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Once Upon a Time in Mexico



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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

This time director Robert Rodriguez's guitar-slinging hero El Mariachi (Antonio Banderas) seeks revenge against the man who murdered his wife (Salma Hayek) and young daughter years before. He's hired by a corrupt CIA man (Johnny Depp) to kill a drug cartel kingpin (Willem Dafoe) who is planning a coup against the Mexican president. Also with Ruben Blades, Enrique Iglesias, Mickey Rourke and Cheech Marin. Directed by Robert Rodriguez. [1:41]

SEX/NUDITY 5 - A man and a woman kiss a couple of times, he kisses down her chest and caresses her pregnant belly (we see nipples through a sheer gown that she is wearing). A man and a woman kiss, and a woman kisses a man. A man sells kisses and sexual encounters with musicians at a club. A man and a woman lie in bed together sleeping. A man unzips his fly, reaches in and pulls out a gun. Women wearing very tiny bikinis dance on a stage. A woman wears a low-cut short top that reveals her bare abdomen and cleavage.

VIOLENCE/GORE 9 - A man shoots a man a few times, as well as a woman, and the man is put in the trunk of a car and taken to a river where an eye patch is removed from his eye. We see an empty eye socket with a plastic bag in it, the bag is removed, and the man makes references to searching other body cavities, he reaches around to his back, shoves the man into the water and throws a large rock on top of him. A man comes toward another man with a drill, it spins and gets closer to his eye, we see the man wearing glasses with blood pouring down his cheeks and later with bloody, empty eye sockets when the glasses fall off. A man is strangled from behind with a cord around his neck and punched hard in the head. A man is shot in the knees (we see his knees are completely blown off and the man falls back on the ground, he is then shot in the head (we see a very bloody head wound). There are lots of shootings: A man is shot repeatedly, another man is shot, and two men are shot and fall from a rooftop. A man is shot in the arm and he shoots a man in the head (blood splatters and smears on a wall). A man is shot in the leg and falls to the ground, he then shoots one man in the foot and then the head (we see bloody bullet holes). A man shoots a man in the chest three times (blood splatters onto the screen), and a man is shot in the head (we see a bloody hole and face). A man shoots a man and he falls out a window and a man is shot in the back. A woman shoots a man in the chest, a man is shot and falls back onto the ground. A woman shoots a man, a woman holds a gun on a man, and a woman is shot in the stomach. A man shoots several people in a bar; men are thrown through the air by the impact of the bullets, they fire back at the man, he punches a few men, he and another man hold guns on each other, and many hold guns to the man's head. A woman with knives in her garter throws a few, stabbing men in the forehead (they fall to the floor dead). A bloody sheet covers a body on a table, a man pulls back the sheet and we see a man's flayed face. We see a quick scene of a man being shot several times (blood soaks his shirt) and a woman lying dead on a street with bloody holes in her chest (this scene is shown a few times). Two men shoot at troops moving into a city; one uses a flame thrower and several men are shown in flames and the other sets a remote control bomb that explodes under a truck sending men sailing through the air. Men shoot back and forth at each other while racing on motorcycles: men are hit and fall off their motorcycles, and some crash into cars. During a shootout at an outdoor market many people are propelled through the air and crash into vegetables after having been hit by bullets. Many people are shot when armed people charge into a building (we see dead bodies along a hallway and blood smeared on walls and pooled near bodies). A man and a woman are chained together at the wrists, they are shot at by many men, the man and the woman jump out a window, dangle from the chains swinging back and forth while being shot at, they slide across a cable, slam into a moving bus, and the bus crashes into a fuel tanker that explodes sending the man and woman sailing through the air with flames chasing them. A man in a confessional is shot at by many men: he crawls out and up a wall, he hits a man on the head with a guitar, shoots him (he falls off the balcony and crashes onto the floor below), and he shoots many other men (some sail through the air, and one is thrown high into the air) while they shoot at him. A matador is gored, dragged along by a bull and trampled (we hear moans and crunches). A man is hit hard on the back of the head. A woman fights several men with punches and kicks, she is held by the throat and grabbed by men as she fights them off. A man kicks a man in the crotch (we hear a crunch) and grabs two other men by the crotch and squeezes (we hear a lot of crunching and squishing and groaning). A man punches a man in the face repeatedly, a man is hit hard in the head with a gun and falls unconscious. A woman shoots at a man a few times and holds a gun to his face. A man is hit by a truck, a man is pinned by a car into another car and crushed. Troops move into a city firing grenades that cause explosions and shooting many people, and people fire weapons back at them. A man is shot in the head with a drugged dart and falls unconscious. A man walks into a ledge and hits his head. A man walks into traffic and is nearly hit by a car. A man is put in the back of a truck and surrounded by men with guns trained at him. People celebrate the day of the dead: they paint their faces ashen, dress as skeletons and go on a parade. A man gives a young boy a gun and tells him to shoot a man. A man threatens another man with a gun, and there are several verbal threats of violence (mainly torture and dismemberment), and a man tells another man to cut a man's fingers off. We see a man lying on a table being prepared for a surgical procedure (he gets an injection in his arm) and a scalpel cuts under his eye (there's a bit of blood). We see a man with bandages wrapped around his head and face and some bloody tissue underneath. A man talks to another man about killing a man and gives the details of the procedure. A man talks about another man having "wiped out a couple of towns," and men talk about people having been tortured. A man unzips his fly, reaches in and pulls out a gun. A man injects himself in the neck a couple of times and a man is jabbed in the neck with a hypodermic needle. A man sleds down a staircase on a guitar case and crashes into another man. A man vomits, we hear gagging, splatter and see goo.

PROFANITY 7 - 22 F-words and derivatives, 1 obscene hand gesture, 2 sexual references, 4 scatological terms, 8 anatomical terms, 2 mild obscenities, 5 religious profanities, 2 religious exclamations. [profanity glossary]

DISCUSSION TOPICS - Revenge, myths and legends, honor, drug cartels, corruption, torture, the CIA, unity, freedom, corruption, greed.

MESSAGE - Revenge can be very costly.

(Note: People are shown drinking alcohol and smoking cigarettes.)

Special Keywords: S5 - V9 - P7 - 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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