The Burning Plain

2008 R 1h 51m Blu-ray / DVD

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The Burning Plain

2008 R 1h 51m Blu-ray / DVD
  • Overview
  • Details
Charlize Theron plays a depressed, sex-obsessed restaurant manager in this moody, fragmented drama -- screenwriter Guillermo Arriaga's directorial debut -- that weaves together four seemingly unrelated stories separated by time and space.
Blu-ray DVD
Widescreen 1.85:1
Spanish (Neutral)
English: Dolby Digital 5.1
Widescreen 1.85:1
English: Dolby Digital 5.1
R - Under 17 requires accompanying parent or adult guardian. Contains some adult material. Parents are urged to learn more about the film before taking their young children with them.
age 17+
Common Sense rating OK for kids 17+
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age 17+

Common Sense Note

Parents need to know that this movie focuses on an adulterous relationship and the devastation it causes to its many victims. There are several scenes of frank sexuality, including passionate foreplay, suggested intercourse, and nudity (bare female breasts, buttocks, backs, and a fully nude woman seen from a distance). A violent explosion/fire that kills two adults is shown several times, though without any gruesome shots of the people inside. A young woman is seen mutilating her leg ("cutting") in a gesture of self-loathing, and two teens use a cigarette lighter to scar themselves. There's also plenty of strong language (including "f--k," "s--t," "bastard," "slut," etc.), smoking throughout, and occasional drinking.

Sexual Content

Many scenes with lots of sexual activity, nudity, and implied sexual intercourse -- including scenes of females undressing and being undressed, bare backs, buttocks, breasts, full nudity in shadows, sexual foreplay, and shots of implied intercourse in a variety of positions. Teens are seen kissing, starting to undress, embracing, beginning foreplay, and, finally, post-intercourse with bare shoulders visible.


Two people are killed in a violent explosion/fire in a trailer -- this event is shown multiple times. A woman engages in self-mutilation by carving into her leg; teens burn their arms with a lighter in mutual "scarring" pact; a father slaps his teen daughter across the face; a crop dusting plane crashes as the young daughter of the pilot watches; two birds are killed with slingshots.


Swearing and harsh language in several scenes, including: "f--k" (in many forms), "slut," "bitch," "hell," "son of a bitch," "Jesus Christ," and "bulls--t." There's also one scene with racial slurs, including "wetback" and jeering use of "Mexican."

Social Behavior

Characters make plenty of iffy decisions with painful consequences, but the movie ultimately sends the message that redemption is possible against even great odds. Taking responsibility for behavior is seen as necessary and important, and wrongdoers pay dearly for their mistakes. The effect of parents' behavior (good and bad) upon their children is closely observed.


Not applicable

Drugs / Tobacco / Alcohol

Occasional wine drinking and beer consumption. Several characters smoke throughout.

  • Age appropriate
  • Not an issue
  • Depends on your child and your family
  • Parents strongly cautioned
  • Not appropriate for kids of the age

This information for parents is provided by Common Sense Media, a non-profit organization dedicated to improving kids' media lives.

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