Warner Bros. Pictures | Release Date: October 14, 2005
7.4
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Generally favorable reviews based on 72 Ratings
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10
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7
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7
milleracMar 6, 2016
This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. It’s 1989, women are suppressed in America and lack the respect they need in a ‘man's world’. It use to be when sexual harassment was tried in court, you didn’t have a chance, no cases at the time were successful. In North Country, a single mother named Josey Aimes ad recently gone through a divorce. She was in an abusive relationship, and sought to get away with her two children. They arrive at her parent’s house in Minnesota where she stayed for very little time due to her father’s disapproval of her divorce. She needed money to support her family, and insisted living in her own house. She finds a job at a local iron mine. The story follows her as she deals with intimidation from her male coworkers who believe women don’t have a place with them. As she tries to ignore the problem it only worsens. They constantly harass her, making unwanted advances, and going as far as pushing a porta potty over while she’s still in it. Ouraged by the physical abuse and explicit insults, she tries to end the problem by reporting it to the company manager, only for them to laugh and threaten to fire her if she can’t deal with it on her own.
She tries to get her other female coworkers to aid in ending the situation, but they don’t want to get involved and basically state that they ‘know their place.’ Her family and friends caution her not to file a sexual harassment case, but finds a lawyer and disregards their remarks. In court she is booed by the men, and her female coworkers decide not to act as witness’. Her disapproving father who had also worked at the mines decides to take a stand for his daughter and the crowd falls silent. Still not getting her point across, her ex boyfriend from high school takes the stand and says everything is a lie. They bring up her argument about being sexually assaulted in highschool by her teacher. He was an eyewitness and at first disagreed. After the court recess, he decided to comply and acknowledged that she was in fact ‘taken advantage of.” The case continues for hours. Finally, the historical case was won in the end with the assist of her lawyer, family, and friends.
North Country was based off of a true story and was a crucial part of women’s rights. Not only was is one of the only successful cases at the time, but it lead to other vital events. It generated change in business for women. Not only are women able to work in “men’s jobs”, they’re gaining admiration and respect as company leaders. With further examination of this occurrence, it was a landmark for the woman’s world, giving other females the courage they needed to continue to fight for their rights. As melancholy as this genuine story may be, seeing the emotional events that took place in this film helped show women, and how they were trying to break free from the stereotypical norms of society. I’d recommend this film as it is very educational on civil rights, and emphasizes the historical importance of Josey’s milestone case, and it’s feminine influence in America. (I did this for school by the way)
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10
Tss5078Jun 3, 2015
Sexual harassment wasn't a concern in the work place until 1984, when the first class action sexual harassment lawsuit was brought against the owners of a mine in Minnesota. This is the story told in the award winning film, North Country,Sexual harassment wasn't a concern in the work place until 1984, when the first class action sexual harassment lawsuit was brought against the owners of a mine in Minnesota. This is the story told in the award winning film, North Country, which graphically shows the horrors these women had to face at work on a daily basis. Charlize Theron was amazing, portraying Josey Aimes, the woman who finally stood up and said enough is enough. Theron is the kind of actress who is usually overlooked because of the roles she takes. I had a difficult time judging what kind of an actress she really was until seeing her in the role of a lifetime. Portraying Aimes as realistically as possible, Theron really made the audience feel the struggle of a single mother, having to take a difficult job, just to put food on the table. We see how the harassment at work effected every aspect of her life and it actually changed my view on sexual harassment. As harsh as it sounds, I always viewed sexual harassment as a law created by people who were too serious and couldn't take a joke, but the story of Josey Aimes is no joke. No person, male or female, of any color, race, or sexuality, should ever have to face even half of what Aimes had to go through. This example is how you know that North Country is one amazing film, because any movie that can change a persons opinion on a subject, is worth it's weight in gold. Theron isn't the only gem in this film, as France McDormand also received an Oscar nomination for her role as a co-worker suffering from Lou Gehrig's disease. I also thought that Woody Harrelson deserved recognition for his portrayal of the attorney who represented the women. In 1984, there had never been a case like this, and for him to go out on a limb for something like this was truly special, and its reflected in his performance. From top to bottom this film is very solid, the cast is terrific, and the story is a historically accurate portrayal of sadly, a much overlooked moment in American judicial history. North Country is the kind of film that I truly believe every child should see before entering the work force for the first time. It is that powerful and also earns a spot on our list of must see movies! Expand
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8
RumblebeeloveNov 6, 2011
This film is beautiful contrast. It's majestic overhead shots fade into the grim and dirty mines, where our female stars struggle against the males and their horrible treatment. Actors are great and really show us a range of emotion. It is aThis film is beautiful contrast. It's majestic overhead shots fade into the grim and dirty mines, where our female stars struggle against the males and their horrible treatment. Actors are great and really show us a range of emotion. It is a story that needs to be told and I am glad it is a film. There could have been a little more for some of the male miners, for sadly they are all the same horrible man, but perhaps that was on purpose? Collapse
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2
alastairEVANSMar 24, 2011
The movie is terribly contrived. The story is great. The movie was not so great. And I believe it had a lot to do with the poor direction. It was a good story that would have better been told in the hands of another director. To see whatThe movie is terribly contrived. The story is great. The movie was not so great. And I believe it had a lot to do with the poor direction. It was a good story that would have better been told in the hands of another director. To see what Francis Ford Coppola did with Rainmaker and then to watch this movie is about how the entire Mining company would have felt at the end of the trial: utter disappointment.

