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High Fidelity



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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

John Cusack plays a recently jilted, thirtysomething record store owner who seeks closure on his past relationships and insight into his murky future. Based on a novel by Nick Hornby. Also with Iben Hjejle, Todd Louiso, Jack Black, Lisa Bonet, Catherine Zeta-Jones, Joan Cusack, Tim Robbins, Lili Taylor, Joelle Carter, Sara Gilbert, Natasha Gregson Wagner, Bruce Springsteen, Chris Rehmann and Ben Carr. [1:53]

SEX/NUDITY 6 - Lots of sexual innuendo and several kisses, sometimes passionate. A man imagines (and we see on the screen) a close-up of a man's hand running up the side of a woman's bare thigh and buttocks, a shirtless man standing in back of a topless woman and fondling her breasts (his hands completely cover her breasts) and a bare-backed woman straddling and thrusting into a man who's standing (their moans and movements are exaggerated and played for laughs). Some scenes in which a man and woman are either pre- or post-coitus but the act isn't seen: a couple of times a man and woman kiss passionately (either in bed or elsewhere), a shirtless man is seen in bed with a woman, and a woman straddles a man in the front seat of a car and kisses him passionately. We hear a bed squeaking, implying that a couple is having intercourse. In one scene we see many teenagers kissing at a party; during the scene a boy touches a girl's clothed breasts and puts his hand up her skirt, but she pushes his hand away. A man moves his hips rhythmically and pretends as if he's fondling a woman's breasts and spanking her. A woman takes off her shirt and her bra (we see, from the back, the bottom part of her bare breast). We see some women wearing cleavage-revealing tops, a small part of a man's upper buttocks when he bends over in too-small pants and a man and woman wrapped in sheets.

VIOLENCE/GORE 3 - In a dream sequence played for laughs, a man is punched and kicked repeatedly by three men and hit in the head with a phone and a TV (we see blood on his face). A man grabs another and shoves him against a rack, a man slaps another and grabs his shirt, a man rips posters off a wall, a man falls over a counter and a man falls over a fence. A skateboarder runs into a man's leg and the man then swings at him with a bag. We see a small explosion in a high school chemistry class (no one is injured).

PROFANITY 10 - About 55 F-words, lots of anatomical references, many scatological references, a couple of mild obscenities, several insults and a profane finger gesture. [profanity glossary]

DISCUSSION TOPICS - Romantic relationships, failed relationships, cheating, the impact music can have on our lives, the music industry, death of a loved one, abortion.

MESSAGE - At some point you have to accept and commit to the realities of a relationship and stop comparing it to and expecting it to be a fantasy relationship.

Special Keywords: S6 - V3 - 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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