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Walk the Line [2005] [PG-13] - 3.4.5



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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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Joaquin Phoenix stars as Johnny Cash and Reese Witherspoon as June Carter-Cash in this biopic of the famous singer. We follow Cash from his days as a door-to-door salesman unable to make ends meet through to his landing a recording contract and touring with such notables as Elvis Presley and Jerry Lee Lewis. Also with Robert Patrick, Ginnifer Goodwin and Larry Bagby III. Directed by James Mangold. [2:15]

SEX/NUDITY 3 - A man proposes to a woman, they kiss, he picks her up and they kiss again. A man and a woman lie in bed together (he wears a tank top and she wears a slip) and they kiss. A married man tries to kiss a woman, twice. A man kisses a woman on the cheek. A man and a young woman kiss.
 A woman wears a low-cut dress that reveals cleavage, and women wear low-cut evening gowns (revealing cleavage) in one scene.
 A married couple lies in bed together, a husband and his wife hug, and a husband kisses his wife on the cheek. A woman tells her husband about the fan letters he has been receiving from girls and that they send pictures of themselves wearing bikinis.
 A man tells a woman to touch his heart and that, "it is beating for you"; he pulls on her arm to put it on his chest, and she tries to pull away.

VIOLENCE/GORE 4 - We see cloths stained with blood in a pan and on a boy's chest in a hospital (he was injured by a saw in a mill); the boy breathes irregularly and dies.
 A man and a woman fight: the woman takes a picture away from him and runs, the man chases her, the woman hits the man repeatedly, he holds her on the floor and yells at her, and their children see them fighting and cry. A man appears to be drunk, he comes home angry, he throws things and speaks abusively to his young son. A man yells at his wife in a few scenes and a man talks to his son in a dismissive and demeaning manner in many scenes.
 A man pounds his head against a wall, he throws a table, he pulls a sink off the wall (water sprays) and breaks a guitar against a wall. A man yells at his sons, a woman yells at her husband, and the man kicks something and they all go back to work. A woman throws empty bottles at men sitting on a stage drunk (no one appears injured).
 Several men put something in the bend of a tree, they light a fuse attached to it, it explodes and breaks a limb off the tree (it falls to the ground near where the men are standing). A man and a woman hold guns on a man, and the man runs away.
 A man yells at another man on stage, he kicks a microphone and then collapses. A man tries to get a tractor out of mud, the tractor rolls down a hill and crashes into a lake throwing the man into the water, and a woman runs into the water to retrieve him (no one is injured).
 A woman slams a door in a man's face. A woman threatens another woman and tells her to stay away from her children.
 A man sings about shooting his woman down. A man sings to prisoners who are described as "murderers and rapists." A movie shows a man fighting with prison guards.
 A man walks through dark woods (he is high on something), he stumbles and falls down an incline and is knocked unconscious. A man falls off his chair when he is very drunk. We see a man going through withdrawal from drugs (he quakes, and sweats and vomits). A man is arrested for drug possession. A man panics when his drugs have been thrown away.

PROFANITY 5 - 1 F-word, 1 sexual reference, 2 scatological terms, 3 anatomical terms, 16 mild obscenities, 1 derogatory term for African-Americans, 2 religious exclamations. [profanity glossary]

SUBSTANCE USE - A man takes drugs in many scenes and it is implied that he has developed an addiction. Several men drink alcohol, smoke cigarettes and take drugs (it is not clear what type). A man buys drugs from a man on the street and from a man in a car. Several men sit around on a stage and drink alcohol and smoke cigarettes, and one man falls off his chair. People drink beer in many scenes. A man chews tobacco and spits, several men smoke cigarettes in many scenes, and a woman smokes a cigarette.

DISCUSSION TOPICS - Emergency relief colonies, death of a child, death of a sibling, divorce, guilt, grief, forgiveness, trust, parental disappointment, temptation, goodness, worthiness, religious ramifications of divorce, stardom, judging people, celebrity, jealousy, love, music business, sass, Christian upbringing, rock and roll, gospel, blues.

MESSAGE - Believe in yourself, and love yourself or you'll never accomplish anything. Parents aren't always the best judges of things.

Special Keywords: S3 - V4 - 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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