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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

A modern-day adaptation set in Manhattan with Hamlet (Ethan Hawke) trying to avenge the death of his father, the CEO of the Denmark Corporation. Also with Kyle MacLachlan, Sam Shepard, Diane Venora, Bill Murray, Liev Schreiber, Julia Stiles, Steve Zahn, Jeffrey Wright, Casey Affleck, Karl Geary, Paula Malcomson and Dechen Thurman. [1:51]

SEX/NUDITY 4 - A little sexual innuendo and many kisses (most are fairly chaste, a few are passionate). A woman in a slip/nightgown sits behind her husband on a bed, unbuttons the top of his shirt, and kisses him passionately before he turns around and starts lying on top of her (the scene ends immediately afterwards). We see a film clip from what appears to be a pornographic movie: a man and woman wearing a slip kiss with their tongues, then we see the woman's facial expressions as she is presumably having intercourse. We see a classic painting of a nude female.

VIOLENCE/GORE 7 - A shot is fired at a mirror, then a person holding a bloody hand over one eye stumbles out from behind the mirror and falls face first on the ground (twice, we see an extremely bloody head wound with chunks of bone or brain lying in blood next to the head). Two people struggle over a gun, we hear two shots, then we see both people with very bloody clothing (we see one a few more times, with bloodier clothing and a bloody face). A person is shot several times; blood is visible on a railing when the body brushes against it while falling to the ground. Someone jumps into a pool, apparently trying to commit suicide, but it turns out to be a dream; however, in another scene we see a person floating in a fountain and then being pulled out after purposely drowning (we also see part of a grave-side funeral ceremony for this person). A person drinks poison and dies. A man puts points a gun at his head, under his chin, and into his mouth, but never pulls the trigger. In a film playing on a small TV in a video store, we see a large explosion and a man walking through very high flames; also, we see a film clip during which a man presumably drinks poison and begins stumbling while pretending to die. A man grabs another's jacket, pushes him, rolls down a hill with him, then briefly tries to choke him; a man with his arm wrapped around a woman's neck appears ready to strangle her with a sheet (he doesn't, though); a man shoves a woman to the floor, holds her around the neck, then pushes her face against a mirror; men grab another, shove him against a wall, then one man punches him very hard in the stomach; a woman slaps a man; a man grabs another's shirt and neck; a man grabs another's shoulders; a man pushes a woman; a man yells at others several times; and a man jumps into a grave and tries to open the casket. A person with bloody hands and a bloody shirt drags a corpse with a blood-soaked sheet covering its head (we see a small puddle of blood forming on the floor by the corpse's head at one point). Two people fence. Some threatening with guns.

PROFANITY 1 - A few mild obscenities. [profanity glossary]

DISCUSSION TOPICS - Murder, suicide, revenge, deception, apparitions, modern adaptations of Shakespeare, betrayal, grief, inner turmoil.

MESSAGE - Revenge is all-consuming and can have disastrous results.

Special Keywords: S4 - V7 - P1 - 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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