican woman and her son, Miguel, from drug cartel thugs at the southern border. A gunfight ensues, and Jim drives off the thugs, but the mother dies from a gunshot wound. Before she dies, Jim promises her he’ll do what he can to help Miguel get safely to her sister in Chicago. However, the drug cartel thugs are hot on their trail.

THE MARKSMAN is a suspenseful, emotional, well-acted thriller with uplifting Christian content. The movie opens on a Jesus statue outside Miguel’s home in Mexico. At one point, Jim and Miguel get help from a church pastor. Miguel’s Christian faith seems to restore Jim’s faith. Jim has lost faith because of his wife’s death. By the end of the movie, however, he assures Miguel that his mother in Heaven is watching over him. Despite this positive theme, THE MARKSMAN is marred by strong foul language and light obscenities. It also has several intense gun fights. So, MOVIEGUIDE® advises strong caution.


(CC, BB, PP, Ab, LL, VV, A, M):

Dominant Worldview and Other Worldview Content/Elements:
Strong Christian, redemptive worldview with strong moral and patriotic elements as Marine helps protect a Mexican boy from violent drug cartel thugs, including images of Jesus, Marine and boy rely on the help of a church pastor at one point, references to Heaven and church and prayer, and, Marine questions Catholic boy’s belief in an afterlife but later tells boy his mother in Heaven is watching over him

Foul Language:
20 obscenities (mostly “h” and “d” words but a few “s” words and one “f” word) and three strong profanities

Strong action violence includes gunfights where bad guys have automatic weapons, woman shot in stomach and dies, a few other people are shot dead or wounded, man teaches boy how to shoot handgun, then eject the magazine and clear the chamber, bad guys chase good guys, two animals are shot dead, villain shoots a sheriff in cold blood, and villains have tortured a man and then hang him, but the torture and hanging are not shown but implied

No sex

No nudity

Alcohol Use:
Alcohol use

Smoking and/or Drug Use and Abuse:
No smoking or drugs; and,

Miscellaneous Immorality:
Man has a Marine tattoo on his forearm, villains track a man’s private accounts, and gun dealer tells desperate hero buying guns he will report the guns stolen.

More Detail:

THE MARKSMAN stars Liam Neeson as an Arizona rancher and former Marine who helps a young Mexican boy escape the drug cartel thugs who murdered the boy’s mother. THE MARKSMAN is a suspenseful, emotional thriller with positive Christian, redemptive content, but some strong foul language and violence warrant strong caution for viewers.

Jim Hanson is a recently widowed Arizona rancher and former Marine. He’s been left with a lot of debts after the illness and death of his beloved wife. In fact, the bank wants to take his house if he can’t come up with six months of late mortgage payments.

Jim and his faithful dog, Jackson, ride out in his truck to check on his cows. After shooting a coyote that killed one of his cows, Jim finds a Mexican mother, Rosa, and her young son, Miguel, illegally crossing the border into the United States. They’re running from a drug cartel because the woman’s brother has stolen money from the cartel. In going through the hole in the fence, Rosa has cut her leg and needs medical attention, but she says the authorities will just send them back to Mexico. Where she and Miguel face certain death.

Just then, some members of the cartel, led by a bald thug named Mauricio, exit a vehicle that’s just pulled up. Mauricio and his thugs have just killed Rosa’s brother back in Mexico. Mauricio demands that Jim give Rosa and Miguel to him, but Jim is holding his rifle and refuses. A shootout ensues where Jim kills one of the thugs and wounds another. However, Rosa is shot in the stomach. Mauricio flees with his wounded compatriot and another man, but Rosa is dying. Rosa tells Jim she’ll give him everything she owns if he’ll take her son to safety, to her sister’s house in Chicago. She gives him a slip of paper with the address. Jim vaguely promises he’ll do what he can.

However, Jim has to report the mother’s death to the Border Patrol. At the local Border Patrol’s headquarters on the border, Jim sees Mauricio has brought more gang members in the same vehicle just outside the border fence. He’s also found that Rosa’s purse contains stacks of money, just enough to keep his house for another six months or more. So, he decides to sneak Miguel out of the station. They stop at Jim’s house to pick up some clothes, Jim’s handgun and more ammunition for his rifle.

However, the drug cartel has been bribing someone in the Border Patrol. He tells them where Jim lives. Mauricio and his men show up too late to catch Jim and Miguel, but they torch Jim’s house.

Meanwhile, Jim’s stepdaughter, Sarah, who works in the Border Patrol, tries to get Jim to return with Miguel. Jim explains the situation, but when she tells him his house has been torched, Jim figures the cartel must have bribed someone in the Border Patrol. So, he refuses to tell Sarah where he is.

Mauricio is able to get the license plate number of Jim’s truck. This allows the drug cartel to follow Jim’s credit card purchases without his knowledge. It’s only a matter of time, therefore, before Mauricio and his men catch up with Jim and Miguel. However, Jim still has a few tricks up his sleeve.

THE MARKSMAN is a suspenseful, emotional, well-acted thriller with positive Christian, redemptive content. The movie opens on a Jesus statue outside Miguel’s home in Mexico. A necklace with a gold chain and red beads is draped over the head of Jesus. Miguel also carries a Catholic rosary with a Jesus pendant with him. At one point, Jim and Miguel get help from a church pastor. Finally, although Jim tells Miguel he doesn’t believe in an afterlife, or a Heaven, by the end of the movie, he’s telling Miguel that his mother is watching over him from Heaven. So, Jim, played by Liam Neeson, has a nice character arc as the emotional bond between him and Miguel gets stronger. In fact, Jim eventually agrees with Miguel to burn the money in his mother’s purse. After all, it was the stolen money that led to his mother’s death. Though he was born in Northern Ireland, Liam Neeson has lately become a true American hero in a series of Hollywood movies, including THE MARKSMAN.

THE MARKSMAN is marred by some strong foul language and light obscenities, however. It also has several intense gun fights. So, MOVIEGUIDE® advises strong or extreme caution.

Watching THE MARKSMAN will make viewers want law enforcement to do much more to stop the evil drug cartels and international human trafficking. It’s way past time to clean up our cities in the United States and Mexico from these human scum. We also need better drug rehab programs to save the people who become prey to the people selling such poison. THE MARKSMAN isn’t politically correct. It doesn’t promote illegal immigration but attacks the drug cartels. They are the villains in the movie, not the Border Patrol. Thus, the movie’s sympathy for the mother and her son is mainly because the drug cartel is threatening their lives. Also, the hero makes a comment about Congress needing to do something to fix the chaos at the southern border. He doesn’t say what the solutions might be, however. So, it’s up to viewers to decide what they want their elected representatives to do (assuming there’s no massive election fraud, of course).

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Quality: - Content: +1