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The Skeleton Twins [2014] [R] - 6.4.7



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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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Twins (Kristen Wiig and Bill Hader) that have not spoken for 10 years are reunited after one has attempted suicide and the other has been contemplating the same. When they come back together they realize just how much they need each other to get through their complicated lives. Also with Boyd Holbrook, Ty Burrell, Luke Wilson, Jennifer Lafleur, Kathleen Rose Perkins and Joanna Gleason. Directed by Craig Johnson. [1:33]

SEX/NUDITY 6 - A man and a woman (married to another man) kiss passionately, they remove their shirts (the woman is shown wearing a camisole and the man is shown in a T-shirt) as they thrust against a wall and moan. Two men are shown in a car talking and they are then shown in a bedroom with one getting dressed and the other sleeping (we see his bare chest and back and abdomen; sex is implied). A man and a woman kiss passionately and he presses her back against a wall (sex is implied).
 A wife kisses her husband on the head. A man leans over to kiss another man and the second man stands up and yells at the first man.
 A husband and his wife are shown in bed together (they are clothed and there is no implication of sex). We see a photograph of a man with his arm around another man and it is implied that their relationship has ended. A man tells another man that he has a girlfriend and the second man asks him if he is gay (it is implied that the men had a sexual relationship when the first man was the second man's teacher in high school).
 A woman is shown in a bathtub and we see her bare shoulders and upper chest as well as her bare knees. A man lies down in a bathtub and we see his bare shoulders, chest and abdomen (please see the Violence/Gore category for more details). A few bare-chested men are seen climbing a rock wall and we see their bare back, shoulders, chest and abdomen.
 A drunken man barges into a bedroom where a husband and his wife are sleeping (clothed) and rants about it being lesbian (using a derogatory term) night at a bar. A gay man tells a woman that he performed oral sex on a woman and describes the experience. A man tells another man that he and his wife are "trying to get pregnant." A woman tells a man about a job and he asks, "Do I get a sexy outfit?" A woman admits to having had several affairs while married to her husband. A man talks about the attractive men in a rock climbing facility. A husband talks about having sex with his wife in a hammock.

VIOLENCE/GORE 4 - A man appears to be very sad and drinks from a bottle of alcohol before lying in a bathtub alone and presumably slitting his wrists (we see the water fill with blood). A woman ties heavy weights to a rope and then the rope around her waist before jumping into a swimming pool; she sinks to the bottom, and then struggles to free herself until a man comes to help her and she surfaces and coughs, but is OK. A woman goes under water and removes her regulator; she blows out her air and is under water until a man pulls her to the surface. A drunken man stands on a rooftop and appears to be considering jumping off before he is interrupted by a police officer.
 A woman berates her mother about her behavior and the mother replies, "...if you are finished vomiting all over me." A voiceover states that "Maybe we were doomed from the beginning." A man talks about being a "tragic gay cliché." A man talks about a book and knowing that "the dog dies in the end." A woman says that if she had to live with her mother, "I'd probably jump off a bridge too" referring to her father who had committed suicide. A man talks about fights with his wife feeling like landmines that blow his genitals off and describes looking back and seeing them sliding down a wall. A woman yells at a man and then screams into a pillow. A man says, "I get depressed about my life and I do stupid things" (referring to suicide attempts).
 Two goldfish are shown dead on a coffee table after their water bags have nearly drained and a woman panics and puts them in water trying to revive them before dropping them in a fish tank on the floor (the tank shatters and the fish are shown motionless on the floor). A woman drops an empty fish tank on the floor and it shatters.
 A man in a home movie is shown wearing a skeleton mask in a few scenes and in one scene the man gives the mask to a young girl, who puts it on. A child's costume has a hatchet sticking out of a bloody head wound. A person wearing a headless horseman costume jumps out at two people walking through a cemetery on Halloween.
 A woman lunges for a toilet and vomits (we hear a splatter an a gag). A man under the influence of laughing gas make flatulent sounds several times as a woman, also under the influence, gestures as if she is passing gas. Many ducks fly near a man and startle him as he walks along a path.

PROFANITY 7 - About 22 F-words, 4 obscene hand gestures (one by a boy to his mother and one from the mother to the boy), 10 sexual references, 41 scatological terms (3 mild), 18 anatomical terms (one by a boy to his mother), 7 mild obscenities, 5 derogatory terms for homosexuals, name-calling (gruesome twosome, emotionally unstable, crazy, pathetic, sick person, fat kid, restless housewife, creepy gay uncle, boring, idiot, warden, doof, over protective, uptight, ungrateful, tricky bird), exclamations (shut-up), 1 religious profanity (GD), 13 religious exclamations (e.g. Oh My God, My God, God No, God, Jesus). [profanity glossary]

SUBSTANCE USE - A woman alone in a bathroom holds a handful of pills and seems to be preparing to take them all at once to commit suicide, two men smoke marijuana from a pipe in a car, a man tells a woman, "We are gonna do a lot of Nitris," a woman is shown taking birth control pills in a few scenes, and a man is shown with a laughing gas mask on his nose while at a dentist and he laughs. A man drinks from a bottle of alcohol, people drink alcohol in several bar scenes, a man in a bar drinks several shots of liquor, a man and a woman have drinks at a bar and the woman guzzles the last of both drinks (please see the Sex/Nudity category for more details), a man and a woman drink beer, two men drink beer in a bar, a man describes himself as having been "drunk and melodramatic," people drink wine and beer in several dinner scenes, people are shown drinking in a bar and one man appears to be drunk later, a man says that he "might be a little drunk," and a woman says, "I drank my first wine cooler here" as she walks through a cemetery.

DISCUSSION TOPICS - Twins, estranged siblings, suicide, death of a parent, sexual relationships between teachers and students, homosexuality, serial infidelity, lying, self-destructive behavior, guilt, parenting, stereotypes, disappointment.

MESSAGE - Even dysfunctional family members can help each other.

Special Keywords: S6 - V4 - 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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