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Detroit [2017] [R] - 5.8.10



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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
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Based on true events: The 12th Street Riot rocked Detroit in July 1967 and alleged sniper fire at the Algiers Motel caused the Detroit Police, the Michigan State Police and the National Guard to seize the motel. A small group of gung-ho police officers and their ring leader (Will Poulter) abusively interrogated guests and killed three men, while nine other men and two women were beaten and tortured. Also with John Boyega, Algee Smith, Jason Mitchell, John Krasinski, Hannah Murray and Anthony Mackie. Directed by Kathryn Bigelow. [2:23]

SEX/NUDITY 5 - A policeman accuses a woman of prostitution and rips open her dress (we briefly see her bare breasts and upper abdomen); the officer accuses a man of being the woman's pimp. A woman standing with her face to a wall has her skirt hiked up to the visible bottom of the buttocks and another woman beside her is facing the wall as a police officer raises his rifle barrel up the back of her skirt between the legs and she screams. A few scenes feature two women wearing sundresses that bare cleavage and bare legs to nearly the mid-thigh. A few women around a swimming pool wear shorts. A woman wears a bra-like top and short-shorts, revealing cleavage and midriff. A few men wear swim trunks and we see bare chests. A few women at a theater wear dresses with low-cut back necklines.
 A man and a woman kiss in a hallway and he rubs her thigh (she is wearing a knee-length dress). A man sits next to a woman wearing a short dress and rubs her bare thigh as they kiss. A woman briefly sits in a man's lap. Two women kiss a man to say hello.
 A police officer accuses two white women of having sex with black men and twice asks them why they prefer blacks to whites; the women do not respond.

VIOLENCE/GORE 8 - In an extended sequence a man points a realistic toy gun at another man in a motel room and frightens several other people as he shoots and the victim drops as if dead, then begins laughing; the first man fires the gun out the window several times and police and National Guardsmen begin shooting, shooting out street lights and spraying the motel room with bullets (we hear sirens and hundreds of bullets pinging and making holes in ceilings, walls, and furniture) as three police officers shout, curse, point rifles, and round up 14 residents, beating and slamming them against a corridor wall; an officer beats and shoots a man, who dies on the floor (face down with blood seeping from his eyes and back, making a large pool under him), and then throws down a knife beside him to make it appear that the man attacked him.
 As four men are released, an officer shoots the fourth man at close range, and then another police officer shoots the victim in the chest when he is down, killing him (we see the body face down, his back covered in blood). A man running with groceries is followed by two police officers with rifles; one officer shoots the man in the back twice, but the victim climbs a fence and escapes, crawling under a pickup truck (we see blood under his back and we later hear that he died). An officer takes a man into a bedroom and as the camera cuts to the hallway, we hear a loud shotgun blast; the officer reappears, and says that he killed the man and two officers argue.
 Archival footage includes several scenes of Detroit police officers beating men with long clubs, of officers beating men in the face with rifle butts, and of officers trying to hold back shouting crowds; TV footage announces that 3,200 people were arrested. Two officers take a man into a room, where they beat and kick him (his head and face become covered with blood). An officer takes a woman into a room and accuses her of prostitution, slaps her hard in the face twice and her forehead is covered in blood.
 Army jeeps full of men armed with rifles drive through Detroit as a young girl looks out the blinds of her apartment and a soldier shouts, "Sniper!" and shoots into the window (we do not see the little girl, but the suggestion is that she was killed). Several police officers and National Guardsmen run out of a motel and fire rifles into a misty area at the end of the street; one Guardsmen runs out of the mist and says he "got" two men.
 Two male captives are taken into separate bedrooms by police officers who tell them to be quiet, bang on walls, and fire a weapon to simulate beating and killing the captive; one officer fires his gun into the floor by the captive's head and the man winces, as the lead officer shouts, curses, threatens to kill two men, and keeps asking, "Who wants to kill a [N-word deleted]?" A police officer in a motel shoots through a closet door to scare the room's occupants, who flinch and grimace; the officer beats a male occupant in the face with the rifle butt, drawing blood. In a motel, a police officer threatens a man with gun. Two security guards at a small grocery store are heavily armed with pistols and large rifles. A white police officer points a rifle and threatens a young black man on a sidewalk; an armed black security guard intervenes successfully and the young man is rude to him.
 Two male captives attempt to leave the house, but turn back when they see more officers outside. Three male captives cry several times, as do two women, who also scream violently. An officer forces people facing a wall to pray (they mumble prayers) and sing as they shake and cry. A police officer is called into his supervisor's office and berated for shooting an unarmed man in the back; the officer says, "It's a war zone out there."
 A bloody man runs away from a motel and kneels when he sees a police officer, who helps him into a cruiser and takes him to a hospital; we see the man barely conscious and in a hospital bed with his head wrapped in a bandage and his face and head cut and bruised; he and a male visitor cry about another man who was shot and killed. A National Guardsman helps women escape and the state police leave the scene to prevent being associated with abusive interrogation. A music theater is evacuated by police who say there is a riot outside and people grumble as they leave.
 Several scenes show large crowds in Detroit, shouting and cursing and in one scene, chanting, "Burn it down!" about their neighborhood. Four scenes show men throwing rocks through large store windows and looting, glass crashing and falls to bits on the sidewalk as men and one woman run through the street carrying stolen goods. Men throw rocks into the windows of a service station, followed by a Molotov cocktail, which sends the facility up in large flames and smoke. We see several fires along the street and one sequence shows more than a complete block of businesses in rubble and burning in tall flames. Several night shots show two to three cars burning in flames and smoke. People in a crowd outside a club throw rocks through police car windows that break loudly and the police drive away quickly. Men break out a window of a pawn shop and steal much of the merchandise.
 A police supervisor shouts violently at three police officers, calls them into an office one by one, and slams the door hard each time; he chases the third officer out to a car, where he beats on the car and demands the officer come back inside. A sequence shows white police officers going to trial on assault and murder charges as black spectators shout and one witness shouts and curses. A man receives a phone call that one of his sons is dead; he does not react, but later at home and in a morgue, he looks dazed (we do not see the son's body).
 We hear that during a criminal trial officers were acquitted, but were sued in civil court and told to pay $5,000 to the families of several victims and they were permanently removed from active duty. Two photos show police officers carrying two body bags on gurneys out of a motel and two more photos show two men's bodies face down in pools of blood.
 Several police cruisers pull up to an illegal after-hours club, flashing lights with sirens sounding; police break down and kick in doors and begin pushing people onto the street as a detective shouts and takes an undercover cop into a room, closes the door, and pretends to beat him, slamming a heavy object against the wall as the other man shouts; police outside load men and women into paddy wagons as a crowd gathers and begins shouting. A man in a factory is confronted and arrested by two police officers; we hear shouting prisoners at a police station in a hallway and two detectives accuse the man of murder and he denies it, shuddering and tearful as he is handcuffed and led to a holding cell full of men shouting and cursing (he is later released).
 A man runs from a courthouse and vomits into the grass and we see yellow vomit and the man wiping his mouth with a handkerchief.
 An unemployed man in winter sits in a small unheated apartment, stuffing wadded paper into the broken glass of his window; he is clothed and wearing his coat, shivering.
 A sequence of comic book art shows men led away in handcuffs, a man beating another man on the ground with a club, and a strip of tall flames.

