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Everything is Illuminated [2005] [PG-13] - 4.6.5



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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


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Elijah Wood stars as an American Jewish man who travels to Ukraine in order to track down a woman who may have saved his grandfather from the Nazis, when he was a young man. He feels compelled to find out who the woman was and discovers more about his personal history in the process. Also with Elijah Wood, Eugene Hutz, Boris Leskin and Laryssa Lauret. Directed by Liev Schreiber. [1:40]

SEX/NUDITY 4 - A man talks about "sharing smut" with his younger brother -- we see them both looking at a porn magazine (we see a woman's bare buttocks on the cover) and the man talks about trying to figure out a sexual position that involves reciprocal oral sex. A man asks a young man if he has sex often, and the man describes his sex life while the young man mentions John Holmes and the size of his endowment. A man talks about "girls wanting to be carnal" with him.
 Women wearing skimpy outfits that reveal cleavage, bare abdomens and bare legs dance in a club. We see line drawings of women's bare (and ample) breasts. Several men are bare-chested while working on what looks like an oil rig.

VIOLENCE/GORE 6 - A man lies dead in a bathtub with blood-tinged water and we see bloody cuts on his wrists and puddles of blood on the floor.
 We see people being lined up against a wall, and soldiers loading their weapons and firing at the people; we then see a pile of bodies with blood on their faces and clothing and they are sprinkled with what is probably lime.
 A dead man is covered by a sheet and a young boy sits next to the bed where the man lies.
 We hear that people were put into lines by soldiers, they were forced to spit on their holy books, and that one man refused and his daughter was held with a gun to her head -- it is suggested that she was eventually shot because he would not spit. We hear that soldiers held a gun to a woman's pregnant belly to force her to spit on her holy book.
 A man hits a dog hard, the dog yaps, and another man punches the first man repeatedly and threatens to cut his hands off. A man punches another man (his son) in the face.
 We hear that 1,024 people from a small Ukrainian village were killed by the Germans in 1942. We hear that a woman died of brain cancer. We hear that Jewish people were so badly mistreated by others in Ukraine before the war that they felt that the Nazis would actually be better.
 A dog barks and snarls at a woman and bites the bottom of her dress. A dog repeatedly jumps into a closed refrigerator door, and a dog barks angrily and bites her own tail.
 A boy stands in a road, a car stops just before hitting him, two men in the car chase him through a field. A dog barks and snaps at a young man repeatedly and the young man says that he has a phobia of dogs.
 A woman's false teeth float in a glass of water by her bed, we see a grasshopper or cricket encased in amber, and a young man puts a grasshopper into a glass case and into a plastic bag. We see a field filled with the remains of tanks and military vehicles from a war.

PROFANITY 5 - 1 F-word, 7 sexual references, 5 scatological terms, 2 anatomical terms, 14 mild obscenities, two men use the term Jew in a derogatory manner 7 times, 4 derogatory terms for African-Americans, 1 religious profanity. [profanity glossary]

SUBSTANCE USE - A man smokes.

DISCUSSION TOPICS - Family history, ancestry, family, anti-Semitism, racism, stereotypes, guilt, the past, collecting memories, vegetarians, Nazis, World Wars I & II, suicide, contentment, independence.

MESSAGE - We are defined by our past.

Special Keywords: S4 - V6 - 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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