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The Lifeguard [2013] [R] - 7.4.8



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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


» Official Site
» IMDb Listing

When a former over-achiever (Kristen Bell) finds herself in a slump in New York City, she moves back to her childhood home in Connecticut, reconnects with her old friends and starts a risky relationship with a troubled teen boy. Also with Mamie Gummer, Martin Starr, Joshua Harto, John Finn and David Lambert. Directed by Liz W. Garcia. [1:38]

SEX/NUDITY 7 - We see a woman, face-down on a mattress while a teen boy thrusts above her in active sex; they both appear to be fully nude (we see the teen boy's bare back and the woman's bare back) and we see the woman's head on the teen boy's chest later and she then kisses him. A teen boy kisses a woman passionately and the woman pulls away; the boy kisses her, grabs her breasts and then puts his hands down her pants as the woman pulls down her pants; they are then shown thrusting while having sex and the boy's bare buttocks are visible.
 A teen boy kisses a woman passionately and he pulls down her underwear (she is wearing a dress); it is implied that he performs oral sex on the woman as he kneels in front of her (a portion of her bare buttocks is visible). A woman pulls down a man's boxers (we see this from a distance and we see one side of his bare buttock), and then asks him to slap her face with his genitals (the man declines and walks away). A teen boy and a woman kiss passionately, he grabs her, puts his hands around her waist and pulls down her pants (she is wearing a one piece bathing suit and no nudity is visible).
 We see a woman in bed with sheets wrapped around her (no nudity is visible) and it is implied that the man (now tying his shoes and standing up from the bed fully clothed) and she had just had sex (no nudity is visible). A man asks a woman to have sex; the man begins to take his clothing off (we hear his pants hit the ground and his long shirt covers his crotch and buttocks) and is about to pull off his shirt when the woman interrupts him and the man storms away.
 A man and a woman kiss passionately and the man tries to dip the woman against the hood of a car. We see a woman and a man kissing passionately as they stand on a crowded city street, they are interrupted momentarily, and then go back to kissing; the man then pulls away and walks away. A woman and a teen boy kiss. We see a teen boy and a woman kissing until a man interrupts them. A man and woman kiss briefly. We see a man and a woman hugging. A woman hugs a teen boy, kisses him on the forehead and walks away. A teen boy hugs a woman.
 We see shirtless teen boys at a swimming pool (their bare chests and backs are visible). We see a woman wearing a bikini at a pool. We see teen boys wearing boxer shorts while swimming (their bare chests and backs are visible) and a woman is seen wearing her brief-style underwear and a long shirt. We see a teen boy sleeping wearing his boxer-style underwear and his bare back and chest are visible. We see a woman pulling on a sweatshirt over a tank top. We see a portion of a woman's bare torso as she swims fully clothed and her shirt pulls up.
 A woman shouts at another woman after discovering that the woman is involved in a sexual relationship with a teen boy; the teen boy crudely remarks that the woman is "not raping" him and the woman scolds the other woman, saying that she had taken advantage of the boy and we later hear the scolding woman tell her husband that the woman was not being charged with statutory rape because her victim and his father were not going to "name names." A man crudely tells a woman that another man wants to "rape" a group of teen boys and the woman chides the man for saying that. A woman scolds a man for allowing a relationship between a woman and a teen boy to go on. A woman tells another woman that she cannot know if the woman is involved in a sexual relationship with a teen boy and the woman tries to play off the implication. A man rubs a teen boy's back until the teen boy shouts and shoves the man's hand away, saying, "I'm not gay." A woman apologizes to a man for not doing anything to prevent a relationship between the man's teenage son and another woman; the man makes a crude remark about his teenage son having sex and drives away. A boy makes a series of crude sexual remarks to a woman (please see the Violence/Gore category for more details) as part of a confrontation.
 A woman jokingly grabs a wall and hugs it, then pantomimes thrusting and licking the wall suggestively as a man watches, obviously distracted. A man teases a woman, saying that when they graduated from high school that she was a virgin. A man and a woman joke that they would "make out" and "do more" in a parking lot when they were in high school. A woman lifts up a belt, and laughs, teasing her mother that she has become a stripper and the older woman says that she is belly dancing.