The court scenes were a mess. The acting was good but I couldn't pay attention to it because I was so lost by the direction on the movie.

Steven Soderbergh's Erin Brokovich was much better than this movie. Though important to the storyline, the fecal, scatological, crass and disgusting behaviour by the Male miners was used as a crutch by Caro. She simply leaned on it too much. It would have been move rewarding to give the viewer more depth rather than lean on the Male behaviour in the the mines. We are not all moved by scat. A touch of real human emotion would have told much more than a prolonged scene with a ****

At the end of the movie I still couldn't really feel for Josey Aimes and not due in any part to the real life woman, Lois Jensen, or the acting by Charlize Theron, who was great. It was Caro's inability to focus on what mattered in the story. What was contrived? Josey's relationship with her father, lawyer and children, mostly. Though most interaction between the protagonist and Glory made me sick, sicker than the virtually ubiquitous smut. This movie SHOULD HAVE been more absorbing. And the ending...just like my own review's ending...plop.
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8
TomM.Jun 12, 2007
I resisted seeing this film assuming it would be no more than a long drawn out "message" film, no matter the relevance of its subject matter. I was dead wrong. When I finally did see it, I thoroughly enjoyed it. Although there will still be I resisted seeing this film assuming it would be no more than a long drawn out "message" film, no matter the relevance of its subject matter. I was dead wrong. When I finally did see it, I thoroughly enjoyed it. Although there will still be those same old (and young) reactionaries who will try to dismiss it as a "chick flick," there is no denying that it captures the ugliness of gender mistreatment and discrimination, as well as the frustration and helplessness of those who are victimized by it. The cast is extraordinary with every single actor coming through. Frances McDormand pulls off yet another masterpiece, Woody Harrelson surprises, and Sissy Spacek does it once again (her portrayal was so true to character I did not recognize her until well into the story). Which brings me to Charlize Theron. Her exceptional performance and stunning beauty caused me to wonder about other actresses who are able to to combine beauty and talent so effortlessly. I'm sure there are others, but a young Julie Christie immediately came to mind. And, lastly, if you like Bob Dylan you will savor the soundtrack, and, like me, will probably end up buying it. Expand
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7
ShekarSJan 24, 2007
Powerful performance by Theron and beautifully directed.
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5
PatC.Oct 25, 2006
As is sometimes the case in these types of stories, the focus on the profane attitudes of the mine workers creates a permanent cloud of resignation even after their victims are vindicated. I thought the movie dragged on a bit, but I As is sometimes the case in these types of stories, the focus on the profane attitudes of the mine workers creates a permanent cloud of resignation even after their victims are vindicated. I thought the movie dragged on a bit, but I appreciated its refusal to go completely feminist. Expand
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9
GerryP.Apr 4, 2006
I worked most underground mine of Canada as a miner and mostly as a superviser. If this was taken from realty, the staff from this mine were very sick people and should have been prosecuted for their lack of supervision and self respect. As I worked most underground mine of Canada as a miner and mostly as a superviser. If this was taken from realty, the staff from this mine were very sick people and should have been prosecuted for their lack of supervision and self respect. As for the movie it was very good. Expand
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9
JenM.Mar 31, 2006
I found it extremely touching and emotional to watch. Loved all of the performances and the cinematography of that depressingly bleak landscape.
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8
[Anonymous]Mar 27, 2006
A competent feminist drama, with good performances and a searing depiction of sexual discrimination. I'm mainly an action fan, but i've never hated villains in those movie the way i hated the villains in this one, and that's A competent feminist drama, with good performances and a searing depiction of sexual discrimination. I'm mainly an action fan, but i've never hated villains in those movie the way i hated the villains in this one, and that's saying a lot. Expand
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4
DavidG.Feb 25, 2006
Lots of dead footage, even when it looks good. You could have cut 30 minutes out of this melodrama and not missed a thing.
