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Rock of Ages [2012] [PG-13] - 8.3.4



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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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Based on a rock musical set in 1987, this romance stars a small town girl (Juianne Hough) and her big-city boyfriend (Diego Boneta). They meet in Hollywood, where they have gone to become rock stars, but find themselves diverted by the realities of life. Their story and those of four aging music industry icons are told through hit songs from Def Leppard, Foreigner, Joan Jett, Journey, Bon Jovi, Pat Benatar, Twisted Sister and many more eighties bands. Also with Russell Brand, Paul Giamatti, Catherine Zeta Jones, Malin Akerman, Mary J. Blige, Alec Baldwin, Tom Cruise, Bryan Cranston, Will Forte and Constantine Maroulis. Directed by Adam Shankman. [2:03]

SEX/NUDITY 8 - A woman offers to have sex with a man: she opens the ties on his leather trousers with her teeth and we see his public hair (no genitals), she looks down with wide eyes, he picks her up and tears off her short skirt and blouse to reveal a skimpy bra and panties (we see cleavage, bare buttocks and thighs); she bends away from him and he sings to her buttocks, she turns the other way and his head is below screen, suggesting oral sex as she writhes, he lifts her onto an air hockey table, pulls her legs apart, rubs her thighs, he lies on the table (his trousers still on), she straddles him at the groin and they writhe as if having sex until she groans and falls off onto the floor, suggesting orgasm (she walks out of the room with her clothing in her arms, and the man reaches into the crotch of his pants to rearrange his genitals and zip his trousers).
 A man and a woman meet in a bar, he tells her to open her mouth and as she opens wider and wider, he places his tongue in her mouth and we see them licking each other's tongues; they have violent sex in the bar restroom while clothed and another woman sitting in a corner watches, they accidentally knock each other into walls and break open a machine of condoms that are thrown across the screen, and a few months later we see her off stage at a concert with her belly swollen in pregnancy.
 Two men begin to sing about their feelings, finally holding hands and kissing and one declares that they are falling in love. A man and a woman kiss several times, briefly.
 A male singer is seen in bed with three women, all completely under covers and when he gets up he is seen wearing only leather chaps as he falls into a swimming pool in his room; later, he is in bed with a woman that is under covers (we see only her hair and one bare shoulder). A male singer lies clothed in leather trousers and no shirt, with his head in the lap of a woman wearing only a leotard; he gets up and we see her bare buttocks and thighs with her legs twisted in a flexible pose. The mayor of LA has an affair with his female assistant; they are shown entering an office in a church where she binds his wrists with rosaries, bends him forward over a desk, pulls down his trousers so that we see his briefs and spanks him with a clerical collar as the scene ends (later she is seen wearing her bra and a skirt while sitting in his lap in a city office and they kiss several times. We see a singer at several concerts where women grab him and kiss him, one for quite a long time as he tries to escape her.
 Several club scenes feature female dancers wearing shorts that reveal thighs and buttocks and bare-midriff halters that reveal cleavage; they dance with writhing suggestive movements and groan in a sexual manner. In one shot, they crawl on the floor toward a male singer on stage and we see the bare buttocks of all the women. Several strip club scenes show two-dozen women wearing bras and panties or leotards with side cutouts and fishnet stockings dancing around poles on top of a bar; their dances are athletic and then suggestive with bumps and grinds and groans while men throw dollar bills at them. The front of a strip club features four windows behind which women dance wearing bikini bathing suits that reveal bare buttocks, legs, cleavage arms and shoulders; they writhe to music as advertisements of the dancing inside the club. On stage, a male rock singer is seen shirtless, writhing to the song "Pour Some Sugar On Me," (the song and movement suggesting sexual activity) as he leans back and a sprinkler sprays him with water. Women wearing conservative suits dance around a male rock star while doing pelvic thrusts, and sing about putting him out of business; the women gasp and buck in a sexual manner in the middle of the song "Hit Me With Your Best Shot." Several scenes in a record store, a nightclub and a strip club feature many women dancing suggestively with writhing hips. Four boy band dancers grab their groins as they perform.
 A man grabs a microphone during an interview, walks close to the camera and licks the head of the microphone, mimicking a sexual act as a woman looks into the camera and says that rock music is "Raping the ears of our children."
 A man touches and holds several women's breasts as he meets them and then walks away. A man pinches a waitress's clothed buttocks through her dress in close-up and she walks out of the restaurant. A woman applies for a job at a restaurant where she sees another young woman with bigger breasts being hired; the first woman looks at her own chest and frowns.
 A female singer wears progressively skimpier clothing throughout the film; she progresses from a knee-length dress to miniskirts and halters, to leotard and tights and finally to a leotard and no tights with a short jacket; we see partial buttocks and moderate cleavage in most of these shots and in one scene she wears a leotard with several horizontal cutouts down the front that reveal her bare breasts except the nipples. Dozens of scenes feature scantily clad women in bars and at rock concerts wearing tank tops and low-cut blouses that reveal cleavage and bare abdomens, along with short shorts and micro-mini skirts that often reveal full buttocks. Several scenes show men and women at beaches with the women wearing skimpy bikinis and shirtless men. Three prostitutes on a street corner wear tight shorts and midriff-baring halter-tops displaying cleavage and buttocks and men whistle at them. A valet is dressed as an African warrior wearing only a loincloth and necklaces (we see his bare chest, abdomen and legs). A record store sign is a cutout of a woman wearing shorts with her legs spread across the name of the store. We see a photo of a mayor's wife, nude from the waist up while at a rock concert and a male singer holding his arm out to the side to cover her breasts.
 A male singer appears throughout the film bare-chested, revealing a heart-and-tentacles tattoo on his chest, other tattoos on his back, shoulders and arms and 6-shooters tattooed on his abdomen (the barrels disappear into his trousers). A male singer often wears only leather chaps that reveal most of his thighs and bare buttocks with an opening in the groin area decorated with a red ruby flap and surrounded by silverwork. A poster of a male singer wearing only chaps is shown and he stands making a rock-and-roll hand gesture while on the altar of a church.
 Three women swoon and faint as a man passes by them, and other women scream with passion as he passes. A man signs an autograph on the abdomen of a woman below the screen.
 One man says to another man, "I'll blow your mind"; the second man replies, "You'll blow me alright," suggesting sex. A man tells a woman that it looked like she and another man had just had sex. We hear that a rock singer took a college girl to his room, handcuffed her, covered her with whipped cream and whisky and had sex with her in a satanic ritual. A man tells a woman that he can never have love now because his audiences and fans only want sex and he is a slave to them. A band manager tells a new singer that successful rock-and-roll musicians have broken hearts and long careers. A man tells another man that a singer indulges in satanic rituals by sewing female genitalia closed. One man tells another man that he just threw up in his pants, using an anatomical term.
 A man in a restroom lies beside a toilet with toilet paper in his mouth, but he appears well. A man urinates off-screen and we hear his pants unzip and zip.

