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Smoke Signals



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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

MPAA Rating: PG-13

When a young man's estranged father dies, he and his tag-along friend leave their Coeur D'Alene Indian reservation and head to Arizona to collect the father's ashes. Adam Beach, Evan Adams, Gary Farmer, Tantoo Cardinal, Monica Mojica, Irene Bedard, Suzy Song and Cody Lightning co-star.

SEX/NUDITY 1 - There are no sex scenes or nudity. Only a sexual reference: A woman tells a man she slept with a friend's boyfriend while she was in college.

VIOLENCE/GORE 3 - In several flashbacks, we see a house engulfed in flames and a baby thrown (and caught) from a second-floor window; we learn that the baby's parents died in the fire. A woman sets fire to a vacant trailer. A man slaps a woman, a man hits a boy's face and a boy repeatedly punches another boy (his nose is slightly bloody). We briefly see a dead man, but there's no gore; he looks as if he's sleeping. A truck swerves to miss a car stopped in the road and apparently hits an embankment; in the next scene, we see a few people with bloody cuts on their faces and a bloody, unconscious woman.

PROFANITY 3 - Several anatomical and scatological references and many mild obscenities. [profanity glossary]

DISCUSSION TOPICS - Death of parents, racism, Indian reservations, abandonment, guilt, forgiveness.

MESSAGE - It's easier to forgive someone's wrongdoing if you try to understand the reasons behind the deeds.

Special Keywords: S1 - V3 - P3 - 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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