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Fight Club



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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

Brad Pitt and Edward Norton create a bare-fisted boxing club that evolves into a cult-like organization. Also with Helena Bonham Carter, Meat Loaf, Jared Leto, Zach Grenier, Eion Bailey, Ezra Buzzington, Richmond Arquette, Joel Bissonnette, Stuart Blumberg, Peter Iacangelo, Joon B. Kim, Holt McCallany, Evan Mirand and Rachel Singer. [2:19]

SEX/NUDITY 7 - Several instances of sexual innuendo (including references to masturbation and pornographic movies). We hear but don't see two people moaning and yelling while having intercourse for an extended period of time; we also see several used condoms floating in a toilet and a phallic sexual toy. We see some still-frames of a man and woman in sexual positions and a close up of a woman grabbing a man's crotch from behind (he's wearing boxer shorts). A man feels a woman's bare breast to check for lumps (we see the top of her bare breast) and they kiss briefly afterwards. We see a nude man's torso (some pubic hair is visible), full-frontal male nudity for a split-second (it's a single frame that's been spliced into the movie and has no context within the scene it interrupts), a still-frame of a woman's bare breasts and torso, two advertisements featuring a nude male's posterior, a man's bare back as he's bathing and lots of shirtless men. A man with testicular cancer has breasts due to his medication.

VIOLENCE/GORE 10 - We see a slow-motion scene of a man shooting himself in the mouth (the butt of the gun is in his mouth and the bullet appears to exit through his cheek); we see lots of blood on his cheek, neck and clothing. In an extended scene a man pours chemicals onto the back of another's hand and holds his wrist as the skin bubbles and bleeds and the man writhes in pain; in a later scene we see the scar on his hand, and we also see similar scars on a couple of other men's hands. About 15 scenes of men involved in bare-fisted boxing matches: they punch each other in the face, ears and stomach and are sometimes thrown to the ground or against a wall; often they're surrounded by a group of cheering men. The participants in these fights nearly always have at least one very bloody facial cut or have blood on their clothing; we see many men with black eyes, bruised faces, bloody mouths and bandages on their faces. During two of these fights a man's head is beaten on the ground repeatedly and another man's face is punched repeatedly until his face is covered in blood and nearly unrecognizable (he's later seen with a severely bruised, swollen face). A man is thrown against a ticket booth and a car, thrown down a staircase and kicked; in another scene, a man punches himself and throws himself onto a coffee table and into a bookcase (his face and clothing get very bloody). A man imagines the plane he's flying on is hit by another and we see many passengers being sucked out of the plane. A man who was shot in the head and killed is seen lying on a table (we see his very bloody head and clothing). A man's forehead is stitched after a fight (we don't see the wound, but we see the doctor's hand sewing it up). We see a crashed car and a burnt car; men graphically (and jokingly) describe how the passengers were killed and burned to death. A car runs off the road and rolls down a hill (we see the passengers being thrown around while the car is rolling). Several instances of threatening with guns and knives; in two scenes, a man is forcibly held down by several others who remove his pants and threaten to cut off his testicles. Men hit cars with baseballs bats and a sculpture crashes though a storefront's window. A screaming woman is forcefully carried by a group of men. A couple of explosions and fires: in one scene, we see many skyscrapers exploding and in another scene, a room in a building explodes and we see charred furniture appliances on the ground below. We see clear bags filled with bloody human fat; one of the bags breaks open and the fat pours onto a man. A man pulls out a loose tooth. A man spits blood on another and also appears to vomit on him. A man unzips his pants and urinates on food being prepared in a restaurant (it's implied that this is done several times). We see a man sitting on a toilet. We see several cars completely covered in bird feces.

PROFANITY 10 - Nearly 80 F-words, many anatomical references, many scatological references and numerous mild obscenities. [profanity glossary]

DISCUSSION TOPICS - Fighting, support groups (12-step programs), cancer, insomnia, consumerism, underground hate groups, cults, group-mentality, identity crises, doppelganger, psychology of power.

MESSAGE - We need to honestly confront out own demons in order to figure out who we are, who we want to become, and how to take control of our lives.

Special Keywords: S7 - V10 - 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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