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The Straight Story



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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: G

Based on the true story of a 73-year-old man who drives his riding lawnmower from Iowa to Wisconsin to make amends with his estranged brother. With Richard Farnsworth, Sissy Spacek, Jane Heitz, Everett McGill, Jennifer Edwards, Barbara E. Robertson, John Farley, John Lordan and Harry Dean Stanton. Directed by David Lynch. [1:51]

SEX/NUDITY 0 - A husband and wife give each other a quick kiss; he then puts his arm around her waist and she playfully slaps his hand away. We see a shirtless man's shoulders after he's been examined by a doctor.

VIOLENCE/GORE 2 - We hear a thud, then later see a man lying on the floor (he's not injured). We hear a car horn and a thud, then see the front of a wrecked car and a dead deer lying in front of it (no blood is seen; we later see a man eating what is probably deer meat and the deer's antlers attached to the front of a trailer). A man hits a lawnmower with a cane; in a later scene he shoots it, causing it to burst into flames. We see a house on fire and firemen trying to extinguish it (we learn it's a drill rather than a "real" fire). Two men share WWII stories while we faintly hear sounds of war (bombs dropping, guns shooting): a man tells about shooting someone and the other tells of a bomb being dropped on a tent full of soldiers (no graphic details are mentioned). A truck speeds past a man on a riding lawnmower, throwing dust on him and running him off the road. In a frightening/suspenseful scene, a man loses control of his lawnmower as he speeds down a hill (he's not injured).

PROFANITY 2 - Several mild obscenities. [profanity glossary]

DISCUSSION TOPICS - Aging, forgiveness, determination, the importance of family, the kindness of strangers, alcoholism, WWII, pregnant runaways.

MESSAGE - Don't give up on doing what you're compelled to do, no matter how strange it seems to others; holding a grudge seems ridiculous when you realize it might be too late to make amends.

Special Keywords: S0 - V2 - P2 - MPAAG

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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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