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The Boys Are Back [2009] [PG-13] - 4.4.4



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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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After his wife dies unexpectedly, a man (Clive Owen) must quickly shift into the role of sole caregiver to his six-year old son. When his teenage son from a previous marriage shows up to stay for the summer, he must now juggle being a widowed, single father to two, while dealing with his own grief. Also with Laura Fraser, Emma Booth and George MacKay. Directed by Scott Hicks. [1:44]

SEX/NUDITY 4 - A man and woman kiss passionately and he caresses her shoulders. A man and woman kiss and they wrap their arms around each other. A man and a woman kiss lovingly and embrace.
 A man warmly kisses a woman on the cheek. A man exchanges a friendly kiss on the cheek with a woman. A woman and man kiss one another one the cheek in a friendly fashion. A man holds a weeping woman to his chest to comfort her.
 During a game of hide and seek, a man announces in a singsong voice that he is looking for little children that are hiding because he loves little children and loves buying them presents and a woman laughs and says that the man should be careful about what he says and that he might be arrested.
 A man comments to a woman that his wife was "sexy." A man calls a woman "beautiful" and makes a crude pass at her; the woman rolls her eyes. A man tells a teenage boy that while he had loved the teenage boy's mother, their relationship had failed because the man had gotten another woman pregnant. A man tells a woman that his previous relationship had started because he had impregnated the woman. A man comments to a teenage boy that the boy's mother was pregnant; the teenage boy seems unfazed. In response to a man asking if a woman was in a relationship, the woman offers, "There is no boyfriend." An older woman comments to a man that the man's ex-wife might be under the impression that he is "back on the market." A teenage boy tells a man that it is obvious that he "fancies" a woman. A woman shouts at a man, saying that they had "progressed" too quickly, with a heated discussion over child custody, without even having gone on a date. A woman angrily tells a man that he cannot assume that she is not in a relationship and might be busy engaging in "wild sex" for a week. A man discusses with an older woman that he had abandoned his other son in order to be with a woman. A man makes a crude comment to a woman about only being interested in female sports due to the physical appearance of the women. A man asks a woman what body part she prefers of women, the breasts or the legs, the woman laughs him off, not answering and he answers his own question by picking a part of the female anatomy.
 A woman is shown wearing a bathing suit top with shorts (a portion of her bare back is visible). A woman models a low-cut dress in front of a man and asks his opinion. A man is shown bare-chested wearing swimming pants (his bare back and chest are visible) and another man comments that his body is dolphin-like and if a person were to run his hands over his body it would be as smooth as a swimsuit. A shirtless boy stands next to a man and comments that he can see his own nipples, laughs and in a singsong voice announces loudly that his nipples are visible; the man laughs and tells the boy to put his shirt on. A teenage boy and a younger boy sit in an outdoor bathtub, splash one another, and they appear not to be wearing shirts and it is unclear whether they are wearing pants (we see bare shoulders). A shirtless boy joyfully jumps into large bathtub repeatedly, splashing water out of the tub and onto the walls and floor. A boy, wearing only underpants, is shown getting dressed. A boy is shown wearing only shorts, as he runs around a room with a teenage boy wearing boxer shorts and a shirt. A woman gives a boy a bath; no nudity is visible, and she covers him in a towel. A teenage boy, shirtless and lying on a bed, stands up and slips on a shirt. A shirtless teenager lies in bed (his chest is covered by a sheet). A boy is seen wearing underpants and a T-shirt, and standing next to a washing machine as he begins to remove what's left of his clothes (no nudity is seen). A woman wears a cleavage-exposing low-cut top.

