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Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone



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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: PG

The first movie adaptation of J.K. Rowling's phenomenally popular children's novels: Harry Potter (Daniel Radcliffe) has had to live with his abusive aunt, uncle and cousin since his wizard parents where killed by a powerful, dark wizard when he was a little boy. But now he's eleven-years-old and he's taken to Hogwarts, the English boarding school for young wizards, where he realizes that he's rather special. Also with Rupert Grint, Emma Watson, Richard Harris, Robbie Coltrane, Alan Rickman, Maggie Smith, Ian Hart and John Cleese. [2:32]

SEX/NUDITY 0 - None.

VIOLENCE/GORE 4 - A woman is killed by a wizard; we see a flash of light shooting from his wand and hear the woman scream. A boy grabs a man's hand and it begins to smolder and eventually crumbles to dust, he then grabs the man's face and head and his entire body crumbles to dust; the dust then swirls into a cloud which flies through the boy's abdomen and knocks him to the ground unconscious. We see the huge shadow of a troll on a wall as he walks down a hall; the troll finds a girl in a restroom, he swings a huge club and breaks stalls and sinks, while the girl is hiding; a boy jumps on the troll's head and is thrashed back-and-forth, and the boy shoves his wand up the troll's nose (there's some slimy nose goo stuck to the wand when it is removed). The troll holds the boy upside down by the foot and attempts to hit him with his club, but the club hits the troll on the head knocking him out. A man has a decrepit, creepy-looking face on the back of his head (it talks about living as a parasite off the man) and it threatens a boy; the parasitic face orders his host to kill the boy, and he lunges at him and grabs him around the throat. A boy finds a dead unicorn lying in a forest with a dark, cloaked creature leaning over it and slurping its blood; we very briefly see dripping fangs from under the hood of the cloak. The cloaked creature floats toward the boy threateningly and it turns back when a centaur jumps out from the darkness. Three young people are stranded on a chess board, where the pawns keep them from exiting by drawing their swords; the children play out the game with pieces slamming and slashing each other into rubble and a boy "sacrifices" himself (he is knocked down). A boy is dive-bombed by winged keys and as he makes his escape and closes a door behind him the keys lodge into the outside of the door. Three children fall into a pit which is covered with vines that begin to wrap around them as they writhe and yell. A man grabs a boy by the hair, shoves him around, throws him into his room and locks the door. A boy runs from a man who grabs him and the boy struggles to get away. Three young people find a sleeping three-headed dog who wakes up; the children run screaming, the dog barks, growls and pounds on a door the children close behind them. A three-headed dog looms over and drools on three children as they peer into a dark passageway; it barks and snaps at them as they run through the passageway. We hear loud banging at a door and the people inside the house are frightened when a giant breaks the door down. A boy opens a book, a face bulges out of the pages and screams. We see creepy, cobweb-covered statues and torches light by themselves. A girl sets a man's coat on fire. A ghost pulls on his head and his neck separates (we see what looks like tissue) with a squishy sound. A man is threatened with a shotgun, and he bends the end of it so when it is fired the shot goes through the ceiling. A boy falls into a snake's cage at a zoo and is trapped behind the glass; the snake crawls out of the cage and slithers past screaming patrons on its way outside. There's a very fast ball game played on broomsticks; children fly through the air, one flies into the stands and crashes to the ground, another falls to the ground after being hit by a ball, and there are some punches and shoving. One boy catches a ball in his mouth and acts like he is going to vomit, opens his mouth and spits the ball out. A boy's broom is jinxed and it tries to dump him off by spinning and lurching. A boy flies his broomstick uncontrollably; he runs into a wall, dangles from a rooftop and falls to the ground, breaking his wrist. A ball flies fast toward a boy who catches it in the stomach and falls to the ground with it. A boy talks about his parents having been killed. We see a lightning bolt-shaped scar on a baby's forehead, a man has a bloody scrape on his knee, and a boy has a bloody forehead, nose and hand. There are references to painful death and torture, and descriptions of how a boy's parents were killed by a dark wizard. There are many tense, and several ominous, scenes: children walk through a dark forest, there are scary noises and menacing music, boats full of children float across dark water toward a castle, ghosts pop up through a dining table and fly around, a cat morphs into a woman, a torrent of letters fly through a fireplace and cover a room, staircases shift, portraits become animated, and a boy is turned into stone. Two boys insult and threaten each other, and a boy grows a small coiled tail. Chess pieces become animated and break each other apart. Goblins have pointed noses, ears, teeth and very long fingers, a huge troll has green, bumpy skin, a woman has yellow eyes, a cat has red eyes, and we see a creepy-looking caretaker (he has bad teeth and angry eyes). A man dips his fingers into a puddle (it looks like quicksilver) and explains that it is unicorn blood. A shell opens, a baby dragon covered with slime comes out, it sneezes and singes a man's beard. There are a couple of conversations about vomit- and booger-flavored jelly beans, and chocolate frogs (they seem alive, or at least animated). A boy is locked in a cupboard. A few explosions.

PROFANITY 2 - 1 anatomical term, 7 mild obscenities, several insults, 3 religious exclamations. [profanity glossary]

DISCUSSION TOPICS - Death of parents, abusive relatives, wizards, witches and sorcery, the love of a mother, elitism, immortality, levitation, potions, parasites, ghosts, celebrity.

MESSAGE - You may be more special that you think you are. Don't let unpleasant people put you down, and don't judge by appearances. Evil exists.

Special Keywords: S0 - V4 - P2 - MPAAPG

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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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