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The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest [2010] [R] - 8.7.5



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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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In the third part of the "Millennium Trilogy" a woman (Noomi Rapce), a reporter (Michael Nyqvist) and his sister and attorney (Annika Hallin) gather evidence against a rogue section of Sweden's Secret Services and a Soviet defector (Georgi Staykov) they are protecting. As the evidence builds from 1960 onwards, with drug trafficking, prostitution, pornography and gunrunning, threats and attempts on their lives increase. Also with Lena Endre, Sofia Ledarp, Jacob Eriksson, Askel Morisse, Niklas Hjulstrom, Anders Ahlbom and Micke Preitz. Directed by Daniel Alfredson. In Swedish with English subtitles. [2:27]

SEX/NUDITY 8 - We see footage played in court of a young woman tied facedown on a bed, her buttocks and thighs bare and visible while a man (he's supposed to be her guardian) beats her buttocks with a strap; we hear her loud groans and screams, suggesting anal rape.
 A computer hacker finds hundreds of child pornography photos on a man's laptop in a hotel room; we see girls about 10 to 12 years old with bare chests (some with small breasts), and bare thighs, legs, and feet; all are in prone or kneeling positions (none are engaged in sex acts).
 A woman wears a black bra under a white blouse and the bra, as well as cleavage, is visible. We see two nude human statues, one standing and one crouching on a desk (we do not see any details).
 We hear that a psychiatrist restrained a pre-teen girl illegally in a bed for 381 days; he says that it is essential to touch children during the treatment process -- this suggests sexual abuse, although we do not see anything. A man is arrested and led away to jail on 8,000 counts of child pornography possession and distribution.
 A man and a woman kiss each other briefly twice.
 A man and a woman consider staying in a hotel to sleep, but they decide to go to their separate homes and we later see the man wearing a T-shirt and underwear as he gets into bed alone.
 A man says that another man had a fling with a German woman, producing a son that is a goon.

