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Fifty Shades of Grey [2015] [R] - 10.5.5



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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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Editor's Note: While this film is evidently sexually explicit, it has been released by a major Hollywood studio, it is playing in regular movie theaters, has been covered and reviewed by prominent media and has received an R rating (which means anyone, of any age, can see it when accompanied by an adult). Therefore our policy remains to review all mainstream movies without prejudice and provide comprehensive and detailed descriptions that will allow informed adults to make their own viewing decisions based on our ratings and review. Also please note that while we tried to describe the Sex/Nudity content as clinically as possible it was impossible to disguise it and it may be offensive to many readers.

An obsessive billionaire (Jamie Dornan) teaches a naïve college senior (Dakota Johnson) about sadomasochism and demands a behavioral contract that rules out love and romance. The couple examines their own needs and desires within a tenuous relationship, among pressures from family and friends. Also with Eloise Mumford, Luke Grimes, Rita Ora, Victor Rasuk, Marcia Gay Hardin, Max Martini, Jennifer Ehle and Dylan Neal. Directed by Sam Taylor-Wood. [2:00]

SEX/NUDITY 10 - A woman tells a man that she is a virgin and he asks, "You've done other things, right?" to which she answers that she has not and he takes her to a bedroom where he undresses her, kisses her inner thighs and removes his own clothing (we see full nudity of both people, except for the crotch area); he kisses her body and thrusts while she moans and writhes (the camera pans up to show his bare back and buttocks thrusting in a ceiling mirror).
 A woman lies nude on a bed and we see her shaved pubic area and vagina lips for a few seconds. In several scenes, we see a man and a woman completely nude from the back. A woman is seen fully nude in several head to foot profiles. Several scenes feature a nude woman from the waist-up, in close-up, facing the camera. A shirtless man wears jeans that reveal his upper pubic area (no pubic hair). A woman facing away from the camera drops a robe and we see her buttocks. A laptop screen displays two Internet images of nude women tightly hog-tied with black leather straps. Several women wear V-necked or scoop necklines that reveal moderate cleavage. A woman wears very tight jeans and later wears thick, clingy tights.
 A man throws a woman onto a bed, removes her clothing, removes his clothing, blindfolds her with her undershirt, and ties her forearms and wrists together with a necktie; he then roughly turns her over onto her face and chest and begins intercourse and we see thrusting and hear gasping as the scene ends; the camera cuts to the couple in bed under covers, he dresses and leaves after telling her he does not do love and romance.
 In half a dozen scenes, a man uses a necktie or red ropes to tie a nude woman's hands above her head in bed, sometimes to a bed's headboard and sometimes, he ties her ankles to the foot of the bed and he blindfolds her as well in a few scenes; in one scene, he removes and smells her panties, then sticks them down the back of his jeans as he manacles her wrists to an overhead frame, tickles her body with a riding crop all over her body and then slaps the crop against her rib cage and buttocks causing her to gasp; he lifts her thighs and begins intercourse in close-up and we see her abdomen hitting against his abdomen.
 In three scenes a man turns a woman over his knee at home, raises her skirt, lowers her panties, and slaps her buttocks as she gasps. We see a riding crop hit a woman's bare buttocks in close-up as she gasps. A man hits a woman's buttocks with a heavy lash while she counts and cries (please see the Violence/Gore category for more details) and we see no injuries until she stands up, pushes him and stomps a foot, making her bare breasts jiggle. A woman wearing a blindfold, is handcuffed by the wrists to a headboard above her head; we see her from the upper-chest-upwards, we see her startle and hear her gasp (sexual stimulation is implied below the frame) as a large peacock feather is drawn across her lower legs and breasts from off-screen; a many-tailed flog is drawn across her body in the same way, with light slapping of the abdomen three times. In a bedroom scene a man spits a mouthful of wine into a woman's mouth, then takes an ice cube in his mouth, rubbing it along her lips, chest, nipples and abdomen as she gasps.
 A man and a woman are shown in a bathroom where he is bare-chested and she is seen fully nude from the back (we see them in a mirror); they sit together in a bathtub of water as she leans back against his chest and we see her topless as he dribbles water across her chest and the scene ends. A man and a woman on their first date have sex on a couch: with the camera behind the couch we see thighs until the woman's roommate enters the apartment and the two on the couch get up and the man dons jeans off-screen while the woman wears a knee-length slip that bares some cleavage.
 A shirtless man sits on a piano bench in the dark in a long shot and his girlfriend approaches, wearing a large sheet that he pulls away; we see her fully nude from the back as she straddles his lap and sits and he stands up and carries her off-screen, holding her thighs (her buttocks are spread apart somewhat and sex is implied). A man and a woman kiss passionately for several seconds in a dozen scenes; he also caresses her lips and face with his fingers. A man and a woman have a passionate encounter in an elevator; the man backs the woman into a wall, holds her hands above her head and kisses her passionately as she returns his kiss (we see tongues touching). A pilot straps a woman into a helicopter seat with three straps, his hands coming close to her groin and he cinches her straps tightly and she gasps.
 A man and a woman discuss a bondage and sadomasochism behavioral contract in an office; she strikes out the use of certain devices and accepts others and she also accepts a clause where she must use oral contraceptives; she is undecided about accepting orders to perform and accept any-and-all sexual activity the dominant partner wishes for both of them and she asks the man what "anal fixing" and "vaginal fixing" are, but he does not have the chance to explain because they are interrupted. We hear that a man's mother was a prostitute and he tells a woman that his adoptive mother's friend seduced him when he was 15 years old, making him a bondage submissive to her dominant character for six years and that at age 27, he has had 15 women submissives serially.
 We see a red upholstered dimly lit room with a red leather headboard on the bed, a ceiling mirror above it, red walls and red carpet and we see a rack of leather and rawhide manacles, a display of various styles of handcuffs, a stand of thin wooden flogging canes, a display of riding crops, a rack of short-handled many-tailed flogs and a hanging display of thick leather straps and thick, textured wooden spanking paddles; metal racks on hinges hang from the ceiling, showing metal hoops for attachment of ropes and leather straps; the man takes the woman by the hand and they enter with her first words being, "Oh my God! You're a sadist?" to which he replies, "I'm a dominant."
 A woman tells her boyfriend jokingly that she must abstain from all sexual activity for four weeks after beginning oral contraceptives. In a hardware store, a woman suggests that a man buy overalls to protect his clothing and he replies, "Or I could just take off my clothes"; she stares and says, "OK." A man tells a woman that when she bites her lower lip, the gesture excites him. A man asks a woman if two of her male friends are boyfriends, and she denies it. A man says to a woman, "I would like to [F-word deleted] you into the middle of next week." We hear that a woman has been married four times. A woman in an interview asks a man if he is gay and he denies it. A woman says about a man, "He is so hot! and a woman sitting next to her replies, "Oh my gosh!" and a third woman says, "I heard he's gay." A man tells a woman that he has never, before her, had sex in his own bed or slept the night with a woman in a bed.

