Common Sense Note
Parents need to know that Only God Forgives is an extremely violent drama from Danish filmmaker Nicolas Winding Refn. Like 2011's Drive, Refn's latest movie stars Ryan Gosling as a tortured man and features scenes of unflinching violence. The brutality can be startling and includes several moments of vengeance and torture. Men use knives, swords, guns, and their fists to injure, maim, and kill. A client brutally kills a young prostitute, and another man pays a prostitute to pleasure herself while his arms are bound. The language is strong, particularly from Kristin Scott Thomas' character, a grieving (and vengeful) mother who likes to say "f--k," "c--t," "bitch," and much more.
A man goes into a brothel and asks for a 14-year-old prostitute, but the owner declines. He later finds a young-looking streetwalker and goes up a room with her. Julian pays a prostitute to masturbate in front of him after she ties his hands to a chair. A mother talks about the fact that her older son had "a bigger c--k" than her younger son. Thai go-go dancers and sex workers are shown trying to attract clients.
This is a remarkably violent film, with scenes often showing the violence in close-up. In addition to shootings, characters are also killed via swords, knives, hairpins, and other sharp objects. The first two murders consist of a man killing a prostitute and then her father being allowed to bash in the killer's head (the dead man's half-missing face is shown). There are scenes of bloody killings, eviscerations, and torture. Chang chops off hands and ears; stabs hands, thighs, and ears; and slices throats and guts. Paid assassins fire a machine gun on a restaurant, killing more innocent bystanders than their intended targets. There's also a bloody boxing scene.
Lots of cursing, including "f--k," "motherf--ker," "a--hole," "c--t," "bitch," "yellow n----r," "c--k," and more.
When seen as a cautionary tale, the movie's message is that violence only begets more violence, and vengeance can ultimately lead to your own destruction. Julian's unwillingness to kill an innocent child proves that even the darkest hearts can exhibit moral behavior.
Drugs / Tobacco /
Adult characters smoke cigarettes, and Julian's mother admits that her family deals drugs, mostly heroin and cocaine.