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A Thousand Words [2012] [PG-13] - 4.3.4



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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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Eddie Murphy stars as a high-powered literary agent bent on signing the newest new-age guru (Cliff Curtis) for his latest self-help book. After meeting with him, a mysterious tree appears in his yard and seems to die a little bit every time he speaks. Also with Clark Duke, Allison Janney, Kerry Washington, Jordan-Claire Green and Philip Pavel. Directed by Brian Robbins. [1:31]

SEX/NUDITY 4 - A husband enters a hotel room where his wife is waiting for him wearing a leather bra, panties and knee-high boots; the husband pulls off his shirt (we see his bare chest), the wife removes his pants for him (we see his boxers), she handcuffs him behind his back, and then asks him to tell her what he wants and pleads with him to "talk dirty" to her (he does not speak). A husband and his wife kiss in a few scenes and hug.
 A woman wears a low-cut negligee that reveals cleavage and we see her wearing it in a couple of scenes. A woman wears a low-cut dress that reveals cleavage and bare shoulders. We see several women wearing bikinis while walking through a hotel lobby. A man wearing only boxer shorts gets onto a hotel elevator with another man wearing a costume that reveals his bare abdomen and chest. A man wearing only boxer shorts is shown standing on a sidewalk outside a hotel and a woman and her young daughter appears alarmed by him. A wife hands her husband a soiled diaper while she is changing a toddler (we see the soiled diaper as well as the toddlers genitals from the side).
 A man thinks another man is mad at him for something and lists several things that it could be: he kissed the man's wife at a party, or he had sex with another employee while wearing animal costumes in the man's office and filmed the encounters. Two women talk about whether one of them is having sex with her husband; one woman asks if the other is wearing "granny panties and a nursing bra" and then gives her a bag that presumably contains sexually suggestive clothing (we do not see what's inside). A man makes a joke about another man screaming for more "lap dances." A man makes a remark about having gone to college because his "grandma was sleeping with the dean."
 A man goes to the hotel room of another man who opens the door wearing a costume and holding a drink; the man invites him in suggestively and the other man leaves.

VIOLENCE/GORE 3 - Two men struggle and fight, one man shoves the other man onto the floor where he lies motionless, and the man then punches the motionless man in the face several times until he is unconscious and places duct tape over his mouth.
 A man swings an ax at a tree and strikes it, and the man is thrown onto the ground and we see a gash on his side, as if he was struck by the ax (no blood is visible). A loud rumble vibrates a house and a man and a woman hold on to things fearing an earthquake; but an enormous tree had pushed up through the ground in their yard.
 A man smacks another man on the head. A man strikes a tree with a glass bottle and he yells and holds his head as if he has been struck. A man is struck in the head by his son in a swing and he is thrown back and onto the floor. A man runs into another man, knocks him to the floor and the man drops his papers. A man and a woman struggle over a toy on the woman's desk. A man coughs uncontrollably when a tree is sprayed with chemicals and he then acts inebriated. A cat in a tree jumps on top of a man on a ladder, the ladder with the man falls back and the man hits the ground hard. A man collapses on the ground at a cemetery and lies motionless in the rain (we see him recovered later).
 A blind man walks into a busy street; cars swerve around him and crash into each other while another man tries to run interference and spills several coffees he's holding in the process.
 A man grabs another man by the jacket and yells at him. A husband and his wife argue in a few scenes. A man appears angry and hurt because his father left him and his mother when he was a child and then died. A man draws pictures in a chalkboard while angrily acting out something he wants to say to another man. A woman explains that her son is so angry with his father because he left them and then died and that he has always thought that his father left because of him.
 A man panics when he realizes that every word he speaks causes a tree to lose leaves and that when the tree dies, he will die. During a meditation session people chant, one woman begins to cry and a man screams and twitches (he is carried out and is OK). A man twitches when squirrels run up and down a tree trunk and the man feels the sensation.
 A house appears to be in shambles, with broken photo frames and other items scattered around the floor and a crumbled bookshelf. A man throws a framed picture against a door and the frame's glass shatters.
 During a contract negotiation a man says, "I'll pit them against each other and grind them into the dirt." A man in a coffee shop asks to cut in line and a woman says, "I will run you over dead in the parking lot. Dead… dead… dead…" A man threatens a woman with revealing her secrets if she doesn't give him something. A man talks non-stop during a therapist session and makes comments about people being crazy and harming him; he mentions someone on an elevator pulling out a knife. A man's voiceover says, "If I say another word, I'll die." A woman makes fun of a man's pants and endowment using crude terms.
 A wife hands her husband a soiled diaper while she is changing a toddler (we see the soiled diaper as well as the toddlers genitals from the side). A man opens his mouth and yells and a stream of leaves pours out (like vomit but they are leaves) in a dream sequence. A man leans against a tree, and yells and complains of getting a splinter (we see a bit of blood on the tree bark).

PROFANITY 4 - 1 obscene hand gesture, 10 sexual references, 19 scatological terms, 13 anatomical terms, 15 mild obscenities, name-calling (crazy, maniac, moron, drunk 3 year old, spineless, jerks, stupid, twerp, rude, uncouth, deaf mute, idiot, Brittany territory), exclamations (shut up), 3 religious profanities, 8 religious exclamations. [profanity glossary]

SUBSTANCE USE - A man says, "I took acid in college," and a man coughs uncontrollably when a tree is sprayed with chemicals and he then acts inebriated. People are shown drinking alcohol at a bar, a man and a woman drink wine with a meal, a woman drinks wine, and a man drinks alcohol from a bottle and opens another one when it is finished.

DISCUSSION TOPICS - literary agents, greed, power, death of apparent, abandonment by a parent, Alzheimer's Disease, love, marriage, family, parenting, new-age spiritual movements, Nirvana, bliss, truth, painful memories, enlightenment, midlife crisis, self-discovery, advice, charlatan, find peace, thoughtless words.

MESSAGE - Life is a journey. Life is not worth living without family.

Special Keywords: S4 - V3 - P4 - 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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