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Pariah [2011] [R] - 6.4.6



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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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A high school aged young woman (Adepero Oduye) struggles with being gay, finding a girlfriend and how she should go about telling her parents. Also with Pernell Walker, Aasha Davis, Charles Parnell, Sahra Mellesse and Kim Wayans. Directed by Dee Rees. [1:26]

SEX/NUDITY 6 - We see a scantily clad woman (she's wearing a bikini top with a thong and her bare buttocks are visible when she spins around a pole and spreads her legs wide apart); she dances around a pole in a club while other women in a crowd watch. A young woman holds money in her hand and an exotic dancer on a stage leans forward to give it to her while saying, "I won't bite." A young woman pulls off her clothes and we see her wearing a bra and panties. A woman wears a low-cut top that reveals cleavage and bare shoulders.
 A young woman straps on a prosthetic penis, looks at herself in the mirror (we see the penis), her younger sister enters the room and panics when she sees what's happening and they argue. We see a prosthetic penis as a young woman wraps it up in a piece of clothing and then throws it away.
 Two young women lie in bed together, one is wearing a low-cut top and short pants that reveal cleavage, bare shoulders and bare legs, she caresses the other young woman, they kiss and caress each other and sex is implied. A young woman kisses another young woman on the cheek, then on the lips and the young woman being kissed appears shocked and leaves. A woman sits on another woman's lap and kisses her on the cheek. Two young women hold hands. A young woman and a young man are shown in her bedroom and the young man tries to kiss her on the cheek and touch her leg (she pulls away). Women dance close together in a club. Two men look at a young woman in a suggestive manner and the young woman's father becomes upset.
 A man confronts a gay young woman in a store and quizzes her using crude terms and references to sex. A teenage girl asks her mother and father if they had sex at his prom and then says that she is definitely going to have sex at her prom. Two young women talk about one of them being a virgin. A young woman makes a comment about another young woman's father having numerous sexual relationships with women other than her mother. A young woman asks her father about what to do if someone likes you and he assumes she's talking about a boy when she is talking about another young woman. A young woman tells another young woman after they spent the night together that "I'm not gay, gay." Two young women talk about how many numbers they got while at a nightclub. A young woman talks about another young woman who is gay and says that if she were gay, she would talk to her. Two young women talk about a first kiss. A young woman asks another young woman if she wants to spend the night. A young woman calls another young woman "hot."
 We hear a song playing in a club with lyrics that include anatomical and sexual references. References are made to a "women's club."

VIOLENCE/GORE 4 - A woman grabs her teenage daughter around the throat and slams her against a wall, then slaps her in the face and kicks her repeatedly while she is on the floor until a man pulls her away (we see the young woman with a swollen cut on her face later).
 Two men argue and one lunges toward the other, but is pulled away by another man. A man confronts a gay young woman in a store and quizzes her using crude terms and references to sex; when the young woman responds in a mocking manner he becomes upset and calls her names. A young woman speaks to her mother at the front door of her home and the woman slams he door in the young woman's face. A young woman kicks over a couple of garbage cans on a sidewalk (garbage is tossed across the sidewalk) and yells. A young woman slams her bedroom door and throws things around her room.
 A mother confronts her teenage daughter about coming home late and they argue. Two sisters argue in several scenes. A mother and her two daughters argue in a few scenes. A husband and his wife argue in many scenes. A man apologizes to his daughter for allowing her mother to hurt her. A man talks to his teenage daughter about when she was afraid of blowing leaves.

PROFANITY 6 - About 11 F-words, 26 sexual references, 15 scatological terms, 17 anatomical terms (1 mild), 20 mild obscenities, 4 derogatory terms for African-Americans, 5 derogatory terms for lesbians, name-calling (the gay chick, tomboy, rude, dry, crusty and ugly, moody, dumb floozy, paranoid), exclamations (shut up, oh my gosh, jeez, ), 2 religious profanities, 5 religious exclamations. [profanity glossary]

SUBSTANCE USE - Several people smoke what appears to be a drug (the scene is dark and it is not clear what it is). People are shown drinking alcohol in a club scene, a man drinks beer in several scenes, a woman drinks wine in several scenes, a man offers his teenage daughter a sip of his beer and she takes one.

DISCUSSION TOPICS - Homosexuality, parenting, growing up, pretending to be something you are not, tomboy, sacrifices, freedom, friendship, overprotective parents, GEDs, infidelity, paranoia, running vs. choosing.

MESSAGE - It can take a lot of courage to acknowledge who you are and come to terms with the reactions of the people around you.

Special Keywords: S6 - V4 - 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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