VIOLENCE/GORE 4 - A man head-butts another man, cracking his forehead against the man's face; he pulls away and blood is seen gushing out of the man's nose, a woman tends to him, he holds a blood-covered handkerchief over his nose and he's later seen with two blackened eyes and a smashed-looking nose; a woman comments by saying, "Ouch."
 A man cradles a very ill woman as she lays on his chest; she struggles to breathe, and her chest shakes as she gasps for air. A woman clutches her stomach in pain and falls to the ground at the feet of a man; she appears to be unconscious as the man calls her name and then shouts for help. A woman is shown lying in a hospital bed looking very ill, with oxygen tubes hooked up to her nose and an IV in her arm. A man carries a visibly ill woman, her body limp and helpless; she gasps for air and the man places an oxygen mask over her face.
 A boy attacks a man, slapping his head with both hands in rapid succession; he shouts at the man, and buries himself beneath a blanket. A man hands a boy a bottle of juice and the boy violently throws it; the man then hands the boy a bag of chips and the boy slaps the man in the face with the bag, causing chips to fly out. A man and a teenage boy have a heated argument, the teen rips a trash bag out of the man's hand causing trash to fly out, the man begins to shout, the teenage boy breaks several dishes and begins to shake as he sobs uncontrollably. A boy kicks the back of a car seat, a man attempts to comfort him, but then verbally reprimands him and the boy scowls.
 A child drops off a zip-line and lands on the ground with a thud, but gets up, unfazed. A boy, not paying attention, runs in front of an oncoming car; a man screams at the boy, grabs him by the arm and drags him to his side narrowly avoiding being hit. On a rugby field, young men crash into one another, and a young boy runs onto the field, narrowly missing being tackled. Teenage boys pile on top of one another, tackling each other to the ground.
 A boy happily jumps into a bed where a man lies, holding a deceased woman in his arms (she is lying completely still); the boy asks if the woman is dead, the man says yes, the boy jumps up and runs to tell an older woman, who begins to weep as she walks into the room.
 A man panics after he realizes his son is missing at a train station: he shouts the boy's name and begins rapidly circling the train deck for the boy, who, moments later, reappears. A man walks into a room and finds a boy lying completely still on the floor; he panics, thinking that the boy is injured, cries out the boys name and falls to the floor (the boy is fine).
 A crowd of people shout at a man driving a car, he waves them off and we see that a boy is sitting on the hood as the man drives down a beach. A boy is shown riding in the backseat of a jeep without a seatbelt and completely turned around. A man allows a boy to sit on his lap with his hands on the steering wheel as the man drives a car through a large puddle; the boy laughs and claps his hands with glee.
 Two men wheel a gurney with a body bag on it out of a house put it in the back of an ambulance.
 A boy sits next to a man and tells him that he would like to die so he can be with his mother who had just died; the man is stunned and the boy reassures him that he will "wait" so that the man will not be "lonely." A man has a conversation with the ghost of his deceased wife; he says that their son is inconsolable and that he misses his mother. A man discusses with another man the advanced state of cancer in a woman, detailing that the cancer is in her stomach and intestines, that they have found two tumors and he suspects she also has lung cancer, and that the prognosis is not good and she will probably die. A man tells a boy that a woman may be dying soon, the boy asks the man if she will die before dinner or before they go to bed, and the man replies that he does not know; and the boy stands up and runs away. A man chokes back tears as he tells a teenage boy over the phone that a woman had died. A man asks a woman if she believes that his son is coping well with the death of his mother, saying that the child seems to be doing okay most of the time, but will occasionally, typically once a day for approximately a half hour, go into a coma-like state, where he sits completely numb. A man makes an off-handed comment about a woman dying. A boy nonchalantly tells a woman that his mother was dead after remarking that the woman was pregnant. A boy tells a man that he had drawn a picture of his mother being taken away by a tree after she had died.
 An older woman chastises a man, he shouts back at her and shoves past her, pushing against her arm; he grabs a boy's arm, turns and angrily walks off. A man reprimands an older woman. A man shouts at a teenage boy. A man and older woman get in a heated argument and the man storms off. A teenage boy shouts at a man asking why the man had abandoned him when he was younger, saying that he had been stuck with his mother, who hates him. A teenage boy reads from a book to a man, informing him that Australia is a very deadly place to live, since it features the ten deadliest snakes in the world. An older man tells a man that he stood by a door holding a shotgun in order to corral a wild and raucous party. A man tells a teenage boy that he is allowed to "run wild."
 A man weeps and falls to the ground in the middle of a field, clutches his chest and sobs.
 A large crowd of teenagers trash a house, stealing alcohol (which they consume in the presence of a young boy), overturning furniture and breaking glasses; one teen protests and attempts to call the police but someone takes his phone and the party becomes even more raucous, causing the teenage boy to panic. A man walks up to a house and finds broken furniture around the yard.
 Two boys play swordfight with sticks and a woman comments that the boys playing with the sticks might be dangerous. A man and boy shout and playfully hit one another with pillows: the man tackles the boy onto a bed and a teenage boy walks in the room and is surprised when the man shouts that the boy should tackle the teenage boy and get him in on the pillow fight. A group of boys engage in a laughter-filled pillow fight, slamming pillows into each other. A man throws a water balloon at a boy, hitting him in the back as the boy yells with excitement; the man chases the boy as the boy runs through the house, dodging water balloons being thrown at his feet. A man squirts a boy in the face with a water pistol, and the boy laughs.
 A teenage boy plays a violent first-person-shooter style video game in front of a boy, who absentmindedly watches as the boy "shoots" at people in the game. A boy imitates a gun using a snorkel, makes "shooting" noises while aiming out of a window.
 A dog licks a teenage boy's face, the teenager rubs his face against the ear of the dog and a man asks if he had "wiped his face on the dog." A man communicates with the ghost of his deceased wife, telling her that their son only brushes his teeth once a week and will only wash his hair twice a year. A woman tells a man that she has to go to the restroom and is then seen adjusting her skirt as the sound of the toilet flushing is heard. A woman finds a raw chicken defrosting in a bathtub and dumps it into a trashcan. A boy is shown picking his nose.
 A man jokes to a woman that he does not allow his child to eat cat food. A boy makes up a song that includes lyrics mentioning cow feces and dog flatulence, using crude terms. A woman tells a man that he lives "like a pig."

