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The Call [2013] [R] - 6.7.5



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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 911 dispatcher (Halle Berry) works in a big city where she receives repeat calls from one man as he murders teenage girls. A call for help from the latest victim (Abigail Breslin) causes her to go out and confront the killer. Also with Morris Chestnut, Michael Imperioli and Michael Eklund. Directed by Brad Anderson. [1:35]

SEX/NUDITY 6 - A man chloroforms a teen girl (please see the Violence/Gore category for more details) whose blouse reveals cleavage; the camera cuts to a close-up of a female genital area covered by the crotch of skimpy panties with pubic hairs sticking out, the man strokes a finger down the entire center crotch area and we see the tops of the girl's spread bare thighs and her navel.
 In two scenes a man changes the appearance of two teen girls to look more like his dead sister: we see him tie a girl's hands to a chair and wash her hair while he hums and licks her face, and he then cuts her blouse off to reveal a bra and moderate cleavage and abdomen. A scene includes a pixelated video of a dead teen girl; her knees are very red and the body above the knees is pixelated.
 Several teen girls wear short skirts and short shorts, revealing most of their bare thighs and lower legs; their blouses reveal cleavage. An overweight woman displays significant cleavage in the stretched neckline of her top.
 We see several photos of a pre-teen boy posed and embraced by his teen sister and a second set of photos shows her bald and sitting in a chemotherapy chair; we see photos of a teen boy kissing his sister on the mouth as she receives chemotherapy. A man has turned half of his home office into a shrine for his dead sister, with photos, mementoes and framed poetry that he wrote.
 In a prolonged scene, a man kisses a Styrofoam head that wears a human female scalp and removes the scalp, inhales the scent from the inside of the scalp.
 Two police officers walk into their 911 room where one of them asks a female dispatcher, "Did someone call for some male strippers?" and kisses her briefly; the dispatcher takes a break and they walk outside to the roof where they kiss passionately and plan to spend the night together and the scene ends. A teen girl speaks to a teen boy on her cell phone, shouting, "You want to do what to me? Is that even legal?" (a reference to sex is implied).

