“The Mule” (Warner Bros.)

Clint Eastwood stars in a scene from the movie "The Mule." The Catholic News Service classification is A-III -- adults. (CNS/Warner Bros.)

By Catholic News Service

This ambling, fact-based story of an octogenarian drug runner who becomes a success at it because no one, evidently, believes he’s capable of such a dangerous task is more than a little morally tone deaf.

Clint Eastwood, who directed from a script by Nick Schenk, plays an easygoing Illinois horticulturist who has neglected his estranged family for years while puttering around the country hawking prize-winning daylilies. He gets a second chance at life and sudden wealth when a young Latino man makes him an offer to be a drug mule, hauling cocaine from El Paso, Texas, back to the Midwest for astonishing and ever larger amounts of cash.

The film doesn’t address the question of doing an immoral job to achieve positive ends (the protagonist shows largesse toward his relatives and his local Veterans of Foreign Wars hall) and its willful ignorance of the downside of the narcotics trade makes it wholly unsuitable for young people.

An implied nonmarital sexual encounter, fleeting upper female nudity, some gore-free gunplay, frequent rough language. The Catholic News Service classification is A-III — adults. The Motion Picture Association of America rating is R — restricted. Under 17 requires accompanying parent or adult guardian.

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