Copyright, United Artists Releasing, a joint venture of Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer and Annapurna Pictures
Today’s Prayer Focus
MOVIE REVIEW

Bones and All

also known as “Bones & All,” “Até os Ossos,” “Do ostatniej kości,” “Hasta Los Huesos,” “Hasta los huesos: Bones and All,” “Kemikler ve Her Şey,” “Ossos e Tudo,” See more »
MPA Rating: R-Rating (MPA) for strong, bloody and disturbing violent content, language throughout, some sexual content and brief graphic nudity.

Reviewed by: Shawna Ellis
CONTRIBUTOR

Extremely Offensive
Moviemaking Quality:

Primary Audience:
Adults
Genre:
Horror Dark-Romance Drama Adaptation
Length:
2 hr. 10 min.
Year of Release:
2022
USA Release:
November 18, 2022 (wide release)
Copyright, United Artists Releasing, a joint venture of Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer and Annapurna Picturesclick photos to ENLARGE Copyright, United Artists Releasing, a joint venture of Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer and Annapurna Pictures Copyright, United Artists Releasing, a joint venture of Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer and Annapurna Pictures Copyright, United Artists Releasing, a joint venture of Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer and Annapurna Pictures Copyright, United Artists Releasing, a joint venture of Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer and Annapurna Pictures
Relevant Issues
Copyright, United Artists Releasing, a joint venture of Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer and Annapurna Pictures

Human cannibalism / Predation of people

A perverse coming of age romance story: Teenage cannibals in love, devouring people and then feeling some remorse

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FILM VIOLENCE—How does viewing violence in movies affect families? Answer

Copyright, United Artists Releasing, a joint venture of Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer and Annapurna Pictures
Feminism

According to the source novel’s author, Camille DeAngelis, “Many reviewers and readers have praised this novel for its metaphorical take on feminine sexuality. I’d be pleased if you wanted to read Bones & All through a feminist lens... we need to develop our consciousness of female oppression...”

Is the FEMINIST MOVEMENT the right answer to the mistreatment that some women endure in this sinful world? Answer


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What is SIN AND WICKEDNESS? Is it just “bad people” that are sinners, or are YOU a sinner? Answer

ORIGIN OF BAD THINGS—Why are they in our world if a good God created us? Answer

Paradise or Pain? Why is the world the way it is?
Why is the world the way it is? If God is all-knowing, all-powerful, and loving, would He really create a world like this? (filled with oppression, suffering, death and cruelty) Answer


Dealing wisely versus foolishly with profoundly DEEP LONELINESS

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Click here to watch THE HOPE on-line!
Discover God’s promise for all people—told beautifully and clearly from the beginning. Discover The HOPE!

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Discover the good news that Jesus Christ offers

Are you good enough to get to Heaven? Answer

How good is good enough? Answer

Will all mankind eventually be saved? Answer

Copyright, United Artists Releasing, a joint venture of Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer and Annapurna Pictures
Love

For a follower of Christ, what is LOVE—a feeling, an emotion, or an action?

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Sex, Love and Relationships
Learn how to make your love the best it can be. Christian answers to questions about sex, marriage, sexual addictions, and more. Valuable resources for Christian couples, singles and pastors.
Teenagers
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Featuring Taylor Russell ... Maren Yearly
Timothée Chalamet (Timothee Chalamet) ... Lee
Michael Stuhlbarg ... Jake
André Holland (Andre Holland) ... Frank Yearly, Maren’s father
Chloë Sevigny ... Janelle Yearly, Maren’s mother
David Gordon Green ... Brad
Jessica Harper ... Maren’s grandmother
Jake Horowitz ... Lance the Booth Man
Mark Rylance ... Sully
See all »
Director Luca Guadagnino
Producer Frenesy Film Company [Italy]
Per Capita Productions [US]
See all »
Distributor Logo: United Artists ReleasingUnited Artists Releasing, a joint venture of Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer and Annapurna Pictures

“Bones and All” promotes itself as an edgy and disturbing romantic movie featuring disenfranchised young lovers on a road trip to self-discovery. It is based (rather loosely) on a novel by the same name which explores the loneliness of disconnection. The lead character, Maren, wrestles with the weight of a terrible secret desire. The book uses the taboo of cannibalism as its driving force but does not revel in the gory details. Instead, it focuses on young Maren’s understandable desire to just live a normal life.

The same coming-of-age story in the hands of Italian filmmaker Luca Guadagnino takes an unflinchingly violent turn, delving deep into the bloody horrors of cannibalism. Guadagnino may be best known for his 2017 homosexual romance/drama film “Call Me By Your Name,” which also features the wildly popular young star Timothée Chalamet in a lead role. In that film just as in “Bones and All,” Guadagnino takes a pair of lovers and attempts to justify sinful behavior due to their hungering desires. In the case of “Call Me By Your Name,” the desire was lust for another male. In “Bones and All,” it is the lust to consume human flesh.

