Filmed over 12 years, we follow a boy (Ellar Coltrane) as he matures from 7 to 19: His mother (Patricia Arquette) is a working single mom in small-town Texas, she gets married and divorced twice and his father (Ethan Hawke) is mostly absent. Also with Lorelei Linklater, Elijah Smith and Steven Chester Prince. Directed by Richard Linklater. [2:46]
SEX/NUDITY 5 - A 17-year-old boy dates a college girl and they hold hands and kiss; the camera cuts to her dorm room in the morning, and the couple is shown under a blanket in a twin bed as the girl's female roommate walks in and we see the boy's bare chest as he speaks with the roommate, who says she will return later. A teen boy and a teen girl kiss in a car for a while at night, and then get out and walk home.
► A large busted woman wears clingy and low-cut blouses and tops throughout the film, revealing moderate to significant cleavage and often times nipples show through the material; some blouses have thin straps that also reveal bare shoulders and arms. Teen girls wear short-shorts that bare most of their legs to the thighs. High school cheerleaders wear short skirts that reveal full bare thighs and legs. A female street performer wears tight-fitting short-shorts as she dances inside a Hula Hoop to music. Several teen boys and men wear knee-length shorts. A man and his pre-teen son strip to their boxer shorts and swim in a lake; we see their bare chests (very briefly), and bare backs, shoulders, arms, thighs and legs. A Lady Gaga video on an cell phone shows prison women sticking bare arms and tattooed ankles out of cells into the catwalk.
► Pre-teen boys and a high school student look at Internet pornography on a laptop and the screen is partially blocked from the audience: we see the bare thighs of a man and a woman who's sitting on his lap, along with a portion of her bare buttocks, a bare side and a bare arm. A 7-year-old boy and a slightly older boy giggle at busty women in a lingerie catalog, calling out, "Look at those [breasts]!" and we see several pages of photos of women wearing bras and briefs that reveal significant cleavage, bare abdomens and some bare thighs.
► A young boy stares at his mother as she talks in a friendly fashion to a male college professor (she marries and divorces the man); as a teenager, a boy stares at her as she becomes friendly in conversation with a male war veteran (she marries and divorces this man too).
► A woman drinking wine asks a teen boy if he needs a ride to college (sexual attraction suggested) and he smiles and declines. A teen boy flirts with a girl at his first job at a restaurant, smiling and laughing.
► A father teases his teen daughter about a boyfriend and tells her to wear a condom, causing her to hide her face and laugh, embarrassed; the father then tells her that she will not be pregnant like Sarah Palin's daughter and that US teens are not the most sexually active teens in the world. In photography class, a teen boy teases another teen boy about talking to a male teacher in the dark room, suggesting the second boy is walking funny from having sex and the second boy laughs it off. Teen and middle school aged boys talk about girls; an older boy states that all girls are promiscuous and if you start a band, they line up to perform sex acts on you (he uses crude sexual terms), then accuses a younger boy of being homosexual and the boy denies it; a middle school aged boy lies and says that he has had sex several times and the older boy says that he has girls coming over and that the younger boys must have sex with the girls then laughs, says it was a joke and calls the younger boys "pussies." A teen boy's uncle tells the teen that he will be having sex (using crude terms) so he should "use protection" (condoms) and that the boy is "18 and straight." The father later tells the boy that women are always looking to trade off [men] and that the boy's mother wanted him to act "castrated." A woman says that she will become celibate and her teen son says, "Gross!" A young boy asks his father if he has a girlfriend. A boy's father tells his son to start a band to attract women. A divorced father tells his children that he has a girlfriend and in a few years he marries another woman and has a baby. A female professor tells her class that falling in love results in sex that means survival for the human race. A teen boy learns that his girlfriend had sex with a college athlete (we do not see the action) and breaks up with her; he speaks with his father about it, who says to attend college and forget about "silly girls." Two adults berate a teen boy for his earring and purple nail polish, but he smiles and does not change his appearance.
VIOLENCE/GORE 4 - A mother lies face down on the garage floor, crying, as her teen son discovers her; the husband stands beside her and says that they had a little accident, then shouts at her to get off the floor, the alcoholic husband (please see the Substance Use category for more details) berates their four children and breaks three glass tumblers beside each one at dinner, frightening the family, and then shouts that he hates squash and leaves the room.
► A father questions his teen children, takes their cell phones, searches the records and throws the phones at each child and the mother has red eyes, from crying. A woman leaves her home and returns with a friend to pick up her two children from the blended family where her alcoholic husband yells at her, her two children and his two children, and blocks their path, but finally allows her and her two kids to leave; she tells her kids that she reported the man to Children's Services and her teen daughter says that he is dangerous and abusive.
► A young boy feels sick and angry after his stepfather takes him to a barber for a buzz cut to make him look like a man "instead of a little girl." A man tells a teen boy with campaign banners to get away from his property: "Get off. I could shoot you!"
