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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

Robert De Niro plays a homophobic retired security guard who takes singing lessons from a drag queen (Philip Seymour Hoffman) after suffering a serious stroke. Also with Barry Miller, Wanda De Jesus, Skipp Sudduth, Daphne Rubin-Vega, Wilson Jermaine Heredia, Nashom Benjamin, Christopher Bauer and Scott Cooper. [1:51]

SEX/NUDITY 5 - Lots of graphic sexual innuendo and talk, including references to fellatio and prostitution. Two obviously post-coitus scenes: in one, we see a woman in bed and in the other we see a man and woman in bed (no nudity is visible). We see dancers in cleavage-revealing tops, a scantily clad woman in a phone-sex commercial and a cake in the shape of a woman's breasts.

VIOLENCE/GORE 5 - Gunfire is exchanged in one scene; two people are killed but we don't see them being shot. A man is shot in the shoulder (we later see the wound covered with a slightly bloody bandage) and a man is stabbed in the leg and then shot (he dies). A man pierces another's foot with a high heel and later stabs him in the head with it (it's implied that the man is killed). A man collapses during a shoot-out; we think he's been shot but later learn he's had a stroke. Men kill a pet bird, some men repeatedly punch and kick a man, a man is restrained by several others and repeatedly punched in the stomach and a man is punched in the nose (it gets slightly bloody). A man slams another's head into the floor, a woman kicks a man, a man drops a flower pot on another's head, two men fall down a staircase while scuffling and a man knocks another down some steps with a wheelchair. Several men chase a woman and hold her against a wall and two groups of men scuffle. Many instances of threatening with guns and a few people are nearly shot; also, a man holds a gun to his own head.

PROFANITY 10 - More than 150 F-words, lots of anatomical references, lots of scatological references, several mild obscenities, lots of insults and name-calling. [profanity glossary]

DISCUSSION TOPICS - Stroke victims, drag queens, homophobia, homosexuality, intolerance and tolerance, drug dealers, drug use, prostitution, infidelity, murder, abuse, suicidal thoughts.

MESSAGE - Everyone deserves a second chance; we often fear and even hate what we don't know or don't understand.

Special Keywords: S5 - V5 - 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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