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Jersey Boys [2014] [R] - 4.4.8



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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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Three 1950s New Jersey street corner singers (Michael Lomenda, Vincent Piazza and Erich Bergen) recruit Frankie Valli (John Lloyd Young) and become a boy band sensation as The Four Seasons. The film chronicles their rise in the music industry, along with their underworld involvement and family disasters. Also with Christopher Walken, Mike Doyle, Renee Marino and Jeremy Luke. Directed by Clint Eastwood. [2:14]

SEX/NUDITY 4 - A man sits in a bedroom at a party and a male friend brings a woman wearing a knee-length gown that reveals cleavage; she turns out the light, kisses the man on the bed and the camera cuts to the friend opening the door from the outside and a small crowd cheering (we see the man inside the room standing and wearing a long robe while the woman is standing with her dress off one shoulder as the man says, "You were right. It is better with another person," and sex is implied).
 A woman kisses a man in a bar and tells him to call home and tell his mother that he will be very late getting home (sex is implied); the camera cuts to the couple walking out of the church on their wedding day. A woman kisses a male friend briefly on the lips for a goodbye.
 A flamboyant producer-lyricist is gay and four men imply that he is having sex regularly with another man; the man smiles and stares admiringly at a man in a hallway and a man speaks to the camera, saying that something is "off" about the flamboyant man, like something is different about him. A woman jokes that her two male friends cannot marry in Nevada, where gay marriage is illegal. A woman wearing a long robe asks a man wearing a sleeveless shirt at home if his wife is likely to show up and he replies "No."
 A male singer in a famous group says that he took his two young children to his parents' house to live, telling the kids he is their uncle, so he can "Screw around whenever I want," but that now, he just wants to go home to them. A man tells a younger man that there are two kinds of women: a) those that jump into bed and later break your [anatomical term deleted] and b) those that need wining and dining and then break your [anatomical term deleted]. A man says that marriage is not love -- it is you shaving as your wife sits on the can [toilet] clipping her toenails. A man tells a woman about a mutual male friend saying, "I got him laid the first time," and he then implies that she should have sex with him and she refuses. A man sings a love song to his young daughter, including the line "Though I never laid a hand on you." A man sings on a street at night and tells a police officer that he is making love with music to a girl upstairs. A singer travels most of each year for work, alienating his wife and children; his wife divorces him and his next girlfriend leaves him. A man tells another man (who is married), "You buy too many apartments to keep your girlfriends in."
 We see the back of a clothed and jacketed man in a mirror in a washroom, apparently standing at a urinal. In a bathroom, a man blows his nose into a bath towel and throws it on the floor; he has a bath towel wrapped below his waist and we see his full bare chest, abdomen, navel, hipbones, back, shoulders and arms. A man's roommate says that the man wears his underwear for three days running and "pisses in the sink, because it's closer."
 In two bedroom scenes, a man is clothed and a woman wears a sleeveless gown; we see her only from the waist up and no cleavage appears. Two women wear sleeveless dresses with wide mesh net at the necklines that reveals a small amount of cleavage. A close-up shows the clothed buttocks and bare thighs/legs of a woman wearing short shorts.

