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The Number 23 [2007] [R] - 7.8.6



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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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Jim Carrey stars as a bored animal control agent who receives a book entitled "The Number 23: The Story of Obsession" as a birthday gift. As he begins to read the book he notices many strange coincidences and similarities to his own life that make him suspect that the author somehow knows him and that the number 23 has significance in his life. He eventually becomes obsessed with finding the number 23 everywhere (the number of shoes in his closet, his address, his social security number, the bombing of Hiroshima, the Waco, Texas incident, the Oklahoma City bombing, etc.). Also with Virginia Madsen, Danny Huston, Rhona Mitra and Logan Lerman. Directed by Joel Schumacher. [1:35]

SEX/NUDITY 7 - A man and a woman have sex in thick woods: we hear him panting while she thrusts on top of him, her bare breasts are visible and another man watches them from a distance; another man and woman have sex in thick woods and a man watches from a distance (we see thrusting and hear moaning, but no other detail is evident).
 A man and a woman have sex, and we see thrusting and kissing and flesh, although no body parts are clear.
 A man and a woman kiss passionately, she wraps her leg around his waist, he caresses her bare thigh and he talks about having sex with her.
 A woman is handcuffed to a bed and she asks her lover, who is on top of her, to pretend he has a knife; he does and she moans (it is implied that they have sex but it is not shown). A woman is tied to a bed, she asks her lover to pretend he has a knife, he does, and he tears her top open revealing her bra and it is implied that they have sex.
 A teenage boy and girl kiss on a sofa, the boy's father sees them, they separate and the girl runs out the back door. A husband and wife hug and kiss.
 Women wear low-cut dresses that reveal cleavage in several scenes, a woman wears a short, slinky, low-cut night gown that reveals cleavage, bare shoulders and thighs and a woman wears a short, slinky nightgown. We see the cover of a detective magazine that has the picture of a woman wearing a tight-fitting sweater that accentuates her figure; she is holding a knife.
 A man becomes enraged when he sees another man kissing his girlfriend and caressing her bare thigh.
 A husband tells his wife that it is time for "birthday sex." A husband tells his wife that she is "sexy." A man talks about a young woman and her professor being lovers.
 A man remembers going to a party where a woman hugged him, tried to kiss him and asked him to "wag his tail at her in the bathroom" (he declined the invitation). In several scenes a husband and wife lie in bed sleeping.

VIOLENCE/GORE 8 - A man cuts his own throat with a box opener (we hear ripping and blood pours from the wound).
 A man has a nightmare: he finds blood on his hands, he uncovers his wife lying next to him in bed and she is dead and soaked in blood. A man imagines holding a woman from behind and dragging a knife across her throat, and we see the cut and blood pours from the wound.
 A woman, having jumped out of her apartment window, lands on the street in front of a man (we hear a crunch when she lands and see blood splattered on her face and pooling under her body). A man jumps out of a window and lands on the street below, and we see his twisted limbs and blood splattered face, and blood pools under him.
 A man finds a bloody knife and a woman drenched in blood on a bed, and another man with blood splattered on his face hides in the shadows.
 We see a dead woman lying on a bed with streaks of blood on the bedclothes, and a man sitting next to her shoots himself in the head; a little girl (their daughter) watches.
 A man finds a dead body lying in a pool of blood and a blood-covered knife on the floor nearby. A man imagines throwing another man through a window and we see the man's twisted body on the street below in a pool of blood. A boy finds a woman's dead body with bloody slashes on her wrists.
 A boy watches as his father shoots himself in the head (we see blood splatter on paper near the man).
 A woman threatens a man with a knife, he takes the knife from her, and we hear him yelling and see his shadow on a wall, stabbing her repeatedly. A man has many nightmares and sees a figure in the shadows holding a knife and stabbing someone repeatedly.
 A boy imagines how a woman might have been murdered and we see a man attacking her and throwing her on a bed.
 A man finds a woman with a noose around her neck and he tries to talk her out of committing suicide (he is successful and leaves).
 Blood seeps on the screen and words are typed on the screen, which describe murders and deaths of people due to natural disasters and at the hands of individuals during the opening credits.
 A woman in buried secretly in thick woods. A character digs in the ground under a stone step and finds a skeleton.
 A man finds a knife in a woman's purse, and he approaches her with it (the scene ends). A man holds a letter opener to a woman's throat (he does not harm her). We see scars on a woman's wrists from previous suicide attempts.
 A man with a restraining device approaches a growling dog, slips the device around the dog's neck, the dog bites the man on the arm (we see his bloody shirt sleeve) and gets away, and the man chases the dog into a cemetery where he loses sight of it.
 A man stands in a street in front of an oncoming bus (he steps out of the way just before it hits him). A man races his truck toward a dog sitting in the road but stops just before hitting it.
 There are several scenes that show a man and a woman acting out a violent sex act (the woman is restrained and the man pretends to be threatening her with a knife).
 A woman walks through an abandoned psychiatric hospital and is startled when a man approaches her from the shadows (the scene ends).
 A man becomes enraged when he sees another man kissing his girlfriend and caressing her bare thigh. A man tears wallpaper off a wall and overturns a bed in anger and frustration. A man tears the clothes out of a closet in anger and frustration.
 A man with a tranquilizer dart gun chases a dog and shoots it, and the dog collapses, becoming unconscious. A woman walks away from a flaming car.
 A man writes "KILL HER" on his wrist. A man talks about a young woman disappearing and that her body was never found. A wrongfully convicted man talks about the effect his imprisonment and the accusations have had on his family. A man talks about wanting to kill a dog by running it down with his truck.
 A man declines a sexual invitation by a woman and makes an insulting remark.

PROFANITY 6 - 8 F-words, 3 sexual references, 6 scatological terms, 5 mild obscenities, name-calling, 7 religious exclamations. [profanity glossary]

SUBSTANCE USE - Women smoke cigarettes in several scenes. A man asks his teenage son why he is acting so weird and if he is doing drugs (in a joking manner).

DISCUSSION TOPICS - Obsession, paranoia, murder, fiction, reality, insanity, destiny, loneliness, distant fathers, suicide, innocence, guilt, murder, choices, secrets, amnesia, mental illness, wrongful conviction, numbers, numerology, Hiroshima, the Oklahoma City bombing, the Branch Davidians in Waco, Texas, violent sex, superstition, non-scientific causes for reasoning.

MESSAGE - Making the right choices can lead to contentment.

Special Keywords: S7 - V8 - P6 - 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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