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Bug [2007] [R] - 9.8.8



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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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A lonely woman (Ashley Judd) is being pursued by her convict ex-husband, who has tried to kill her before, and is haunted by the disappearance of her young son 10 years earlier. In her emotionally fragile state she's easily swept into the paranoid conspiracy theories of an eccentric drifter (Michael Shannon) she just met, who insists that he was the subject of secret medical experiments while in the military. Based on the play by Tracy Letts. Also with Harry Connick Jr., Brian O'Byrne and Lynn Collins. Directed by William Friedkin. [1:42]

SEX/NUDITY 9 - A man and a woman have sex, they kiss and saliva strings trail when their lips separate; the man then kisses the woman's bare breasts and we see her breast and nipples, his bare buttocks, her bare buttocks and pubic region and she thrusts on top of him -- we also see her face when it is implied that he is performing oral sex on her (we do not see the act).
 A man and a woman remove their clothing (we see full frontal female nudity and the man's genitals are in shadow). A man climbs around a bed and we see his bare chest, buttocks and pubic region in shadow -- his genitals are not evident. A woman climbs out of bed and we see her bare back, buttocks and legs. A woman wears a short nightgown, and when light shines through from the back it reveals the silhouette of her body and breasts. A woman wearing a short nightgown sits on a sofa and her panties are visible. A man comes out of a shower bare-chested and with his belt unfastened. A woman sits on a toilet, and her pants are down to her knees (her bare thighs are visible). A woman wears a low-cut dress that reveals cleavage.
 People dance in a gay bar, and we see a couple of female couples caressing each other and kissing passionately. A woman lies on a sofa, and another woman sits next to her and they hug and laugh (it is not clear if there is a sexual relationship). Two women kiss on the lips as one is leaving.
 A woman delivers an extended rant where she lays out her understanding of how medical experimentation was concluded when she and her boyfriend had sex and she was like a queen insect and he was like a drone.
 A man touches a woman's face and tells her that he missed her. A man tells a woman that he is not into women and that he doesn't want to go to bed with her but that he is not gay either. People talk about a lesbian couple having a child.
 A woman invites a man to stay with her for the night and sleep on the sofa (he does; they do not have sex).

VIOLENCE/GORE 8 - A man stabs another man in the stomach repeatedly, he screams, we see blood on his shirt and mouth, and he falls on the floor; he is then stabbed repeatedly in the back, then in the stomach again, and a woman screams (we hear crunching, yelling, groaning and we see a lot of blood).
 A man uses a wrench to pull a tooth out of his mouth: his mouth bleeds profusely, he continues to pull and he screams loudly, and more blood pours from his mouth while a woman tries to stop him. A woman uses a staple gun on a man's hand to keep him from getting into her room (we see blood on his hand).
 A dead body if shown lying on the floor of a room, covered with blood.
 A man and a woman pour gasoline around a room and on each other and then light a match (the room is engulfed in flames and it is implied that they burn as well, but we do not see them).
 A man pokes his finger with a pin, smears a drop of blood on a glass slide and looks at it through a microscope. A man looks at a bloody tooth through a microscope and sees many bugs swimming through the blood. Blood is smeared on the floor from a man's bloody wounds. A man and woman have scratches and sores from scratching and trying to remove "egg sacs" from under their skin.
 A man strikes a woman in the face, she falls to the floor, and we see her bloody nose and lip. A man breaks a door open, holds a gun to a woman's face and pushes her into a chair.
 A woman yells at another woman and tells her to get out. A man threatens a man. A man and woman argue bitterly in a few scenes. A woman yells into a telephone.
 A woman talks about her 6-year-old son disappearing while they were in a grocery store and he was never found. A woman talks about her ex-husband trying to kill her. A woman talks about being afraid at night. A man talks about having been bitten by a bug and explains that an aphid is plant lice. A man talks about being in trouble with the army and that they performed experiments on him and that they are chasing him. A woman makes a remark about a man "finding God" after he tried to kill her.
 A room shakes violently and we hear loud whirring outside. A man has what looks like a seizure: he falls back on a bed, thrashes and then lies still. A man sits on two canisters of gasoline and lights a lighter (there's no explosion). A woman cowers in a corner when she hears what she thinks are helicopters flying overhead. A telephone rings incessantly and a woman becomes agitated.
 A woman sits on a toilet (we hear the trickle of urine). A woman bites her nails aggressively in several scenes.

PROFANITY 8 - 38 F-words and its derivatives, 3 sexual references, 19 scatological terms, 6 anatomical terms, 9 mild obscenities, 4 derogatory terms for homosexuals, name-calling, 7 religious profanities, 19 religious exclamations. [profanity glossary]

SUBSTANCE USE - We see people cutting cocaine in a couple of scenes and it is implied that they have ingested some, but the act is not shown, a woman smokes marijuana, and a man smokes a drug from a pipe (it's not clear what type). A woman throws away several empty bottles of wine, opens a full one and pours a glass (we do not see her drink from it), and people drink alcohol and smoke cigarettes in a bar scene. A woman smokes cigarettes in several scenes.

DISCUSSION TOPICS - Paranoia, conspiracy theories, medical experimentation, mental illness, schizophrenia, motherhood, menopause, mistakes, bad choices, home schooling, sex, relationships, marriage, spousal abuse, viruses, littering, hate, not being yourself, divorce, control, fear, homosexuality, Jim Jones, Timothy McVeigh, Theodore Kaczynski (the Unabomber).

MESSAGE - Some people will believe anything.

Special Keywords: S9 - V8 - P8 - 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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