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The Lobster [2016] [R] - 7.6.5



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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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In the near future, humans are legally required to be in long-term relationships and single people are sentenced to a 45-day stay at a hotel to search for a mate; if unsuccessful, they are turned into animals. One single man (Colin Farrell) discovers renegade loners in nearby woods, and realizes that love is not allowed there. Also with Olivia Coleman, Ben Whishaw, John C. Reilly, Rachel Weisz and Lea Seydoux. Directed by Yorgos Lanthimos. A few lines of dialogue are in French with English subtitles. [1:58]

SEX/NUDITY 7 - A man in a dark bedroom wears an open shirt that reveals part of his chest and abdomen as he thrusts repeatedly into the back of a woman bent over on a bed (she's wearing a bra); we see her body being thrust forward as her cleavage jiggles (we see her abdomen and the side of a buttock) and we hear wet sounds; the camera cuts to a closer shot of the woman on her back as the man continues to thrust as the scene ends.
 A woman tells a man to sit on his bed and remove his trousers and he takes down his pants and we see boxer shorts; the woman pulls up her knee-length skirt to reveal a thigh as she sits on his lap and rubs her buttocks on his genital area and we see one full female buttock when she says, "It did not take so long today," lowers her skirt, leaves and he says, "A little longer, please," as she walks out of the room. A wife lifts her knee-length dress and rubs her buttocks on her husband's genital area after the man removes his trousers to reveal his boxers and sits on a bed (we see one of her fully bare buttocks and a thigh in a brief shot).
 A man roleplays raping a woman: he walks behind her, drops his pants to show boxer shorts and simulates anal sex a foot away from her as she moves with him and pretends to shout for help (the audience is told that a woman walking with a man, her life partner, will not be raped by another man).
 A man and a woman kiss passionately for over a minute while sitting on a couch until another woman shouts at them, "That's enough!" and pulls them apart. A man and a woman dance together and kiss. A man and a woman hold hands on a couch and the woman kisses the man's free hand.
 A man admits to masturbation to hotel officials while at breakfast in a dining room, where officials then jam his hand into a hot toaster that glows red inside; he screams and later wears a bandage on that hand; another man tells him that he should have ogled a horse in a still photo instead of the naked woman riding it (we do not see the photo).
 Two men and two women sit wearing their underwear; the women wear bras that show cleavage with panties up to the waist and men wear boxer shorts as all four sit in straight back chairs facing the camera (we see the men's bare chest and abdomen). A man wearing boxer shorts sits in a hot tub with a woman whose arms we see above the churning water. A man is seen in three scenes, rubbing ointment on his back that looks a little like cottage cheese in places. A woman swims in a hotel pool, mostly submerged (we see cleavage above her bikini top); a few men walk or sit around the pool and wear long shorts, revealing their chest, backs and abdomens. A man in a forest strips an unconscious man down to the boxers and socks, takes the clothes and leaves him on the ground. Several women in a hotel all wear the same halter top dresses that show a little cleavage in a few scenes.
 A woman tells a man that sexual relations and makeup are not allowed in her group, and not even flirting, hand holding, etc. A woman says that she had a dream in which she was married and having anal sex, but a dove entered the room with sharp knives and stabbed them both in the bellies. A man says that he loves a woman so much that he could die for her. A man asks a woman, "Can I give you a kiss?' and she declines. A woman asks if she can come up to a man's room and he refuses. A man in a pool scene stares at a woman's lower legs, moving his eyes from knees to feet and back up (she wears a knee-length robe).
 A man sniffs tearfully as his wife's voice off-screen says she is leaving him for another man and the husband is sentenced to captivity in which he must seek out a new mate; a counselor asks his sexual preference with choices being heterosexual or homosexual ("bisexual" was eliminated by the government) and he says he was married to a woman for years and had one homosexual experience earlier, but that he should register as "heterosexual." A man says that he would become a lobster, because a lobster is fertile all its life, up to 100 years.
 A police officer forces a woman to kneel and notes that her couple's certification license has expired and demands an explanation; as the woman splutters and the officer berates her, another officer confronts a man and demands his couple's papers until a woman rushes up and kisses the man and offers to produce papers (the officer releases the couple).

