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Movie Review

Spectre also known as “Bond 24”

MPAA Rating: PG-13 for intense sequences of action and violence, some disturbing images, sensuality and language.

Reviewed by: Curtis McParland

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Primary Audience:
Adults Teens
Spy Action Adventure Thriller Sequel
2 hr. 28 min.
Year of Release:
USA Release:
November 6, 2015 (wide—3,600+ theaters)
DVD: February 9, 2016
Copyright, Columbia Pictures, a division of Sony Pictures click photos to ENLARGE Copyright, Columbia Pictures, a division of Sony Pictures Copyright, Columbia Pictures, a division of Sony Pictures Copyright, Columbia Pictures, a division of Sony Pictures Copyright, Columbia Pictures, a division of Sony Pictures Copyright, Columbia Pictures, a division of Sony Pictures Copyright, Columbia Pictures, a division of Sony Pictures Copyright, Columbia Pictures, a division of Sony Pictures Copyright, Columbia Pictures, a division of Sony Pictures Copyright, Columbia Pictures, a division of Sony Pictures
Relevant Issues
Copyright, Columbia Pictures, a division of Sony Pictures

spies / espionage



bravery, courage, self-sacrifice

secret government agencies

trying to stop terrorists

SUICIDE—What does the Bible say? Answer

If a Christian commits suicide, will they go to Heaven? Answer

revenge / vengance

Featuring: Daniel CraigJames Bond
Monica BellucciLucia Sciarra
Léa Seydoux … Madeleine Swann
Christoph WaltzFranz Oberhauser
Ralph FiennesM
Dave Bautista … Mr. Hinx
Ben WhishawQ
Stephanie Sigman … Estrella
Naomie HarrisEve Moneypenny
more »
Director: Sam Mendes—“American Beauty” (1999), “Road to Perdition” (2002), “Revolutionary Road” (2008)
Producer: B24
Columbia Pictures
more »
Distributor: Columbia Pictures, a division of Sony Pictures

“The name is Bond. James Bond.” Yes, ladies and gentlemen, James Bond (Daniel Craig) is back in the latest installment of the hit franchise with “Spectre.” On unofficial business in Mexico, Bond gets himself in trouble right away after he narrowly escapes with his life and kills two assassins. However, “M” (Ralph Fiennes) suspends him for acting without explicit orders. After collecting a clue, Bond knows that the two assassins he killed had much planned for the future… but what?

Bond receives a cryptic message from his past which leads him on the trail to unveiling a secret organization. Of course, Bond cannot go without a female cohort, named Madeleine Swann (Léa Seydoux), who also has a form of connection to both sides of the story. Thrills, chills, action, and loads of suspense fill this near 2½ hour film as Bond once again risks his life to prevent evil from overcoming the world.

“Spectre” is a fun, but flawed film. It struggles with a weak script and some of the casting choices are questionable, as the characters slowly developed. Sam Mendes proves to be a solid director and the action sequences are nothing short of suspenseful. The cinematography is the highlight of the film, as Hoyte van Hoytema guides us through the great peril Bond faces bringing us right into the action. The action sequences are well-done, and the art direction and props are well organized, adding much more realism to the film. Daniel Craig delivers a solid performance, but “Spectre” lacks originality and relies much too heavily on previous Bond material. It is a good film, but is definitely a step or two below “Skyfall” in terms of production quality.

Surprisingly enough, though, the objective content is not as bad as I expected and even bit lighter than the content contained within “Skyfall.” But this does not mean that this film is family-friendly. As expected, there is some sexual content on display with the opening title sequence being the most sensual, as lots of skin is on display, women are seen caressing a shirtless Bond, and private areas are obscured by shadows. Bond is seen shirtless a few times, and it is implied that he has sex with two different women. However, the scenes cut short once they begin to disrobe each other. A woman is seen wearing stockings and a negligee, and other women wear low cut, form-fitting dresses. There are a few moments of passionate kissing, and Bond nearly has sex with a third woman, but stops short after they begin to kiss. A man is seen in an unmarried woman’s bed.

The language is not as harsh as one may expect, as there are only three S-words, and a handful of other milder obscenities including h*ll, a**, and b**tard. There is one crude term used for the male anatomy and God’s and Jesus’ names are abused twice each.