PROFANITY 10 - About 90 F-words and its derivatives, 1 obscene hand gesture, 19 scatological terms, 8 anatomical terms, 12 mild obscenities, 7 derogatory terms for African-Americans, name-calling (Uncle Tom, boy, you people, white, cracker, racist, whore, hooker, prostitute, slut, animals, alcoholic, yellow, lazy, crazy, stupid, idiot, dumb jackass, fools, pig juice, Mr. Show Business), exclamations (shut-up, shut your mouth), 7 religious profanities (GD), 16 religious exclamations (e.g. Oh My God, Oh God, My God, Jesus Christ, I Swear To God, Amen, A hymn, mumbled prayers by a line of captives and a couple of those people sing part of a prayer). [profanity glossary]

SUBSTANCE USE - We hear that a musician died from using heroin and dope, and a man lights and smokes a cigarette that looks like a marijuana cigarette. An after-hours club features beer bottles on several tables and counters with a few men and women drinking from beer bottles, a few men and women in a hotel drink from beer bottles around a swimming pool and in motel rooms, and a woman drinks from a glass that might contain either whiskey or cola. Several scenes show men and a few women smoking cigarettes in homes as well as offices and a police station and a motel while around a swimming pool and backstage at a show and in cars, and a few scenes include a man lighting a cigarette in close-up.

DISCUSSION TOPICS - The Detroit race riots of 1967, police corruption, police abuse, police brutality, police racism, inequality, racism, poverty, fear, anger, injustice, the justice system, premeditated murder, breaking the law, death, loss, sorrow, survival, starting over.

MESSAGE - The Detroit race riots were the largest riots in American history.

Special Keywords: S5 - V8 - P10 - MPAAR

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