VIOLENCE/GORE 3 - A mugger steals a woman's suitcase. A woman is nearly mugged on a street as two police officers drive up with lights flashing, dash from the cruiser and handcuff the attacker.
 Several bar and rock concert scenes are loud with heavy metal, violent-type music and erratic, stomping dancing and hopping up and down.
 Two large protest scenes show women dressed in suits and holding placards calling a nightclub filthy; they call out to passersby to help them protest and close the place down and in the second scene, rock-and-roll fans and singers line up in front of the bar and the two groups shout and sing at each other as police officers hold people back. A club owner has guards forcibly remove her ex-husband from her establishment and he struggles on the way out.
 A bar owner argues several times with his business partner and a local band promoter over shows, payment and hiring staff. A cook finds hair in a pot of onions and his boss tells him to take out the hair and serve the onions.
 A man's pet monkey trashes an office for several minutes and we see lamps and other objects being thrown and hear them crash and the floor becomes littered with debris; the monkey turns his back to a man twice and pats his own rump and later, the monkey screams and snaps his teeth at the man several times.
 A man drinks an expensive bottle of wine from the bottle and the camera cuts to a stream of liquid pouring onto another man's trousers; the camera cuts back up to the first man's face and we hear his pants zip (he had urinated on the other man). A rock singer seems to urinate through a wide arc into the crowd in front of the stage during his act, and then throws an empty beer bottle into the crowd.

PROFANITY 4 - 2 obscene hand gestures, 11 sexual references, 12 scatological terms, 10 anatomical references, 7 mild obscenities, hundreds of people making the rock horns or devil horns hand symbol, name-calling (unreliable, nonsensical, crazy, sick, satanic, douche, oily), 12 stereotypical references to 1980s fashion, men, women, Asian women, rock musicians, female groupies, conservatives, strippers, body guards, club owners, 2 religious profanities, 8 religious exclamations. [profanity glossary]

SUBSTANCE USE - The film contains a substantial amount of heavy drinking and many scenes take place in a bar where the back bar is full of wine and hard liquor bottles, kegs of beer are stacked inside and outside, and tables are littered with cups of beer, bar patrons drink alcohol while dancing in several scenes, people in a strip club are seen drinking alcohol in several scenes, a man drinks beer from a pitcher, a man tells a singer to start drinking in order to perform well onstage in several hours, a singer seems to urinate into a concert crowd and then we see him throw an empty beer bottle into the crowd, a man drinks an expensive bottle of wine from the bottle and the camera cuts to a stream of water (urine) pouring onto another man's trousers, a man in a bar bends a woman backward over his knee and pours vodka down her throat, a man toasts a crowd with a shot of whiskey, a man drinks vodka with his business partner, waitress drops and breaks a full bottle of alcohol, a limousine is equipped with a bar, a man and a woman drink wine coolers, and a man drinks whiskey from the bottle. One mention is made of cigarettes in a smoky bar (we see no smoking), and we see a billboard of a Marlboro-man look-alike (no cigarettes are in the picture).

DISCUSSION TOPICS - Heavy metal bands, music as a career, alcohol and sex in the music business, inappropriate behaviors, Hollywood, strip clubs, fame, love, relationships, honesty, integrity.

MESSAGE - People search for fame, but really want love.

Special Keywords: S8 - V3 - P4 - 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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