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Project Almanac [2015] [PG-13] - 4.5.5

 
 

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ASSIGNED NUMBERS

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.

 [more »]


Sex & Nudity
Violence & Gore
Profanity
1 to 10

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In this found-footage story, a high school science geek (Jonny Weston), his sister (Gina Gardner) and his best friends (Allen Evangelista and Sam Lerner) find a dismantled time warping device and coax it into working. Revisiting past teen moments in an attempt to perfect them with the help of time travel, the group finds disturbing distortions in history upon returning to the present. Also with Sofia Black D'Elia, Amy Landecker and Katie Garfield. Directed by Dean Israelite. [1:46]

SEX/NUDITY 4 - In a blurry bedroom scene a teen girl lies on a bed while wearing a long T-shirt and her bare thighs are in the frame; a teen boy sitting up is bare-chested as they kiss briefly three times, she lies on top of him, she begins to kiss him and the scene ends. Two teen couples kiss briefly at a concert, on a sidewalk, in a school hallway and underneath sports bleachers. A teen boy and a teen girl read mottos on a fence ("Before the world ends, I want to run naked through the streets" and "Before the world ends, I have to fall in love") and in a flashback of the scene, the couple kisses for several seconds. A teen boy and a teen girl kiss quickly while getting out of a car.
 Three scenes feature close-ups of teen girls' wearing short-shorts. A close-up of a teen girl wearing tight short-shorts from behind shows the material pushed into the buttock cleavage. In several scenes, teen girls wear tight, sleeveless tank tops that reveal significant cleavage in close-ups of scoop necklines. A teen girl is seen wearing a black bra underneath a tight white tank top that is wet and we see rather large black bra cups clearly. The bosoms of several teen girls jiggle as they jump up and down at a concert. In a water park and at an outdoor concert, teen girls wear bikinis. Some teen boys in a water park and concert area are shirtless and wearing shorts. In a living room, a small reclining male nude statue sits in a corner in a long shot.
 A teen boy manipulates time to make a girl fall in love with him and have sex, but we do not see anything; he returns to his home after time travel and is startled when the girl exits his bathroom wearing only a large white towel that reveals her shoulders and arms (her lower body is blocked by a desk) and he asks if they had sex and whether he can see her naked and she opens her towel to him (we see a bare shoulder and an arm).
 A teen boy says that he is going to have sex with millions of girls. A teen boy says that he will hire Kim Kardashian to have his babies. A teen boy suggests to a male friend to have sex with a cute female classmate but the second boy mumbles, embarrassed. A teen boy says to a friend, "Aren't you tired of having sex with your hand?" and the other boy does not answer. In a school hallway, a teen girl asks a teen boy, "Did you just touch my [anatomical term deleted]?" he replies, "Yes" and the conversation ends. A teen boy asks his male friend jokingly, "Isn't your mother a stripper?" A teen boy calls the legs of a teen girl "perfect little tree trunks."