Of course, there is plenty of action violence, as there are multiple, brutal hand to hand combat scenes including broken bones and characters being nearly strangled to death. We see loads of characters go flying (literally)—sometimes with disastrous results. There is tons of gun play which includes some blood and some gruesome wounds. One character has a bloody scar on one half of his face after an explosion. The most brutal and disturbing moments come when an assassin gouges out a man’s eyes and another has small needles drilled into his head as he screams and writhes in pain. Characters get tossed out of cars and trains, car chases (including a helicopter and plane) and explosions happen frequently, and we see multiple characters fall to their death. ***SPOILER*** A character commits suicide (off-screen), and it is later replayed on video. ***END SPOILER***

Some wine and champagne are consumed on screen, including the consumption of some hard liquor. A character gets drunk.

Pride goes before destruction, and a haughty spirit before a fall.” —Proverbs 16:18

So, James Bond once again has to save the day. Sure, he cares about the safety of his friends and loved ones, but he also disrespects and disobeys authority. Hebrews 13:17 (ESV) says “Obey your leaders and submit to them, for they are keeping watch over your souls, as those who will have to give an account. Let them do this with joy and not with groaning, for that would be of no advantage to you.” Although Bond may be the hero, he still appears to be a bit arrogant and prideful in this fourth outing. Bond nearly dies on a number of occasions, yet does not seem to see anything wrong with his corrupt and immoral lifestyle. As the franchise is known for, it is not a Bond film unless there is lust and sexual immorality.

“Flee from sexual immorality. Every other sin a person commits is outside the body, but the sexually immoral person sins against his own body.” —1 Corinthians 6:18

“Spectre” may be one of the “safer” Bond choices out there, but I must stress that I do not recommend this film for any audience due to its harsh violence and displays of sexual content. For a PG-13 rating, the language is not very harsh. But sadly, the writers had to throw in some Biblical profanity. This is definitely not the best installment in the Bond franchise, but it is still an enticing action flick that should please any action/adventure film fan. The sexual content may be more mild than previous films, as well, but that still does not mean that those moments of sensuality on display are not problematic. I strongly encourage you to keep younger audiences away from this film, as they should not be exposed to such mature and harsh content. Things may turn out well for Bond… or maybe not… but in the long run “Spectre” is just another day in the life of agent 007. A day full of violence, sex, and rebellion.

Beloved, never avenge yourselves, but leave it to the wrath of God, for it is written, “Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord.” —Romans 12:19

Violence: Heavy to extreme / Profanity: Moderate / Sex/Nudity: Moderate to heavy

See list of Relevant Issues—questions-and-answers.

Viewer CommentsSend your comments
Comments below:
Positive—“Welcome, James. It's been a long time, and finally… here we are.” SPECTRE begins with a masterpiece of an opening sequence reminiscent of Orson Welles and Sir Kenneth Branagh. The main credits is pure genius. The acting, cinematography, and writing is bloody good, as you would expect for a 007 motion picture. It never drags, and there are several surprises in store for the Die Hard Bond connoisseur. Biblically speaking, there is plenty of action, but for the most part, it is not graphic; however, it is as intense as the three previous Bond films starring Daniel Craig. There is some mild sensuality, and it is surprisingly limited in this installment, and some moderate profanity. It is best seen in IMAX to get the full 007 experience. James Bond Will Return… Rated PG-13 for intense sequences of action and violence, some disturbing images, sensuality and language.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Better than Average / Moviemaking quality: 5
—D, age 29 (USA)
Positive—Specter 007. My most anticipated movie of 2015. I had chills watching the gun barrel scene at the beginning of this film. I couldn't wait to see a Jaguar CX-75 chases an Aston Martin DB10. Most of all, Daniel Craig is back as 007! I am delighted to say the characters are all very entertaining, the action scenes feel dangerous (with the exception of the car chase), and the movie directing does such a good job creating suspense.

From a Christian perspective I thought it was very interesting how one the bad guys is trying to set up a new world order because it reminds me of the anti-Christ in Revelation. It is always surprising to see secular movies incorporate Christian themes. But as the follow up movie to “Skyfall,” this new movie seemed to get a lot of mixed reviews always for the same reason; the script. This movie feels like two very well made movies in one.

The worst part is that this movie could have easily been the best movie of 2015. Anyone who is a fan of 007 will certainly have fun with this movie, because it is all classic James Bond. There are certain scenes and characters that feel very familiar to other 007 films, but is that really a bad thing? I didn’t think so.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Average / Moviemaking quality: 4½
—Rob Mackay , age 23 (USA)
Neutral—I am claiming that I saw the entire film because I almost did. For the 148 minutes length of this movie, I walked out after about 130 minutes. I simply could not take any more violence and cruelty. And I agree with all of Jason’s comment, although I am giving the movie a neutral recommendation, because it really has all the ingredients that make for an exciting spy thriller—lightning speed action and car chases, lots of gadgets, amazing cars, beautiful locale, lavish interiors. The script manages to keep the course of the dramatic action quite clear.

