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McFarland USA [2015] [PG] - 2.4.2



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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.

 [more »]

Sex & Nudity
Violence & Gore
1 to 10


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A new coach (Kevin Costner) moves to a Hispanic high school in 1980s California and finds his track team members culturally unfamiliar, but with extraordinary skills. As he learns about their strong family ties and work ethic he also learns about himself. Also with Maria Bello, Morgan Saylor, Carlos Pratts and Valente Rodriguez. Directed by Nikki Caro. Several lines of dialogue are in Spanish with English subtitles. [2:08]

SEX/NUDITY 2 - A woman and a man hug a few times and kiss hello and goodbye briefly. A teen boy and a teen girl hold hands twice.
 We hear that a teen girl is pregnant and we see her briefly as she sits on a couch, crying, with a large belly; we later see her mother holding a baby wrapped in a blanket at a track meet. A teen boy scratches his clothed buttocks toward the camera.
 A man in a car whistles at a woman and her teen daughter. A young girl teases her older sister about a teen boy saying, "You like him! You like him!"
 Three women wear low-cut gowns that reveal some cleavage. A woman wears a nightgown and long sleeved robe in one scene and a sundress in another scene that reveal a little cleavage. A teen girl wears a square neckline that shows slight cleavage. A woman salon owner wears tops and a gown that are snug and low-cut to reveal moderate cleavage. A car hood painting is of a woman, waist-up, with a V-neck top that reveals cleavage. Some boys are shirtless.

VIOLENCE/GORE 4 - A man drives to a parking lot where his teen daughter is sitting on the ground with scraped, bleeding knees as EMTs place pads on them; she says, "They had knives" and her father shouts at a teen boy, whom we later hear pushed her away from the mayhem with help from friends, causing her minor injuries. We see a man with a bloody abdomen on a gurney and another man hoses a parking lot clean of blood and dirt.
 A man shouts at his wife, throws knickknacks at a fireplace, rises from a couch and pounds a wall with his fists because his daughter is pregnant (please see the Sex/Nudity category for more details) and his teen son pulls him away. A teen boy sits on a bridge railing over a highway as his teacher drives by, stops and pulls the crying boy from the railing after telling him that if he fell off, he would never be able to run again; the boy has bruised cheeks and swollen lips caused by his father. A coach shouts at a smart-aleck high school football player who continues to make faces at him; the coach throws a football shoe at the locker beside the teen's head, the shoe bounces, and the teen receives a cut that makes a stream of blood on his cheek. Two teen boys scuffle in a lunchroom and a teacher breaks it up.
 Sweating teen boys run home after school and work fields of crops under blazing hot sun. During track practice, teen boys sweat as they run up and down tall artificial hills of almond husks under plastic sheets; one boy becomes angry, runs to the top of a hill, slams his fists into the top of it, shouting loudly and he runs home. We see teen boys work and sweat in cabbage fields beginning at 5:00 AM before school, they run to school then run back to work in the evenings. A mother lightly slaps her three teen sons awake at 5:00 AM to go to work in a cabbage field; she pulls one son out of a top bunk and onto his feet. A man joins teen boys at work in cabbage fields and is exhausted in three hours with back pain and he lies in the field as a teen boy rubs his lower back. An older man limps to his place in a cabbage field to work, supported by a cane.
 A larger boy slams a high school football player to the ground hard twice and teammates help the downed boy off the field the second time. An all-white track team sneers and laughs at a Latino team and calls them "boys" to their faces.
 In three cross country meets, teams of high school boys run in hot sun across bridges and dams and up a mountain, sweating, breathing hard and panting; the first few to finish grimace as they run faster toward the end of the race and one runner falls, but recovers and continues to run, unhurt; one heavier boy in the last meet sprints forward and grimaces the most, pushing past a dozen other young men and then lying down after crossing the finish line. Two close-ups of starter pistols discharging include a muffled "pop" in the first close-up and a louder "bang" in the second one.
 A man moves his family to a neighborhood with boarded up buildings and one of his daughters asks, "Are we in Mexico?"; we hear that many men in the neighborhood (fathers and uncles) are regularly in and out of prison and kids support their families through farm labor beginning at age 10.
 A teacher tells a group of students, "All of you... dead" because they tricked him into believing he was not allowed to eat an orange from a tree. A boy says another boy will die because he is running too fast in a race.
 A hot rod blocks a line of cars at an intersection.
 A teen boy vomits before running a race and we see yellow vomit hit the grass. In grass beside a curb. A teen boy tells his teacher with him at a large family meal that it would be rude to puke on the table from eating too much. A female dog squats and apparently urinates, but we see no urine. A little girl picks her nose, but we do not see any debris. A woman tells a man to shower because he is smelly from work.

PROFANITY 2 - 1 scatological term, 2 anatomical terms, 2 mild obscenities, 2 derogatory terms for whites, name-calling (wise guy, dump, picker, expendable, stupid, fat, knucklehead, jerk, insecure jerk, over-qualified assistant, Superman, mangy chicken, peacock, Barbie bike, White, Blanco), stereotypical references to fathers, machismo, women, teen boys, teen girls, fat people, track stars, sports coaches, snobs, bigots, Latinos, Whites, exclamations (shut-up, oh my goodness), 5 religious exclamations (God, My God, Oh God, May God Bless You, a silent prayer among kneeling runners). [profanity glossary]

SUBSTANCE USE - Men drink from bottles of beer at parties and family dinners and outside their homes, and we see a blurry image behind a customer in a market that shows a wall of shelves filled with liquors that include tequila bottles and rum.

DISCUSSION TOPICS - Family, work ethic, commitment, racial politics, Hispanic-Caucasian communities, understanding, acceptance, respect, loyalty, friendship.

MESSAGE - Talent emerges from all ethnicities. Cultures are only superficially different.

Special Keywords: S2 - V4 - P2 - MPAAPG

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