Grace (Nicole Kidman), the daughter of a wealthy businessman, is on the run from a crew of gangsters who eventually falsely accuse her of a crime in order to bring her out of hiding. While seeking refuge in the Rocky Mountains, she encounters the small town of Dogville. Thomas (Paul Bettany), a member of the small community, finds Grace sneaking through the town and tries to help her by getting the townsfolk’s approval to allow Grace to stay in their town to avoid the gangsters. The townspeople agree to help on the condition that she work in the town in exchange for their concealing her whereabouts. As the days go by, Grace finds that even the good townsfolk of Dogville are filled with selfishness and deception. She’s not sure if she is really safe in Dogville or if she would have been better off in the hands of the gangsters.
Through fine acting and an intriguing plot, Dogville addresses the tension between mercy and justice when it comes to dealing with evil. The film also examines the reality of the inner condition of people, namely, the focus on self. There are a few scenes of rape that, while involving little violence and nudity, are sadistic and dark. And there are a few crudities and two occurrences of profanity. Overall, the film paints a dark picture of the human soul. Due to brief nudity, brutal and cruel violence including rape and forced prostitution, and a tone of depressing hopelessness, Dogville is not family-friendly and should be seen only by adults.