VIOLENCE/GORE 7 - A male driver pulls up to a stopped car to see if the other driver needs help, he calls 911, the other man bashes in his window with a shovel and hits him in the head, he then pulls the injured man out of the car and hits him three more times and we see the man unconscious and in the trunk of the car with a teen girl, who screams causing the unconscious man to wake up and shout loudly; the attacker pulls the car over, opens the trunk and stabs the injured man in the stomach half a dozen times with the screwdriver, killing him in a gush of blood as the girl screams and the killer shuts the trunk again.
 At a gas station, a teen girl trapped in a car trunk pulls out a panel and crawls into the back seat to yell for help; the attendant sees her, pulls out a box cutter to defend himself from the driver, and tries to open the car door but the driver pumps gas onto the attendant and lights him on fire with his cigarette lighter (we see the attendant completely on fire, flailing and falling to the ground as the car drives away).
 A man uses a scalpel to cut a teen girl's hairline in order to remove her hair and scalp: her eye is badly swollen and bruised and her forehead bleeds until a woman rushes up and knocks the man out with a piece of crockery, the man recovers and fights with the woman, crashing into several walls, shelves, the floor and furniture (we see previous pools of blood on the floor from past crimes as paint cans and tools come crashing down loudly); the teen girl rushes forward, slicing the man's face deeply all the way down the side with sharp shears and then stabs them in his side (we see a lot of blood on his face and head and on his back as he shouts and pulls the shears out), he chases them, scrambling and grabbing, the woman kicks the man backward down a ladder, and she binds and shackles him into a bloody chemotherapy chair (he comes to and spits blood on the floor).
 Two teen girls argue at a mall as one girl tries to provoke the other girl to use profanity, especially F-words, and the second girl refuses; walking to her car in the parking garage, the second girl is nearly hit by a car that backs out quickly, the driver exits his car and grabs the girl as the scene abruptly ends and we later see the girl wake up inside the trunk of the man's car and panic, crying, kicking and flailing her arms. A teen girl locked in the trunk of a moving car calls 911 and the dispatcher tells her to kick out a tail light and wave her hand around to attract attention, which she does; the girl sees a shovel in the trunk and cries that the driver is going to bury her until the driver pulls over under a bridge, opens the trunk, and tells her to shut up or he'll kill her right there with a screwdriver. A serial killer stops his car in a rural area, pulls a teen girl from the trunk and holds her on the ground with his hand covering her mouth as he looks around and the scene ends.
 A teen girl home alone at night calls 911 as we see the shadow of a man break in the front window of her home, the intruder searches the house twice and finds the girl under a bed, from where he pulls her out by the ankles (she screams), he holds the girl by the throat on the floor in the dark and looks like he has a knife to her throat and in a longer shot he stabs and punches her, but we don't see blood; the phone goes dead and the 911 operator panics, cries and hurries off to the Quiet Room to recover, shaking and we later see a pixelated video of the girl, found by police officers in a shallow grave with a large mound of dirt beside it, ready to be shoveled in (the camera cuts to the 911 operator waking up in a cold sweat). A cell phone line stays open during a kidnapping and the 911 operator can hear the driver's heavy breathing and the girl's cries and whimpering.
 A woman drives to a rural cabin at night and finds a large trap door in the ground that leads to a subterranean level of rooms and we hear a female voice crying somewhere; a man wheels a teen girl in a wheelchair to a room at the far end of the place where he gives her nitrous oxide as a sedative (please see the Substance Use category for more details), forcibly washes her hair and cuts it with long sharp shears; the girl escapes and walks into another room where she stops, shakes and screams until the man comes and says, "You're not gonna want to see that" and we later see that the room is a mock-up of the man's sister's room before she died of cancer, decorated in pink, but blood-splattered over bed linens, makeup table and walls.
 A man kisses a Styrofoam wig head that wears a human scalp, and taking the blonde-haired scalp in his hands, lies back and inhales from the bloody scalp area as a woman watches from a hiding place. We see a small refrigerator that contains longhaired scalps of women with blood around the scalps.
 Over the opening credits, we hear several 911 calls: "There's been a stabbing and someone is dead; my girlfriend jumped off the 12th floor ledge; I hit someone with my car; you shot your wife? daddy's on the floor... how old are you?; someone's been shot in the arm and face and there's a lot of blood; I think I overdosed and I think my wife did too." Several scenes feature a 911-dispatch office and parts of emergency reports: A man stabs his wife; a woman screams that she ran over someone with her car; a woman screams that a bat is flying around her sister's bedroom; a woman says she thinks she hears a burglar; a drunken man asks why he is in jail; a woman says that her mom was stabbed; a dispatcher tells a potential suicide to put down his gun, but the call is disconnected and she groans; on big screen monitors along the walls, we see enlarged photo IDs of crime victims and criminals, news clippings about the kidnapping and murder of a teen girl and newscasts of police finding missing crime victims. A serial murderer with a kidnapped teen girl taunts a 911 operator, saying, "It's already done" to indicate that he has killed the girl; he later repeats the call to the same operator after having kidnapped another teen girl.
 Police and SWAT teams raid a cabin and find nothing.

PROFANITY 5 - About 3 F-words and its derivatives, 3 scatological references, 6 mild obscenities, name-calling (jerk), stereotypical references to teen girls, teen boys, parents, 911 callers, sex deviants, housewives, men, women, 2 religious profanities, 3 religious exclamations. [profanity glossary]

SUBSTANCE USE - A teen girl tells another teen girl that a boy at high school uses too much dope, a 911 caller says he thinks he and his wife overdosed (the drug is not named), a woman takes a tablet out of a prescription bottle and swallows it with water, a woman places a prescription bottle beside two other prescription bottles on a shelf, we see a medium sized cardboard box filled with empty prescription bottles, and a killer chloroforms a teen girl and administers nitrous oxide to her several times with a mask and line attached to a canister labeled NO. A man drinks from a beer can while driving on a highway.

DISCUSSION TOPICS - Serial killers, sex deviants, families, teamwork, responsibility, the work of police officers, vigilantes, justice, proper use of 911 calls.

MESSAGE - Being a 911 dispatcher is very stressful.

Special Keywords: S6 - V7 - P5 - MPAAR

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