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The Core



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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 geophysicist (Aaron Eckhart) discovers that the Earth's inner core has stopped rotating, and with the planet's magnetic field deteriorating, atmospheric conditions become unpredictable: electrical storms become intense, pacemakers short-circuit and ultraviolet rays tear through a hole in the electromagnetic field. To resolve the crisis scientists and "terranauts" travel to the center of the Earth hoping to jump-start the core by detonating a bomb. Also with Hilary Swank, Delroy Lindo, Bruce Greenwood and Stanley Tucci. [2:15]

SEX/NUDITY 1 - A man and a woman hug and kiss. A man is bare-chested while receiving medical treatment.

VIOLENCE/GORE 5 - A terranaut is pierced through the back of the head with flying shrapnel -- we see blood trickle down his forehead, he falls back into a river of lava and we watch him sink. A man is crushed in a compartment as the external pressure increases -- we see him pinned between metal beams, hear him begging for help, screaming in pain and then he goes silent and still. A terranaut opens a hatch and is hit with a wave of heat; as he proceeds through a passageway it is apparent that his suit cannot withstand the temperatures (we hear him moaning, see an axe that he carries turn red hot and then melt, see his glasses break and his shoes melt). When a terraship lists, a bomb falls on top of a man who is unable to free himself, the ship lists again and another man falls and hits his head, the bomb rolls across the floor and over his leg and he is unable to free himself. A beam of microwaves burns through a hole in the Earth's electromagnetic field making seawater boil: it burns a man's arm instantly and melts a bridge; cables snap and fly around, the roadway breaks out from under cars, tires melt, they slip off the bridge and crash into the water below. A man's hands are burned when he handles a very hot fuel rod (we see his gloves smoldering and see his hands wrapped in bandages later). A man collapses after disconnecting his oxygen (we see him revived later). A large flock of birds goes haywire, crashing into windows, into statues, into walls and into people (many birds fall to the ground dead); people run screaming in fear, some run into a store and many birds crash into a large window that shatters spraying them with glass (some humans appear injured although we do not see wounds). Super storms hit all over the world: we see streets being torn to rubble by lightning strikes, people run in horror as ancient ruins are blown to dust and a large city is demolished and left in flames. Cars swerve on a street nearly hitting pedestrians, the cars crash into each other, and a double-decker bus runs over a car and flips on its side (we see passengers inside the bus being tossed around). A space shuttle returning to Earth is off course, it heads for downtown Los Angeles and must perform an emergency landing into a dry riverbed. A man collapses and dies, we hear cars crashing, hear people screaming and then see people running in fear and others lying dead on streets and in a park. Terranauts are threatened by molten fragments falling from above and a river of lava swells toward their terraship. A terraship is unable to navigate, crashes through what looks like enormous crystal formations and is stopped on a ledge over a molten river. A woman grieves over a man's death, and a man grieves over a man's death, screaming and yelling. We see a morgue with 32 bodies lying on tables under blankets; one man is uncovered and we see a large scar on his chest. A man panics, yells and is punched in the face by another man (we see him fall to the floor unconscious). A man panics when the FBI knocks at his door and runs through his apartment trying to erase information on his computers; the agents enter with guns drawn. A laser is tested and cuts a large hole in solid rock. A mouse is placed inside a box made of a special material, a laser cuts through a metal sheet and the cement block that the box rests on, but the box and the mouse are unharmed. The Earth shutters and quakes as tectonic plates shift. Two men use a torch to set a peach on fire, in order to demonstrate how the Earth will catch fire without its electromagnetic field. We follow a terraship through the depths of the sea, a crater opens as plates shift in the ocean bed, an earthquake causes boulders to fall hitting the ship a few times and the ship breaks through the outer crust of the Earth's core (it appears molten). A huge terraship is strapped into a launch pad, powers up and is released, plunging into the sea. Two men yell at and insult each other.

PROFANITY 5 - 1 F-word, 2 sexual references, 2 scatological terms, 1 anatomical term, 19 mild obscenities, 14 religious exclamations. [profanity glossary]

DISCUSSION TOPICS - The destruction of the Earth, the end of the world, environmental damage, the power of science, cosmic radiation, martyrdom, computer fraud, computer hacking, greed, egocentrism, sexual fantasies, leadership, heroism.

MESSAGE - Leadership requires the ability to make difficult decisions and to accommodate for inevitable errors.

(Note: People are shown drinking alcohol to the point of inebriation, and smoking cigarettes.)

Special Keywords: S1 - V5 - P5 - 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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