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10
ElleP.Feb 21, 2006
This is an Excellent film. Deserves Best Film, and Best Actress Oscars.
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8
DeanFeb 8, 2006
Charlize Theron gives an excellent performance in the lead rol, story captivating and excellent performances by the other cast members with many of them previous OSCar winners. I hope they make moore films like this in the future. You will Charlize Theron gives an excellent performance in the lead rol, story captivating and excellent performances by the other cast members with many of them previous OSCar winners. I hope they make moore films like this in the future. You will not waste 2 hours of you life watching this film. I hope more female directors get to do movies like this written for women. I get sick of male directors forcing the lead actors to get their clothes off (especially women) when it has nothing relevant to do with the pricture except to get bums on seats to see the movie, in a male dominated director Hollywood industry. Expand
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7
ArielG.Feb 2, 2006
Watchable and likeable enough movie. Charlize Theron was good in this movie, not quite great but pretty good. Her acting seemed a little under-used in this movie, but she did excellently well with what she was given. Frances McDormand was Watchable and likeable enough movie. Charlize Theron was good in this movie, not quite great but pretty good. Her acting seemed a little under-used in this movie, but she did excellently well with what she was given. Frances McDormand was excellent. The only problem for me was how they turned every single male in the movie into a faceless, chauvinistic, sadistic, obnoxious woman-hating, evil animal. Was this how they all were in real life, or was the movie Hollywood-ized in order for us to have more sympathy for Josie (played by Theron) and make it more interesting? Expand
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7
ChadS.Dec 27, 2005
Wouldn't Prince have been a more relevant artist to feature on the soundtrack? His music, great as it was pre-"Graffiti Bridge", did objectify women. Perhaps Bob Dylan was used to suggest that sexual harrasment issues should've Wouldn't Prince have been a more relevant artist to feature on the soundtrack? His music, great as it was pre-"Graffiti Bridge", did objectify women. Perhaps Bob Dylan was used to suggest that sexual harrasment issues should've been taken care of in the late-sixties, not the late-eighties. When we're in the mines, without any signifiers of time, and you hear those derrogatory names hurled against the female miners, you have to remind yourself that this period piece is set in the recent past. There's a reason why "Darlin'" Niki Caro uses "Alice" in the background when Josie(Charlize Theron) goes to one of the worker's homes. No, it's not the seventies either. "North Country" is a very graceful induction into mainstream filmmaking for Caro because its themes are intrinsically linked to her "art-house" smash "Whale Rider". At times, we may want to shout, "Stiff upper lip! Stiff upper lip, Charlize," especially on that porch with her son, but Theron is convincing as a coal miner sans makeup and fat suit. She looks at home in that pickup truck when she drives into the big city. It's a throwaway moment, but it's a better indicator of Theron's talent than all those Oscar-panderin' tears. The reprimand she gets from the big honcho is an audience silencer. Expand
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10
daveh.Nov 12, 2005
Great photography of the area.
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10
BrentC.Nov 11, 2005
An important movie. It's the most gripping story of legal reality since Erin Brockovich. It's this year's Hotel Rwanda, I would look for Theron and possibly McDormand at Oscar time.
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7
PattiBNov 10, 2005
Watchable but tedious at times. Frances McDormand steals the show (as she always does).
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10
SusanM.Nov 9, 2005
A truly great film. It was powerful, touching and well acted. Charlize is proving to be such a versatile actress, capable of being convincing in any role. The story is wonderful, I highly, highly recommend it to all of you!!!
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5
KatyLNov 8, 2005
This movie was entertaining enough to sit through, but I was pretty disappointed. The performances were good, as was the cinematography, which so clearly evoked the link between geography, chronology, and psychology. My gripe is with the This movie was entertaining enough to sit through, but I was pretty disappointed. The performances were good, as was the cinematography, which so clearly evoked the link between geography, chronology, and psychology. My gripe is with the character development. All of the characters seemed to be stereotypes rather than people. Everyone was clearly a goodie or a baddie, and no attempt was made to understand or explore the flaws of the goodies or the motives and fears of the baddies. The story and the message are wonderful and powerful and important, but often, I felt more like I was watching a Lifetime movie than an intelligent social commentary or feminist anthem. Expand
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7
SamS.Nov 6, 2005
Charlize Theron is not afraid to commit to these roles and she usually does a good job of depicting a ugly loser. She is not supurb in this film, but does do a decent job. The movie, has a horrible ending but is meaningful and touching and Charlize Theron is not afraid to commit to these roles and she usually does a good job of depicting a ugly loser. She is not supurb in this film, but does do a decent job. The movie, has a horrible ending but is meaningful and touching and very powerful in many ways. I would reccomend it but I would not give it any oscer nomminations. Unless your nominating Frances or w/e her name is. She is a good Actress! Expand
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9
BrianGNov 2, 2005
This movie was quite inspirational. Though I quickly dispelled it, a tear was brought to my eye.