However, this is not a PG-13 movie, but should be rated R. Too much graphic violence, too much wanton sexual activity (albeit limited). The music was compelling, the acting and direction were good, and on the positive side, if there is such a thing, was the fantastic dimension of the Bond films, where beautiful clothes become magically available for fine wining and dining, and changes of location are practically miraculous, with hardly any realistic rhyme or reason for how Bond and his companion extricate themselves out of a deathly dilemma and are now simply elsewhere.

I do think Daniel Craig is an excellent James Bond. There is a vulnerability to him that makes his sorry choice of life sad and lamentable. I liked the previous Bond film, “Skyfall,” better than this movie. This one is too long, and the violence is over the top. Entertaining, but hard to watch.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Extremely Offensive / Moviemaking quality: 4
Halyna Barannik, age 69 (USA)
Neutral—So, if you know your Bond films, chances are you are going to be aware of the many moments of sexuality, violence, etc., that this movie will hold. Of all the Bond films that star Daniel Craig as the lead character, “Spectre” is better than “Quantum of Solace,” but doesn’t rank above “Skyfall” or “Casino Royale”.

Technically, the movie is gorgeous. The opening shot alone is breathtaking. The acting is great, with some very good performances delivered by Craig, Waltz, and alike. Where the movie fails (perhaps too strong a word) is in the script. The villain seems menacing, but doesn’t appear enough. The chemistry between Craig and Seydoux is good, but we don’t get enough of their development as a couple to truly believe their relationship. And the secondary plot is a carbon copy of the one seen in the latest “Mission Impossible” movie (which did a better job at it). more »
My Ratings: Moral rating: Offensive / Moviemaking quality: 5
—Andrea, age 23 (USA)
Negative—I had never seen a Bond film, so this was my first, and I had no idea what to expect. Firstly, the cinematography, filmmaking and acting were excellent—staggering even on several occasions. The humour, at several points, was fantastic, and the dialogue brilliant. Unfortunately, the moral quality didn’t match up to this.

Language: As expected in most modern movies there was swearing, but also blasphemy—using the precious name of Jesus Christ as a curse word is not on for a Christian; we shouldn’t be endorsing films that promote that degrading use. We can’t sing “there is power in the name of Jesus” then go on to watch a film that uses his name to express shock or disgust.

Sex: There was no outright nudity in the movies, but there were several suggestive scenes throughout, especially the very beginning. The movie obviously uses Bond’s love for women and bedding several in this movie as a source of entertainment, but, Christians, we shouldn’t be watching this and acting as though it’s acceptable.

Violence: This is always a difficult one, since it is often down to personal taste, sensitivity, etc. There was one scene in particular that I found unnecessarily gross, as though the filmmakers wanted people to revel in the gore. There’s obviously plenty of shooting and fighting, one torture scene, as well, which had a few people wincing in their seats (including me). The Bible is also quite violent on several occasions, so a case can be easily made that it’s okay to watch this kind of violence, though I disagree, as the Bible doesn’t have it in there to entertain the reader.

Themes: There were good themes such as loyalty, breaking the law to do what is morally right, when not to take a life, compassion, mercy, justice and love. There were other themes such as loss of autonomy and privacy, hate, revenge, etc.

Storyline: The storyline, though very gripping, I admit, was quite twisted, but also relevant to a certain extent. Not to ruin the plot, it focuses on surveillance and technological advance, but much of the dialogue made this into more of a psychological thriller with very dark undertones. Overall, I wouldn’t go back to see this movie. I’ll stick to “Little House on the Prairie” and my feel-good factor viewings. There’s nothing wrong with the portrayal of dark themes, violence, etc. When conveying the fact they are dark—it is another thing when the way people are shot/killed/tortured is meant to give entertainment to the watcher. On the blasphemy alone, this movie should be ruled out for any Christian.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Offensive / Moviemaking quality: 4½
—Jason, age 20 (United Kingdom)
Negative—We were very disappointed with this movie, as the last one was very good, and we were looking forward to the next one. This one begins with the demonic “Day of the Dead” celebration in Mexico, swings into a (literally) unbelievable action and fight scene and then was followed by a pornographic type music intro to the movie. At this point we said, “No more of this!” and left the showing. Thank you to the theater we were in. They let us choose a different movie at no charge.
—Ann, age 64 (USA)

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