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The Human Stain [2003]



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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

The tranquil life of a distinguished professor (Anthony Hopkins) at a prestigious college begins to unravel when he's accused of racism. His career and reputation ruined, he begins a passionate affair with a younger woman (Nicole Kidman) who works as a janitor, waitress and farm hand and also has a very jealous and slightly psychotic ex-husband (Ed Harris) who's stalking her. Based on Philip Roth's novel. Also with Gary Sinise and Jacinda Barrett. Directed by Robert Benton. [1:46]

SEX/NUDITY 7 - A young man kisses a young woman on the neck, they kiss, they lie in bed together (she's on top of him), we see their bare backs and buttocks, chest and shoulders and they kiss and caress each other. A woman kisses a man, she is on top of him thrusting and moaning (we see her bare back and his bare chest). A woman invites an older man into her home, he follows her in, and he finds her lying completely nude in her bed (her arms and legs conceal her private parts). A young woman dances for a young man: she removes her dress, she kisses him, she takes off her slip, then her bra (we see her bare breasts), then her panties (we see her bare buttocks and crotch), and they kiss. A woman in panties and a camisole dances for a man, she takes off her top and we see her bare back and the sides of her bare breasts, and then a glimpse of her bare breasts. A man and a woman lie in bed together presumably after having had sex (he's bare-chested and she has bare shoulders). A man and a woman kiss a few times, and a woman kisses a man. A man talks about having an affair with a younger woman and that he is using Viagra. A man kisses a woman on the head as she rests her head on his chest, a man and a woman hug and kiss, and a man and a woman dance. Three men discuss a President's infidelity and sexual relationship with a younger woman (referring to Bill Clinton and Monica Lewinsky). A woman wears a low-cut top that reveals her cleavage, and a woman wears a short top that reveals her bare abdomen. A woman gives details about having been sexually molested by her mother's boyfriend when she was young. Two men dance together (it's not sexual).

VIOLENCE/GORE 4 - A woman dies in a man's arms. A man collapses and dies of a heart attack. A car swerves off a road to avoid an on-coming truck and flips over landing in a frozen body of water, upside down (we see this twice and hear that the occupants of the car died). A woman talks about having been sexually molested by her mother's boyfriend when she was young. We hear that two children died in a house fire (we see two boxes that apparently contain their ashes). A woman talks about her husband beating her into a coma. A man talks about killing people in war. A boxing match shows a man being hit in the face repeatedly, we see blood in his mouth and he falls to the canvas. We see a boxing match and one person takes many blows to the face. A man says "I should have killed her," about his wife. A man revs his truck engine outside a woman's house, a man comes out of the house with a bat, the police come and take him away while he's screaming threats at her. A woman gets angry and throws and kicks things. A young woman punches a young man in the stomach (she's practicing boxing moves). A woman's wrists are scarred from an attempted suicide. A woman grieves over the death of her children.

PROFANITY 9 - 40 F-words, 9 sexual references, 5 scatological terms, 6 anatomical terms, 8 mild obscenities, 1 derogatory term for African-Americans, 6 terms perceived as derogatory terms for African-Americans ("spooks"), 1 derogatory term for Asians, 1 derogatory term for homosexuals, 3 religious exclamations. [profanity glossary]

DISCUSSION TOPICS - Connotations, racism, romance, Viagra, relationships between older men and younger women, death of a spouse, death of children, political correctness, cancer, forsaking one's race and heritage, homosexuality, pedophilia, Vietnam, Achilles.

MESSAGE - Action is the enemy of thought. Simple words can be inflammatory when misunderstood and taken out of context.

(Note: People smoke cigarettes and drink alcohol.)

Special Keywords: S7 - V4 - P9 - 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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