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Nerve [2016] [PG-13] - 4.5.5



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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 high school over-achiever (Emma Roberts) wants some action in her life and her friends push her into joining "Nerve," a popular online role playing game. As paying spectators watch, they assign players progressively more dangerous dares and the teen girl and a co-player (David Franco) face possible death as they look for a means of escape. Also with Juliette Lewis, Emily Meade, Miles Heizer and Kimiko Glenn. Directed by Ariel Schulman & Henry Joost. [1:36]

SEX/NUDITY 4 - A bedroom scene shows a teen boy wearing a sleeveless undershirt and jeans, lying on top of a teen girl wearing a tight tank top that reveals some cleavage and short-shorts on a bed, kissing in dim light; they are interrupted by another teen boy entering the room and they get up and button the buttons above their zippers (sex is implied). A teen boy and a teen girl kiss several seconds twice in one scene and in each of two additional scenes. A teen girl in a diner kisses a teen boy she does not know for several seconds and he smiles. A teen boy and a teen girl kiss. At a party, a teen girl kisses a teen boy on the cheek.
 At high school football practice, a cheerleader bends over, lifts her skirt, and shows her completely bare buttocks to the camera (we also see bare thighs and lower legs). A teen girl wears a tight crop top without a bra, revealing a band of skin at the waist and the outlines of nipples; her jeans are skin tight and she approaches a teen boy standing with two male friends and says, "You're really big." In video footage, we see a teen girl with bare buttocks facing the camera, while another teen girl slaps one of the buttocks and it jiggles. In a close-up, the backside of a girl wearing tight short-shorts writhes and grinds. A teen boy and a teen girl try on clothing in a store when their own clothing disappears and we see the two in their underwear (we see the girl's cleavage, bare abdomen and panties while the boy reveals bare chest, back and briefs); the teens run through the sales floors, meet a man and a woman that stare at them on an elevator, and run out into a nighttime street full of people, some of whom laugh. Several cheerleaders wear long-sleeved tops that rise up to reveal a band of flesh at the waist. A laptop screen shows a grainy photo of several women wearing bikinis that reveal some cleavage. A computer screen shows rows of several images that contain close-ups of women wearing bikini bottoms with their backs to the camera. A man wears a sleeveless vest and we see his bare abdomen and most of his chest; a man on a chair beside him in a tattoo shop has his shirt raised over half of his chest. A few party scenes include teen girls wearing moderately low-cut blouses that reveal some cleavage, and some short dresses and short-shorts that reveal bare legs to nearly the top of the thighs. A teen girl wears a dress that ends at the upper third of the thighs, baring legs to her feet.
 A photo shows a teen girl in a bathroom turning away from an animated white stream of something unknown spraying into the frame.

