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City by the Sea



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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: R

Robert De Niro stars in this drama, as a respected New York homicide detective who realizes that the prime suspect in a murder case is his own estranged son. During the investigation, he comes to understand that his failure as father has left his son bitter and disappointed. Also with Frances McDormand, James Franco, Eliza Dushku and William Forsythe. [1:48]

SEX/NUDITY 3 - A man asks a young woman for sexual favors at a fast food drive-through window. A man climbs into bed with a woman, they are clothed, they talk and then kiss. A man and woman lie in bed together, presumably after having had sex (he is bare-chested and she is in a camisole). We hear moaning from an adult theater and see a marquee that reads "peep booth." We see old home movies of people wearing swimwear while at a beach.

VIOLENCE/GORE 5 - A man is shot in the head, blood splatters on a window behind him, he's shot again and falls down a ladder to the floor below (we see blood on his mouth and a pool of blood later under his head). A man is shot several times, he falls to the floor and we see several bloody holes in his clothing. A man is shot in the arm and blood spurts. A man with a knife lunges at another man, the man with the knife falls on top of a young man, they struggle and the young man stabs the man in the chest and kills him. We see a corpse on seaside rocks while police detectives examine it. A young man has a very bloody cut on his arm. A young man fires a gun in the air trying to taunt police officers and make them shoot him (he calls it "suicide by cop"). A truck drives up to the front of a motel and a gun is fired from the truck at one of the motel windows. A man holds a gun to the head of a young woman and threatens her and her baby (we hear the baby whimper). A man threatens another man with a gun, a young man threatens a man with a gun and a man threatens another man with a knife. A young man is shoved to the ground and handcuffed. A man talks about a baby having been kidnapped and accidentally suffocating and the kidnapper having been executed. A man talks threateningly to another man and causes him to grimace when he squeezes him (we don't see where, his arm is off-screen). A man kicks a bathroom door down and a woman in the bathroom screams. A baby screams and cries when he is taken away by social services. A young woman screams in grief. A man pushes things off a counter top and yells at a man. A young man breaks into a veterinary office and steals drugs and a gun, and a man breaks a window to get into a building. A young man looks ill and suffers from drug withdrawal (he shivers). A man has a tattoo on his face.

PROFANITY 10 - 62 F-words and its derivatives, 4 sexual references, 18 scatological terms, 6 anatomical terms, 6 mild obscenities, 3 religious profanities, 8 religious exclamations. [profanity glossary]

DISCUSSION TOPICS - Desperation, drug dealing, drug addiction, abandonment, spousal abuse, executions, infidelity, unwed mothers, guilt, bitterness, the genetic origins of violence, second chances.

MESSAGE - What you want to do, and what you can do, are two totally different things. We all pay a price for the things we do.

(Note: People are shown smoking cigarettes, smoking a drug, and drinking alcohol. A man has a bottle wrapped in a brown paper bag, and so it presumably contains alcohol. We see evidence of drug use.)

Special Keywords: S3 - V5 - P10 - 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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