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8
RevR.Oct 30, 2005
With "issue-oriented" movies I ask myself "Does the film make me care?" North Country does just that. This is not a money-maker. Films concerned with relevant cultural issues rarely do well at the box office. However, it is a movie that With "issue-oriented" movies I ask myself "Does the film make me care?" North Country does just that. This is not a money-maker. Films concerned with relevant cultural issues rarely do well at the box office. However, it is a movie that needs to seen. Theron does a great job of making her character believable. Caro makes the mistake of many directors : she is so passionate about the subject matter that she uses "exaggeration." Granted, many men are guilty of sexual harassment, whether overtly or through complicity; still, there are far more men than this film allows that would be disturbed by the violent dehumanizing acts inflicted upon the women at the mine. We do not all "run with the pack" and therefore, are disgusted with those who treat women as "objects to be kept in their place." I have a difficult time believing that in the "true story" almost every male acted like the lowest form of primate. I am afraid Caro may drive away many men who would benefit from seeing this movie with her "all men are hardhearted pigs" stereotyping. Though the centerpiece of this movie is the issue of sexual harassment, Caro does a masterful job in revealing that fear and insecurity feed this harassment. When people, male and female, are placed in positions of total dependence upon a company for their livlihood they will often allow their fear to override their conscience. Even a family is not immune from the ravages of such fear. The most predominant fear in this film is birthed by male insecurity. Caro allows us to see that when men feel immasculated (as when they perceive women are taking their jobs), they are smitten with an irrational fear that causes them to toss their morality out the window. The women in the movie seem to be very aware that this is the basis for the disturbing actions of their male coworkers and therefore, toss their moral outrage out the same window. Caro doesn't let anyone off the hook in this film. Those who sit quietly by are as guilty as those who actively participate in the disgusting acts and dangerous attitudes. When all is said and done it becomes a movie of hope. Caro seems to believe that If we can see the behavior and attitudes for what they are: dehumanizing acts of violence, then our shared humanity will take on new life. Our collective conscience will rise to the occassion when pused against the wall. Expand
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8
MikeG.Oct 26, 2005
A strong film carried by mainly by the acting, particularly Bean and Jenkins in supporting roles, though the entire cast just jells here. Yes, the story is somewhat oversimplified, but the story still resonates. Despite what some of the A strong film carried by mainly by the acting, particularly Bean and Jenkins in supporting roles, though the entire cast just jells here. Yes, the story is somewhat oversimplified, but the story still resonates. Despite what some of the critics say above, the dual storyline with mines/family enhances the movie. It's not the greatest story of this type ever told, but its pretty damn good. Expand
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8
MarkB.Oct 25, 2005
The same weekend I saw this fact-based (and yes, dramatically enhanced) account of a 1980s class action suit waged by the female employees of a Minnesota coal mine against the management for allowing an oppressively vicious and hostile The same weekend I saw this fact-based (and yes, dramatically enhanced) account of a 1980s class action suit waged by the female employees of a Minnesota coal mine against the management for allowing an oppressively vicious and hostile atmosphere of sexual harassment, I also watched a DVD of Val Lewton's last horror film, the 1946 historical drama Bedlam. As shocked and saddened as I was at that film's depiction of a society so heartless that its so-called noblemen frequently visited the famed mental institution to get entertainment and cheap laughs from the pathetic behavior and abuse of the patients, I felt even more so watching North Country because, while Bedlam took place in the seemingly less enlightened period of the 1700s, the cruelties of North Country were routinely accepted, sometimes even encouraged, during my lifetime. It can certainly be easily argued that the reforms instituted in part by the women's case led in some cases to the pendulum swinging overly far in the opposite direction: a ridiculously p. c. atmosphere where in some workplaces you can't even discuss the plot of The 40-Year-Old Virgin during lunch hour in mixed company without getting written up. But then it's crucial to remember that the occurrences that the mining women suffered daily amounted to endless psychological and emotional rape: the men expressing hostitity at the womens' presence and exercising total domination of their minds and souls. Despite this movie's occasional tendency to make me feel truly embarrassed and ashamed of being part of my gender, it would be a shame if this harrowing, extremely well-made film were branded with the same male-bashing label that Thelma and