Picture from In the Valley of Elah
Overall C-

When Mike Deerfield (Jonathan Tucker) mysteriously goes missing after returning from a tour of duty in Iraq, his career officer father Hank (Tommy Lee Jones) and devoted mother (Susan Sarandon), become convinced something is seriously wrong. In order to find their son and uncover the truth, the worried parents enlist the help of local police detective Emily Sanders (Charlize Theron).

Violence C-
Sexual Content D
Profanity D
Substance Use D+

Why is In the Valley of Elah rated R?

Official MPAA Rating: In the Valley of Elah is rated R for for violent and disturbing content, language and some sexuality/nudity.

Please read our content details for this movie to help determine if it is suitable for members of your family. We also encourage you to check our full review and our movie information page.

This movie takes a serious and discomforting look at what can happen to a young person who is asked to serve his country on the front lines. While there isn’t a lot of on-screen violence, detailed discussions of children being killed, people being tortured, and a brutal murder are heard frequently. We do see burnt and dismembered body parts on a couple of occasions, and a body with lacerations around the neck. Other pictures show some combat situations, including the body of a child lying on the side of a road. Scenes within a strip bar show topless women who are participating in sexual situations with male military patrons. Later, one topless woman has an extended non-sexual conversation with a man. Language includes frequent sexual expletives along with other mild and moderate profanities. Heavy social drinking is depicted. The use of illegal drugs by military personnel is discussed and it’s implied that drugs are a common problem in the military.