Manchester by the Sea

Theatrical Release: December 16, 2016
Manchester by the Sea


An Uncle is obliged to return home to care for his nephew after his brother dies, unknowing he is to be the guardian and struggles with the decision. Throughout the movie, he recounts past memories that caused him to leave Manchester and distance himself from his past.

Dove Review

“Manchester by the Sea” is a beautifully filmed movie that makes clear the point–not everything that is broken can be mended, at least not in this life. The film’s plot deals with tragedy–divorce and death–as well as other life issues, and it does so in a realistic fashion. If anyone has ever heard people laughing at a gathering at a funeral home, as the departed one was remembered, the movie plays very much like that. It features sadness and raw emotions, yet awkward moments and laughter.

Casey Affleck plays Lee Chandler, who is placed in the position of having no choice but to care for his nephew when his brother, Joe (Kyle Chandler), dies. Joe’s son, Patrick (Lucas Hedges), misses his dad very much and Lee’s challenge to become his guardian will not be an easy one. In addition, Lee has to deal with being back in his hometown and dealing with a tragic past in the community he was raised. The various scenes of Manchester are beautiful to watch and contrast a beauty with the pain and heartache that takes place at other times on the screen. The film is getting Oscar buzz due to the writing and Affleck’s performance. Michelle Williams is also excellent in a brief role as Lee’s ex-wife.

Regrettably, due to strong language and sexual content, we are unable to award this movie our Dove Seal.

Content Description

Faith: None
Integrity: None
Sex: A young man has sex with a girl and says he is having sexual relations with another one too; the mention of using a condom; a young man is atop a young girl and puts his hand in the girl's pants but then removes it; a young man tells his uncle to let him know if he and a girl are "making too much noise" before a sexual encounter; The "F-word" is used sexually.
Language: A lot of strong and profane language throughout, including the "F-word" being uttered over 80 times, once sexually, as well as several uses of "GD", "J" and "JC" in addition to many other uses of language.
Violence: A man punches a window pane and bloodies his hand; a fight including a few men being punched and a man pushed against a wall; another fight and two young men have a scuffle at a hockey game; a man puts a gun to his own head to shoot, but the safety is on.
Drugs: Drinking in several scenes including beer and wine; a minor is seen with beer with his uncle and father; underage drinking of beer; a woman is passed out; a man talks about a party that included cocaine and marijuana; a young man says he knows his mother is a drunk; a woman spills beer on a man; a store has a sign about beer.
Nudity: Cleavage; a girl's bare back is seen; man in boxers; a woman is passed out without pants on, but it is not a graphic scene.
Other: Death and grief; tension between characters; gross talk about a toilet and what's in it; a fire takes a man's family; we see the fire burning up the house and then later we see body bags being brought out of the house obviously with bodies in them; a young man has a breakdown; a dead man's face is seen at the morgue.


Company: Roadside Attractions
Genre: Drama
Runtime: 97 min.
Starring: Casey Affleck, Michelle Williams, Kyle Chandler
Reviewer: Edwin L Carpenter