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The Meddler [2016] [PG-13] - 2.3.5



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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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After the death of her husband, a woman (Susan Sarandon) moves to LA to be closer to her daughter (Rose Byrne). However, the proximity makes the daughter's life more difficult and she struggles with her mother's constant interference. Also with J.K. Simmons, Jerrod Carmichael, Cecily Strong, Lucy Punch, Michael McKean, Jason Ritter, Sarah Baker, Casey Wilson, Amy Landecker, Billy Magnussen and Megalyn Echikunwoke. Directed by Lorene Scafaria. [1:40]

SEX/NUDITY 2 - Women wear low-cut tops and dresses that reveal cleavage in several scenes. A woman enters her adult daughter's house and walks into the bathroom where the daughter is showering (we see the woman's upper shoulders). A man in a TV studio set is shown wearing a towel around his waist and his bare chest and abdomen are seen.
 A man and a woman kiss. A man kisses a woman on the cheek and lips and hugs her (she seems uncomfortable). A man touches a woman's hair and pulls her toward him to kiss her (please see the Violence/Gore category for more details). A man holds a woman's hand and she seems uncomfortable and pulls away.
 Men and women dance together. A man is introduced to a woman and she seems to panic and leave abruptly when he asks her to go to lunch with him.
 A woman tells her mother that she needs to have sex with someone. A police officer says that they arrive at a scene and "There is this naked guy." A woman says that she is not serious with a man and that she is "rebounding."

VIOLENCE/GORE 3 - A woman pokes a man in the eyes, punches him in the throat and crotch and gets out of his car after he tries to kiss her. A woman sprinkles her dead husband's ashes into the ocean and a police officer tells her to stop and that it is illegal; she says that he will have to come and get her out of the water himself and we see her being placed in a cell at a police station. A woman driving and not paying attention crashes into a car (we do not see damage or injuries). A woman standing on trolley tracks is nearly struck and the conductor looks shocked as he stops abruptly. A woman runs across a trolley track (the trolley is approaching but the woman is not harmed).
 A woman comes out of a wedding reception to find that her car has been stolen. A woman is sad when she realizes that a bonsai tree and an orchid that belonged to her now deceased husband have been neglected and died. A woman visits an elderly woman in a hospital and the woman is unable to speak and is shown alone with no family; we then see her son joining her in the room and saying, "I didn't know."
 A woman yells at her parents in a TV show. A woman tells a man about a killer who scalps his victims while they are still alive and eats their brains. We hear and see news reports of a serial killer and that the police have found another body. It is reported that a serial killer is being called, "Red Ripper." We hear a screaming in a movie and see a woman looking away from the screen and closing her eyes. A woman tells her mother that they need to set boundaries. A woman says she wants to kill herself. A young man complains about his brother always getting him into trouble. A mother tells a therapist that she is worried that her adult daughter will hurt herself. A woman says, "I could be stuffed into a cannon and shot into space." A woman says, "I lost my mom when I was young." A woman tells a man at airport security that her daughter shot a pilot (meaning for TV) and another guard approaches her (nothing else is shown).A man says that he called his daughter and that she yelled at him for a long time and that he might go see her so that she can scream at him to his face. A woman cries in joy when she thinks that she is pregnant.
 A woman is shown having blood drawn for a pregnancy test (we see a rubber band wrapped around her arm and no blood is shown) and she flinches when she is poked (off-screen). A woman urinates on a pregnancy test stick (we see her sit on the toilet). A woman eats a bag of marijuana left in her car by a young man when a security guard pulls up behind her car and flashes his lights.

PROFANITY 5 - About 1 F-word, 1 sexual reference, 3 scatological terms, 3 mild obscenities, name-calling (crazy, Red Ripper, bastardized), exclamations (oh my gosh), 11 religious exclamations (e.g. God, Oh My God, Jesus, God Bless Him, Oh God). [profanity glossary]

SUBSTANCE USE - A woman eats a bag of marijuana, a woman smokes marijuana and her mother berates her for not quitting, a young man finds a bag of marijuana, and a man talks about his daughter being in rehab. Men and woman drink glasses of wine at a party, people drink wine at a restaurant, several women drink wine at a bridal fitting, a woman drinks a couple of glasses of vodka, people drink glasses of wine and beer and a mixed drink in a restaurant, people drink wine at a wedding reception, and several people drink glasses of wine with a meal. A man smokes a cigarette on the deck of a boat.

DISCUSSION TOPICS - Death of a parent, death of a spouse, grief, mourning, depression, interference, parenting, love, divorce, new relationships, having children out of marriage, gay marriage, adoption, self-sacrifice, unplanned pregnancy.

MESSAGE - People deal with grief in different ways. Don't give up on family.

Special Keywords: S2 - V3 - 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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