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The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers



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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

MPAA Rating: PG-13

The second chapter in the J.R.R. Tolkien saga: hobbits Frodo and Sam (Elijah Wood and Sean Astin) face terrible dangers and temptation, Aragorn (Viggo Mortensen) and his companions strive to rescue the abducted hobbits Pippin and Merry, and the great wizard Gandalf (Ian McKellen) makes a miraculous return. Also with Christopher Lee, Liv Tyler, Cate Blanchett, Orlando Bloom, Karl Urban and John Rhys-Davies. [2:59]

SEX/NUDITY 1 - A male and female character kiss and are romantic in a few scenes. A male character touches a female character's face in a seductive manner. A woman hugs a man

VIOLENCE/GORE 7 - There are many battle scenes, mostly between "dark warriors" and humanoid characters. The former are brutish, with yellow eyes and sharp teeth, and the latter include humans, elves, dwarves, hobbits, etc. (and will be collectively referred to henceforth as "characters"). There are also other monstrous and animalistic creatures (henceforth referred to as "creatures"). During battle scenes, large armies approach each other, charging head on. Men and boys arm themselves to fight the legions of the dark warriors: we hear the dark warriors growling and howling, one warrior is shot in the neck with an arrow and the rest charge a stone wall. Many more arrows are loosed and many more dark warriors are hit, many climb over the stone wall and fight with swords, and many are hit in the gut and neck and some fall over the wall. We see one character lying dead, while two other characters lunge into a crowd hacking, slashing and stabbing. A character is stabbed with a spear, and a ladder covered with warriors is tipped back into a crowd, crushing those on the ladder and on the ground. During a battle soldiers charge down a hill toward a wall of spears (we hear slashing, squishing and pounding). In another battle scene between characters and warriors, many are slashed, pounded and stabbed, and many fall and are trampled. Large hyena-like animals with monstrous creatures on their backs charge, one character is bitten and the rider is slashed with a sword. A character is dragged over a cliff and we see raging water below (he is presumed dead), another character slashes at a creature that lands dead on top of him, another one piles on and his neck is broken, and yet another is stabbed in the throat. Many lie dead after a battle: we see men, creatures and horses -- one creature gurgles and gags as he lies on the ground and then dies. A couple of creatures talk about eating two young men, another creature cuts the head off another creature and a crowd of these creatures pounce on the carcass to eat it (we see one pull a bit of red tissue). Then another creature is stabbed in the back with a spear and the crowd of creatures pounces on it. We see a warrior's dismembered head on a stake and a pile of dead warriors smoldering behind it, and we hear a creature ordered to unleash a hound-looking animal against villagers. A village is attacked by a large army on horseback: people are slashed and hacked, people fall to the ground, and fires are set (we see a man with bloody head and torso wounds). An army is ambushed and hit with flying arrows; some soldiers fall dead, and charging elephants runs right over two characters hiding in the brush. An army on horseback rides while slashing and hacking at dark warriors (many fall to the ground dead), and a character is trapped under a horse as it rears and we fear he is trampled. A wizard and a demon fight at the edge of a precipice: the demon is knocked down and falls, and his dragon-like tail grabs the wizard and pulls him in after him. We see them falling and fighting (the wizard slashes at the demon with his sword), flames burst from the demon, and they fall some more until they both crash into water. A river floods a cavern full of creatures, and we see them being overtaken by the water. Large creatures throw rocks and stomp on other creatures. A character faces a rider on a dragon's back and tries to put a ring on his finger. We hear the eerie screams of three riders on the backs of flying dragons. An emaciated being with gray-tinged skin, pointed teeth and very large, bulging eyes and what looks like whip scars on his back, climbs toward two sleeping characters, tries to grab something and the two characters wake up and struggle with the emaciated being who in turn holds one character by the throat; the other character then holds a sword to the emaciated being's throat. In two other scenes this being picks up a dead rabbit and bites into it pulling some red tissue in its teeth, and bangs a fish onto rocks while many guards point arrows at him. A creature with a dagger chases two characters, grabs one by the foot dropping him to the ground and holds a knife over him; the creature is then crushed under the foot of another creature. A man is thrown down stone steps, and another man holds a sword over him to kill him. A creature is grabbed, a bag is placed over his head and he's thrown to the ground. A sword is held to a character's throat. A character tumbles down a ledge; another follows and two guards from a marching army come to investigate with their weapons drawn. Three characters are held at spear point by an army on horseback, two characters are held at sword point, two characters are held around the waist by a large creature and squeezed (we see them squirming and hear them moaning). An emaciated being is dragged along by a rope tied around his throat (the being moans and screams in pain). Two characters are led through a swamp and along the way we see pools of water filled with dead bodies; one character falls into the water and sees visions of skeletal spirits reaching for him. We hear of a slaughter of villagers and that "none was left alive." We hear of a character's death, and we see him lying dead on a bed with another character grieving. We see some of the dark warriors being "born" out of the ground wrapped in large sacks of slime. We see a character lying on a high peak with a very bloody nose and he falls unconscious, a character has a bloody wound on his arm, and a man has an empty eye socket. We see some blood on a leaf. A huge dark tower looms over large holes being dug in the earth, with fires burning to melt metal and make weapons. A large, flaming shape in the form of an eye, or ring, hovers in the sky. There are several scenes where a character appears to be feeling faint or going into a sort of trance.

PROFANITY 1 - 1 mild anatomical term, and name-calling. [profanity glossary]

DISCUSSION TOPICS - Supernatural creatures, temptation, power, hope, treachery, evil, spells, banishment, respect for the environment, rebirth.

MESSAGE - Without hope, all is lost. We must hold onto the belief that there is some good in the world.

Special Keywords: S1 - V7 - P1 - 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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