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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

Gangster drama that follows the tumultuous lives of Harlem drug dealers: Wood Harris stars as a young man who's enamored with the expensive cars and flashy clothes his friends seem to effortlessly enjoy. He is quickly seduced into their world of drug dealing and easy money, but eventually realizes that success based on illicit activities comes with a very high cost for one's conscience and personal relationships. Also with Mekhi Phifer, Cam'ron, Kevin Carroll and Chi McBride. [1:33]

SEX/NUDITY 7 - We see a room full of people watching a video of a man and woman having sex: she is nude (we see her bare back and hip and part of her breast), he thrusts from behind, and she moans -- the video plays while people are talking and milling around. A man kisses a woman on the cheek. and then they kiss. People dance in a nightclub in a few scenes. A man undresses down to his underwear. Women are shown in low-cut tops that reveal cleavage. A man looks at a magazine with a picture of a nude woman; we see a flash of flesh, but it is hard to make out body parts.

VIOLENCE/GORE 8 - A man opens his door, is pulled inside and we hear him being beaten (we see this scene again later with more detail): A man is pulled into his apartment, punched and kicked (we see his very bloody face), and threatened with a gun while two women are tied up and held at gunpoint. We hear two gunshots (we see two women dead with blood around their heads; one woman was pregnant), a man is grazed by a bullet in the head, and then we see a man being wheeled on a stretcher with a very bloody, swollen face, and a bloody bandage on his forehead. Two men approach two other men and shoot them; one crawls into a building and is shot two more times. A man is shot repeatedly while in his car; we see blood spray and large, bloody holes in his clothes. A man is shot in the stomach, he and the shooter wrestle over the gun, he is shot again, and then he is shot in the head (we see this scene a few times). A man is hit with a telephone receiver, a fight breaks out in a prison, a man is stabbed in the throat (we see blood gushing), and a man is kicked repeatedly by two men. A man shoots a man in the buttocks as he walks away. A man lies dead on the floor in a pool of blood. A boy is kidnapped and we hear that they cut off his finger and then that he was found dead. We hear that a man was shot in the head. We read headlines that say, "12-year-old boy tortured for drug money." We hear gunshots in a building, see flashes through the door and a man is surrounded by police with guns drawn as he runs out of the building. We see the finale of "Scarface," when a man shoots at many men and they shoot back at him. A man punches a man, drags him out of his car, punches him again (he has a bloody mouth), holds him at gunpoint and forces him to strip to his underwear and sends him off down the street whimpering. A man shoves and punches a man repeatedly. A man is threatened with a gun. It is suggested that a man has been "shooting up" with drugs in a bathroom while a young boy is in the next room.

PROFANITY 10 - 144 F-words and derivatives, 5 sexual references, 70 scatological terms, 22 anatomical terms, 18 mild obscenities, 103 derogatory terms for African-Americans exchanged between African-Americans, 1 religious profanity, 1 religious exclamation. [profanity glossary]

DISCUSSION TOPICS - Drug dealing, drug use and abuse, working for a living, making money, respect, greed, friendship, jail time, snitching, celebrity, kidnapping.

MESSAGE - Money is intoxicating and addictive. A real man takes care of his family.

(Note: People are shown smoking cigarettes. We see people buying and selling drugs.)

Special Keywords: S7 - V8 - P10 - 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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