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Mud [2013] [PG-13] - 3.5.5



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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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A 14-year-old (Tye Sheridan) lives in a ramshackle houseboat on the banks of an Arkansas river with his parents (Sarah Paulson and Ray McKinnon). She and a friend meet a fugitive (Matthew McConaughey) and agree to help him avoid bounty hunters and return to his true love. Also with Reese Witherspoon, Jacob Lofland, Sam Shepherd and Michael Shannon. Directed by Jeff Nichols. [2:10]

SEX/NUDITY 3 - A 14-year-old boy likes an older girl at high school; she kisses him on the neck and on the lips but also laughs at him for being 14 when he says, "I love you" in front of other people. A teen boy sees a woman kissed by a man other than her boyfriend and the boy looks stunned.
 A few women wear short shorts and low-cut tops that reveal some cleavage and most of their bare legs. A shirtless man is shown with a fish tattoo on his shoulder (we see his bare chest, abdomen and back). A shirtless man has a snake tattoo winding around his arm and shoulder (please see the Violence/Gore category for more details) and we see his bare chest and back.
 An older man tells a teen boy that a pretty woman in town is trouble. A man tells his son that women are tough and will leave you. A husband and his wife argue briefly twice about living on a houseboat and decide to separate, but remain friends. Another man and woman break up a relationship because neither can commit to marriage, but they say they will always love each other; later the woman cries loudly about it after throwing herself on her bed. A teen boy asks another boy if a girl at school has nice "titties" and the second boy replies yes; later, the first boy asks the second boy if he is "touching any tittie" and the second boy replies, "Some." A teen boy finds a stack of "Penthouse" magazines in an old boat; cover photos are not seen, but we hear the boy open one magazine and say, "Those are awesome."

