Luther

| 12+
Cautions: intense moments and some violence, some sensuality, some language, and brief vulgarity

Luther is the compelling true story of the man who, almost single-handedly, restored the light of the gospel to the entire world after centuries of almost total eclipse.  Martin Luther’s own exploits and encounters are accurately formed into a movie that is both entertaining and theologically rousing, though the spiritual warfare, violence, and vulgar polemics of the sixteenth century may give hesitation about showing Luther to younger children. 

2003 | Eric Till | 123 min Watch Trailer

Intense Moments and Some Violence
Dozens of bloody dead bodies are shown after an attack, some of them of women and children, one missing an arm.  This scene lasts several minutes.

Men are shown hanging by their necks, dead.  A boy is shown hanging, having committed suicide, and his body is later seen wrapped in a sheet.  Relics, including human skulls, are seen.

A man is briefly and partly shown being burned at the stake.  

A short, intense but non-graphic segment shows Martin Luther as if being strangled by an invisible devil, alone at night, resisting physically and verbally.  Luther is nearly struck by lightning.

A villain deliberately holds his hand over a flame, and third-degree burns are visible, briefly.

A third-party revolution attacks a church building and its icons, and while no one is hurt, the actions are somewhat intense.  A man is captured at night in the woods, but is not harmed.


Some Language
G-d
d-mn
d-mned
a--
a--
sh-t
crap

In a religious context, “hell” and forms of the word “damn” are used literally.


Some Sensuality
A man and woman (married on screen, unmarried in real life) are seen passionately kissing a couple of times, once in bed, clothed.  

The woman’s nightdress falls off her shoulder in the bedroom kissing scene.  Prostitutes, relatively modestly clothed, are seen at one point.  Deep cleavage is seen in the background of one scene.

The words “sex” and “fornicators” are used, and mention is made of the Pope’s mistress and children.  A villain states that he can “save the soul of a man who violates the mother of God herself.”  A woman, in effect proposing marriage to a man, mentions the “marriage bed” in a non-sensual way.  


Brief Vulgarity
A drawing of Luther’s is shown, caricaturing someone as an “a--” (meaning a part of the body) playing a harp.  


Note:
After a young boy commits suicide, Luther, arguing against the people’s view that the boy must be in hell, and that his body should not be buried in the churchyard, rhetorically asks whether the child is any more to blame for despair overtaking him, than a man overtaken by bandits.  

At one point, Luther says, “Those who see God as angry do not see rightly.”  This may either be intended more specifically to mean that God is not angry (or wrathful, rather) with his people, despite the teaching of the Roman Catholic clergy, or possibly a verbal or theological slip up.1  

Icons and crucifixes are seen throughout the movie, and while Luther has no place in his theological views for most icons, it is implied that he is still in favor of crucifixes.

Luther’s sarcasm and satire are true to history, but may or may not be consistent with viewers’ individual standards of behavior.


1 God is angry with the wicked, as the Bible makes clear.  In another sense of the word, God is at times angry even with his people.  For the first sense, see Numbers 22:22, John 3:36, and Romans 1:18.  For the second sense, see Deuteronomy 9:20 and 1 Kings 11:9.




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