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American Teen [2008] [PG-13] - 3.4.5



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Unlike the MPAA we do not assign one inscrutable rating based on age, but 3 objective ratings for SEX/NUDITY, VIOLENCE/GORE and PROFANITY on a scale of 0 to 10, from lowest to highest, depending on quantity and context.

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Sex & Nudity
Violence & Gore
1 to 10


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Documentary about the 2006 Warsaw, Indiana graduating class, concentrating on five of the students, whose dreams for a promising future play out during their senior year. Directed by Nanette Burstein. [1:35]

SEX/NUDITY 3 - Two teenage girls kiss, and a teenage girl and a teenage boy kiss passionately. Two young women kiss a teenage boy in a bar. A teenage boy in swim trunks and a teenage girl in a bikini swim in a pool together and kiss. A teen boy and teen girl kiss.
 A woman thrusts and gyrates on a teenage boy's lap. A teenage boy slaps the buttock of a woman who is dancing near him, wearing a short skirt.
 A teenage girl and a teenage boy get into a small boat and cover themselves with a blanket (we do not see any sexual activity but it is implied something may be going on).
 Teen girls wear low-cut tops and dresses that reveal cleavage in several scenes. Teen boys are shown bare-chested while playing basketball and in locker room scenes. Teenage girls wear short tops that reveal bare abdomens.
 A teenage boy kisses a girl on the cheek. A teenage boy and a teenage girl hug and hold hands. A teen boy and a teen girl hold hands.
 A teenage boy brings flowers to a teenage girl and asks her out on a date. A teenage boy talks about wanting to have a girlfriend and the boy imagines himself in a video game kissing a girl.
 A teenage girl says the she and her boyfriend "did it." A teenage girl talks about her first oral sex experience. A teenage girl spray paints genitals and the word FAG on the window of a teenage boy's house. A teenage girl says, "This dress makes my boobs look a lot bigger than they are." A teenage boy tells another teenage boy that his girlfriend is cheating on him. A teenage girl lies to her boyfriend about having been with another boy.
 Teen boys and teen girls send a picture of a teen girl's bare breasts to many others and we see some people reacting to what they are seeing (we do not see what they are seeing).

VIOLENCE/GORE 4 - A teenage girl slaps a teenage boy in the face.
 A teenage girl imagines being tied to a chair in a dark basement with what looks like bloody bits of flesh in a corner (it is an animated sequence). A teenage boy imagines having a sword fight with another boy (as video game characters); one has blood on his mouth and one stabs the other through the chest.
 A teen girl talks about her sister committing suicide. A teen girl calls another teen girl and teases and harasses her. A woman tells her teen daughter, "You're not special." A teen boy talks about having had chili dumped on his lap in school and everyone teasing him about having his period. Two teen girls argue, teenage boys argue in a couple of scenes, and a teenage girl and a teenage boy argue. A young woman talks about her mother being a manic-depressive and fears that she may end up the same way. A teenage girl cries when her boyfriend breaks up with her and then does not go to school for 17 days. A teen girl says she thinks she is "gonna puke."
 A teenage girl spray paints genitals and the word "FAG" on the window of a teenage boy's house and she is punished for vandalism and sexual harassment.
 A teen girl shoots handguns and a rifle at targets.
 We see many dead animals stuffed and hanging on a wall.

PROFANITY 5 - 5 F-words, 2 obscene hand gestures, 6 sexual terms, 14 scatological terms, 6 anatomical terms, 12 mild obscenities, name-calling (jocks, nerd, loser, dumb, stupid, ugly, creepy), 2 religious exclamations. [profanity glossary]

SUBSTANCE USE - We see a man pouring shots of alcohol for his teenage brother, who drinks them, and continues to drink throughout the night at a bar, teenage girls and boys drink alcohol, teenage boys and girls drink beer at a party, a teenage girl says, "I'm drunk," and a man talks about getting his teen brother drunk. A teenage girl tells a woman that she smokes.

DISCUSSION TOPICS - Cliques, caste systems, teenage angst, hopes, dreams, succeeding, winning and losing, love, emo, making mistakes, vandalism, loneliness, sexual harassment, learning disabilities, guilt, punk, belonging, envy, introversion, pity, inner anger, infidelity, fear of the future, suicide, failure, pressure to succeed, heartbreak.

MESSAGE - Don't stop pursuing your hopes and dreams. The future is full of promise.

Special Keywords: S3 - V4 - P5 - MPAAPG-13

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A CAVEAT: We've gone through several editorial changes since we started covering films in 1992 and some of our early standards were not as stringent as they are now. We therefore need to revisit many older reviews, especially those written prior to 1998 or so; please keep this in mind if you're consulting a review from that period. While we plan to revisit and correct older reviews our resources are limited and it is a slow, time-consuming process.

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