Louise was inaccurately, unfairly and mindlessly assigned: most of the male behavior IS beyond despicable, but of the major male characters, one is a decent enough guy who does the right thing for not entirely the right reasons, one does a 180 degree turnaround that should equally change the audience's opinion of him, and one is so wise, loving and loyal under circumstances that would make many others much less so that I can see many female moviegoers falling in love with him. The film's courtroom/flashback structure works well, the acting is admirably both passionate and restrained (with special congrats going to Charlize Theron, Sean Bean and Frances McDormand, who partially channels her Marge Gunderson accent from Fargo but then takes that beloved characterization down some truly surprising paths), and Niki Caro's direction is full of such wonderfully telling details as the calendar in Theron's supervisor's office that tells you that she doesn't stand a chance complaining to him, and, along with the much-discussed Anita Hill footage, a clip from a familiar TV series playing in the background of a crucial scene, a sitcom about a hard-edged male employer who's rough at times on his female employees but still treats them like his family. I'm afraid that a certain portion of frequent moviegoers will dismiss North Country as preachy, Stanley Kramer-esque Oscar bait while continuing to wonder when Quentin Tarantino is going to release his four hour, NC-17 Kill Bill 1 & 2 amalgam to theaters, but as with George Clooney's McCarthy-era recreation Good Night and Good Luck, they'd be well-advised not to forget the lessons of the past as taught in both films. Keep in mind that the workers' union in North Country, who should be standing with and behind Theron's fight for simple human justice, sides with the mine owners instead, partially for fear of being dissolved. Consider life today in Wal-Mart America, where unions (when and where they exist at all) are all but clubbed completely into submission for fear of jobs being shipped to Mexico or India (which often ends up happening anyway)...and remind yourself of the familiar fate of those who fail to learn from history. Expand
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2
DarrylOct 24, 2005
With Anita Hill on the tube, like a ghost, rooting her on, Josie finds the strength to face down the men. It's a shame she didn't have a light saber or some kind of Tommy Gun to mow down these "monsters". The exaggerated meanness With Anita Hill on the tube, like a ghost, rooting her on, Josie finds the strength to face down the men. It's a shame she didn't have a light saber or some kind of Tommy Gun to mow down these "monsters". The exaggerated meanness diminishes the real subtle and coercive peeling away that sexual abuse procures. The film sets the women's movement back a good 30 years by unwittingly participating in the same heart wrenching cruelty the men in this film intend to portray. I would not console her if I could. The men were the more deceived, out in that mine, that she was. All their hatred, anger, ignorence the film taught as power and perhaps unwittingly laid the groundwork for others to see that the only real victory is through litigation and some judge banging a gavel. None of those men changed, and so the hatred becomes instilled and boiling beneath the surface. Any half-assed student of human behavior knows it will out. And women will keep on losing. But by then we'll be on to Charlie's next move, another science fiction like this one. Expand
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9
ClintM.Oct 24, 2005
What's wrong with people these days? Here's a movie with wonderful acting (Charlize, pick out a dress now for that red carpet!), a compelling story, and true heart ... and it earns a measly 6 million at the box office?! I just What's wrong with people these days? Here's a movie with wonderful acting (Charlize, pick out a dress now for that red carpet!), a compelling story, and true heart ... and it earns a measly 6 million at the box office?! I just don't understand the movie going public anymore. Throw a crappy movie out there and it's likely to make billions, put out a good movie and you're lucky to break $10 million on opening weekend. What's going on people!? Expand
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9
EleanorW.Oct 22, 2005
wonderful acting and fab photography...all that and Bob Dylan too!
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7
DWOct 21, 2005
A good movie that, at last, deserves its positive critical response. It's rare for current films to touch the heart and if they give you a few good stabs, as this one does, they can be counted a success (much like a comedy that gets a A good movie that, at last, deserves its positive critical response. It's rare for current films to touch the heart and if they give you a few good stabs, as this one does, they can be counted a success (much like a comedy that gets a few good laughs). The film is elevated to an entirely different, profound level when it utilizes the talents of Richard Jenkins, playing Theron's father. This guy is the real deal and should be given the chance to carry his own movie. Expand
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9
BobbyS.Oct 15, 2005
Great film, how bout'cha.
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