VIOLENCE/GORE 4 - A teen girl disappears for three days and her parents argue about it; she calls home and her father shouts at her before a greasy, unshaven man wearing old clothing makes her hang up, but a large bodyguard leads her away to see her father in a café, where she cries (the bodyguard threatens the man by telling him that he will snap his neck).
 Two men scam a younger man, who is driving them in his car, as one man in the back seat looks like he shot the other man in the passenger seat with a pistol and the driver screams, slams open his car door and runs; the passenger sits up and laughs with fake blood on his forehead and down his cheek, the two men demand money from the driver to get his car back, but another man intervenes and tells them to stay away from the driver.
 Three men rob a business and put a heavy safe into the trunk of a car; the rear end of the car hits the ground and the driver peels away, sending sparks flying until he drives through a business window and a loud alarm goes off as the window glass shatters loudly and the three men run away; we later see two of the men report to prison for six-month sentences, one leaving as the other enters prison and we hear that this sequence continued for some time, involving thefts and burglaries. A man steals a large, expensive lighter from a party. A man with a police record is arrested for breaking into a church to use the organ. A man locks himself in a radio booth and plays a single song for 17 hours; police officers pound on the glass, trying to order him out, but he stays. State troopers arrest four men for an unpaid motel bill and we see them in jail, sharing a cell with a dirty and overweight man with rotten teeth and a tattoo on one elbow.
 In a TV broadcast, a man slaps a woman in the face twice. In an argument scene, a man slaps his male friend in the face several times, the other man swings a punch and misses and the men shout at each other as one leaves the room. Four men have multiple loud arguments about leadership, music rights, salaries, payment of bills, and gambling debts. In several scenes, one of several men screams at the others. Two men are involved with a Mafia loan shark, and a Mafia collector hounds one of them for two years for debts. A mobster transports a man to Las Vegas for protection to avoid his murder for debts and thefts.
 A barber student nicks a man on the side of the neck with a razor and the man jumps (we see blood on a cotton ball, but do not see the cut); the nicked man shouts at his employee who rushed in the door, causing the barber student to jump and nick the man.
 A man brags to friends that he had to slap a "broad" around to steal her jewels. A musician tells an audience that in order to escape the poor town, "The only ways to escape are joining the army, getting 'mobbed up' or getting famous." A man cries at a song about mothers and another man cries at a love song.
 Men and women cry at a brief graveside funeral; a man sits alone on a stone bench in front of a grave and looks sad.
 A large cockroach runs across a counter in a café.

PROFANITY 8 - About 39 F-words and its derivatives, 1 obscene Italian fingers-flipped-from-the-chin gesture, 26 scatological terms, 22 anatomical terms, 13 mild obscenities, 1 derogatory term for Italians, name-calling (crazy, dumb, moron, stupid, two-bit, hustler, bum, monkey, chicken, whop, fruit, genius, nightmare, The Four Cutlets, The Four Felons, Mr. Bobby Businessman, Miss Congeniality), stereotypical references to men, women, fathers, singers, Italians, the Mafia, African-Americans, homosexuals, the Chinese, fat people, short people, radio station managers, recording directors, exclamations (shut-up, shut your trap), 2 religious profanities (GD), 14 religious exclamations (e.g. You're The Devil, For Christ's Sake, Holy [scatological term deleted], I Swear To God, Oh My God, Jesus God, Jesus Christ, Only Thou Art Holy, Thank God, Before Christ Comes Back, God Help Me, My Hand To God). [profanity glossary]

SUBSTANCE USE - After a brief funeral, a father says that his dead teen daughter "Met a dude with a bottle of pills" (overdose death is implied, but we see no drugs), and a father tells his son to avoid drugs and alcohol and to stay away from friends that use them. We see men and women drinking glasses of wine and alcohol at bars and nightclubs and one large apartment party, two women drink liquor from glasses and a man drinks from a beer bottle after closing at a bar, a man and a woman drink glasses of wine in a cafe and a home, after a big apartment party we see men and women lying on couches and in chairs (apparently with a hangover) with empty liquor bottles scattered around, a woman drinks alcohol much of the time and we hear that she is sick and an alcoholic, a young girl asks her father if her mother is very sick since she needs to drink her "medicine" (liquor) every day and falls asleep on the couch, a husband and his wife yell at one another in a scene where she is drunk and stumbling, a nun drinks red wine and burps in the back room of church, and dozens of cases of stolen alcohol are shown in the back room of a man's home. Several dimly lit neighborhood bars and large nightclubs are smoky and we see men and women light and smoke cigarettes, a club scene features large puffs of smoke from a man smoking a cigar, people (including a teenage girl) are shown smoking in homes as well as at parties and on the street and in businesses in much of the film, and ashtrays (empty and some filled with cigarette butts) are visible on bar tops and in an accountant's office.

DISCUSSION TOPICS - Musicians, poverty, families, divorce, alcoholism, drug overdose, crime, loan sharks, violence, organized crime, prison, conflict, reconciliation, forgiveness.

MESSAGE - Working oneself out of poverty can be heartbreaking, but rewarding.

Special Keywords: S4 - V4 - 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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