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The Help [2011] [PG-13] - 3.4.4



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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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Based on the best-selling novel by Kathryn Stockett, taking place during the early days of the Civil Rights movement: an aspiring newspaper reporter and proper young southern woman (Emma Stone) is inspired by her upbringing in Jackson, Mississippi to write a book from the perspective of the African-American household help. Also with Viola Davis, Bryce Dallas Howard, Octavia Spencer, Jessica Chastain, and Allison Janney. Directed by Tate Taylor. [2:17]

SEX/NUDITY 3 - A woman wears a cleavage exposing dress and short shorts; a man approaches her, grabs her behind and makes an implied sexual remark about being "hungry," and we see him kissing and hugging her.
 We see a couple dancing and the man's arms are around the woman's chest and he kisses her neck. A young man and a young woman kiss. A young man kisses a young woman. A man kisses a woman on the cheek. A young man places his hand on top of a young woman's hand.
 A woman wears a cleavage exposing, form-fitting dress; a woman remarks that men will look at her, a man stares at the woman's behind and another woman physically turns his face away. The bare chest and back of a young girl is seen as a woman pulls on a skirt over the girl's underwear. We see the bare chest of a young girl as a woman places her on a changing table. A young girl's underpants are seen around her ankles as she uses the toilet (no nudity is visible). A young woman is instructed by her mother to help her unzip her dress, we see the older woman wearing a slip and full-coverage girdle and we see a small portion of the top of the young woman's slip and bra strap as she pulls on a dress.
 A woman asks her adult daughter if she is attracted to men, and then hints that the young woman might be a lesbian and that the young woman's "unnatural feelings" could be cured. A young woman jokes to several people that she is sexually attracted to women but can be "cured." A woman tells another woman that her husband had not "fooled around" with her while he was dating the other woman. A woman tells another woman that people know she had gotten married due to being pregnant. A young woman's voiceover explains that a woman cannot nurse a child in a room where an African American man had been.