VIOLENCE/GORE 7 - A man is shot in the head three times (we see a small amount of blood on the forehead) and the shooter sits in a chair, shoots himself in the jaw and we see a large blotch of blood on the wall behind him as he slumps over.
 We see DVD footage of a woman restrained face-down on a bed, her buttocks and thighs bare, and we hear her groans and screams; a man beats her buttocks with a strap and when the camera pans away we hear a deep grunt and a scream, suggesting anal rape.
 A man lying on a road with one hand bandaged and bloody attacks two police officers kicking one and breaking the neck of the other; he then steals a handgun from one officer and takes their car. A man kills another man sitting on the edge of a canal by striking him in the face with a brick (we do not see the injury, but we see the man fall into the water). A man in a hospital bed is shot in the head.
 We see a flashback of a man on fire, falling from the driver's seat of a car onto a street. A man is bloody from the top of his head to his waist, riding in a medical helicopter and breathing with an oxygen mask; he then says, "You came here to kill me" to someone we cannot see. A woman with hands tied behind her and lying on a floor is shown with blood over her face. We see a man dead in a bed with blood between his eyes. We see two incisions made in a skull, and later an open skull and a brain from an overhead view; a diamond-shaped plate and a bullet are removed from the brain. We see a flashback of someone dragging a man across a warehouse floor and the camera cuts to a woman's face covered with blood; she's lying on the floor.
 A man drives a car with a woman tied up and gagged in the passenger seat and as he drives fast, he pushes her out of the car and onto the pavement; the scene ends abruptly. A man stands outside a hospital window and fires a gun at a woman inside, but she ducks and is not struck. A man chases a woman around a factory, she jumps from a ledge to a stack of crates and into some large boxes, and she uses a nail gun to nail a man's feet to the floor; she threatens to also drive nails in the back of his head, but leaves. A woman talks how at age 12 her psychiatrist tied her to her bed, by her wrists and ankles, for 381 days; we see a flashback of her struggling against the leather restraints.
 Four bikers with rifles enter a building and we hear later that the man inside the building was killed. A man carrying an automatic rifle walks into a restaurant, another man bumps him, and the first man shoots a large wall full of liquor bottles by mistake; broken glass covers the floors, the second man suffers a minor face cut and we see blood on his eye and lip. A rushing car nearly hits a baby carriage, but misses it as the mother pulls the carriage back.
 A hospitalized woman pulls her IV lines out of her arm and hides in a bathroom after hearing shots in the hallway. A woman is shown in bed with a head bandage and with bandages around both ankles and we hear that she suffered gunshot wounds to her head, shoulder and hip. An X-ray shows a bullet in someone's head.
 A man carries a handgun on the passenger seat of his car. A man opens his apartment door with a statue in his hand and nearly hits a visitor, thinking it is a burglar. A SWAT team breaks into an office and arrests two men. A man is arrested at a restaurant and struggles as he is led away by police. A man is arrested in his driveway and goes quietly. Two policewomen walk a woman from her hospital room to their cruiser and we next see her in a bare jail cell. At a police checkpoint, we see police officers checking all the cars with flashlights.
 Several scenes depict attorneys and reporters doing surveillance on a criminal organization and the organization doing the same with the attorneys and reporters, as they discuss killing a woman. A man on a moped drives past a woman and grabs her bag. A man finds that his has been burglarized and court documents are missing.
 A man says that a woman "has to go," meaning she must be killed. A man tells another man, "I will destroy you." Two men enter a house, find a man dead and a woman bloody and state that the perpetrator is dead meat and will pay. A man writes threatening letters to another man saying that he is in danger of being murdered. A woman receives several emails warning her to stop investigating a case. A psychiatrist talks to a hospital doctor about a patient, claiming that she's a paranoid schizophrenic and they argue. A man says that a woman must be convicted and sentenced to lifetime psychiatric commitment in order to protect state secrets. A man asks if a woman planned to kill her father and she refuses to answer. A man talks about having dialysis 5 hours every other day and will die soon. An old man says he has 3 months to live (he has liver cancer). A woman says that a huge tattoo of a dragon on her back took many hours and produced a lot of pain. We hear that a man had beaten a woman's mother and beat the woman as a girl; the girl then had thrown gasoline on him and lit it. A man says, "She and her mother were abused. I have documents to prove it. A man says that as a 12-year-old, she was illegally committed to a mental institute." Two investigators talk about a case being like a Greek tragedy -- the father and brother try to kill the sister, but she rises from the grave and tries to kill the father with an axe. A man says, "She tried to kill her father with an axe. That is attempted murder." Several reporters argue about a case they are covering and one tells the others, "No job is worth dying for." We hear that several men are charged with murder. Two men argue during a court case, with one stating that the other illegally committed a woman. A man asks a woman if she remembers biting his finger.
 A woman is led into a courtroom, and she is dressed in Goth clothing and makeup that includes a black jumpsuit, large spiked collar, tall Mohawk hairstyle, and black platform boots, with lots of heavy necklaces, piercings and black eye makeup.

PROFANITY 5 - About 2 F-words, 9 scatological references, 2 anatomical references, 16 mild obscenities, name-calling (rotten, evil, fools, idiots, screwy, insane, liar, absurd, headstrong, goon, giant, shrinks, rogue, warped, grotesque, nasty character, egoist, jerk, pig, outrageous, dangerous, paranoid, sociopath, offensive, freak), stereotypical references to women, men, victims of abuse, police officers, government authorities, secret agents, reporters, Goth fashion, Soviets, senior citizens, 3 religious profanities, 3 religious exclamations. [profanity glossary]

SUBSTANCE USE - Surveillance tapes show a man planting cocaine in another man's apartment, and investigators discuss a Soviet drug trafficker. A man sits in front of a glass of ale at a restaurant (we do not see him drink), two women are shown drinking from a glass of beer and a glass of wine respectively, a restaurant scene features glasses of beer and wine on diners' tables (no one is shown drinking), and a man drinks an alcoholic drink in his office. A woman lights and smokes a cigarette, a woman in a hospital bed asks a visitor for a cigarette and the visitor asks a nurse for a nicotine patch, a woman in a jail cell asks a police officer for a cigarette, and a woman uses smokeless tobacco called "snus" between her upper lip and gums and then removes it and tosses it on a floor.

DISCUSSION TOPICS - Abuse, rape, sexual assault, child pornography, prostitution, malpractice, murder, violence, blackmail, danger, government collusion, drug trafficking, Soviet defection, crime syndicates, courage, justice.

MESSAGE - Crime and abuse may run rampant, but justice can prevail.

Special Keywords: S8 - V7 - 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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