The Manchurian Candidate (2004)
This remake of a 1960s classic thriller will probably be a contender for this year’s Oscar nominations. Capt. Ben Marco (Denzel Washington), a veteran of Desert Storm, suffers from nightmares of an intense battle in Kuwait. Ben is sure that he and the men in his patrol were hypnotized to perform unspeakable deeds. Raymond Shaw (Liev Schreiber), now a puppet of his ambitious mother, Senator Eleanor Shaw (Meryl Streep), served under Ben in Desert Storm and received a Medal of Honor for his bravery. Eleanor has great aspirations for her son and goes to extremes to destroy anyone who tries to block her dream. Through her ruthless political efforts, Raymond becomes his party’s choice for vice president in the upcoming election. Meanwhile, Ben’s search for truth leads him to Raymond and an evil network of continuing mind-control experiments The intense suspense and complex intrigue of The Manchurian Candidate demands viewers’ total concentration.
Flashbacks of the soldiers’ horrific battle, images of men suffocated, point-blank shootings, two homicidal drownings and a bloody assassination earn The Manchurian Candidate an R rating. Also difficult to watch is a needle injected into the skull of a conscious patient. And Raymond takes a knife and cuts out an electronic chip implanted in his shoulder. There is no sex, but an incestuous relationship between Raymond and his mother is strongly implied. Foul language includes several profanities and obscenities. Dove cannot award the Dove Seal to this movie because of the frequency of graphic violence and foul language.