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Labor Day [2014] [PG-13] - 5.5.2



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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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Set in 1987: An escaped convict (Josh Brolin) makes his way into the lives of a woman (Kate Winslet) and her young son (Gattlin Griffith) over a Labor Day weekend; their lives are changed forever as the convict becomes a surrogate dad to the boy and begins a relationship with the mom. Also with Tobey Maguire, Tom Lipinski, Maika Monroe, Clark Gregg and James Van Der Beek. Directed by Jason Reitman. [1:51]

SEX/NUDITY 5 - A young man lies back on a sofa and a young woman straddles him while unbuckling his pants and kissing him (sex is implied); this scene is shown again in a flashback and we see the young woman thrusting briefly and they are later shown getting married and having a child.
 A young man and a young woman lie in the back of a pick up truck and kiss (sex is implied). A young man and a young woman kiss and hug before the young man gets on a bus (he is going to the army). A man and a woman kiss. A teen boy imagines swimming with a teen girl and she wraps her arms around his neck (nothing else is shown). A teen boy and a teen girl kiss tenderly.
 A woman is shown lying in bed with her bare shoulder and upper back exposed as her teen son peers in the door (it is implied that she and a man had sex the night before). A man wraps his arms around a woman from behind to demonstrate how to bat a ball and the woman is wearing a dress that reveals cleavage, bare shoulders and upper back. A man and a woman dance together in a kitchen and the woman's dress reveals bare shoulders, back and cleavage. A man is shown shirtless and with a towel wrapped around his waist (we see his bare-chest and abdomen). A man's bare abdomen is seen while a woman bandages a belly wound. A woman wears a night shirt that reveals cleavage and her bare lower legs. A woman wears low-cut tops and dresses that reveal cleavage in several scenes. A woman is shown wearing a full slip (cleavage and bare shoulders are shown) while standing in a bathroom with a man and her teen son comes to the door to speak to them both. We see a Coppertone ad from the '80s that features a young woman wearing a modest swimsuit that reveals her bare shoulders, upper back and legs. A teen girl wears a sweater that falls off her shoulder (we see her bare shoulder). A woman wearing a hospital gown (her bare knees and lower legs are shown) is shown in a delivery room (please see the Violence/Gore category for more details).
 An extended pie making scene includes suggestive sequences of a man holding a woman's hands while cutting butter into flour to make the crust and again while stirring sugar into a large bowl of sliced peaches. A man and a woman dance the Cha-Cha. A man and a woman sit on a flight of stairs together; the man places his hand around the woman's waist and she rests her head on his shoulder.
 A woman tells her teen son about sex and physical changes that take place during puberty; she mentions body parts and hormones, and secretions and discusses the "hunger for human touch." A teen girl and a teen boy talk about their parent's having sex with other people and the girl calls it a "sick little game"; she goes on to say that "sex is like a drug." A teen girl talks about her father getting together with a teen boy's mother and then if the two teens got married it'd be "like incest." A man and a woman are alarmed when the man's son says that he is going to try out for the school dance team and they say that "it might give the wrong idea" to which he replies "that I like girls in tights?" A teen girl tells a teen boy to tell his mother that the woman's boyfriend touched the boy in order to get rid of him. A man says that his ex-wife had a "crazy passion" and that she was "in love with love."
 A teen boy gives his mother a gift of "husband for a day" and gives her a shoulder rub and takes her to a movie for a "date"; his voice-over later mentions not being able to satisfy all of what a husband does (implying the sexual aspect). A woman teaches her teen son how to dance and she places his hand on her upper waist.

VIOLENCE/GORE 5 - A husband confronts his wife about whether he is the father of their child and then shoves her; she strikes her head on a heater and falls to the floor dead (no blood or marks are seen). A man rushes to the upstairs bathtub that is overflowing and panics (it is implied that his infant daughter has drowned). We see a young woman lying dead on the floor with her eyes wide open (no marks or blood are evident). A teen boy imagines his mother being shot while in a car (we see a gunshot hit the seats of the car and blow debris around, but no blood is evident).
 A man grabs the back of a teen boy's neck and holds him while telling the boy's mother that she needs to help the man. A man grabs a woman from behind and holds his arm across her neck when someone knocks on the door and a teen boy answers the door and lies about the whereabouts of his mother. A woman slaps her son across the face when he is trying to get her attention (he is disabled and is not speaking clearly).
 There are several tense moments when a man is nearly discovered by police: A few scenes show police cruisers patrolling in front of the house where the man is hiding; another scene shows a police officer speaking to a woman and her teen son while the man is hiding in the house; another scene shows bank personnel getting suspicious when a woman wishes to withdraw a large sum of money in cash; another shows a neighbor coming into the house unannounced and another shows a neighbor delivering peaches to the teen boy and seeming suspicious that the woman is not around.
 A woman in labor pants and pushes in a delivery room and medical staff look alarmed when they deliver the baby (we understand that it is stillborn); the dead infant, wrapped in a blanket, is given to the woman and she holds and kisses her.
 We see a bloody wound on a man's abdomen and we are told that it is infected. We see a bloody wound on a man's bare abdomen while a woman bandages him. We see a man with a bloody wound on his abdomen and a bit of blood on his ear when he approaches a teen boy in a store and asks for help. A man's T-shirt has a bloody spot on it (at the abdomen where he apparently had an appendectomy) through many scenes. A woman is shown seated on a toilet (we see her bare knees and lower legs) and when she stand up we see blood trickling down her legs as we hear a voice-over of her talking about feeling something "slip out of her" (she had a miscarriage).
 A man ties a woman's hands behind her back and feet to a the legs of a chair to give the impression that he has kidnapped her. A man ties a woman to a chair and tapes the arms of a teen boy to another chair.
 A teen boy watches a man sleeping and is frightened when the man opens his eyes; the boy runs to his room. A man steals a jacket and a ball cap from a store.
 A news report announces that a convict in jail for murder escaped and that he is dangerous. A man tells a woman and a teen boy that he "jumped out a second story window." We hear that a woman suffered several miscarriages.
 A woman suffers from debilitating depression and anxiety attacks and we see her hyperventilate and her hands shake. A teen girl says that she was diagnosed with an eating disorder. A woman talks about a dance performance when she "tapped myself right off the stage" and we see a scar on her knee from the incident. A teen girl tells a teen boy that "drinking from aluminum gives you Alzheimer's."

PROFANITY 2 - 2 mild obscenities, name-calling (fool, sex fiend), 1 religious exclamation (Jesus). [profanity glossary]

SUBSTANCE USE - People are shown drinking alcoholic drinks in a bar scene. A man makes reference to a police officer going for "a smoke."

DISCUSSION TOPICS - Divorce, depression, infidelity, multiple miscarriages, murder, death of a loved one, death of a child, escaping from prison, truth, love, losing love, loneliness, longing, harboring a fugitive, kidnapping, family, parent/child relationships, Bonnie & Clyde, incest.

MESSAGE - Love and trust can be found in unusual places.

Special Keywords: S5 - V5 - P2 - 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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