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High-Rise [2016] [R] - 10.8.5



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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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After moving into a new high-rise apartment building, a successful doctor (Tom Hiddleston) begins to encounter the strange and erratic behavior of his neighbors. Also with Jeremy Irons, Sienna Miller, Luke Evans, Elisabeth Moss, James Purefoy, Keeley Hawes and Peter Ferdinando. Directed by Ben Wheatley. [1:59]

SEX/NUDITY 10 - A woman performs oral sex on a man in a crowded room and we see her head bobbing rhythmically as nude and partially nude people are seen in the room around them (we see bare breasts, male genitals, buttocks, abdomens, legs backs and legs). A man and a woman have sex on a balcony and the woman leans back over the wall a couple of times, her dress falls open to expose her bare breasts and the man thrusts; he lays the woman back on a table, kisses between her thighs, then thrusts again until they are interrupted by the woman's young son (the man struggles to zip his trousers). A man and a woman have sex and we see her bare breasts and his bare back and buttocks as he thrusts while standing. A man and a woman have sex in a crowded market and while other people walk around them (bare back, chest, breasts and buttocks are seen). A man and a married and pregnant woman have sex while clothed and standing and he thrusts from behind her as they both moan. A clothed man clothed has sex with a woman (we see her bare legs wrapped around his waist) as his wife watches them.
 A man, nude from the waist down (we see his bare buttock in profile), stands behind a woman who has her leg raised (we see her bare leg to the hip) implying sex (we see no movement). We see a video of a man having sex with a woman. A woman in a crowded room asks who is going to have anal sex with her (using crude terms) and gets on her hands and knees while men gather around her (we do not see sex occur). A man grabs a woman by the leg and she struggles against him, and he drags her by the foot into another room where it is implied that he rapes her; we see her later with a badly bruised and bloody face (please see the Violence/Gore category for more details). A topless woman lies back on a man's lap (we see her bare breasts and abdomen and the man caresses her breast).
 We see a close-up of a man and a woman kissing (we see tongues and strings of saliva). A husband kisses his wife's forehead.
 A married man lying on a floor moves toward the bare legs of a seated woman and appears to nuzzle them (nothing else is shown). A married man attempts to seduce a woman and talks about wanting to get between her thighs and that she is "perfectly breasted"; she rebuffs him. A married woman goes into a bathroom with a man who is not her husband at a party (sex is implied) and her husband sees her and seems upset. A woman wearing bra, panties and pantyhose (cleavage and abdomen are seen) climbs into a bed with another woman and they lie together while drinking something from a large bowl (it is not clear if sex occurs).
 A man dreams of dancing with several flight attendants (all wearing uniforms) and he presses his hips and groin against the clothed buttocks of one woman and then shimmies his hips. Men and women are shown dancing together at a party. A woman leads a man onto a balcony where they talk and drinks and smoke.
 A man sunbathes nude on his balcony and we see his bare chest, abdomen, legs and side of his buttocks (his genitals are covered by reading material); he is startled and stands up (please see the Violence/Gore category for more details) as a woman on the balcony above him sees him and remarks about him being a good specimen (we see his bare shoulders, chest, abdomen, back, buttocks and legs and his genitals are covered). A man showers in a couple of scenes and we see his bare shoulders, upper chest and abdomen. Several women and many children are shown wearing swimsuits while swimming in a few swimming pool scenes (we see cleavage, abdomens and legs). A man is shown wearing a tank T-shirt and briefs. A man zips up the fly of his trousers as other men move boxes into an apartment (we see no nudity). Women wear low-cut dresses that reveal cleavage in a few scenes. A bare-chested man is shown with lipstick circles drawn around his nipples. A man undresses to his briefs (we see his bare shoulders, chest, abdomen and legs).
 A man makes reference to another man having sex with a woman using crude terms. A woman tells a man, "You look much better without your clothes on." A man speaks to another man at a party and the second man says, "I'm an orthodontist, not a homosexual." A man says, "Women would help the planet if they would keep their legs crossed."

