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ASSIGNED NUMBERS

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
Profanity
1 to 10

MPAA Rating: PG-13

Tim Robbins stars as a Bill Gates-like software tycoon whose corporation goes about being number one in the industry by any means necessary; Ryan Phillippe co-stars as an idealistic computer genius. Also with Rachael Leigh Cook, Claire Forlani, Tygh Runyan, Ned Bellamy, Douglas McFerran, Zahf Hajee, Scott Bellis, Nate Dushku, Tyler Labine and Julie McDowell. [1:50]

SEX/NUDITY 2 - A couple is shown in bed (she's sleeping) with their bare shoulders exposed. And a couple kisses in bed; he's shirtless and she is in a tank T-shirt. There are a couple of other quick kisses. A woman puts her finger in a man's mouth suggestively. Several women are seen in cleavage revealing evening gowns, and a woman is briefly seen in her bra. We read an employee's personnel file which includes details about her having been molested as a child by her father -- there are allusions to the same subject in a conversation later.

VIOLENCE/GORE 5 - A brutal scene depicting the beating of a man to death (we hear he dies after the beating) by baseball bat is shown several times, in varying detail: once "live" (including the destruction of computers and other office equipment) and the other times on video. A couple of thugs break some glass to get through a door, then break down another door and threaten several people with guns. There's a chase through a TV studio with stuff falling and breaking and people being knocked around. A man breaks through a glass pane and knocks a man off his feet. A man is kicked in the face and falls backward and down stairs. A man is shown during a life-threatening allergic reaction; he's seen on a stretcher with tubes in his nose and evidently gasping for air; an allergy test patch on his arm is also shown in close-up (swollen, blotchy, red marks). A man scratches his arm with a fork until it bleeds. We see a montage of the faces of young men and women with the words "programmer murdered" written in red across them. A bomb explodes in a closet blowing off the door. A man yells angrily in a couple of scenes; he also throws a book. A man drives recklessly and acts out of control with fear and rage. There are a few tense scenes where a character is nearly caught while trespassing. A couple is shown building a bomb on their kitchen table.

PROFANITY 5 - One F-word (uttered in a particularly boisterous manner), half a dozen scatological terms, a handful of anatomical references, several racial slurs (written and spoken), many insults, several religious vulgarities, and some milder obscenities. [profanity glossary]

DISCUSSION TOPICS - Competition, predatory business practices, monopolies, fascism, manipulation, murder, friendship, racism, hate crimes, trust, betrayal, and the real world vs. the virtual world of bytes and bits.

MESSAGE - Anything is possible and everybody has a price. Human knowledge belongs to the world.

Special Keywords: S2 - V5 - 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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