VIOLENCE/GORE 5 - A man visits a boy in his bedroom in a houseboat at night to say goodbye while a dozen men fire into the house, causing large holes in walls; a man shouts and shoots his handgun out the front door while a woman screams and we see the man struck in the neck (we see a little blood and we later we see a white bandage over part of his neck); two groups of men continue to exchange fire and several men are killed (we see some blood splatter and one man lies face up on the floor with several bloody bullet holes in his chest) and one man jumps into a river and disappears (we later see him with bandages around his midsection and padding over his kidney with a small spot of blood on it).
 We see a woman with red marks over her eye and cheek, looking as if someone hit her; later, a man slams her against a wall in her motel room and puts a knife against her chin, telling her she better tell him where her boyfriend is, but she is silent and the man leaves. A boy sees a man slam a woman into a wall, he rushes the man and punches him, and the man punches the boy in the face several times (the boy suffers some redness and bruising around one eye). A teen boy punches an older boy, and then gets punched in the face four times (the younger boy suffers a reddened eye that ice helps). A teen boy slaps a girl on the rump and a younger teen boy charges him and knocks him down.
 A man taking a teen boy to the hospital ties a tourniquet on the boy's leg and marks the time using a marker every 15 minutes following areas of swelling and advancing purple color; nurses and doctors take the boy at the clinic and the man walks away as people in the waiting room stare (we see the boy at home in bed, sitting up quickly, and recovering from the incident).
 Several police cruisers with lights flashing gather at a river while others drag the bottom for bodies (none are found).
 A teen boy slams doors in his house when he hears his parents are separating. A man hears that his girlfriend was seeing another man; he screams, beating his fist into the sand of a beach several times. A man shouts and curses at his son for stealing a broken boat motor from a junk yard until his wife knocks his hat off and tells him to stop and they argue briefly about her moving off their houseboat and into an apartment. A husband and his wife argue briefly twice about living on a houseboat and decide to separate, but remain friends. A man and a woman break up a relationship because neither can commit to marriage, but they say they will always love each other; later the woman cries loudly about it after throwing herself on her bed.
 A man shoots a snake in a river with his rifle. We see the back of an alligator as two boys pilot a boat in a river. A man and his son sell field dressed and cut up fish and rabbits to townspeople and visitors in a local motel. We see a bucket of bloody fish heads sitting on the porch of a house.
 Several scenes feature snakes: A shirtless man has a snake tattoo winding around his hand, forearm, upper arm and shoulder to the collarbone; we hear that a man was bitten by a poisonous cottonmouth snake, but survived with anti-venom treatment; venomous snakes swim in brown river water while workers catch oysters and crabs farther below the surface; in two scenes, black snakes swim in water close to a riverbank and a teen boy tosses a rock at them to scatter them; a teen boy falls into a creek of yellow water and black cottonmouth snakes slither over him until a man grabs the fallen boy and finds two reddened holes from a bite on his leg (he runs with the boy in his arms, takes a motor boat across the river and jumps onto a motor scooter to get the boy to the hospital in time).
 We hear that a man killed a second man that was interested in the first man's girlfriend; the first man is running from the law and carries a handgun in his jeans pocket or waistband (he never fires it); later, he trades the gun, but not the clip, to a teen boy for helping him rebuild a boat. We hear that a man beat a woman and threw her down a flight of stairs, making her miscarry a baby (and she can have no more children). We hear that a retired man was a member of the CIA in Cuba in 1963 and nicknamed "Assassin"; we hear that he took in a boy living in the woods, alone and dirty, many years ago. A teen boy says it's OK that a man killed another man in order to protect the woman he loved.
 A man tells two boys that he has nails pounded into his boot heels to make crosses on his footprints for good luck; he talks about good and evil and lucky charms against bad spirits and he says he used to turn into a werewolf but was saved from it by a charm. A man makes a small bonfire on a beach and when it burns out, he uses black smoke to smudge the beach air for luck. A man tells teen boys that a Cherokee man used to wrap the bellies of pregnant women in snake skins for luck. A man says a snake bit him under the armpit and he barely made it to the hospital to receive anti-venom, which worked. A man says that an old man is the devil.
 Two pistols with blue prize ribbons attached to them hang on a wall. A dozen bounty hunters in a motel room kneel and pray to successfully kill a fugitive.
 Several ramshackle houseboats sit along a river, rather dark, and in disrepair. A man lives in a wrecked cabin cruiser that was left in a tree by a tornado or flood; the boat is filthy with dirt, debris and scraggly vines inside the cabin.

PROFANITY 5 - At least 1 F-word, 1 obscene hand gesture, 4 sexual references, 23 scatological terms, 8 anatomical terms, 19 mild obscenities, exclamations (shut up), name-calling (old man, crazy, stupid, dumb, liar, bum), stereotypical references to men, women, Southerners, teenagers, parents, fugitives, bounty hunters, law enforcement officers, Mexicans, 4 religious profanities, 1 religious exclamation. [profanity glossary]

SUBSTANCE USE - Teenagers and college boys and girls stand around a bonfire while the older ones drink beer from bottles and cups and the teens drink pop, an empty bourbon bottle sits in a boy's bedroom as a decoration, two men sit and drink from beer bottles while other men and women play pool and drink from beer bottles in a roadhouse scene, a grocery bag left on a porch contains a fifth of whiskey, we see an empty bottle of whiskey singed and lying in the remains of a smoldering bonfire as a man nearby tell a teen boy that "I did a lot of drinkin' last night," a woman drinks from a highball glass, and two teen boys walk into a roadhouse bar and the manager puts them out. A man smokes a cigarette in several outdoor scenes, and a woman smokes a cigarette in a motel room and another cigarette on the motel balcony.

DISCUSSION TOPICS - Relationships, love, trust, loss of innocence, father figures, divorce, reconciliation, friendships.

MESSAGE - Marriage does not work for everyone, but we can still believe in love.

Special Keywords: S3 - V5 - P5 - MPAAPG-13

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