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The Hours



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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-13

Based on Michael Cunningham's Pulitzer Prize-winning novel, the film interweaves the stories of three women from different eras and indifferent places, each one struggling with depression: We follow a literary editor in 2001 New York (Meryl Streep), a young mother (Julianne Moore) with suicidal feelings in 1951 Los Angeles, and acclaimed author Virginia Woolf (Nicole Kidman) in 1923 England. Also with Ed Harris, Claire Danes, Jeff Daniels and Toni Collette. [1:55]

SEX/NUDITY 3 - A man and a woman kiss a few times, two women kiss tenderly a few times, and a man and a woman hug and kiss on the cheek. A woman climbs into bed with another woman and they sleep. A woman wears a dress that reveals cleavage, a man wears an open robe revealing his bare chest and boxers, and a man wears a robe that drapes open revealing a bit of his bare chest. People discuss romantic relationships -- both homosexual and heterosexual.

VIOLENCE/GORE 4 - A woman puts rocks in her pockets, talks about hearing voices and feeling like she's going mad, and wades into a stream (we see her body floating motionless through the water, and we see this scene a couple more times). A man yells at a woman, tears up his apartment throwing books and shelves all around, perches on a windowsill and falls out of the window. A young boy screams (he appears terrified and we see this scene a couple of times) after his mother drives away in her car. A man suffering from AIDS appears emaciated and ill and his skin has some lesions. A woman talks about having abandoned her family and then having outlived them. A pregnant woman contemplates suicide (she dreams of water filling her room as she sleeps). A man and a woman argue in a couple of different scenes. People talk about a woman and say "she'll kill herself," and a man says to a woman "you tried to kill yourself twice." A young girl makes a grave in the ground for a bird that has fallen from its nest.

PROFANITY 5 - 1 F-word, 1 scatological term, 1 mild obscenity, 1 religious profanity, 8 religious exclamations. [profanity glossary]

DISCUSSION TOPICS - Mental illness, debilitating depression, homosexuality, AIDS, child rearing, pride, respect, selflessness, fate, maternal instincts, suicide, envy, oppression, sanity, choices.

MESSAGE - You cannot find peace by avoiding life.

(Note: A woman is shown smoking incessantly, to the point of having tar stained fingers.)

Special Keywords: S3 - V4 - P5 - MPAAPG-13

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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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