VIOLENCE/GORE 4 - A woman breaks through a locked bathroom door, and we see another woman lying on the floor and blood is smeared on the toilet seat, the floor and the woman's clothing; the woman asks, "Why is there so much blood?" and it is implied that the woman had a miscarriage.
 Two police officers grab a woman, she struggles, and one of the police officers slams her body onto the hood of a police cruiser and lifts up a baton; it is implied that the police officer beats her but we do not see the woman being struck and we see another woman being restrained by a police officer as she shouts and watches in horror.
 During a phone conversation between two women, an unseen man attacks one of the women, and we see a pot being thrown at the woman and hear screams as the other woman on the phone listens; a man's voice is heard shouting, we then hear a woman crying and we hear a voiceover explaining that a woman was worried that the other woman's husband would kill her one day.
 A young woman throws a cigarette at another young woman, she shouts at the young woman and charges toward her, and hits the young woman twice before being interrupted by the young woman's mother.
 A woman throws a grocery bag at a man as he approaches her, and she grabs a stick and waves it in the air, threatening him; the man calms the woman down and assures her that he is not going to injure her.
 A young woman appears about to hit a woman, she shouts at the woman and a man has to pull the woman away after telling the young woman to calm down. A young woman kicks another young woman under a table and the young woman yelps lightly.
 A woman has a bloody cut on her swollen eyebrow and another woman implies that she knows that a man had harmed her; the woman winces in pain as the other woman cleans her wound.
 A woman describes to another woman and a young woman how she had given a young woman a pie, the young woman eats two slices and as she is eating her final slice the woman who gave her the pie implies to the young woman that she had baked her own feces into the pie; we see the young woman act disgusted and hear her make retching noises as her mother watches and laughs.
 We see a woman comforting a crying young girl as leaves blow into a room through a broken window and the woman's voiceover explains that 18 people had been killed during the tornado.
 A woman runs, falls, picks herself up and we see dirt on her clothing and it is implied that she injured her knees -- another woman is later seen helping the woman clean her unseen wounds. A young woman almost stumbles down a flight of stairs but she catches herself. A young girl cries and beats a window with her fists as a woman watches and walks away.
 A woman runs into a room where her adult daughter is sleeping, and the woman shouts and grabs the young woman, who wakes up in a panic; her mother calms her down. A woman shouts at her adult daughter, the young woman storms out of a room and the woman remarks that her "cancerous ulcer" has been upset by her daughter. A young woman screams loudly and we continue to hear her scream echo through a house. A young woman shouts at her mother and grabs a stitching sampler from her hands. A young woman shouts at another young woman. A man shouts at a woman. A young woman shouts at a man and shoves him out of the way. A woman shouts at a woman and a young woman, saying that they give her "heart palpitations." A woman speaks angrily to another woman, and gets very close to her face, causing her to look frightened and the woman then walks away.
 A woman explains that her son had been killed: He had fallen while carrying wood, a truck ran over him, the driver of the truck threw the young man's body in the back and took him to a hospital where they could not fix his crushed lungs and so she brought him home to die. A woman's voiceover explains that her adult son had died. A woman tells a young woman that a young boy's mother had died from a lung infection. A woman tells a young woman that the anniversary day of her son's death causes her to "stop breathing." A woman's voiceover explains that another woman had helped her overcome her depression from the death of her son.
 A woman sits with several children and listens to a radio report about a man being shot; the reporter describes how a bullet had entered the man's back and exploded in his body. Two women tearfully listen to the radio as an announcer explains that the KKK was responsible for a man's shooting. A man tells many people on a bus that a man had been shot and we see police lights and a group of people investigating the area. We hear television reports and radio reports and see newspaper and magazine headlines about a man being shot.
 As a woman explains to another woman that she had two previous miscarriages, we see her burying a shoebox (implied to contain the remains of her miscarriage) and covering it with a rose bush; next to the burial area are two other rosebushes, implied to be the burial area of the two previous miscarriages. A man tells a woman that his wife had told him about her previous miscarriages, and that the woman is helping his wife get better.
 On multiple occasions (including being written into a book which is discussed at length, read aloud in excerpt form from a book by a woman to a group of women, and implied by a nickname and told by a woman to another woman), the story of a woman baking her own feces into a pie that was eaten by a young woman is repeated. A young woman is reminded by her mother that she had eaten the feces of another woman, and we see the woman clutching her stomach in disgust.
 A woman tells a young woman that her cousin's car has been set on fire. A woman tells a young woman that she "might as well" set her own house on fire due to fear of people discovering she is speaking to the young woman. A woman tells another woman and a young woman that a bomb had been thrown in a woman's carport. A woman tells another woman that she is worried that a man will catch her and "shoot her dead." An older woman tells a young woman that a man had stood before her with a shotgun and threatened to shoot her for walking on his property. A woman tearfully warns another woman that they could be killed, and then graphically describes how the women could be tortured and pulled behind cars by their heads as their children watch. A young woman warns another young woman that she would be in "real trouble" with racists (implied to be the KKK). A woman tells another woman that she would hit a man with a frying pan if he tried to physically abuse her again. A woman warns her teenage daughter to not physically punish the child she was watching, because the parents like to smack their children themselves. A young woman threatens to have a woman arrested for theft, saying that she will have the woman thrown in jail. Several women laugh at a woman, causing her to cry.
 A young woman tells a group of other young women that people of another race should use a different toilet due to the "different diseases" that African Americans could transmit. On multiple occasions women are asked if they like having their own separate toilets, the women respond that they do and we see a toilet attached to the outside of a house in a carport. A young woman tells a woman to use a toilet in a pool house. A young woman tells a man that another young woman had told her that people must insist on hired help using a separate toilet. A woman tells a young woman that she had worked for a family until the older mother died and was then "willed" to the younger daughter as though she were property. On multiple occasions a young woman tells another young woman that her mother is ill. A young woman tells two women that her mother is ill. A woman, who has cancer, tells her adult daughter that she is feeling better and plans on not dying. A woman tells a teenage girl that she is not "dead in the ground." A young woman half-jokingly asks a young man if he had been dropped on his head as a child. A young woman sarcastically tells a woman to put her older mother in a chair "before she breaks a hip." A woman half-jokingly tells another woman that she wishes a young woman would die, and the other woman jokingly says that the woman could blow up if she lights a cigarette due to her excessive use of hairspray. A woman jokingly tells her adult daughter that she could write her obituary. A young woman asks a woman if another woman had ever yelled at her in front of a child and the woman changes the subject.
 It is implied that a woman chops the head off a chicken; we see a woman watching another woman carrying a chicken and an axe, and the woman makes a disgusted face as the sound of a chicken squawking is heard. A woman jokes that a chicken is dead when she shakes the pieces of the chicken in a brown paper bag.
 We hear the sound of vomit hitting the ground and the sound of retching as a woman runs out of room; an older woman says napkins are needed to clean the mess as other women make disgusted faces.
 We see a woman coaxing a young girl on a toilet: the sound of urinating is heard, and a woman walks into the bathroom and lifts up the child (nothing is visible). A young girl is seen sitting on a toilet on a front lawn, and a woman shouts at the young girl and lifts her off the toilet with her underpants around her ankles. We see a woman about to sit on a toilet. A woman flushes a toilet. We see a woman sitting on a toilet, covered in sweat. A woman's voiceover explains that she had been responsible for taking children to use the toilet. A woman's voiceover explains, as we see the woman implied to be changing a young girl's diaper and making a disgusted face, that the young girl would wear the same dirty diaper for ten hours a night, and be forced to "sleep in her own mess."
 A woman tells another woman that Crisco can be used to help a man's "scaly feet." An older woman points to a cold sore on a young woman's face and says that she does not want people to catch the woman's sores.

PROFANITY 4 - 7 scatological terms, 2 anatomical terms, 2 sexual terms, 17 mild obscenities, 9 derogatory racial terms, name-calling (crazy, tacky, fools, lazy thing, greasy stinky men, stupid, disgusting, rude, jerk, drunken, thief, sweaty mess, mean old woman, white trash, selfish, sass mouth, raggedy, thievin', godless woman), exclamations (shoot, for crying out loud, oh gosh, shut up, dog gone it), 4 religious profanities, 13 religious exclamations. [profanity glossary]

SUBSTANCE USE - A young woman drives erratically when she drinks a beer while driving, men and women are seen drinking liquor as well as wine and champagne with dinner and at parties, a young man orders a drink and a young woman says he should order the entire bottle of liquor, a young man drinks liquor rapidly, a young woman tells her mother that a man is a "drunk," a woman drinks multiple drinks at a party, and a man warns a woman to stop drinking so much and we later see the woman acting intoxicated when she pulls on another woman's arm and rips the sleeve of her dress. Throughout the film we see women and men smoking cigarettes, and a man makes a remark to a young woman that he thinks cigarettes "will kill you."

DISCUSSION TOPICS - Segregation, racism, injustice, misrepresentation, slander, Mississippi in the 1960s, courage, bravery, disappointment, death of a family member, the JFK assassination, Martin Luther King Jr., Civil Rights, pride, slavery, differences in people, the KKK, learning to overcome obstacles.

MESSAGE - The Civil Rights movement was a very important, a very necessary, and a very long battle in the southern United States.

Special Keywords: S3 - V4 - P4 - MPAAPG-13

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