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Angela's Ashes



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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

MPAA Rating: R

Film version of Frank McCourt's critically acclaimed and best-selling memoir of growing up in poverty in 1940s Ireland. With Emily Watson, Robert Carlyle, Joe Breen, Ciaran Owens, Michael Legge and Shane Murray-Corcoran. [2:25]

SEX/NUDITY 6 - Several instances of sexual innuendo (including references to masturbation) and a couple of kisses. A boy undresses (we see his bare backside) and a girl appears to be pulling him to the couch by his penis (we see her hand near his groin); she removes her shirt (her undershirt is still on), lies on top of him and kisses him passionately (it's implied that they have intercourse, but we don't see anything). We hear a bed squeaking, implying that a couple is having intercourse. We see the bare buttocks of four masturbating boys. A boy gives another boy an uninformed, non-graphic description of a woman's body. A shirtless boy holds a scantily clad girl. A boy spies on several nude women (we see their bare breasts and see one woman's bare backside). We see a couple of naked boy toddlers bathing and trying to be dressed (a little boy also "moons" them during this scene); we also see a boy's bare buttocks briefly.

VIOLENCE/GORE 5 - Three children die (we see two of their bluish-colored faces), two other people die and a boy discovers a dead body in a chair. A boy lies on the ground and pretends to have a seizure. A boy pushes another, a man slaps a boy's bare feet, a man slaps a boy's hand, several boys are slapped in the back of the head, a woman hits a boy several times, a boy slaps a woman, a man throws food at a woman, a man grabs a boy and punches him several times (he gets a bloody nose and a swollen cheek) and boys scuffle and punch each other (a teacher drags them away and we later see him hitting their palms with a paddle). A boy falls off his bike and gets a bloody nose and some bloody cuts on his face. A drunken man stumbles into the street and is knocked down by a carriage. Some children wake up screaming and slapping their arms because they're being bitten by fleas. A boy falls off a pipe that he climbed. We see film clips of a man being shot at and a man holding a dagger to a woman's belly. A boy passes out and we see him recovering in a hospital after an apparent blood transfusion. A boy's eyes are extremely red and infected in several scenes; also, we see a man with a black eye. We see several people vomiting; also, a boy announces he's been defecating in a grassy area (his pants are down to his ankles), a man tells a story about bottling flatulence, we hear a man pass gas, we see (and hear) several men urinating and we see a few chamber pots being emptied onto the street. A man removes and eats the eye from a sheep-head roast.

PROFANITY 6 - About 8 F-words, lots of anatomical references, many scatological references, several mild obscenities and some insults. [profanity glossary]

DISCUSSION TOPICS - Ireland, poverty, discrimination, unemployment, death of loved ones, discovering one's sexuality, alcoholism, Catholicism, theft.

MESSAGE - You can survive and overcome poverty and a miserable childhood.

Special Keywords: S6 - V5 - P6 - MPAAR

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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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