VIOLENCE/GORE 6 - A woman threatens to jump out of a hotel window and kill herself; several days later, we see her body face down, sprawled on a stone patio with her head in a large pool of blood and we hear her scream and cry loudly as the camera moves to a man and a woman talking and the man says that he hopes she dies immediately or suffers a long time and dies as the other woman says that she cannot hear because of the screaming and the scene ends. A man in a forest stabs another man in the back of the calf, drawing a little blood; the stabbed man falls, shouting in pain and falls unconscious when the other man shoots him with a tranquilizer dart. A woman tricks a blind woman into stabbing and killing a third, screaming woman in the stomach, drawing blood and the first woman lies beside the body and pretends to gasp and die as well; the blind woman touches the bloody body. A man screams and the camera cuts to him sitting on the ground with his leg in a leg-hold trap, blood covering the lower part of his pants and shoes as a woman tells him to try to catch up with the group later and they walk away. A man sits with a woman in a restaurant where loud construction is ongoing outside; the man takes a steak knife to the washroom where he points it at one of his eyes and then stuffs a crumpled napkin into his mouth, points the knife close to his eye and the screen goes black for a few seconds (we see the woman sitting alone and the man does not return).
 An extended slow motion sequence shows men and women with tranquillizer rifles chasing other men and women through a thick forest; the shooters miss several people as darts shoot across the screen and one man and a woman are struck and fall; a woman slams a rifle butt into the lower back of a woman, who falls toward the camera, grimacing and a close-up shows the fallen woman's bloody face as a woman punches her and blood splatters. A man admits to masturbation to hotel officials while at breakfast in a dining room and the officials jam his hand into a hot toaster that glows red inside; he screams and later wears a bandage on that hand. Two men, one limping, push and slap each other and a third man breaks up the scuffle (no injuries are shown). A woman gags and ties up another woman and gives a handgun to the captive's male partner, telling him to kill her and the bound woman screams as another woman holds a knife to her throat; the man fires (the woman is not struck). A woman slaps a man's face hard and the woman's little girl yells, picks up a sharp knife, hands it to her mother and tells her to kill him, but she does not. A woman slaps another woman's face hard and the struck woman's head hangs as she sobs. A little girl offers to kiss a male friend of her father, but the friend kicks her in the shin in a long shot (no damage is seen); he tells the whimpering girl that now she will limp like her father. We see that blood has trickled into a sink in two places from a man's dog (formerly his brother, turned into a dog) who was killed; he cries and his wife slaps his face hard, and then grabs his collar and takes him down staircases, but he escapes, and then appears behind her and shoots her in the back with a tranquillizer dart (she falls unconscious). A man knocks a woman unconscious, puts her in a grave, covering her body and arms with heavy soil as we hear yelling male voices off-screen and as the woman slowly awakens two large dogs walk into the scene and begin sniffing her face and the scene ends (a dog attack is implied). A man inside a room lies face up on the carpet with a dart stuck in his large belly. A woman helps a man drag a woman into a room where people are changed into animals and the man shoots a dart into the woman's stomach at her request and she falls to the hall floor.
 A man and a woman wear gauze bandages across their mouths and cheeks with blood showing around the lip area and a woman says that they were punished for flirting by the "red kiss" (cutting their lips off and forcing them to kiss several times immediately); a voiceover says that the speaker has never learned what the "red intercourse" is. A woman forces a man to dig a shallow grave, lie in it, and pull soil over his body and face; she says dogs would eat his face off if he is buried improperly and she releases him. A wife tells her husband that she killed a dog by stomping on its stomach repeatedly as she imitates the whimpering of the dying animal (the camera cuts to her feet, where we see a large amount of blood spatter all over her lower leg, foot and shoe).
 A woman with a handgun shoots a burro, it slowly falls over (no blood), presumably dead, and another burro walks slowly over to look at it as the scene ends. A dead dog is seen lying on its side in a large pool of blood with its eye staring upwards. A man captures a rabbit in a net and carries a bloody bag to a woman as a voiceover states that a sharp knife will cut the head off a rabbit, so it is better to use the blade along the sides, then roast the animal; the man dumps three dead, bloody rabbits beside a woman sitting on the ground. A man hands a woman a flapping fish.
 A man with a tranquilizer rifle looks out a window and sees a several men and women lying unconscious on a driveway while several other men and women with tranquilizer rifles stand parallel to them (this occurs in another scene also); we hear that all the unconscious people will be changed into animals. We see men and women armed with tranquilizer rifles as they ride in a bus. Two men shoot tranquillizer darts at paper target silhouettes of men outside a hotel in a training area. A man selects a wide handsaw to use against an enemy (we never see him use it).
 Hotel staff place a man into a leather belt and cuff one of his hands behind his back with a chain padlocked to the belt buckle; we later see another man with the same belt and handcuff arrangement and a woman has the same device attached to the waist of her dress.
 A woman in a hot tub chokes on an olive and collapses, but sits up and takes the olive out of her mouth when a man sitting with her does not react. A man roleplays eating alone and choking to death on imaginary food; a woman joins him and they roleplay eating together, he chokes, and she saves him with the Heimlich maneuver.
 A woman has a slight nosebleed and we hear this is a chronic condition. A man interested in dating a woman slams his head on the side of a swimming pool, and brings forth a bit of blood. A man sitting on a couch bangs his nose hard on a side table three times to draw a little blood. A woman dances with a man who has a small dark stain on his shirt; the woman says that she bled onto it and as they turn we see a little blood on her lip. We hear that a man and a woman that are in love both have nearsightedness and astigmatism; their boss takes the woman to an eye clinic for surgery and we see the unconscious patient being reclined in a dental chair and we see the woman with eye patches and adhesive tape as a man's voice off-screen tells the boss, "She's blind." A man sits on another man who is sitting against a tree and pulls his eyelids open forcefully (we see bloodshot eyes).
 A woman says that she had a dream in which she was married and having anal sex, but a dove entered the room with sharp knives and stabbed them both in the bellies. A woman tells a man that she took her husband's drill and drove it into his chest, killing him. A man says people are changed into animals by being shot with a tranquillizer rifle and darts, taken to a Transition Room, skinned, their eyes gouged out, and their blood sent to hospitals for transfusions, before an unknown final step. Hard boiled eggs under the armpits is mentioned as a punishment. A man yells at two men for wanting to become a lisping parrot and a lobster someone will boil and suck the flesh out of. A man says that his mother was made into a wolf when her husband ran off with another woman. A man says that he visited a wolf pen in the zoo and gave all the wolves raw meat and got into the pen; the wolves attacked him and left him with an injured lower leg (we see a twist on his lower leg but no teeth marks). A woman tells several people to be sure to dig their own graves for the future.
 Extremely loud string music plays several times and a loud military alarm sounds during a group meal in a hotel.

