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Holy Smoke!



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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

Kate Winslet stars as a young Australian who joins a cult in India and engages in a power struggle with a macho cult-deprogrammer (Harvey Keitel) when her family lures her home. Also with Pam Grier, Julie Hamilton, Sophie Lee, Daniel Wyllie, Paul Goddard, Tim Robertson, George Mangos, Kerry Walker, Les Dayman, Samantha Murray and Sandy Gutman. [1:54]

SEX/NUDITY 9 - Lots of sexual innuendo (including references to fellatio, infidelity, fantasies and orgasms) and several kisses, mostly passionate (there's also a quick kiss between men). In a scene that's somewhat played for laughs, a man thrusts on top of a woman while both moan (both the movement and the sound is quite exaggerated; the camera mostly focuses on her face and her hand reaching toward pictures on a nearby wall). We briefly see a nude man thrusting on top of a woman (his bare buttocks are visible); in a morning after scene, we see his bare backside and her bare breasts as they're lying in bed, then we see his front side when he gets up (his groin is covered by shadows). A man and woman kiss passionately, then he unbuckles his pants and she proceeds to perform fellatio (no nudity or movement is seen); in another scene, a woman directs a man to take off her underwear and perform cunnilingus (we see hear pleasured facial expression only). We see a man pulling a drunken woman's underwear down her shins while another man gives her more alcohol to drink (her top is also mostly off, revealing her bra -- we see her like this in the scene afterwards as well); another man interrupts before anything else happens (see Violence/Gore for details). Two women dance together at a club, rubbing each other's arms and kissing; in another scene, we see a close-up of a man caressing a woman's clothed buttocks or thigh. A man tells a woman a story that involves an Indian guru hugging him and stimulating his phallus. We see a nude woman's full front for a bit while she stands in front of a man and then kisses him. We see a woman in a bikini, a woman wearing panties and a tiny tank top, a woman wearing a bra, a man wearing tiny underwear, a few shirtless men, some women in cleavage- and/or midriff-revealing tops, a man taking a shower (we see his bare chest, then see him wearing a towel around his waist), and most of a woman's bare legs when she's climbing a hill on her hands and knees.

VIOLENCE/GORE 3 - A man grabs a woman's arms, she breaks free and slaps at him, then he punches her face and knocks her to the ground. A semi-conscious man stumbles and then falls to the ground; he's discovered by a few people, then we see him in a truck bed, dirty and with a bloody cut on his face. A man discovers two men about to take advantage of a drunken woman (see Sex/Nudity for details); he breaks a bottle against one of the men, then pushes the other. A man holds a woman's arms, another man pulls at her sari, and a group of people form a circle around her to keep her from running away; she tries to hit a few people with a pole. A woman knocks a glass out of a man's hand and then presses a necklace against his forehead. A woman pulls a woman by her arm. A woman panics when crowded by many others, falls when trying to get away, then has an asthma attack; we see her being carried by several people, then lying on a gurney (she fully recovers). We see video clips of the Waco compound in flames, the aftermath of the Jonestown mass suicide (we see lots of bodies lying face-down on the ground), and two covered bodies lying in beds after another mass suicide. We see a piece of clothing on fire. A few scenes are played for laughs: a man runs head-first into a pole (we later see him with a bloody shirt and a bandaged nose), a distracted woman doesn't catch a child jumping from a truck (he falls face-first onto the ground), and a man is hit with something and knocked out of his chair. Reckless driving; in one scene a man climbs on top of a moving car, then jumps to another moving car beside it. A woman with a bloody nose is discovered in a car trunk. A woman vomits; in another scene, a woman urinates while walking (we see urine dripping all around her legs). Cockroaches scurry around a pit toilet.

PROFANITY 8 - About 20 F-words, several anatomical references, many scatological references, a mild obscenity and an insult. [profanity glossary]

DISCUSSION TOPICS - Cults, religious beliefs, cult deprogramming, machismo, sexism, infidelity, dysfunctional families, drunkenness, marijuana use.

MESSAGE - Our beliefs don't always hold up under intense scrutiny.

(Note: The following material does not fall within any of the regular categories but could be objectionable to some viewers: A woman applies lipstick to a man's lips, then takes off his shirt and puts a dress on him, which we see him wearing for awhile afterwards. There's a reference to female fetuses being aborted in India.)

Special Keywords: S9 - V3 - P8 - 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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