“Bones and All” is technically well made, with beautiful landscapes, a realistic feel to the 1980s setting, and a hauntingly melancholy score by Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross of the band Nine Inch Nails. The acting by the talented leads is believable and at times very moving. There is no denying that the film is crafted with skill in all these ways, and it is receiving positive reviews from some critics. But these same critics applaud the subversive plot as well, seeing in the protagonists all sorts of themes representing the struggles of homosexuals, addicts, the poor, those with gender issues, or any other seemingly disenfranchised group. It is a sad day that murderous cannibalism in a movie is not seen as a clearly immoral action, and that many viewers find room for justification and even acceptance of the acts because they feel sympathy toward the characters.

Taylor Russell plays the young lead Maren, whose innocent appearance is marred by our knowledge of her tendencies which are shown graphically very early in the film. We want to sympathize with Maren on her lonely search for acceptance and understanding… but can there ever be such found for someone who kills and eats her victims?

She feels kinship when she discovers others who have the same gruesome desires, including the swaggering and enigmatic Lee (Timothée Chalamet). Unlike Maren, Lee is not overly concerned with the taking of human life as long as he chooses his victims based on their (bad) character, insisting instead that “eaters” like themselves must do so and that it can’t be helped. He takes great offense when Maren suggests that what they are doing is destroying the lives not just of the victims but of their families, saying, “How dare you make this harder than it is?” It seems that the truth about the sinfulness of murder is something which an “eater” does not want to contemplate.

Another cannibal, Sully (played intensely and creepily by Mark Rylance), claims that to deny their urges would lead to their own deaths, and has made a set of rules to justify his lifestyle. Others liken it to drug addiction… anything to make it seem that it is not something which can or even should be controlled.

When it is suggested that Maren could pray and ask God to help her overcome the dark desire, another character quickly dismisses this idea as foolishness. It seems that at every turn, immorality is justified and excused as necessary rather than as a choice on the part of the “eater.” This same thinking can lead viewers down some very dark paths of excusing sinful behavior, and is reflected in our world today by those who justify any kind of sin. I fear that young people will be especially drawn to this movie due to the popular young leads, and that it will not only put something disturbing before their eyes and ears but will also create confusion about morality.

The romance between Maren and Lee is built mostly on circumstance. Points of connection between the characters should be unrelatable to the viewers, such as the two leads smiling and “having a moment” when they learn that each of their first kills were babysitters. Although there is some chemistry between the lead characters, this is not a film in which the love story is redeeming, and the content of concern is too heavy for recommended viewing.

LANGUAGE: Vulgar language is pervasive. Well over thirty uses of the F word, at least once paired with mother. Several uses of sh*t or bullsh*t. One use each of faggot, ho [whore], and c*nt as insults. Several uses of a**hole. Profane language is heavy. Several inappropriate uses of God’s name, often paired with d*mn, as well as multiple misuses of Jesus and Christ. Damn is used out of proper context a few times.

NUDITY AND SENSUALITY: A young woman is seen pulling down her pants and sitting on a toilet in profile. The lead actress occasionally wears revealing clothing. Posters on a wall show full female pornographic nudity. A woman is seen shirtless from a distance with the sides of her breasts exposed. A man is seen in briefs for an extended time. Various men are shirtless. There are several passionate kisses between male/female and once between male/male. During the single homosexual encounter, we see a nude man’s hip and side of his buttocks. Sounds and graphic sexual talk is heard, with some movement (both are standing upright and the fully nude male is partially obscured). Skinny-dippers are seen in the far distance at a swimming hole. There is non-sexual partial nudity of corpses that are being graphically eaten. A female is menaced by a male character, and although he claims that his intent is not sexual in nature his body language seems to threaten otherwise. “Lick It Up” by KISS is played while a character dances somewhat suggestively.

VIOLENCE: There is extreme disturbing violence, including graphic and realistic looking cannibalism showing the tearing and chewing of flesh. Nothing is “implied” here… the camera doesn’t flinch away from the feeding at all but rather seems to glory in its shocking extremity. Characters and surroundings are smeared with copious blood and chunks of flesh. The wet chewing sounds of feeding are also very realistic and disturbing.

There are several violent on-screen murders including bludgeoning, stabbing, slitting of throats, and smothering. There are a few lengthy verbal descriptions of heinous acts, including discussions of a toddler devouring someone and characters eating their own relatives. A man vomits blood. Some individuals are eaten while still alive and react in pain.