PROFANITY 5 - About 5 F-words and its derivatives, 9 sexual references, 1 scatological term (shouted by a 10-year-old girl at her mother), 7 anatomical terms, name-calling (idiot, pathetic, silly, fat), exclamations (I swear), 2 religious exclamations (Oh My God, Thank God). [profanity glossary]

SUBSTANCE USE - A woman tells another woman that "the drugs are messing with your head" (we never see any drugs), and a few men and women are shot with tranquilizer darts in a few scenes (please see the Violence/Gore category for more details). A man has a cocktail on his table for breakfast (he does not drink it), a man has a cocktail brought to his room (he does not drink it), men and women at a long dining table have glasses of wine (one person drinks) in three scenes, three men in a hotel lounge sit with two short whiskeys and a martini (they do not drink), a glass of wine is seen on a coffee table, and a glass of wine is shown on a dinner table in a yacht. A man and a woman smoke cigarettes outside a hotel, two men smoke cigarettes, and a woman smokes a cigarette in a forest.

DISCUSSION TOPICS - Fascism, government control, mandated marriages, captivity, changing people into animals, relationships, dating, love, jealousy, competition for mates, marriage, fidelity, commitment, compatibility, personal appearance, physical deficits, lying, harsh punishments, murder, torture, death.

MESSAGE - A government cannot effectively legislate and mandate marriage or relationships.

Special Keywords: S7 - V6 - P5 - MPAAR

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