VIOLENCE/GORE 4 - Through a good portion of the movie we see a woman engaging in statutory rape (including active, thrusting sex, passionate kissing and oral sex) with a teen boy; the teen boy gives consent, but we learn that he is too young to legally give consent.
 A woman discovers the body of a teen boy and we see him hanging from a tree; a teen boy walking behind the woman approaches quickly, the woman tries to shield his eyes and he panics and begins to cry; the woman comforts the boy, then tells him that she will tell the mother of the dead boy that her son is dead and we see scenes with no audible dialogue of the woman telling the mother, who is obviously upset and cries (we see a cut of the two women sitting with police).
 A toddler jumps into a swimming pool and we see a woman pause, then leap into the pool after him before handing the boy, unharmed, to another woman.
 A woman shoves another woman and then angrily shouts at her. A man shouts at his wife and he slams his hands on a counter. A woman shouts at her adult daughter, scolding her for being snide. A woman yells at her adult daughter. We see a woman angrily shout at her husband as her adult daughter watches.
 Several boys throw wet toilet paper at a woman, then shout profanities (including crude sexual profanities and threats) and run away from her.
 A man and two women go in a Jeep down a rolling hill and we see that none of them are wearing seatbelts. A woman gasps as a teen boy opens the passenger door of her car, but recognizes the boy and calms immediately.
 A man tells a woman that an animal had been shackled to a radiator (we see claw marks on the floor) and the man acknowledges that a tiger had been chained up and died. We see a woman typing the words that a tiger had died of dehydration. A woman tells a teen boy that she had done a story about a tiger being kept against its will and that it had died (she is obviously upset). A teen boy tells a man that his brother had died when he was younger; the man acknowledges, saying that he had known the boy's dead brother. A teen boy tells a woman that if he is arrested one more time that he would be charged as an adult. A woman dramatically tells a teen boy that he might as well "blind himself" rather than drop out of high school. A teen boy asks a man if an "old lady has a shotgun" and the man jokes that he would have a shotgun if he finds out that teen boys came to his pasture. A man tells a woman, "You keep moving, or die."
 A woman teases a teen boy and asks if he is still intoxicated (the boy says that he is going to be sick and we see him run away, implied to be vomiting).

PROFANITY 8 - About 31 F-words and its derivatives, 4 sexual references, 12 scatological terms, 6 anatomical terms, 6 mild obscenities, name-calling (pervert, no-good friends, walking Swiss army knife, loser, ugly, 1930s Italian gangster, obnoxious, fat to the point of not moving, insane, idiot, a real piece of work, nuts), 11 religious exclamations (e.g. Oh My God, Jesus). [profanity glossary]

SUBSTANCE USE - We see a man and a woman smoking marijuana with two teen boys, a man and two women share a marijuana cigarette, a man and a woman smoke a marijuana pipe, a man and a woman imply that they want to buy marijuana from a group of teen boys, a woman makes a snide remark about not wanting to smoke marijuana with teen boys because they are students at the school where she is a principal, and we hear the lyrics of a song about a woman "smoking out of an apple" and "being still high for now" (implied to be about marijuana). Two women have a glass of wine, a man drinks a bottle of beer, a woman drinks a cocktail, a man tells a woman that she is not allowed to drink, a woman teases a teen boy and asks if he was still intoxicated (the boy says that he is going to be sick and we see him run away, implied to be vomiting), a teen boy threatens to tell a woman's boss that she is drinking with teenagers, and men and women are seen at a table with wine. Two women smoke cigarettes, a man smokes cigarettes and a woman takes the cigarette from the man and smokes it, a man chides a woman for smoking, two teen boys smoke cigarettes throughout the movie, a man smoking a cigarette, and a woman asks another woman if she "still smokes" and the replies that she is not supposed to smoke because she is trying to get pregnant.

DISCUSSION TOPICS - Statutory rape, mid-life crises, quarter-life crises, depression, escaping from problems, suicide, death of a child, trying to go back to what you had, underage drinking, trying to get pregnant, grief.

MESSAGE - Depression can be a very serious issue.

Special Keywords: S7 - 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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