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Matchstick Men



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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

Nicolas Cage stars as a neurotic confidence man, who, along with his partner (Sam Rockwell), works over the telephone, swindling the naïve and gullible out of their money. He has a big hit planned when his estranged 14-year-old daughter appears on his doorstep and wants to become a part of his life. Should he turn her away knowing what kind of life he leads or should he bring her in on the high-risk scam? It's one more stressful issue he has to deal with and it intensifies his neurotic episodes. Also with Alison Lohman, Bruce McGill and Bruce Altman. Directed by Ridley Scott. [1:56]

SEX/NUDITY 5 - Women in thong bikinis dance in a nightclub: one dances on a pole very seductively (we see bare buttocks), men watch and whistle, one woman wears pasties, and another woman takes a man by the hand and leads him out of the room. A man hugs a woman from behind and caresses her pregnant tummy. We see a man's bare buttocks through a hospital gown. A woman wears a tight-fitting, low-cut dress that reveals cleavage. A young woman talks about having been groped and grabbed inappropriately by a security or police officer. A young woman tells a man about sexual encounters she has had with teen boys (he stops her before we hear many details). A man opens his bathroom door and a young woman screams.

VIOLENCE/GORE 5 - A man is shot in the stomach, his hand is covered with blood when he touches the wound, and he falls back over a table. We see a man with a bloody and bruised face and he spits out blood, another man holds a gun on him, another man and a young woman. A man throws an ashtray at another man hitting him in the head, and a man is hit hard in the head and he falls unconscious. A man jumps toward a car, hits it with a briefcase, grabs a young woman's hair through the window and chases the car as it drives away. A man threatens another man with physical violence and a young woman yells at a man. A man talks about having given his ex-wife a black eye. A man is startled when a young woman lunges at him from behind a door. A young woman talks about having been groped and grabbed inappropriately by a police officer. A man has an episode that causes him to twitch and sweat profusely and hyperventilate. We hear that a woman has had a miscarriage. A man wipes a telephone receiver on his backside and crotch. A young woman eats sloppily and has food on her face.

PROFANITY 5 - 3 F-words (one mouthed), 3 obscene hand gestures, 18 scatological terms, 3 anatomical terms, 9 mild obscenities, 3 religious profanities, 14 religious exclamations. [profanity glossary]

DISCUSSION TOPICS - Obsessive/compulsive disorder, grifters, fraud, bait and switch, confidence games, homelessness, parenting, neuroses, phobias, fatherhood, infidelity, rationalization.

MESSAGE - We can find affection in the most unexpected places.

(Note: People are shown chain smoking throughout the movie and we also see people drinking alcohol. We learn that one character is an alcoholic.)

Special Keywords: S5 - V5 - P5 - 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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