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Rock the Kasbah [2015] [R] - 4.5.7



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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 has-been music manager (Bill Murray) is convinced that the way to make money is to travel to Afghanistan to tour with his singer (Zooey Deschanel). When that doesn't work out, he stumbles upon a young woman with a fabulous talent and desire to perform, but if she does perform, it could mean certain death. Also with Bruce Willis, Kate Hudson, Leem Lubany, Arian Moayed, Scott Caan, Danny McBride, Fahim Fazli, Jonas Khan and Sameer Ali Khan. Directed by Barry Levinson. Many lines of dialogue are spoken in Pashto with English subtitles. [1:40]

SEX/NUDITY 4 - A woman describes the sex acts that she can perform for a man and he asks her how much, then offers her a watch as payment and she accepts (sex is implied); we see the man tied to a bed by his wrists and ankles later while wearing a wig, lipstick, with a towel wrapped around his groin area like a diaper and the woman is seen in the shower (we see the outline of her body and flesh tone through the glass shower door). A young woman sits on a table in a dark bar and a man hugs and caresses her clothed leg. Men and women dance in a nightclub.
 A woman wearing a long, flowing dress steps into a swimming pool and we see the fabric soaked when she gets out (part of her bare buttock and panties are seen under water and part of the side of her breast is shown when she gets out of the pool). A woman wears a low-cut T-shirt that reveals cleavage. Women in a nightclub wear low-cut and off-the-shoulder dresses that reveal cleavage. A man showers and we see his bare shoulders and upper chest. A woman wears a tube top and skirt that reveal bare abdomen and cleavage. A woman wears a skirt that has cutouts that reveal bare thighs. A woman wears a crochet swimsuit that reveals bare skin under the threads (no pubic region or nipples are seen).
 A man asks another man if he had sex with a female author (using crude terms). Many men line up outside a woman's trailer and he says, "It's worth the wait" (sex is implied). A man tells another man that a young woman is not wearing any underwear and he looks at them both blankly. A man says, "That book has a lot of sex." A man says of other men that they "Stink of alcohol and sex" (using crude terms). A man says that he had sex with a couple of "hot publicists," and that contributed to his divorce.

VIOLENCE/GORE 5 - Many armed men open fire at each other and one man is shot in the shoulder (we see blood on his shirt and he lies still on the ground); we see him later with his arm in a sling.
 A car in a caravan driving through a desert road blows up and flips; we see smoke billowing and two men climb out with smudges on their faces (one man runs away and seems to be in a stupor while the other man chases him). A car with five men in it is stopped and questioned about their papers; the driver speeds away and they are shot at (we see holes in the car chassis, but no one appears injured). A man and a young woman are taken by armed soldiers through a village to get to their hotel and they hear a large explosion in the near distance (we hear that a goat stepped on a land mine).
 A caravan passes a bus on fire on the road and we see some people walking and running near it (no injuries are seen). A man jumps and yells when he finds a man with a gun in his room; they talk and one threatens the other over money. When a man and a young woman get off a plane in Afghanistan, they are surrounded by armed soldiers and one tells them that they are on shutdown because of an assassination attempt; the young woman panics and tries to get out of the building but cannot. A man in a bar shoots his handgun in the air repeatedly in a bar (no one is harmed). A man with a handgun shoots the top of a bottle of beer off in a bar. A man in a car cocks his weapon as they drive through a town. Dogs chase and snap at men in a convertible car (no injuries).
 A man finds a young Pashtun woman singing and playing the guitar in a cave and she panics and runs away.
 We hear that a man's passport and money have been stolen and he is stuck in Kabul. We see a painting of several men on horseback and the men carry sickles and axes.
 A man yells, "Your father is doomed," and throws a TV against a wall shattering it. A man yells and threatens another man after he understand that the man has insulted his daughter (nothing happens). A man says, "He threatened to cut my head off," and a woman says, "He will put your head on a spike." A man says that if a young woman is found out, "They will kill her and they will kill us." A man tells another man, "I could punch a hole through your heart." A man calls his ex-wife to ask her to wire him some money after his money and identification are stolen; she declines with an obscene statement. A woman tells a man that another man "Hung some Taliban guy up by the feet." A woman cries and tells a man that the plane trip that they are on is "Death trip." A woman sings for a music manager and he says, You made me want to swallow poison" when she is finished. A man says that a woman head-butted him and that there was blood everywhere. A man talks about ammunition using sexual terms. Two men talk about selling ammunition in Afghanistan. A man says that if a man does not accept another man's invitation, "He will be honor bound to kill you, hunt down your family and kill them too." A man says that he is tired of war.
 A woman vomits repeatedly and loudly into an airsick bag on a plane and people seated around her look at her with disgust (we do not see anything but hear the retching and splatter several times). A man urinates on the ground and we hear the trickle, his buckle jingle and his zipper zip. A man spits on the ground and yells as many armed men point their weapons at another man.

PROFANITY 7 - About 23 F-words, 2 obscene hand gestures, 4 sexual references, 13 scatological terms, 3 anatomical terms, 12 mild obscenities, name-calling (losers, idiot, toast, quitter, infidel, burned, singed, fried, high, pathetic, crazy, animals, chick, twerp, patsy, shameless), exclamations (Oh Jeez, shut-up), 7 religious profanities (GD), 3 religious exclamations (My God, God, Oh Lord). [profanity glossary]

SUBSTANCE USE - A young woman takes half a Mexican Quaalude, three men smoke a marijuana cigarette, and a man talks about growing poppy. A man drinks from a bottle of Jack Daniels in a bar, several people in a bar are shown drinking alcohol, a man tells a man and a woman leaving a bar that they are too drunk to know if a singer is any good, people drink alcohol in a night club, a man is shown with a bottle of Tequila at a bar and a glass poured (we do not see him drink), and a woman holds a bottle of beer in a bar. A man smokes a hookah pipe

DISCUSSION TOPICS - Pashtun traditions, Afghanistan, music management, talent shows, ambition, fate, going against customs, dishonor, shame, courage, giving up, mercenaries.

MESSAGE - Minds can sometimes be changed.

Special Keywords: S4 - V5 - 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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