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Mr. Holmes [2015] [PG] - 1.3.1



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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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In 1947 a retired Sherlock Holmes (Ian McKellen) is disturbed by his recent trip to Japan in search of anti-aging potions. Returning to Sussex with determination, he focuses on a 35-year old unsolved case. He does not remember all the facts, but he does retain the knack for solving crimes. Also with Laura Linney, Milo Parker, Patrick Kennedy, Hattie Morahan and Hiroyuki Sanada. Directed by Bill Condon. [1:45]

SEX/NUDITY 1 - We hear that a woman had two miscarriages, at months three and four of pregnancies.
 A woman music teacher asks her young boy pupil if he is an intruding man's wife; the boy says, "I don't think so" and he also denies being in disguise.

VIOLENCE/GORE 3 - A woman stands on a railroad track looking into the camera as a train approaches; the camera cuts to her graveyard headstone between that of her two sons lost in miscarriage.
 A man finds a boy lying in the grass, covered with large sting welts; the man calls emergency services and asks for adrenaline and the boy's mother shouts and cries; we hear later that the boy is in a coma (he was allergic to bees). A man cooks a plant in a pan to make a liquid (please see the Substance Use category for more details) and in the middle of the night a young boy sees smoke and bright light coming from the workroom across the yard, runs in, and pours water on the smoldering pan; the man is seen lying unconscious on the floor (we hear that the man must stay in bed for a few days). An elderly man falls out of bed and whimpers for help; a young boy runs in and helps him up, bandaging several scrapes on one arm and hiding the shirt that has a little blood on the sleeve as the boy's mother enters the room and speaks sternly to the man, while helping him back to bed. A bee stings a boy in the throat and a man removes the bee and stinger, wipes the sting with alcohol, and gives the boy saltwater to drink.
 We see a woman and a man, each with horrible scarring on their faces from the Hiroshima bombing and another man looks stunned by their appearance. An elderly man rubs his arms and legs often because of arthritic pain and he walks with a cane and takes small steps.
 A woman douses beehives with kerosene to ignite them as an elderly man approaches and falls to his knees, crying, and then stands and pulls her away to show her a wasp's nest nearby, which caused her son's stings and the deaths of dozens of his bees; together, they douse kerosene over the hive and set fire to the wasps, destroying the insects in large yellow flames. A man throws a large magnifying glass onto the carpet, the glass pops out, but does not break.
 A man barges into a house and demands to see his wife, but the woman inside denies that she is there; a man advises the first man to leave and he slams the door on his way out. A man pretends to read a woman's palm, telling her to seek solace from her losses with her husband and she becomes angry, cries silently, and tells him to leave her alone. In a teahouse two men argue, one stating that his father left the family to live in England at the urging of the other man, who never met the man's father. A man becomes depressed and begins forgetting details of a case, but feels haunted by it in flashbacks of a woman's face and blames himself for her death. An elderly man and his younger housekeeper argue several times about his daily habits and beekeeping that may be dangerous and he admits that he has been stung 7,618 times; she wants to move away, because he is abrasive, but the man wants her to stay because he is almost a 100 years old and needs help. A woman argues with her young son a few times about moving away to a better situation and the boy finally begins shouting at her in front of a man, criticizing her for illiteracy; she becomes tearful and walks out of the room, and the man tells the boy to go apologize. A man writes to tell another man that his mother died. We hear that a man's first housekeeper, his brother and his best friend died. A woman tells her child that his father died during WWI,I the first time he flew a mission with the RAF, having bettered his education and so it is useless to study.
 An elderly man travels to post-WWII Japan to find "prickly ash" that he believes will slow aging and dementia; we see American soldiers patrolling a street, carrying rifles and we also see a small forest and the ground is black and the trees half-sized, with a few blackened, short lower branches. An image of yellow and gray smoke form an atomic bomb fills the screen briefly. A boy recovers from bee stings and we see a few small welts on his face.
 A doctor visits a man and tells him to use a diary to mark a dot for each thing he forgets; in a month, the pages show many dots, but the last pages are crammed full of dots and the man prints notes on his shirt cuffs to remind him of names and places, and becomes tearful.
 A man visits a detective about his wife because she is obsessed with a glass harmonica and that a music teacher must have enchanted her with a deadly spell; he says that his wife will not stop talking to and about her miscarried babies while playing eerie music and talking to her two miscarried sons and asks for headstones for them, and her husband refuses; her husband cuts off her lessons and takes away her privileges at their bank, forbidding her from seeing the music teacher again.

PROFANITY 1 - 1 anatomical term (a woman calls an herb "ashy prick"), 3 religious exclamations (I wish to God), name-calling (fool, foolish, rubbish, lunatic, invalid, stupid, mad, selfish, Japanese muck, Welsh pony). [profanity glossary]

SUBSTANCE USE - A man states that the lead in glass harmonica instruments can cause insanity and death, a man cooks the leaves of a medicinal plant on a burner in small pan and takes a hypodermic syringe out of a case and tests the plunger, a physician states that a man injected himself with a liquefied plant, a man and a young boy pour a liquefied herb into their food and make faces at its taste in a couple of scenes, a man says that he used royal jelly from bees instead of a plant to treat memory loss and arthritis with little luck, a set of small shelves holds several bottles of unknown substances, a woman purchases a small brown bottle from a pharmacist who says the contents are extremely poisonous, and a woman pours the contents of a bottle out onto the ground and the fumes kill a nearby bee. We see sake cups on tables as men are seen drinking tea in a Japanese tea house. An elderly man states that he prefers to smoke a cigar than a pipe (he is not seen smoking either), and a younger man smokes a cigarette outside a theater.

DISCUSSION TOPICS - Memory, aging, death, loss, regret, person-hood of the unborn, inter-generational learning, formal education, superstition, family, friendship, love, logic, communication, determination, courage, respect, truth, fiction.

MESSAGE - Love is as necessary as logic, especially in friendships and families. Faculties diminish with age and there are no cures.

Special Keywords: S1 - V3 - P1 - MPAAPG

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