By Jonathan Decker (Family therapist, film critic)
WHAT'S THE MAGNIFICENT SEVEN ABOUT?
A town hires seven warriors to defend them from an oppressive tyrant. Remake of the 1960 film (which was itself a remake of Seven Samurai).
IS IT ANY GOOD? (GRADE: B)
Denzel Washington and Chris Pratt lead a diverse cast of heroes in this hard-hitting Western. Only a few characters have any depth; the supporting players and and the villain are well-played but underdeveloped. Still, the cast has good chemistry. The story is clean and straightforward, but what it lacks in sophistication it makes up for with satisfying good-vs-evil conflict and gorgeous vistas. Director Antoine Fuqua knows how to shoot and edit a visceral action scene, with the sound mix adding real punch. I also appreciated the positive depiction of people of faith. Listen for the last score by the late, great composer James Newton Howard (BraveHeart, Titanic, The Mask of Zorro).
IS IT OKAY FOR YOUR KIDS?
The Magnificent Seven is rated PG-13. There are a handful of moderate profanities and a pair of innuendos (a man refers to himself as the “world's greatest lover” and another makes a vulgar remark about the attention a woman is showing his friend). A woman's dress shows some cleavage. Characters drink and smoke. There is plentiful action violence, with persons killed by gunfire, arrow, hatchet, knife, and dynamite.
ANY WORTHWHILE MESSAGES?
Selflessness is at the heart of both heroism and redemption. The cruel and tyrannical often get their comeuppance.
If you dug this version, check out the original Magnificent Seven (along with Seven Samurai and the other films it inspired, Three Amigos! and A Bug's Life).
Jonathan Decker is the clinical director of Your Family Expert. He is a licensed marriage and family therapist, husband, and father of five. Jonathan earned a masters degree in family therapy from Auburn University as well as a bachelor's degree in clinical psychology from Brigham Young University. He is an actor, author, and television personality.