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The Cider House Rules



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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

MPAA Rating: PG-13

A boy who grew up in an orphanage that also serves as a delivery room/abortion clinic leaves in search of a more meaningful life. With Tobey Maguire, Charlize Theron, Delroy Lindo, Paul Rudd, Michael Caine, Jane Alexander, Kathy Baker, Erykah Badu, Kieran Culkin, Kate Nelligan, Heavy D, K. Todd Freeman, Paz de la Huerta, John Albano, Sean Andrew, Mary Bogue, Spencer Diamond, Skye McCole Bartusiak and Erik Sullivan. [2:11]

SEX/NUDITY 4 - Some sexual innuendo (mostly in reference to incest) and a few kisses. A man and woman kiss passionately and briefly have intercourse with heavy breathing (they remain clothed throughout). One post-coitus scene: a presumably nude man (only his shoulders are visible) gazes at a nude woman's bare backside as she lies on top of a bed. We see a man's bare backside as he gets out of the shower.

VIOLENCE/GORE 5 - We see a man with a bloody shirt sitting on a blood-soaked bed; we learn someone stabbed him and he then stabbed himself. A man breathes too much ether and dies; he crushes the bottle of ether in his hand and we see some blood. A man is threatened with a knife, then grabs it out of his attacker's hand and slashes his shirt. A girl slaps her face a few times. A man grabs a girl's wrist; she slaps at him and spits on him until he lets go. A woman grabs a man's neck while she's giving birth. We see a boy stop breathing and later see his grave being covered with dirt. We see a film clip of "King Kong" during which King Kong swings and throws several animals. We learn a woman who's found outside the orphanage has a crochet hook stuck in her uterus from a botched abortion (doctors examine her but we don't see the wound). Abortions are performed on a few women (we don't see the surgery, but in one scene we see a doctor with some blood on his gown afterwards). We see a close-up of a cut on a man's palm as it's being stitched. We see a slightly bloody newborn. We hear a boy vomiting.

PROFANITY 3 - An anatomical reference, some mild obscenities, an insult and a racial epithet. [profanity glossary]

DISCUSSION TOPICS - Orphanages, abortion, drug abuse, death, incest, suicide, falling in love, duty and obligation.

MESSAGE - Satisfaction comes from choosing your way of life, not simply doing what others expect you to do.

Special Keywords: S4 - V5 - P3 - MPAAPG-13

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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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