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The Ninth Gate



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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

Playing a sleazy rare-book buyer/seller, Johnny Depp encounters ominous people and even more ominous "occurrences" while in Europe researching editions of a book supposedly written by Satan. Also with Frank Langella, Lena Olin, Emmanuelle Seigner, Barbara Jefford, Jack Taylor, José López Rodero, James Russo, Tony Amoni, Willy Holt, Maria Ducceshi and Jacques Collard. [2:07]

SEX/NUDITY 6 - Several instances of sexual innuendo (including references to an orgy) and a passionate kiss. We see a woman's bare breasts as she moves on top of a shirtless man during intercourse (the camera moves from her face/torso to his face/torso). A woman lifts her skirt to show a man part of her panties and garter belt. A woman fondles a man's clothed crotch and kisses him passionately, then they fall on a couch and presumably have intercourse (the scene ends as he lifts her skirt and reveals her bare buttocks in a close-up shot; in the next scene he's wearing underwear with his pants at his ankles and her dress is unbuttoned but we don't see any nudity). We see the bare backside of a woman who's undressing, a shirtless man and a man's bare chest through his unbuttoned shirt; we also glimpse, at a distance, a couple of bare backsides of people wearing capes (their capes flip up as they're running). Twice, we see an old illustration that includes a nude woman (her bare breasts are visible).

VIOLENCE/GORE 6 - A person is choked to death by a necklace (a sharp point on the necklace pierces the person's neck) and then the body is kicked out of the way. A man puts his hand in flames and doesn't seem to be burned; he then douses himself with gasoline and lights himself on fire, screaming in pain and flailing around until he's shot. A man throws another down a staircase, slaps him and then beats the side of his head until he presumably dies (we briefly see a red splotch on the side of his head). A man puts his head in a noose, then we see a close-up of his feet kicking over the chair he's standing on and twitching until he dies. A chase scene that ends with a man tackling another and kicking him repeatedly, a woman kicking a man in the chest and a woman being punched in the face, resulting in a bloody nose. A punch and some scuffles (mostly between men and women); in one scene a man chokes a woman and in another a woman pulls a man's hair, bites his chest and breaks a bottle over his head (we see some blood running down his forehead and later see him holding an ice pack to his head). A man knocks a woman down, a woman grabs a man's arm and twists it behind his back and a man is knocked out by a blow to the back of his head. A man is nearly hit by collapsing scaffolding and nearly hit by a car twice. A man breaks a window with his fist and a man falls through floorboards while another pushes him further down by stepping on his head. A man finds his apartment ransacked. We see two different buildings on fire. A few scenes of reckless driving and a few instances of threatening with guns. We see a corpse in a wheelchair that keeps running into a wall and then rolls into a room engulfed in flames (the corpse's eyes are bulging and its tongue is hanging out of its mouth). We see a corpse hanging by its feet and a corpse floating in a pond. A woman wipes blood from her nose onto a man's forehead.

PROFANITY 5 - An F-word, a profane finger gesture, an anatomical reference, a couple of scatological references, a few mild obscenities and a few insults. [profanity glossary]

DISCUSSION TOPICS - Satan, book-buying/selling, murder, deception, obsession.

MESSAGE - Satan can take any form and can work in mystifying ways.

Special Keywords: S6 - 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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