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Little Children [2006] [R] - 8.4.6



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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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A stay-at-home suburban mom (Kate Winslet) suffering from boredom in a loveless marriage, finds temporary happiness in an affair with a stay-at-home dad, who's rebelling against his wife's aspirations for professional success and money. Also with Jennifer Connelly, Patrick Wilson, Jackie Earle Haley and Gregg Edelman. Directed by Todd Field. [2:17]

SEX/NUDITY 8 - A woman leaning forward against a wall breathes heavily and perspires and it is implied that she has anal sex with a man.
 A man and a woman kiss, he caresses her, and they have sex: we see her sitting on a sink (her bare breasts are visible and his bare buttocks are shown) as he thrusts and they moan.
 A nude man stands at a window, and a nude woman stands up and caresses his back and asks him to have sex with her again (bare backs, buttocks and her bare breasts are visible).
 A man with a pair of women's panties over his face and looking at a pornographic website masturbates, and he is interrupted when his wife enters the room. A man sitting next to a woman in a car masturbates (we see his shoulder moving rhythmically).
 A man looks at a pornographic website and we see photos of scantily clad women: one woman is leaning forward wearing thong panties that show bare buttocks, and part of her bare breasts are visible. A man rubs suntan lotion on a woman's back.
 Men and women are shown in swimwear in several pool scenes, and a man removes his shirt and we see him bare-chested and in boxer shorts.
 A man and a woman kiss, and other women in a park see them and panic. An adulterous couple goes away together for a weekend.
 A woman talks about having been sexually abused. Parents talk about a man who was convicted of indecent exposure to children and who is classified as a sex offender. Women talk about male genitalia. A woman talks about a man's wife and describes her physical attributes. There are references to transvestites and homosexual sex.
 A sex offender wearing a mask and snorkel swims in a public pool, watching children from underneath the water.

VIOLENCE/GORE 4 - A woman approaches a man who's sobbing and when he stands up we see that he has castrated himself (it is dark and we see glistening blood).
 A man yells into a bullhorn in front of a house, a woman inside comes out and yells at him, and she grabs her chest and collapses on the ground from a heart attack. A man lunges at a man, calling him names.
 A child hits her mother on the head and throws a bag at her while yelling. A man yells and breaks many clocks and statues in a house where his mother just died.
 A man sitting next to a woman in a car masturbates, and he threatens the woman if she tells anyone.
 An elderly woman grabs her chest and appears to be having a heart attack.
 A woman says that she thinks sex offenders should be castrated. A man talks about having accidentally shot a boy when he was a police officer. A little boy talks about how he felt when he was told that his father was killed. A woman talks about having been sexually abused. A woman talks to her son about his "bad urges." Parents talk about a man who was convicted of indecent exposure to children and who is classified as a sex offender. A woman talks about having a nervous breakdown. A woman talks about taking psychotropic drugs.
 People panic when they find a sex offender swimming in a public pool, and the police come and take him away. A woman panics when she cannot find her little girl (she does eventually find her unharmed).
 Men play football with no protection and we hear hard hits and tackles. A dog barks aggressively toward a man.

PROFANITY 6 - 8 F-words, 9 sexual references, 6 scatological terms, 6 anatomical terms, 3 mild obscenities, name-calling (weasel, bully), 3 religious profanities, 8 religious exclamations. [profanity glossary]

SUBSTANCE USE - Men drink alcohol in a few bar scenes, and women drink wine. A woman talks about taking psychotropic drugs.

DISCUSSION TOPICS - Sex offenders, Oedipal complex, parenting, homeland security, life choices, jealousy, fitting in, repressed memory, sexual abuse, feminism, infidelity, suburban life, passing judgment, pornography, fetishes, snobbery, desperation, rumors, loneliness, gossip, secret lives, shame, guilt.

MESSAGE - Change is slow but it has to start somewhere.

Special Keywords: S8 - V4 - P6 - 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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