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The Hurt Locker [2009] [R] - 3.8.10



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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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The war in Iraq is bloody chaos for the gung-ho new leader of the U.S. Army Explosive Ordnance Disposal unit (Jeremy Renner). Anyone might be the enemy, bombs are hidden everywhere, and he has to handle the psychological stress of war as he pulls his team members into the fray. Also with Anthony Mackie, Owen Eldridge, Guy Pierce, Ralph Fiennes, David Morse and Evangeline Lilly. Directed by Kathryn Bigelow. [2:10]

SEX/NUDITY 3 - Two men disarming a bomb talk about directing a robotic arm into a bomb container as if the robotic arm were a penis (they use crude terms) and the bomb container a woman and they banter about which man's penis is larger. A man talks about his girlfriend getting pregnant, so he married her.
 During a wrestling bout, one man removes his shirt and we see his bare chest, back, arms and shoulders and another man lifts his shirt briefly to reveal his bare chest twice. A woman is shown wearing a V-necked blouse that reveals cleavage.

VIOLENCE/GORE 8 - A bomb squad team goes on a night mission to search for a suicide bomber and they find many piles of burning debris, flames, flumes of smoke, women screaming and praying, children crying and ambulance sirens blaring; several men lie dead on the street, with blood streaming from their chests and faces, one man sits with one leg having been blown off at the knee and we see bones, blood and matter.
 A man opens the dead body of a pre-teen boy using a knife, removes wires, a bomb and detonator (we see blood and slime), and then closes the boy's eyes, and wraps him in a large white cloth (we see blood seeping through the cloth).
 A man holds his hands up and shouts that there is a bomb strapped to him, a soldier puts on a bomb suit and helmet and walks toward the man telling him to raise his hands after opening his jacket, and pointing a handgun at is head, the man keeps pleading, crying, begging, and praying, the soldier tells him twice to be quiet or he will shoot him, he tries to disarm the bomb, but there are too many explosives around the man's torso, and the soldier apologizes to the man, and turns to walk away as the man explodes into a tall column of smoke and fire; sand flies out and knocks other soldiers back and we see the soldier with a bloody nose. A man holding a cell phone pushes a button and explodes a bomb in a street that knocks a man down, killing him; we see tall flames and columns of smoke and fire and shrapnel spurting up and outwards.
 A bomb squad examines a building that houses a makeshift bomb laboratory: the lab is full of boxes marked Nitro, shell casings and chemicals, and on a table lies a pre-teen dead boy, with his shirt torn open and blood down his face, chest and stomach and electrical wires come out of his chest and stomach; the bomb squad leader places plastic explosives on top of the boy and tells his team that they will blow up the lab because the boy is a body-bomb.
 A bomb squad stop their vehicle in the desert when they see a disabled SUV and 4 men, and the squad, with guns drawn, approaches the men, they yell at them to put down their weapons several times, they take their weapons and find that these are soldiers with 2 prisoners (the prisoners are shown with burlap bags over their heads and hands tied behind their backs).
 Gunfire is heard off screen and people run behind an outcropping of rocks, one soldier is shot in the chest and falls dead (we see a little blood on his ammunition pack), and soldiers fire back killing 2 men on the roof of a small building, one in a window and one on the ground (we see them fall, but do not see blood).
 Three bomb squad members search with rifles drawn and find bloodstains on sidewalks as flares glow overhead; one of the soldiers is grabbed by 2 men and dragged away, the other two search for him and find him in an alley, soldiers shoot and kill both men and we see blood on their clothing; the captured soldier shouts because he was also shot in the leg.
 Wood planks with nails sticking out of them rain down from second story roofs after an explosion at the side of a road, then rocks and metal pieces rain down on a serviceman's helmet, he falls on his back and a close up shows him opening his helmet visor to show a bloody nose.
 A man steps on a bomb as soldiers yell several times; a huge cloud of smoke and flames rises up and we see the man's helmet roll away.
 A soldier shoots and kills a sniper hiding among a herd of black goats (we see the dead man slumped over his rifle, but there's no sign of blood).
 A vehicle stops and unloads soldiers with rifles, one soldier dons a bomb suit and helmet and approaches a bomb-loaded, abandoned car, and when he is close, a man shoots the car from a rooftop and the car explodes into flame and smoke (the soldier is unhurt); we hear rapid gunfire off screen. A bomb squad leader puts on a bomb suit, a man in a cab drives recklessly toward him, stops, the soldier tells the driver to back up three times and points a handgun at the driver, fires into the ground, over the top of the cab and through windshield, and puts the gun between the driver's eyes and the driver backs up whereupon soldiers shout, drag him out of the car, take him prisoner and the bomb squad leader walks to a group of 8 bombs and disarms them all. A robot examines a pile of garbage and finds a bomb, spectators are chased away, another robot is sent with plastic explosives toward the bomb, a man dons a thick bomb protection suit and helmet, reaches the bomb and diffuses it. A bomb squad leader opens the trunk of a car, finds 6 bombs in the trunk, and takes apart the car to finally find the detonator.
 The remains of a man are sealed into a white crate and his personal affects, a U.S. flag, and his helmet are packed in a box on top of the crate. A soldier cleans ammunition by spitting on it to remove blood from a deceased soldier. A man shows several small black marks on his chest, the results of past shrapnel attacks. A man in his full battle uniform walks into the barracks shower and showers blood and dirt off his uniform and face (we see bloody water accumulate in the drain area.
 A team member punches a team leader and tells him to never remove his headset again. At an army barracks two men wrestle and fight for fun while team members watch; they punch each other in the stomach and laugh, one man pins the other to the floor, sits on his chest and rides him like a horse while yelling "wild one," and the man on the bottom brings a knife to the other man's throat who takes it away and the fight ends.
 A man kidnaps another man, steals his truck at gunpoint and travels to a house where he enters with a handgun drawn; inside, an older man raises his hands and asks him to sit down, the gunman tries to leave, a woman blocks his way, he points the gun at her, she screams at him and throws crockery, he is struck in the head and we see blood on his forehead, he runs away and soldiers search him and one hits him in the forehead, leaving another bloody mark.
 A wounded man lies on his side, bleeding from the chest and face and a man says leave him, because he's is not going to make it. A white bomb squad leader laughs at racial slurs directed at him by a black subordinate; the subordinate picks a fight with him and the leader laughs him off and walks away. A team leader explodes several bombs in the desert, and a team member watches and tells another man that it would be easy to kill the leader by detonating a nearby bomb. A man tells his wife that in Iraq, kids would be lured to a vehicle with the promise of candy, and then the enemy would detonate the truck from a remote area to kill the children. A bomb squad member says he'll quit the army because shrapnel could slice him in the neck and he would die. A psychiatrist asks a bomb squad leader about his work, the leader says he likes his work and does not want to die because of errors by team members, that he'd rather disarm a bomb than to explode it remotely and that he has personally disarmed 873 bombs.
 A cat with a wounded paw limps across a street. We see a butcher carrying a raw side of butchered camel with dangling fat into a shop.