PROFANITY 4 - 9 scatological terms, 11 anatomical terms, 15 mild obscenities, name calling (idiot, cheeky, ridiculous, pig, stupid, boring, moron, clown, precocious, dope, rowdy, runny cheese), 17 religious exclamations. [profanity glossary]

SUBSTANCE USE - A man quickly drinks an alcoholic shot and then pours himself another one, a man takes a sip of a presumably alcoholic drink as a man with a full wine glass sits near him, a group of people are seen drinking out of wine glasses and holding beer bottles, a man pours himself a glass of wine and a woman remarks that the man should not be drinking more (the man ignores her and walks off with the entire bottle of wine), a man takes a swig from a bottle of wine, a man drinks a beer, a man lies on a bed holding a bottle of beer, a man hands another man a beer and opens one for himself, two men drink from full wine glasses, a man quickly drinks a shot of liquor, a man drinks a beer during a small child's birthday party, a group of teenagers drink beer while sitting on the beach, a man asks a woman if she would like a drink and pours a glass of wine for the two of them, a woman tells a man that her ex had gotten "clean" but does not elaborate, a man drinks at a bar, a bartender pours a man a drink, a man sits in a pub with a boy, in a large party setting men and women drink and hold beer bottles and wine glasses, a man walks into a room with empty wine bottles and beer bottles on the tables and counters, empty beer bottles are shown in the hotel room, a man offers a woman a drink (she declines saying that she will have to drive soon), and a portion of the movie is set on a winery.

DISCUSSION TOPICS - Fidelity in marriage, underage drinking, destruction of property, grieving and the grief process, single parenthood, drinking as a coping mechanism, vehicle safety, cancer, anger management, responsibility.

MESSAGE - We must confront our problems, even if it means admitting helplessness, if we hope to solve them.

Special Keywords: S4 - V4 - P4 - MPAAPG-13

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