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The Book Thief [2013] [PG-13] - 1.5.2



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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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Based on the eponymous best seller by Markus Zusak: Liesel (Sophie Nelisse) is adopted by two German parents in the midst of World War II, who have also taken in a young Jewish man. Liesel nurses him back to health and reads him stolen books. Also with Geoffrey Rush and Emily Watson. Directed by Brian Percival. [2:11]

SEX/NUDITY 1 - A husband kisses his wife on the cheek and she tries to turn away. A man and a woman are seen in bed together, fully clothed and they hold hands. A husband and his wife hug. A boy asks a girl for a kiss if he were to win a footrace against her; they race and tie, and the boy asks the girl for the kiss but she turns him down. A boy asks a girl for a kiss and the girl turns him down.
 We see a man bathing his son and the boy's bare chest is visible.

VIOLENCE/GORE 5 - During an extended voiceover, Death explains that bombs had accidentally been dropped on a family neighborhood, killing a man and his wife and a woman and her large group of children; as we hear the voiceover, we see bombs being dropped from an airplane and hitting several buildings; we see a girl rescued from the bombed out buildings by a soldier and she cries at the foot of her dead parents (no blood is visible and their bodies are laid out on the ground, completely intact); she holds the head of a boy with a small cut on his eye as he dies and she appears to go catatonic and she is lifted onto a cot to recover.
 We see a group of people on a crowded train and some appear to be sick; a woman holds a young boy in her arms and a girl sitting next to them looks a the boy and exclaims when she notices a small stream of blood coming from the boy's nose; we then see what appears to be the boy's dead body wrapped in fabric (we see his shoes sticking out) being tossed into a grave as the woman (the boy's mother) cries.
 A truck carrying an older man and several male soldiers appears to run over a bomb causing the truck to flip; we presume everyone died, but later see the older man return from war.
 A soldier grabs a man, drags him and shoves him into the back of a car; another man stands up in the man's defense and a soldier grabs him and shoves him to the ground (we see the man splayed-out on the ground with a bloody cut on his head); the man is later seen, obviously upset by his interaction with the soldier, and his head is being tended by his wife. We see soldiers bashing in windows and dragging men and women into the street and beating and kicking them repeatedly.
 A pre-teen boy grabs a boy and tries to take a book from his hands when the boy drops the book into a river (they are on a bridge); the pre-teen boy grabs the boy and beats the boy's head and face as a girl watches and after multiple blows, the pre-teen boy stops and we see the boy stand up with a bloody cut above his eye and a split and bloody lip. A group of children surround a girl and shout taunts at her until she punches a pre-teen boy in the face, knocking him to the ground; the girl then climbs on top of the boy and hits him repeatedly until a woman (a teacher) pulls her off him; we see the boy with a bloody nose and cut lip as the teacher smacks the girl on the bottom three times. A girl runs through a group of Jewish men being led by a group of soldiers; the girl shouts for a young man, a soldier grabs her and shoves her away; she returns, shouting the man's name and the soldier shoves the girl and a boy trying to defend her. A girl purposely slides into a boy while they are playing soccer; we see the girl's leg cut and bloody and she uses it as an excuse to leave the game. A pre-teen boy purposely trips a boy.
 A boy dives into a fast-moving stream in the middle of winter and after a few moments a girl watching begins to shout (the boy surfaces and the girl is relieved).
 We hear air raid sirens and see people in a bomb shelter on two occasions; on one occasion the bombs are very close and people are upset but cheered by a man playing the accordion; on the second occasion, the ground shakes as bombs fall very close to them and a girl comforts people by making up a story.
 An older man angrily grabs a boy, dressed up with shoe-polish on his face and arms to imitate a famous black athlete, and shoves him through the street; the man approaches the boy's house and chides the child's father for allowing the child to put shoe polish on himself. A woman becomes angry and shouts at another woman when the woman informs her that the boy she had hoped to adopt had died on the train ride to her. A woman shouts at her adopted daughter. A pre-teen boy makes a vaguely threatening remark to a boy and a girl, and then instructs them to burn books in a large stack of burning books.
 A young man collapses as he walks through a door into a family's home; a man grabs the young man and carries him upstairs; we see the young man recover slowly after sleeping for many days and a woman remarks that the young man "looks like death." A woman discovers a young man staying in their basement has become extremely ill and we see him in what appears to be a coma, but after many days he awakens and slowly recovers.
 A girl grabs a still-smoldering book from a pile of burning and burnt books and puts it in her jacket; she coughs and chokes as smoke flumes out of her jacket and her father takes the book from her and puts out the smoldering.
 As a rouse to get her daughter's attention, a woman shouts at her in front of her classroom and we also see the woman drag the girl by the ear for dramatic effect. A man half jokingly shouts at his wife to stop chiding him.
 A woman tells a girl that her son had gone to fight in war and had not returned, but that she has a difficult time accepting his death because she had not been able to see his body. A young man kisses his mother goodbye and a voiceover explains that the young man had come to realize he was kissing his mother for the last time and that she was destined to be killed in a war. A woman tries to calm a girl by stating that the girl's mother would have preferred to keep custody of her if that had been possible (it is implied that the girl's mother was forced to give up custody). A man tells his adopted daughter that a young man's father had given up his life so that he might live, and as such, he owes everything to his family. A boy tells a girl that he is running away because he does not want to join the army and die. A boy is obviously upset about being drafted into the army and he tells a girl that he does not know if his father is alive or dead. A voiceover states, "One small fact, everyone is going to die." We hear two very propaganda-loaded speeches about Nazi power and the rise of German power after the abolition of Communists and Jews. A voiceover explains that a woman had lived to be over 90 after surviving WWII. A pre-teen boy joyfully shouts in the streets that another country had declared war on their country. A young man and a girl laugh and joke about throwing up a woman's foul cooking.
 A boy throws a ball and hits another boy in the head (he is unharmed). A boy and girl playfully race down the street and roll into a snow bank, unharmed. A woman playfully smacks her husband on the back of the head. A man, a woman and their adopted daughter and a young man have a playful snowball fight in a basement. A boy uses shoe polish to made black-face as a misguided attempt at imitating his favorite athlete; we later hear a pre-teen boy mock the boy for his previous attempt.
 A young man spits a mouthful of soup back into a bowl as a woman tries to feed him. A girl spits on the ground and a boy jokingly asks if that is how she communicates; the girl spits a second time. A girl, prompted by a boy, spits off a bridge into a river. A boy tells a girl that another boy had urinated inside a pre-teen boy's lunch box.

PROFANITY 2 - 1 anatomical term, 2 mild obscenities, name-calling (dirty, stupid, filthy, brats, lazy pig, mute, filthy, various non-translated German name-calling, mad, nuts, lazy backside, the witch you know, pain in the neck, monkey's [anatomical term deleted], old man), exclamations (shut-up), 6 religious exclamations (e.g. God, Christ on the cross). [profanity glossary]

SUBSTANCE USE - A man appears to take a drink.

DISCUSSION TOPICS - World War II, the Nazi party, theft, loss of innocence/childhood, disappointment, death of a loved one, risk, illiteracy,

MESSAGE - World War II was a very tough time.

Special Keywords: S1 - V5 - P2 - MPAAPG-13

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