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Milk [2008] [R] - 8.6.6



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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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Sean Penn stars as Harvey Milk, the first openly gay man to be voted into public office. Before he was assassinated in 1978, he organized the gay rights movement by uniting support from many disparate camps. Also with Allison Pill, Josh Brolin, Emile Hirsch, James Franco, Victor Garber, Diego Luna and Denis O'Hare. Directed by Gus Van Sant. [2:07]

SEX/NUDITY 8 - Two nude men (we see bare backs, buttocks, legs and chests and we see, in heavy shadow, what could be the genitals of one of the men) wrestle in a dark room; one man grabs the other man, they lie on a bed, one man smacks the other on the buttock and it is implied that they have sex (we see them later lying in bed and kissing).
 Two young men kiss, one bends down (off screen) and it is implied that he is performing oral sex on the other; he stands back up to kiss the man and he pushes him back down off screen to continue.
 Two men lie in bed together, they are both bare-chested and it is implied that they have had sex; one puts whipped cream on the face of the other, licks it off and they kiss.
 A man dances in front of another man, he sways his hips and removes his belt, the other takes off his tie and it is implied that they have sex.
 We see a parade where men march bare-chested and other men march dressed as women. We see a stick drawing of a man suffering from a violent act and we see his severed genitals (please see the Violence/Gore category for more details). A nude man swims (we see his bare back, buttocks, legs and chest) and another man watches him as he gets out of the pool, and joins him at a table. We see photos of nude men: one shows a man bare-chested to the hip and a small bit of pubic hair is visible, and another is of a nude man lying on his stomach and his bare back and buttocks are visible. A woman in an opera wears a very deep cut dress that reveals cleavage. A man is shown wearing jockey shorts (we see his bare back and chest).
 Two men kiss in a few scenes. A man throws another man a kiss.
 A man asks another man to run away with him and we see them together in a car and setting up a home together. A man stops another man in a subway station, they talk and flirt, they kiss and they go home together. A man makes a remark about a place being knows for "sex, drugs and more sex." A man tells a political competitor, "I'm looking forward to licking you... in the polls."

VIOLENCE/GORE 6 - A man is shot four times: once through the hand (we see the hole open and see blood), two times in opposite sides of the chest (there are red spots on his jacket) and the fourth time in the back of the head (he collapses). A man pulls a gun on another man in an office, and we hear three shots from outside the room.
 A man finds another man hanging by the neck (we see his face slightly tinged blue) in their apartment; he cuts him down and cries over him.
 We see people being beaten by police with clubs and we see one man cleaning the head wound of another man (we see a bit of blood). We see a man being zipped into a body bag on a dark street and we hear later that he was stabbed multiple times for walking down the street with his male partner.
 Many people march in streets surrounded by police wearing riot gear (no violence occurs). Many people chant and march. A man is frightened when he thinks someone is following him along a dark street.
 We see a stick drawing of a man having been stabbed repeatedly and his genitals have been cut off -- red spurts of blood are also drawn. A woman in an opera jumps off a ledge to her death after finding her lover dead (we see the man on stage with red on his shirt).
 A young man talks about wanting to kill himself because his parents are going to send him to a hospital to get "fixed" because he is gay. We hear that two men were shot and killed. A young man talks about a protest where a protestor was shot in the head by a rubber bullet and that there was blood everywhere. A man talks about police hating and beating gays. A man tells another man that if he talks anymore he will stab him with his fork (he is joking). We read newspaper headlines and we see newsreel type footage of men being arrested in a gay bar. We hear about a successful boycott of a product.

PROFANITY 6 - 15 F-words and its derivatives, 12 sexual references, 13 scatological terms, 5 anatomical terms, 4 mild obscenities, 9 derogatory terms for homosexuals, 1 derogatory term for the Irish, name-calling (schmuck, jocks, perverts, pedophiles, deviants), 3 religious profanities, 8 religious exclamations. [profanity glossary]

SUBSTANCE USE - A man smokes marijuana. People are shown in newsreel type footage smoking cigarettes and drinking alcohol in a bar, people drink alcohol at a celebration, people drink wine with meals, a man drinks alcohol from a bottle, and we see a few beer cans on a table where a man is sitting and it is implied that they are empty and he has been drinking. A man smokes a cigarette and many people are shown smoking cigarettes in many scenes.

DISCUSSION TOPICS - Homosexuality, human rights, gay activism, prejudice, hate crimes, persecution, religious fervor, morality, bigotry, suicide, privacy, truth, freedom, equality, assassination, hypocrisy, normality, discrimination, transgendered persons, rape, hope, pedophilia, bestiality.

MESSAGE - Without hope, life is not worth living. Sexual orientation does not define a person’s character or sense of integrity.

Special Keywords: S8 - V6 - P6 - MPAAR

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