► Throughout the 12 year span of the movie, a woman argues loudly with men, cursing and waving her hands; she argues with her ex-husband, two abusive subsequent husbands and a boyfriend; often the woman's children are listening upstairs (the children look sad and sometimes frightened), and the woman also shouts at her children often, cursing at them. A teen girl yells about her new school and having no place to live now (after her mother moves them out of their abusive stepfather's house). A young girl screams obnoxiously in the back seat of a car. A young girl pretends to cry and says that her brother hit her. A young girl uses a whiny voice and is rude to everyone who speaks to her through college. A boy asks his father why they are in a minivan, instead of their GTO, and the man says that he sold the car; the boy becomes sad and angry because the father promised (but can't recall the promise) to give the GTO to his son when he turned 16 and they argue briefly. A male high school photography teacher berates a talented student for having lack of discipline and leaving assignments incomplete; he tells the boy that anybody can take pictures but art is hard and the boy argues, but then agrees to do an extra assignment that takes an entire evening at a football game, where we see players tackle opponents (no injuries are shown). A dishwasher in a restaurant eats food from a dirty plate and a girl in the kitchen makes a sick face; the manager berates the dishwasher, and then gives him a promotion. A mother in a restaurant tells her two college-aged children that she is moving to a small apartment and they are on their own; her daughter says that she has lost her appetite. A woman cries and says that there is nothing left for her in life now.
► A 15-year-old boy's grandparents give him a 12-gauge shotgun and a red-letter Bible for his birthday; the grandfather teaches the boy and his older sister to shoot and we see shots hit beer cans on a fence and a chunk of wood in the air.
► A mentally ill man sits alone in a diner booth without food and talks to someone who is not there, while gesturing with a pen. A teen boy tells a friend that people are becoming robots because of technology dependence, shunning face-to-face contact.
► A teen girl wads up a heavy woven blanket and hits her pre-teen brother hard with it for no reason and her stepfather tells her to stop. Two boys throw a chainsaw blade into a large piece of plywood that is leaning against a wall twice and the blade sticks both times (no one is injured).
► We see each of two men and one teen boy in different scenes with casts on a hand and forearm; the reason is not revealed. Another man's arms are shown to be covered with tattooed designs. A girl dyes her long hair orange and then purple.
► A TV news report shows a car on fire with smoke and flames and soldiers marching during the Iraq War. Boys show off by breaking long thin boards with kicks and punches. A boy's video game shows cartoon robots shoot each other with laser guns and the robots are seen falling. A video game has cartoon fighters boxing.
► A man and his son take turns with their backs to the camera, urinating on the coals of a campfire one morning; we see each stream of urine hit the coals and create smoke. A young boy buries a dead bird in some mud.
PROFANITY 8 - About 39 F-words and its derivatives, 1 obscene hand gesture, 15 scatological terms, 17 anatomical terms, 21 mild obscenities, name-calling (crazy, morons, stupid, silly, hussy, whores, jerks, fuzz-nuts, numb-nuts, bonehead, piece of work, drunken, drunk fool, gay), stereotypical references to single parents, divorced people, men, women, teenagers, conservatives, liberals, army veterans, musicians, restaurant managers, college students, alcoholics, exclamations (shut-up), 3 religious profanities (GD), 9 religious exclamations (e.g. Oh My God, Oh God, God, The Lord's Alive, Jesus Christ, Holy [scatological term deleted, God, My Lord, My God). [profanity glossary]
SUBSTANCE USE - A teen boy and a teen girl share a marijuana cigarette in a car, and four college freshmen eat marijuana brownies and take a hike in the country where one man and one woman howl like wolves while the others laugh. Partial glasses of wine are shown on a table at a restaurant and an alcoholic man orders a second bottle of wine, an alcoholic man has only alcohol for dinner (please see the Violence/Gore category for more details), a liquor store has many aisles of liquor for sale, two alcoholic men drink heavily, an alcoholic drinks huge tumblers of vodka with a splash of Sprite or glasses of whiskey, an alcoholic war veteran continually drinks from the time he comes home from work to bedtime and we see him lining up many empty cans of beer while he continues to drink, several parties and family dinners feature wine in glasses with men and women drinking, several scenes feature underage drinking by teens and some pre-teens and they drink cans of beer, we see kegs of beer at a college party and Jell-O shots being swallowed along with Beer Pong being played and men along with women and teens are shown drinking alcohol, and two 18-year-old men drink alcohol from a flask. A man smokes a cigarette at home and in a bowling alley along with in his car, a man tells his children that if a young boy steals cigarettes from his mother that he has done a bad thing, a man smokes briefly in a club, and a man moves a large ashtray filled with matchbooks and disposable lighters into another room and away from his children (it is unclear whether cigarettes or drugs were being smoked).
DISCUSSION TOPICS - Families, parenting, growing up, marriage and divorce, conflicts, reconciliation, alcoholism, domestic violence, education, autonomy, earning a living.
MESSAGE - Become your own person, no matter what happens around you, and cherish your family.