VIOLENCE/GORE 8 - Several women with knives stand around a man and stab him repeatedly (we see him flinching and blood sprays and stains the blades). A man with a cane strikes another man who shoos him in the abdomen (we see blood on his shirt and a pool of blood collects under him). A man punches another man in the face twice, then straddles him on the floor and beats him repeatedly (we see his bloody face later); another man tries to pull the punching man away and he is struck in the nose.
 A severed head is shown on an autopsy table and a man cuts the scalp (we see a line of blood), pulse back the skin, uses a saw to cut the skull and a hammer and chisel to open the skull as students watch and one collapses onto the floor (hitting his head); we see the skin being peeled off the head again in another scene. A man pulls back a curtain to show a dead man with a bloody head and an empty TV case over his head as the man says, "The rot has set in." Many dead and decaying bodies are seen in and around a swimming pool. An electric kitchen knife is seen on the ground with blood splatter on a wall behind it as a fur covered leg turns on a spit over a fire (it is suggested that the leg is that of a dog). A young boy finds a severed ear on a staircase (we see blood on it).
 A man grabs a woman by the leg and she struggles against him, and he drags her by the foot into another room where it is implied that he rapes her; we see her later with a badly bruised and bloody face. A man is grabbed and attacked by three other men and we see him with a bloody face as a towel is shoved into his mouth. Two men fight over a can of paint and one punches the other repeatedly (we see his bloody face and one man's bloody hands); a young boy tells one of the men, "You broke his eyeball."
 A man with a golf club chases a dog and apparently hits it (we hear the dog yelp and see it with a bloody head later). A husband strikes his wife in the face and she falls to the floor (no blood). Many people fight and we see them wrestling, punching each other, kicking each other and one woman hits a man on the head with a ketchup bottle. An unconscious and bloodied man is pushed in a shopping cart and tipped over onto a pile of garbage (we see him revive later). A woman on a treadmill is struck by another person and she falls on the floor; her husband strikes the people around her and they leave together.
 A woman holds a gun on a man and then hands the gun to the man. A man shoves another man and takes his briefcase, and then punches him in the stomach and kicks him in the face. A woman backhands her husband across the face. A man shoves another man. A man falls against a wall while playing racquet ball and a scar on his head trickles blood. A man cuts himself shaving and we see a bit of blood on his shirt collar.
 A man stands on a balcony and falls off (apparently committing suicide); we see him fall silently and slam into a car below caving in the hood and breaking the windshield (we see blood trickle from his nose and mouth and see blood on the car hood and ground later after the body is removed). A man holds a dog under water in a swimming pool and drowns it; we see it lying dead on the side of the pool later as its human companion cries uncontrollably.
 Two men carry a pregnant woman up a flight of stairs as she struggles and screams; we see the woman in labor and giving birth (we see the infant after delivery and covered with goo). A woman on a balcony drops a bottle onto the balcony below where a man sunbathes (please see the Sex/Nudity category for more details) and he jumps up after being startled. A man steals a lipstick from a woman's purse at a party. Children drop scoops of ice cream over a balcony and onto the windshield of a car below. Children charge into a pool area where adults are gathered for a party; the adults soon leave. A man is trapped in an elevator and punches the mirrored control panel breaking it (we see no injuries).
 A woman complains, "My daughter was interfered with," to a group of people arguing over the power going off in an apartment building and the daughter says, "He shoved a Financial Times in my mouth." A woman yells at another woman and complains later that she is asking for the money that she is owed for cleaning the yelling woman's apartment. A man talks about his sister having died. A man talks about his leg or back being crushed by a reversing truck and we see him walking with a limp and using a cane. A man asks a young boy, "Why don't you have a father?" A young boy asks a man if he killed his family. A young boy says, "Heaven's not real." A boy asks a man, "Why didn't you punch him?" A man threatens another man, "I'll pull your teeth out through your ears." A man records himself on a tape player and we hear him sounding more and more like an animal. A woman says, "He's raping people." People discuss whether to lobotomize a man for his violent behavior, "For the good of the building." A man says, "We'll eat the rest of the dog."
 A man stumbles (he appears inebriated) and uses a lighter to light his way in a darkened room. Two cars speed through a parking lot and one cuts the other off to park in a parking space. A man runs while pushing another man in a wheelchair through hallways.
 A bird defecates on a man's shoulder and we see goo on his clothing. We see a pile of dog feces on a thick carpet as a woman scrubs the mess. A man says of another man that he defecated in a man's brief case. A man talks about wiping his backside. Crates of molded fruit are seen in a market. A man pounds on a door and yells and we see spittle splatter the door. Many filled garbage bags are shown piled in common areas and apartments in a large building. A man eats dog food. A woman picks up a large piece of meat and eats it; pulling it in her teeth like an animal.

PROFANITY 5 - About 8 F-words, 2 scatological terms, 2 anatomical terms, 8 mild obscenities, name-calling (fascist pig, dilettante, cheap, albatross, uncommonly arrogant, the lower people, failure, stupid, tart, fibber, stupid, big fat sissy, pathetic, cocky bastard, lover boy, twinkle toes, reprobate, agitator, long-eared pufta), 7 religious exclamations (e.g. Christ, God, Oh God, For God's Sake, Good God). [profanity glossary]

SUBSTANCE USE - A few people are shown snorting cocaine at a party, a woman is shown screaming and a man injects something into her arm, and a man takes what appears to be a prescription pill (maybe a sleeping pill). A man and a woman drink alcohol and smoke cigarettes on a balcony, many people drink alcohol and smoke cigarettes at a party, a man buys a bottle of wine, adults at a children's party drink wine and smoke cigarettes, men and women drink alcohol at a party, a man drinks alcohol from a bottle, and a pregnant woman drinks alcohol and smokes cigarettes in several scenes. A man smokes cigarettes in several scenes throughout the movie in both inside and outside scenes, a man smokes a cigarette while lying on a bed and an ash falls on his cheek (no harm is shown), a man smokes a cigarette in an office, a man and a woman smoke cigarettes on a balcony in several scenes, a man smokes a pipe in a few scenes, a young boy smokes a pipe, and a man smokes a pipe as he walks through a building lobby and into a parking area. A man inhales helium from a balloon and talks with a strange voice.

DISCUSSION TOPICS - Class distinctions, planned communities, irony, narcissism, rape, debt, paranoia, infidelity, debauchery, competition, chaos, suicide, rules of community, free enterprise, capitalism, madness.

MESSAGE - It takes determination to go against the majority.

Special Keywords: S10 - V8 - 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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