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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

Private investigator Nicolas Cage plunges into the world of sadomasochistic pornography when a client asks him to investigate a violent film she found in her dead husband's safe. Joaquin Phoenix, James Gandolfini, Peter Stormare, Christopher Bauer, Anthony Heald, Catherine Keener and Myra Carter co-star. [2:03]

SEX/NUDITY 9 - Sexual innuendo. A few kisses (including a passionate kiss between two women). There is one scene of full-frontal nudity: We see a nude man and woman, and very briefly but distinctly see her nude front and the man's genitalia; they proceed to lie down on a bed, presumably ready to be taped for a pornographic film. We briefly see a man and woman moving underneath a blanket; we see his bare chest when he gets out of the bed. We see a video clip of a bare-breasted woman inserting something into a man's anus. We hear moaning coming from booths (it's implied that people are in the booths watching pornographic movies), and we see the back of a clothed man who appears to be masturbating while watching a pornographic movie. A woman kneels in front of man; he unzips his pants and then closes the blinds so we don't see anything else. We see a bare-breasted woman dancing and we briefly see another bare-breasted woman on a video clip. A few scenes take place in sex shops; we see some sexual toys and lots of magazine and video covers showing scantily clad or nude women. We see lots of scantily clad women and lots of men and women wearing revealing leather sadomasochistic outfits.

VIOLENCE/GORE 9 - Throughout the movie, we see clips of a film in which a girl wearing a tank top and underwear is slapped and then stabbed repeatedly by a man wearing a leather S&M outfit and mask (the camera moves around so the picture is often blurry and unidentifiable, but we do see blood on her torso and arm). In a few other films, we see a man's bare butt being slapped by two women in leather outfits, a bound and gagged woman being hit by a leather-clad man, a woman being choked to death and a woman hanging by her arms being slapped, punched and then stabbed repeatedly by two shirtless men (we see lots of blood on her body). A man is sliced with a knife (we see some blood), another is stabbed (we see a knife handle sticking out of his chest) and another is stabbed with what looks like a long skewer (we later see him pulling it out of his bloody stomach). A man ties another's neck and hands to a post, and it's implied that the man beats him to death with the butt of his gun (we hear the man being hit and later see the bloody gun and the man's bloody body). A man with tape over his mouth and blood on his face is tied to an archery target; we later see his dead, bloody body hanging from it. A man pours gasoline on a corpse and sets it on fire. Lots of threatening with guns and knives; a man shoots at another several times. A man is shot in the chest with a cross bow and another is shot in the neck (we see lots of blood pouring from the wound). Twice, a man is handcuffed to a bed and beaten (we see bloody cuts on his face); we also see a few scuffles and several men being punched, kicked and knocked down (often we see bloody cuts on their faces afterwards). Two men scuffle and fall out of a window.

PROFANITY 10 - About 70 F-words, many anatomical references, lots of scatological references, many mild obscenities and several insults. [profanity glossary]

DISCUSSION TOPICS - Sadomasochism, pornography, torture, murder, private investigations, marriage, revenge.

MESSAGE - Sometimes you must take the law into your own hands.

Special Keywords: S9 - V9 - 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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