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Tower Heist [2011] [PG-13] - 4.3.5



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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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When the building manager (Ben Stiller) of a high rent tower in NYC realizes that their richest resident (Alan Alda) is being arrested for securities fraud and that the pensions of the entire staff were in his control, he tries to figure out a way to get him to repay their money. Executing a heist seems the only way. Also with Eddie Murphy, Casey Affleck, Matthew Broderick, Stephen McKinley Henderson, Judd Hirsch, Téa Leoni and Michael Pena. Directed by Brett Ratner. [1:44]

SEX/NUDITY 4 - A woman practices breaking into a safe and uses sexually suggestive terms to describe to a man how it is done. There are several conversations between two men about the pregnant wife of one of the men and that the baby's head is large and her vagina is small (he is concerned that the baby will harm the woman during delivery).
 A man says, "I'll be inside having sex with Rita." Several men look at a photograph of women and one is described as a lesbian; one of the men talks about having sex with lesbians and preferring their breasts because they have not been pawed by men. A man describes French Playboy as having photos of women that are even more naked. A man talks about a rule at his place of employment that there was to be no sex in the storage room. It is implied that the woman that a man is with is not his wife and that his actual wife is returning early from a trip and building staff members help him get out of the building. A woman talks about the last time she got drunk and that she made out with a fireman. A woman threatens to tell another man's boss about his having a sexual relationship with a "cougar" in the building. A man says, "I'm thinking of becoming a male prostitute." A woman in a lingerie store describes a pair of panties as "our sexy little things." A man asks a woman out on a date and she accepts. A woman asks a man if he wants to have a drink with her and he accepts. A woman asks a man if he is married, he says no and she seems interested in him.
 We see the cover of a Playboy magazine and a woman is shown covered with a loosely knit mesh top that reveals flesh through the holes (no details are apparent). A man is shown swimming and wearing swim trunks (his bare back, chest, legs and abdomen are visible). A woman is shown wearing a short dress that reveals cleavage and bare legs. A woman wears a low-cut dress that reveals cleavage. A woman's blouse hangs open and reveals a bit of her bare chest. A woman wears a low-cut dress that reveals cleavage.

VIOLENCE/GORE 3 - A man walks toward an oncoming subway train and we see him in the hospital later, after someone else stopped him from jumping onto the tracks in front of the train. Two men slide down a cable on the outside of a high-rise building, another man dangles from a car bumper that hangs from the same cable, he reaches out to grab a rope and slips and another man grabs him and pulls him to safety. A man watches as another man is loaded into the back of a van; the man chases the van through the streets, the van tips over, the man is clotheslined by an armed woman and the occupants of the van are held at gunpoint by the woman and several other armed agents.
 A man accidentally fires a gun while wrestling with another man over the weapon (no one is harmed). A man with a gun threatens three other men and asks one of them, "Are you ready to die?" A woman with a gun then threatens the gunmen and he puts the gun down. A man with a gun lunges at another man.
 A truck speeds through a parade chased by a police car (no one is harmed) before it is finally cut off. A passenger in a car steps on the gas pedal and the driver struggles to get control of the car; they speed through a red light and are nearly hit by an oncoming car before stopping. Four men stand on the top of an elevator as it moves up and down and they flinch when it nears the top (no one is harmed).
 Two police officers arrest a man and he yells about police brutality. A woman slams a cleaning cart into a man's head and he falls to the floor unconscious. We see a man in a jail cell and another man being led into a jail cell with other inmates yelling at him. Three men are fired from their jobs. A man climbs inside an elevator shaft. Two men hold two large, barking dogs on leashes while standing on a street. A dog falls into an elevator shaft and a man catches it.
 A man tells another man, "I will beat you to death." A woman tells a man that she had to "beat" a man. A man talks about someone being shot in the face and that the bullet went in his cheek and came out the other side. A man talks about a man having been shot in the head with a nail gun. A man says, "Maybe I'll rip out his larynx." A man yells at another man as he walks past him on a street. A man confronts another man about having stolen money from people and they argue. A man tells another man that he needs to leave his apartment and that he is being evicted. A man and a woman argue in the street and call each other names. A woman says that a man ."..has my permission to jump out of a window." We hear that a man lost all of his money in bad investments. A man tells several other people that their pensions have been lost in a bad investment.
 Several men plan a robbery in a few scenes. A man steals women's panties and hides them in his pants. A man steals a pair of earrings and hides them in his mouth. A man steals a pair of sneakers and wears them out of the store. A man steals a sweater and rips the security tag out, leaving a hole in the fabric. A man breaks the lights and windows of a very expensive car using a golf club.
 A man vomits out a car window (we hear him gagging). A man says that he received a text from his pregnant wife saying that her water broke.

PROFANITY 5 - About 1 F-word, 10 sexual references, 42 scatological terms, 32 anatomical terms, 25 mild obscenities, 4 derogatory terms for African Americans, name-calling (liar, idiots, jerk, squatter, old farts, cheat, scammer, coolest cat, crook, punk, seizure boy, wanker, sissy), exclamations (shut up), 5 religious profanities, 10 religious exclamations. [profanity glossary]

SUBSTANCE USE - Two men talk about a time when they went out for drinks and one of the men became so intoxicated that he danced on the bar and ran through the streets half naked, people are shown drinking in a bar, a man and a woman drink in a bar and the woman appears intoxicated as she stumbles to get up from the table, and two men drink wine.

DISCUSSION TOPICS - Securities fraud, eviction, forced eviction, divorce, suicide, infidelity, wealthy vs. those that serve the wealthy, vigilantes, kidnapping, asthma, shoplifting, robbery, adaptation, homosexuality, chess, trust, larceny, sacrifice.

MESSAGE - Trusting anyone with your money is a risky business. Sacrificing for the good of others is the right thing to do.

Special Keywords: S4 - V3 - P5 - 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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