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Being John Malkovich



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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

John Cusack plays an out-of-work puppeteer who opens "a metaphysical can of worms" when he discovers a portal that transports him into the mind of John Malkovich. Also with Cameron Diaz, Catherine Keener, Orson Bean, Mary Kay Place, John Malkovich, Charlie Sheen and W. Earl Brown. [1:52]

SEX/NUDITY 6 - Lots of sexual innuendo and some kisses. A man and woman start kissing a woman who pushes them both away seconds later. While kissing passionately, a woman climbs on top of a man and he gropes her clothed breasts; we hear him unzip his pants, then they have intercourse with moaning (no nudity is visible). From a side view, we see man and woman having intercourse with moaning and thrusting (both of their bare thighs are visible, and part of her breast is visible through her unbuttoned shirt). We see a boy watching two sheet-covered people moving rhythmically in bed. We see a nude woman covered by a sheet and a man with a towel wrapped around his waist, obviously post-coitus (he kisses her bare inner thigh at one point). During a puppet show, one puppet humps a wall and the other moves its hips rhythmically. We briefly see a man smelling a pair of women's panties. While inside the body of a man, a woman moans pleasurably while he washes his body in the shower (his bare legs and arms are visible). We see a man in his boxers as he undresses and a boy's bare backside in a locker room; also, we see a man with large breasts and visible cleavage.

VIOLENCE/GORE 3 - A man threatens a woman with a gun, pushes her to the ground, sits on her (she kicks and struggles), then drags her into a cage where he ties her up and puts duct tape over her mouth. A man is punched, a man is hit in the head with a can and a man tackles another; also, a man pushes, punches and scuffles with another. A woman chases and shoots at another. A monkey tries to untie two other monkeys' bound hands (they're hooting and screaming loudly) and is then captured in a net. During a puppet show, a puppet throws something against a mirror and turns over a table; later, we see a man doing the same thing. We see a puddle of urine on the ground near a little boy who's being taunted by a group of children.

PROFANITY 7 - About 18 F-words, several anatomical references, many scatological references, many mild obscenities and some insults. [profanity glossary]

DISCUSSION TOPICS - Infidelity, falling in love, lesbianism, escapism, sense of identity, manipulation, deception, fame, eternal life, puppeteering.

MESSAGE - Everyone's searching for who they are and who they want to be; living as or through someone else can give you the courage to uncover your true identity.

Special Keywords: S6 - V3 - P7 - 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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