VIOLENCE/GORE 5 - An armed teen boy shouts to a crowd in an abandoned building calling for a vote to shoot the girl; he shoots and she falls, without bloodshed. Two hazy flashbacks show a young man hanging from the steel beams of an industrial crane on the roof of a skyscraper on a dare and in the second one he loses his grip and falls to his death -- which we do not see. A young man hangs from steel beams of an industrial crane on the roof of a skyscraper by his hands for five seconds and then by one hand for five seconds when a drone flies near with a cell phone giving an order to do so (he does not fall).
 A young man and a young woman are each met on a ferry and a train by teen boys and teen girls wearing hoodies and skeleton masks, receiving paper bags that contain handguns and they proceed to an abandoned building where there are open floors around an arena that are full of teens wearing masks and dark clothing; the two with guns meet in the arena and the crowd chants for the girl to shoot the boy (she shoots and misses, walking away).
 Teens accept a number of challenging dares for money: A teen girl wearing short-shorts flatulates a dozen times at people along a street and several people walk away quickly as she chases one person off-screen, pleading with him to let her flatulate on him, a teen girl opens a can of dog food and eats a spoon of it in a grocery store, grimacing and shuddering as someone videos her on a cell phone, four teenage boys jump off a cliff into a bay, unhurt, a teen boy on a skateboard hangs onto the back of a police cruiser in traffic for a short distance, a teen girl says that someone was dared to lick peanut butter off a dog's behind, a young man lies between the rails of a railroad track as a train rushes over him towards the camera and he is unharmed, a teen boy and a teen girl ride a motorcycle with the boy blindfolded and the girl giving directions and screeching as they ride too close to a yelling cab driver and a tree in a median (they swerve around cars, run a red light that causes two cars to slam on screeching brakes, miss a cab that turns in front of them and rush into a tunnel, and reach 60mph and slide to a stop just before hitting a statue), a teen boy tries to jump across a subway track and falls off a platform, but looks unharmed, a teen boy falls into a bonfire and we do not see him again, a teen boy grabs a police officer's handgun and is knocked down, and a teen girl on a dare assignment asks a police officer for help and he tells her no crime has been committed.
 A teen boy punches a teen girl between the eyes and we see the fist come towards the camera; the girl awakens with blood on one cheek in a closed boxcar with a computer telling her, "You are our prisoner. We control your life" and we see her mother receiving text massages that her bank account was emptied; the scene cuts back to the girl as she kicks open a door in the box car and finds a deserted dock. A cat is thrown into a scene and hits a baby that is trying to walk, knocking the baby down.
 A drunk girl staggers onto a ladder placed in the windows of two high-rise apartments across an alley as teen boys and girls egg her on in both windows and she repeatedly screams to shut up; she tries to walk and crawl across the ladder, she drops her phone and falls to lie on the ladder as we hear a computer voice say that she lost the dare game she was playing (we later see a sober teen girl walk all the way across). In a silent scene with music, we see a teen girl open her mouth wide as she rides a bicycle and scream for several seconds.
 A young man with neck tattoos enters a teen girl's apartment and demands she partner with him in an RPG; he gives her his phone number and we see a skull and cross bones on the cell phone screen.
 We hear that a teen girl's older brother died, but we do not hear the cause of death. A teen boy tells a friend, "You know, a kid in Seattle died playing the game." A message appears on the cell phones of people watching a shooting: "You are an accessory to murder." A teen girl says that she and a teen boy were almost killed by an RPG dare. A young man and a young woman argue about a role playing game and learn that their identities have been stolen, including all the info on their Facebook pages and their bank accounts; they say they must keep the game or die.
 A teen girl in a tattoo shop gets a small tattoo on her shoulder, wincing and calling out "Oww" several times. We see a man limp forward and sit in a wheelchair in a hospital.
 A limo being parked hits the car in front of it at the curb and slightly dents the bumper.

PROFANITY 5 - 1 possible garbled F-word and 1 bumper sticker with a partially redacted F-word, 5 obscene hand gestures (3 of which are made with keyboard characters), 5 sexual references, 6 scatological terms, 5 anatomical terms, 8 mild obscenities, name-calling (loser, crazy, insane, dumbest, spineless, dummy, drunk, insecure, boring, Little Vee, Hacker Boy, Mad Max), exclamations (shut-up, be quiet, shoot, oh my gosh), 7 religious exclamations (e.g. Oh My God, Oh God, My God). [profanity glossary]

SUBSTANCE USE - A teen boy and a teen girl walk through a large bong shop where we see several cases on either side that contain bongs, a computer screen features rows of images that contain one close-up of a mound of white powder marked "cocaine" next to a separate image of bullets (please see the Sex/Nudity category for more details), and two prescription bottles with labels turned away from the camera are shown on the bedside table of a teen girl. A teen drinking party features half a dozen scenes of dozens of underage teen boys and girls drinking cups and bottles of beer and short glasses of whiskey, a young man plays Beer Pong (we do not see him drink), several teen girls become drunk and stagger and slur their words, and a waitress in a ping pong club carries a tray of glasses of beer (we see no drinking). A teen girl exhales a huge puff of e-cigarette smoke in the face of another girl who is walking by.

DISCUSSION TOPICS - RPGs, schadenfreude, crowd mentality, spectator/bystander syndrome, extreme sports, risk taking, murder, complicity, death, loss, regret, sadness, peer pressure, popularity, fame, courage, determination, planning, cooperation, teamwork, dangerous social trends, relationships, friendship, love, respect, trust.

MESSAGE - Role playing video games can be deadly as well as addictive.

Special Keywords: S4 - V5 - P5 - MPAAPG-13

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