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Submarine [2011] [R] - 6.4.8



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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 fifteen year old Wales native (Craig Roberts) struggles with his feelings of love for his first girlfriend (Yasmin Paige), while trying to prevent his parents from splitting up when his mother's former lover moves in across the street. Also with Noah Taylor, Paddy Considine and Sally Hawkins. Directed by Richard Ayoade. [1:37]

SEX/NUDITY 6 - A teenage boy spies on a man and a woman from a distance: we see the woman wrap her arms around the man, the man pushes the woman's head down (implying she is performing oral sex) and the man makes exaggerated movements with his hands and face as the teenage boy watches (no nudity is visible).
 A teenage girl sits next to a teenage boy that is lying on a bed (it is implied they had sex), and the teenage boy smiles and looks at the teenage girl lovingly (no nudity is visible).
 It is implied that a man and a woman are having sex; no nudity is visible but they pull away from one another quickly when a teenage boy walks into the room.
 A teenage boy spies on a man and the boy's mother: the man has his arm around the woman's waist and he helps her into the back of a van, she later tells him that she had performed manual sex on the man and the teenage boy's father says that the woman had told him the same thing (we do not see the actual sex).
 On two occasions a teenage girl and a teenage boy share a lingering kiss. On multiple occasions we see a teenage boy and a teenage girl kissing. A teenage boy experiences flashbacks where he envisions he and a teenage girl kissing. A teenage boy asks a teenage girl if he can kiss her, he then grabs her face and kisses her. A teenage girl repeatedly teases a teenage boy, asking if she can kiss him. A teenage boy wraps his arms around a teenage girl, she lays her head on his shoulder, he kisses her face, and she pushes him away when he tries to kiss her lips. A teenage boy and a teenage girl share a lingering kiss; the girl takes photographs of them kissing and we later see the two examining the photographs. On multiple occasions we see a teenage boy and teenage girl holding hands. A teenage boy puts his arms around the shoulders of a teenage girl. A teenage boy kisses a teenage girl on the cheek. A teenage boy tries on two occasions to put his arms around a teenage girl's shoulders and she shrugs him off.
 A teenage boy asks a teenage girl if she wants to have sex with him; the teenage girl agrees and implies she will have sex with him. A teenage boy poses suggestively, fully clothed, on a bed, implying that he wants to have sex with a teenage girl and the teenage girl walks away.
 A teen boy narrates Super 8 footage of himself and a teenage girl kissing, holding hands and hugging; the boy says the footage is named "Love Making" but no sex occurs in the film. We see a teenage boy staring at photographs of him and a teenage girl kissing.
 A teenage boy's voiceover explains that he knows his parents are not having sex. A teenage boy's voiceover narrates his feelings about a kiss between himself and a teenage girl. A teenage boy narrates that a man "prepares his sexual partners" before "bedding them," as we see a man sitting on a large bed. A teenage boy jokes with a teacher, making a crude sexual remark about masturbating and the teacher sends him out of the classroom.
 A teenage boy's father tells him that when he was younger he had ripped off his vest in front of a woman and it had a very "at-a-vis-tic" effect on the woman, implying sex. A teenage boy narrates a letter that a teenage girl is reading to herself; we hear the teenage boy describe how he wants to thank the teenage girl for allowing him to "be inside her perfect body," implying that they had had sex. A teenage boy narrates a letter that his mother reads aloud; the letter was written by the teenage boy, pretending to be his father and was addressed to the boy's mother, saying that he was interested in having sex with her. On multiple occasions a teenage boy brings up to a teenage girl that they had previously had sex. A teenage boy tells a teenage girl that his mother had performed manual sex on a man. Two teenage boys discuss how one of them wants to have sex with a teenage girl. On multiple occasions a teenage boy uses crude language to describe having sex with a teenage girl. A teenage boy tells his father that he believes his mother is having an affair. A woman has a phone conversation with another woman and we see a teenage boy listening as the woman explains that a man had "been her first." A teenage boy advises another teenage boy to break up with a teenage girl since they had already had sex. A teenage girl teases a teenage boy for smooching her face while they kissed.