VIOLENCE/GORE 5 - A man and a woman struggle over love vs. bondage and argue mildly; she allows him to perform bondage rituals on her that involve accepting strikes with riding crops and leather straps while tied down (please see the Sex/Nudity category for more details); the bondage occurs in a man's home in a dimly lit chamber outfitted with whips, crops, manacles, paddles, handcuffs and other bondage-related objects.
 A woman asks a man for the most severe punishment he would deliver and he removes her clothing and bends her face/chest down onto a mahogany table; he selects a very heavy, thick, leather whip and strikes her six times on the buttocks off-screen and we see her crying face as she counts the strikes (please see the Sex/Nudity category for more details; we see no injury) and she stands up crying, pushes him away hard and screams, "No! Don't [F-word deleted] touch me! You will never do that to me again! Don't come near me. Don't you dare come near me!" and she leaves the room, slamming the door.
 As a male friend tries to kiss a woman on a sidewalk, another man rushes forward, shouts and pushes the friend out of the way. A man in a dinner scene carries a woman outside his house, puts her over his shoulder and slaps her buttocks for planning to leave the state to visit her mother.
 A man startles a woman by showing up unexpectedly at the hardware store where she works; he also shows up in her apartment and at a hotel in another state, where she is with her mother. A woman trips and falls on her face upon stepping into a man's office, but is uninjured.
 A man asks a woman to sign a contract to endure sadistic bondage sessions of "pleasure and punishment" (please see the Sex/Nudity category for more details) and to sign a nondisclosure agreement, promising she will tell no one about their activities. A man and a woman argue many times about romance and his need for bondage (please see the Sex/Nudity category for more details); she cries in several scenes and he shouts. "That's the way I am!" and "You're mine!" A man says that his mother died when he was age four. A woman says that her father died when she was a baby and her mother is on "husband number four."
 A woman vomits into the gutter and we see yellow vomit hit the street. A woman at home is sick with the flu, with a flushed face, swollen eyes and swollen red nose.

PROFANITY 5 - About 7 F-words and its derivatives, 2 scatological terms, 5 mild obscenities, name-calling (Mrs. Robinson, gay, control freak, serial killer, sex slave, bossy, high-handed, odd, child abuser), stereotypical references to sexual predators, billionaire playboys, bondage enthusiasts, control freaks, female virgins, college students, men, women, parents, business executives, divorcees, gays, 11 religious exclamations (e.g. Oh My God, Dear God). [profanity glossary]

SUBSTANCE USE - A man says that his biological mother was a crack addict, a man insists on a contract with a woman that stipulates that she use no recreational drugs nor smoke or drink to excess, and a woman with a hangover awakens to find a bottle of Bufferin and a glass of orange juice on the nightstand and we see two Bufferin capsules set out and she swallows them with the juice. A woman drinks shots of liquor and beer with friends in a large bar where people are dancing, men and women drink shots of clear liquor and glasses of beer at tables littered with empty beer pitchers and glasses, a woman slurs her words and staggers in a bar after drinking, a man serves a woman wine and pours himself a glass as well and they both drink in several scenes in his or her apartment or his office, a woman sits with a glass of champagne and does not drink, men and women drink from glasses of wine art a family dinner, a woman at home holds a large glass of wine and does not drink, two women drink cosmos at a hotel, and a man pours two coffee cups full of champagne and they drink in a kitchen.

DISCUSSION TOPICS - Psychological imprisonment, submission, jealousy, relationships, love, families, sexual abuse, child abuse, obsessions, S & M lifestyle.

MESSAGE - For some people, a fine line exists between abuse and pleasure.

Special Keywords: S10 - V5 - P5 - 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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