PROFANITY 10 - 73 F-words, 1 obscene hand gesture, 29 scatological references, 9 anatomical references, 10 mild obscenities, 8 religious profanities, name-calling (stupid, boy, rowdy boy, bad boy, wild man, gangster, dumb, chicken, red neck, trailer trash), 6 stereotypical comments about white Appalachians as trailer trash and rednecks, Iraqis all looking the same, 7 religious exclamations. [profanity glossary]

SUBSTANCE USE - We see 3 full bottles of whiskey and four men drinking from mugs and glasses at a party, a man drinks whiskey from the bottle, and a man drinks whiskey with others during an impromptu party. A man smokes a cigarette in several scenes, a soldier holds a burning cigarette, a soldier offers a cigarette to a pre-teen boy and then takes it back telling the boy he should not smoke, a commanding officer talks to subordinates and holds a lit cigarette but does not smoke, a cigarette is left burning in an ashtray, and a man sits outside a café and smokes. A soldier tells another soldier that they should sell grass (marijuana) in Iraq and make a fortune. A white-lettered message on a black screen states that war is a drug and can be an addiction.

DISCUSSION TOPICS - War, military service and weapons, danger, trust, stress, leadership, teamwork, dismemberment, death, killing children, body-bombs, responsibility, obsession.

MESSAGE - War can be all consuming.

Special Keywords: S3 - V8 - P10 - MPAAR

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