VIOLENCE/GORE 5 - After teenagers change the universal timeline, a jumbo jet crashes, killing all passengers and crew; three times on an Internet screen we see flashes of light, fire and black smoke and the plane dives and hits the ground with a muffled crash and additional smoke and flames in a loud explosion; firefighters begin extinguishing the flames and onlookers appear to be looking at covered bodies on the ground.
 We see the front end of a car and hear screeching brakes as we see a teen boy's surprised face in close-up; we see the teen boy in a hospital bed, unconscious and with scratches and bruises on his face along with a machine next to him beeping and he has an oxygen hose clipped to his nose (please see the Substance Use category for more details).
 Using time travel frequently, teen boys and teen girls sometimes encounter their own younger selves; this makes both versions of the teens flicker and cancel each other out, as though those persons never existed. A teen girl meets herself in a driveway and both disappear, the police search for her boyfriend with many cruisers and flashing lights and sounding sirens, they pound on a house door and shout and the boy runs through the city and breaks a window in a school door (we see his very bloody hand) and breaks into the chemical supply room; as three police officers shout and approach him with drawn guns, they fire loud shots but we hear humming and loud bangs and see the police officers thrown backward as papers swirl in the air.
 We see patients in a hospital corridor being moved on gurneys, covered with sheets up to the neck. A teen boy walks in a hallway with crutches and a cast on one leg.
 A teen girl is bullied from more popular and powerful girls at school, including name-calling, knocking books out of her hands in the hallways and sarcastic voices close to her face; in one scene, a bully tells the girl that she is nothing and the second teen girl travels back in time for a do-over as the scene wavers, throws soda pop onto the first girl and says, "I'm everywhere, [mild obscenity deleted]." Experimenting with a time travel device, a teen boy confronts his father in the basement of their house, then takes a video camera, puts it into a metal waste can, ignites a match and lights it on fire; it burns with high flames that are pixelated and the scene ends.
 A teen boy shouts about increasing numbers of fires, robberies and other disasters in the world. Teenagers argue loudly several times. A teen girl runs after a boy in a driveway, shouting. Two teen boys argue about a time machine. A teen boy says tearfully that he is terrified. A teen couple argues about love and the girl shouts and cries, "You played me!" A teen boy angrily throws a softball into a metal lamp at home with a loud "ding," but does not break it. A teen boy has a panic attack while sitting parked in his car and beats the steering wheel with his fist many times. Outside a school, a teen driver stalls a car and a man in a car behind him angrily honks his horn and waves his arms. Teen boys talk loudly and curse, than gasp in awe as they find that a model car has moved from the floor to a place on the wall in which it is stuck halfway into the concrete.
 Several scenes feature the time machine sparking, debris, leaves and glass bottles spinning and shattering, a full size car moving by itself, a loud bang and five teenagers falling face down on a basement floor, driveway, grassy area, or concrete; each time, they awaken unharmed, but startled and gasping and realize that they have moved themselves in time by hours or weeks; one teen boy lands in a dumpster after time traveling, and climbs out coughing. Returning to their original time brings loud humming, quick blurry flashbacks of faces in blurred or black-edged frames and a loud bang, with the teens falling face down and awakening again, startled and gasping, often cursing in surprise.
 Teens find a trap door in a basement and they gasp when they open it in a cloud of dust to find a video camera; the screen fills with static, wavering, and the teens find blueprints for a time machine; one boy shouts, "You have to go back and kill Hitler!" Teens find an old videotape of one of their seventh birthday parties in which he appears as a teenager in a mirror watching himself as a 7-year-old. In two scenes, a female voice off screen startles a teen boy in an attic; he jumps and he and the teen girl open boxes finding a video camera.
 Teen boys tinker with a time changing device and create static electricity, make tools levitate, cause a teen girl's hair to stand on end and make a light bulb light as one of the boys touches the bottom of it; sparks fly from the machine, popping noises sound, smoke rises and a teen boy uses a fire extinguisher to put out the sparks; the boys then attach jumper cables to a car's batteries, spark the other two ends of the cables together, attach them to the machine and we hear louder popping sounds, loud humming and see more sparks as tools, soft drink cans and debris lift into the air and spin amid yellow smoke until a fluorescent light receptacle falls from the ceiling and a loud bang concludes the session.
 We understand that a teen boy's father died when the boy was young. The movie uses many jerky handheld camera techniques in filming.

PROFANITY 5 - About 1 F-word and 2 additional F-words that are mumbled (in the last two F-words, we hear the "uck" clearly, but the F was unclear), 39 scatological terms, 2 anatomical terms, 23 mild obscenities, name-calling (crazy, insane, dumb, stupid, idiot, weird, liar, wiseass, junk, creatures, back stabber, hot-chick, douche, 10-years-old, Seacrest, Argo, Sherlock Holmes), stereotypical references to men, women, single moms, scantily clad teenage girls, teen boys, teen angst, teen romance, mean girls, science geeks, kid sisters, scientists, high school teachers, time travel movies, exclamations (shut-up, geez), 2 religious profanities (GD), 50 religious exclamations (e.g. Oh My God, Oh God, My God, God, Jesus, Holy [scatological term deleted], I Swear To God, We're Playing God). [profanity glossary]

SUBSTANCE USE - In two scenes, three seventeen-year-old boys and two teen girls drink from brown bottles that look like beer bottles but could be root beer bottles (we cannot see any labels).

DISCUSSION TOPICS - Teen awkwardness, time travel, reliving the past, wish fulfillment, fear, danger, loss, regret, making choices, taking risks, solving problems, making amends, gathering enough money for a good college.

MESSAGE - It is better to plan a positive future than to attempt to perfect the past.

Special Keywords: S4 - V5 - P5 - MPAAPG-13

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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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