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David and Amy Sumner, a Hollywood screenwriter and his actress wife, return to her small hometown in the deep South to prepare the family home for sale after her father's death. Once there, tensions build in their marriage and old conflicts re-emerge with the locals, including Amy's ex-boyfriend Charlie, leading to a violent confrontation.
Thriller - Like the original 1971 film, this is a talky drama with an extremely violent finale. Fans of the three top-billed stars will have plenty to savor. Constant language, a rape, and brutal violence make the film much too intense for children.
PROFANITY: Well over 30 F-words, 23 S-words, 19 GD's, many others. SEX/NUDITY: A brutal rape without nudity. VIOLENCE: Bloody shootings and killings. DRUGS/ALCOHOL: Alcohol and tobacco. ACTION: A big fight. COMEDY: None.
Roger EbertFull Review Very Good Rod Lurie has made a first-rate film of psychological warfare, and yes, I thought it was better than Peckinpah's. Marsden, Bosworth and Skarsgard are all persuasive, and although James Woods has played a lot of evil men during his career, this one may be the scariest.
USA TodayFull Review Good The failings aren't enough to undo the new Dogs, which makes an earnest attempt to examine whether violence is learned or natural (Lurie believes the former). And give the director this: He pulls no punches in emulating the violence that made the first film so controversial. And while it may not become the cult classic of its predecessor, Straw Dogs redux stays a literal cut above its crime brethren.
Note: The rating
above is our interpretation of what the critic would give this movie based on
their review. We are not affiliated with these critic's in any way.
OPINION OVERVIEW The following is the original "What's Worth
Watching" write-up for this movie.
Based on a theater exit polling of 29 moviegoers:
TEENS:Four of the six males loved "Straw Dogs." The other two were disappointed. Half the females loved it but the remaining half were somewhat to very disappointed.
TWENTYSOMETHINGS:One male rated it above average and one hated it. One female loved it, one rated it above average and one rated it below average.
ADULTS:All five of the adult males really enjoyed "Straw Dogs," with three indicating they loved it. Half the females also loved it with most of the rest enjoying it, at least to some degree.
When everything you've lived for is under siege, what would you do?
How far would you go?
It's a question made terrifyingly apparent to Hollywood screenwriter David
Sumner (James Marsden) and his actress wife Amy (Kate Bosworth) when they move
to her small hometown in the Deep South after her father's death. Smiling faces,
warm welcomes and what were once comfortable old relationships take on a
sinister tinge for David and Amy, who find themselves driven to a crisis-laden
brink in Screen Gems' frightening reimagining of the classic 1971 film "Straw
The suspenseful, gut-wrenching and intensely cathartic new version brings the
original story to the present-day American South, and sets it against a backdrop
of small town life where everyone knows too much about each other, the town
hierarchy is determined by your place within the ranks of the high school
football team and the performance of the football team at Friday night's game
determines the fates of many.
David and Amy's plan is to prepare for sale the family home, which has fallen
into disrepair, and for David to take advantage of the quiet and solitude to
complete the screenplay he's working on.
But all is not as bucolic as it seems in Blackwater, Mississippi, and the
arrival of the Sumners stirs up long-dormant resentments and suspicious actions.
Once there, Amy slips back into being the hometown celebrity, which leaves David
feeling out of touch with his wife and questioning her behavior. Meanwhile,
tensions build in their marriage and old conflicts re-emerge with the locals,
most notably with Amy's ex-boyfriend Charlie (Alexander Skarsgård), who, along
with his fellow former football teammates Bic (Drew Powell), Norman (Rhys Coiro)
and Chris (Billy Lush) push the limits of David's tolerance and the Sumners'
marriage, forcing them to re-evaluate each other and their relationship.
When the daughter of the former football coach Tom Heddon (James Woods) goes
missing, her father takes the law into his own hands, enlisting Charlie and his
boys to help him search for her and setting into motion a series of events that
ultimately leads to an explosively violent confrontation, escalating to a
shocking, catastrophic climax that will shatter the lives of everyone involved.
The 1971 release starred Dustin Hoffman and Susan George and was written and
directed by Sam Peckinpah. David Zaleg Goodman also has a writing credit on the
original's screenplay and both films are based on the book, The Siege at
Trencher's Farm by Gordon Williams.