What Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that the plot of this film -- which has very strong content for a PG-13 -- is driven by escalating violence, cruelty, and racism (much of it directed toward a racially mixed couple). A policeman is portrayed as unbalanced, aggressive, and threatening. Gunshots are fired out of and near an apartment where a husband holds his wife and baby hostage, and shoot-outs at close range result in the bloody deaths of two men. A policeman punches a suspect with a rifle, slaps his teen daughter in the face, and breaks the law to cover up his actions. Mildly sexual scenes involve a caring husband and wife kissing and hugging, with partial male nudity seen from the rear. There's also a fair amount of strong language (including "s--t" and "f--k"), smoking, and social drinking.
- Families can talk about how and why the filmmakers use racism to update the age-old story of feuding neighbors. Is this an effective choice? Why or why not? Is the movie trying to equate the danger of the advancing wildfires to the danger of the advancing personal racism? How do the climaxes of both events work together to resolve the story? What other issues come into play in the movie besides race?