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Murder By Numbers



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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

MPAA Rating: R

A tenacious homicide detective (Sandra Bullock) struggles with her own demons while she and her partner (Ben Chaplin) uncover clues in a murder case that she believes point to the wrong person. Also with Agnes Bruckner, R.D. Call, Ryan Gosling and Michael Pitt. [2:01]

SEX/NUDITY 5 - A woman kisses a man passionately (he is reluctant in the beginning), they lie back kissing and presumably have sex (we see him bare-chested and later in his boxer shorts). A young man and woman have sex (we watch them on a computer); he moves rhythmically while lying on top of her and they both moan and kiss (we see his bare back and part of his chest and see her bare shoulders). A young man and young woman kiss romantically a few times. A young man tries to kiss a woman a couple of times, tries to touch her abdomen, and in another scene kisses her and licks her face. A woman puts her foot in a man's crotch trying to make him interested in having sex. We see nude female portraits with bare breasts a couple of times. We hear a porn video; there's moaning, screaming and whipping or slapping. A young man embraces another young man several times; it is unclear whether the act is sexual in nature. Young women wear short skirts, and tops that expose cleavage, bare thighs and shoulders.

VIOLENCE/GORE 6 - A man is shot in the head; we see the gun being held to his head and hear the blast. A woman's finger is cut off with garden shears (we see the person doing the cutting making an effort, and then hear some scrunching), the woman is poked in the chest with a pointed tool (we hear the thuds as the tool hits her body), the woman is strangled (we see the person doing the strangling and the woman's whimpering stops). A woman is hit on the head with a hammer (we don't see the hammer hit, but we see it raised over the woman's head). We see a woman's dead body wrapped in plastic tarp; her skin is bluish, the whites of her eyes are bloody, we see some holes poked in her skin, bruises around her neck, a bloody stump where a finger has been cut off, and a bloody patch on her head (we see her body in several scenes; we also see photographs of the murder victim and scene several times). We see a woman with many bloody stab wounds in the chest (we hear that she was stabbed 17 times) and a bloody hand. There is a shootout during which two people fire their weapons back and forth at each other (no one is hit). Two people struggle and fight with punches and kicks and one is held against a rickety balcony by the throat and nearly loses consciousness; the balcony gives way and one of the two falls hitting another wooden structure and then crashing into rocks below (we see a twisted body), and the other dangles from the broken boards of the balcony. Two young men stand facing each other holding guns to their respective temples and we hear a gunshot (we see this scene twice). A young man is shot in the arm (we see a bloody spot on his sleeve), a young man puts a gun to another young man's head and then under his chin, a young man points a gun at another young man's head, and a young man fires a gun over a young man's head. A woman is attacked and bitten by a baboon; we see the baboon's very bloody mouth and teeth and see her bloody arm, hand and face. A young man shoves another young man against a wall by the throat and he appears to begin to lose consciousness. We see a woman tied and gagged in the trunk of a car. A young man is punched in the face and his nose bleeds, and a young man is hit in the head with a car door. A young woman slaps a young man in the face. A woman talks about having broken someone's nose with a ceramic cat. A woman in a car is nearly hit by another car when she turns in front of it. A woman slips, falls down an embankment and knocks her head. A woman pushes a man out of a bed and he lands hard on the floor. We see some blood-covered gloves a couple of times. There are a few potentially repulsive scenes: A woman pulls an IV out of her hand, some vomit is scooped up (after a man sniffs it) and bagged at a crime scene, a woman steps in what appears to be dog feces on a carpet, and one character vomits (we see a bit of the spray and hear gagging). A woman has scars on her chest, and a woman has some abrasions around her neck. Two police detectives talk in detail about clues in a murder case, referring to descriptions of wounds and how they were inflicted. People are shown yelling at each other in several scenes.

PROFANITY 5 - 9 F-words, 7 sexual references, 6 scatological terms, 6 anatomical terms, 14 mild obscenities, 1 religious profanity, 6 religious exclamations and some insults. [profanity glossary]

DISCUSSION TOPICS - Crime, freedom, deception, suicide, infidelity, spousal abuse, drug dealing, forms of execution, being a member of the privileged class, torture, mutilation, serial killing, seduction, popularity, guilt, narcissism.

MESSAGE - The fact that we are free does not imply the license to commit crimes.

(Note: People are shown smoking cigarettes and drinking alcohol. A young man is shown purchasing what looks like marijuana, and two young men drink absinthe, which we are told, contains the effective ingredient of marijuana.)

Special Keywords: S5 - V6 - P5 - MPAAR

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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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