VIOLENCE/GORE 4 - We see a teenage boy being held in a headlock by another teenage boy, who shouts that the other teen must make a crude remark about being a homosexual and call a teenage girl a crude name; the boy refuses and we later see him propped up in a corner with a bloody nose (he touches his nose and we see a small amount of blood on his hand).
 A teenage boy narrates as we see two teenage girls stab a teenage boy in the back with compasses; the narrator explains that the teenage boy being attacked did nothing and we see spots of blood appear on the boy's shirt.
 A teenage boy grabs a backpack from a teenage girl, and we then see two teenage boys and a teenage girl tossing the backpack over the head of its owner; one of the boys laughs at the girl, throws the backpack to the second boy, the girl grabs the backpack, and the boy releases it, sending her falling backwards into a pond (the girl cries and runs away after telling the boy she hopes he dies). A teenage boy lightly slaps another teenage boy on the back of the head as he walks away.
 A teenage boy smashes a windowpane of a door and breaks into a man's house; he is later discovered hiding under a blanket after drinking liquor (please see the Substance Use category for more details). A teenage boy throws a bottle at a van and it smashes against the roof.
 We see a teenage boy with a small bruise under his eye, his mother asks if he is being "persecuted," and the boy tells her that he had gotten into a fight to defend his girlfriend.
 A teenage boy receives a phone call from a teenage girl, saying that her dog had been hit by a train and killed; the boy narrates that he had scraped the remains of a dog into a trash bag, we see the trash bag beside him and we later see a burning trash can floating in a river (it is implied to be the remains of the dog).
 A teenage girl flicks a lighter on and off in a classroom and we see her putting her finger in the flame. A teenage girl uses a lighter to melt a teenage boy's leg hair; he allows her and is unharmed. We see a teenage girl melt a teenage boy's leg hair using a lighter as another teenage boy remarks that he knows the teenage girl is not thinking of the time she lit his leg hair on fire. Throughout the movie we see teenagers setting fireworks and setting controlled fires (no one is injured).
 A teenage boy writes a list of reasons to kill himself; the note is discovered by a teacher that counsels him and the boy insists it was a joke. A teenage boy dreams that he is walking above a long bridge over a sinkhole, and he pauses and stares into the sinkhole nervously. A teenage boy imagines himself shoving a copy of his body under the water in a bathtub.
 A teenage girl tells a teenage boy that her mother has a brain tumor and is going to die. A teenage boy sits at a dinner table with a teenage girl and the girl's father addresses her mother, saying that she does not have long to live. A teenage girl invites a teenage boy to visit her mother in the hospital after she has surgery, saying that she will be recovering and he declines (we later learn that the girl's mother has recovered fully). A teenage boy's voiceover explains that his mother thinks he has been abducted and thrown into a lake when he is late coming home from school. A teenage boy has an internal monologue concerning killing the dog of his girlfriend and we see him with rat poison in his hands. A teenage boy asks his mother and father individually, if they would save him from a fire. A man tells a classroom of children and teens that the pressure from ocean depths would cause the internal organs of a person to implode.
 A teen boy's voiceover explains that he often wonders how people would react to his death; we see countless teens crying and attending a vigil for the boy and we later see the boy come back and tell the teens that he had risen from the dead.
 A teenage boy vomits on the hood of a van; we see the vomit leaving his mouth and resting on the hood of the van, and we later see that the rain has washed off the vomit. A teenage boy, while intoxicated, attempts to urinate on a box of DVDs; he is unable to and begins to speak to himself, using crude language, and we then hear the sound of urinating. A teenage boy narrates as we see a teenage boy pulling down his pants and squatting in front of a crowd of teenagers (no nudity is visible) and flatulating. A teenage girl and a teenage boy spit off a bridge; we see spit leaving their mouths. We see frogs and later fish pinned to boards in a classroom for dissection.
 A teenage boy narrates that a teenage boy had caused a teacher to cry; we see the boy using blutack to make a wart on his face which looks similar to the teacher's, and the teacher gasps and starts to cry.

PROFANITY 8 - About 31 F-words and its derivatives, 1 obscene hand gesture, 14 sexual references, 7 scatological terms, 2 anatomical terms, 3 mild obscenities, 5 derogatory terms for homosexuals, 1 derogatory term for the mentally handicapped, name-calling (fool, silly, terrible human beings, idiot, frogs, big girl, mystic ninja, gooey in the middle, ninjas, smuts, lame, serial killer, self-involved, deranged, little mouse, freak, loser, puppet), exclamations (bloody, shut up), 3 religious exclamations. [profanity glossary]

SUBSTANCE USE - A teenage boy takes a handful of pills identified as antidepressants and prescribed for his father and drinks a large glass filled with liquor (he acts intoxicated and we later see him suffering from a hangover), a woman asks her teenage son if he is doing drugs because his pupils are dilated and the boy explains that he has not done drugs, and a teenage boy's monologue states that he will resort to doing drugs in a mall parking lot. A teenage boy and a teenage girl have wine at dinner alone, and a teenage boy and a teenage girl are seen drinking wine at dinner with the girl's parents. Throughout the movie we see a teenage girl smoking cigarettes, a teenage boy is seen trying to smoke a pipe, and we hear a voiceover that a teenage boy has tried to learn how to smoke a pipe.

DISCUSSION TOPICS - Fabian socialists, paranoia schizophrenia, mysticism, coming of age, mid-life crises, manic depression, young love, adolescence, divorce.

MESSAGE - Being an adolescent can be emotionally challenging.

Special Keywords: S6 - V4 - P8 - 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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