An elderly woman who has suffered an unknown health emergency is left moaning on the floor for hours. I found this callousness to her pain to be the most disturbing of all in many ways. For all that the “eaters” claim to have to cannibalize from necessity, they seem to have a disregard for life and the pain of their victims.

OTHER: Many people smoke and some drink alcohol. Characters steal from their victims and shoplift in stores.

Overall, this film feels like an attempt to nudge the viewer into the worldly thinking that we can excuse almost any sin with the claim that the sinner was “born this way” and therefore can’t help giving into base cravings. We have all been born with a heart that wants to fulfill our own selfish desires. We sin when we choose to give in to these.

At one point in “Bones and All,” Lee asks Maren if she thinks he is a bad person. She avoids answering this, but the accurate answer is that none of us are a good person. Romans 3:23 says, “… all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” Our inborn sin nature may not extend to desiring human flesh, but we all have something we lust for that is outside of God’s will. God is holy, just and loving. Because He is holy, all sin to Him is an abomination. Because He is just, He can’t overlook our sin. But thankfully, because He is loving, He has made a way that our sin can be forgiven through Jesus.

Q & A

Paradise or Pain? Why is the world the way it is?Why is the world the way it is? If God is all-knowing, all-powerful, and loving, would He really create a world like this? (filled with oppression, suffering, death and cruelty) Answer

Click here to watch THE HOPE on-line!Discover God’s promise for all people—told beautifully and clearly from the beginning. Discover The HOPE! Watch it on Christian Answers—full-length motion picture.

Is Jesus Christ the answer to your questions?Discover the good news that Jesus Christ offers

God’s Story Online homeDo you understand God’s Story? Take a short journey through the Bible, from Creation to eternity, summarizing of the Bible’s most important records, in chronological order.

The characters in “Bones and All” dismiss the idea that God could help them overcome their urges. They do not ask for forgiveness after giving in to their sinful desires, nor do they seek help in overcoming them. Instead, they consider them to be an inescapable part of their being which must be given into or even embraced. This is not the message that our world needs today.

Q & A

About the fall of mankind to worldwide depravity

What is SIN AND WICKEDNESS? Is it just “bad people” that are sinners, or are YOU a sinner? Answer

Are you good enough to get to Heaven? Answer

How good is good enough? Answer

Do NOT click on this button

  • Violence: Extreme
  • Profane language: Very Heavy
  • Vulgar/Crude language: Very Heavy
  • Wokeism: Very Heavy
  • Nudity: Heavy
  • Sex: Heavy
  • Drugs/Alcohol: Moderate
  • Occult: None

Learn about DISCERNMENT—wisdom in making personal entertainment decisions

cinema tickets. ©  Alexey SmirnovEvery time you buy a movie ticket or buy or rent a video you are in effect casting a vote telling Hollywood, “I’ll pay for that. That’s what I want.” Read our article

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


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Secular Movie Critics
…unsettling and heartbreaking in equal measure. …
Mark Olsen, Los Angeles Times
A blood-filled two-hour trash fest of dreamy-eyed cannibals… It’s a preposterous debacle that might work better as a Halloween skit on Saturday Night Live, but it takes itself seriously, which makes it seem even sillier. I found the result too sick and disgusting to describe, but not interesting enough to care. …
Rex Reed, The New York Observer
…“Bones And All” is an extravagant and outrageous movie: scary, nasty and startling in its warped romantic idealism. …
Peter Bradshaw, The Guardian (UK)
…perverse… A pulpy grindhouse B-picture tricked out in art house pretensions, counting on the siren call of sex and violence to fleece the rubes. Choose your own adventure. And maybe bring a barf bag. …[1½/4]
Ann Hornaday, The Washington Post
…“Bones and All” is a heart-tugging portrait of wayward spirits searching for belonging that deadens the genre of cannibal horror into digestible, prestige-glossy arthouse. …
Brianna Zigler, Paste Magazine
…With “Bones and All,” Guadagnino has pulled sweet tragedy out of marred and bloodied flesh. …as beautiful as it is ugly… [5/5]
Clarisse Loughrey, The Observer [UK]
Adding a dash of gore and an undercooked romance can’t save this meandering road trip movie from slipping into monotony and boredom. The problem with “Bones and All” isn’t that it’s disgusting or shocking or transgressive; it’s that it’s a tedious slog. …
James Berardinelli, ReelViews
…Luca Guadagnino…pulls off the tricky task of smearing a tender story of a young girl’s search for love and guidance in blood, skin, cartilage and viscera so fresh we can practically taste them. …By the end, loving and eating, wanting and devouring are made to converge in ways that are both gruesome and fascinating, thought-provoking and oddly touching.
Lee Marshall, Screen Daily