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We Are Your Friends [2015] [R] - 7.5.10



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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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An ambitious promoter and DJ (Zac Efron) plans to amass fame and wealth by stepping up his game to spin discs in Hollywood. However, he creates only mediocre mashup tracks and a more experienced but burned-out DJ (Wes Bentley) offers to help. The younger man becomes distracted as he falls for his mentor's girlfriend (Emily Ratajowski) and puts his future at risk. Also with Alex Shaffer, Shiloh Fernandez, Jonny Weston and John Bernthal. Directed by Max Joseph. [1.36]

SEX/NUDITY 7 - A woman lies on top of a man in the back seat of a car (both are clothed) and we see her grimacing face and much of her breasts bouncing in a scoop neckline as she thrusts downward, facing the camera (we see only his head); she asks where his "nuts" are and he does not answer. A woman meets a man at a carnival and says that her boyfriend ditched her; she wiggles and dances, they kiss passionately, he picks her up, carries her to a dark bedroom where he lies on top of her on the bed and then the shot changes to him shirtless as he kisses her and we see her bare shoulders as they kiss and the scene ends as the man begins to thrust (sex is implied); she is shown wearing a sleeveless top and he is shirtless in the morning. A clothed man sits with a woman on his lap in a curtained booth at a club and the woman is seen wearing a strapless top as they kiss for several seconds and the woman bounces.
 A woman wearing a tight spandex dress that reveals cleavage rubs against a man as they dance in a club. A woman at a strip club bar wears a bikini bottom as the camera focuses on her back (we see her bare buttocks, legs and her bare back and arms, as well as breasts briefly and from an angled side view) as a man stuffs dollar bills into her bikini bottom; another woman wears a bra and panty briefs as she walks past the man in the background and we see a pair of thighs and legs as someone walks by. About a dozen women at an apartment pool party wear bikini (we see several jiggling breasts, backs, buttocks and thighs). A DJ at a pool party mixes music and the camera zooms into a woman's bosom in a low-cut top that reveals deep cleavage and breastbone as she dances, bounces and jiggles. Women at a party wear short-shorts and many of the women wear bikini and halter tops that reveal cleavage while some women wear bikinis that reveal buttocks in close-up as they walk away from the camera; one shot features six women wearing short-shorts while dancing. A woman wearing a tight sleeveless tank top over a tight sports bra walks toward the camera and both garments reveal the outlines of breasts. A woman wearing short-shorts that show the bottoms of her buttocks walks away from the camera. A man wears his jeans sagging in two scenes, revealing his underwear to the middle of his buttocks and he often appears shirtless, with tattoos on his shoulder and chest and abdomen. Several men appear shirtless in a long shot. A man lies in a bed with a sheet covering his abdomen and genital area, revealing his bare chest as a male friend lies in a bed face down across the room with his bare back and chest revealed as he wakes up. A man stands in a shower stall with his back to the camera and we see his bare back and upper buttocks for a few seconds. Four men strip to their underwear and jump in a swimming pool. One man wears briefs, another wears biker shorts, and two wear boxers (we see full nude bodies except for the area covered by underwear). A biology book picture of a nude woman shows full frontal nudity, indistinct pubis and no pubic hair. A few scenes outside clubs and on dance floors feature women wearing low-cut tops and miniskirts, short dresses, or nearly legless shorts that all reveal cleavage and bare legs. A large crowd scene during summer features women wearing midriff tops, tube tops, tank tops, bikini tops, and most of the women wear short-shorts in medium-distance shots and long shots (we see several instances of cleavage and bare backs, bare legs to the thighs and a few shirtless men).
 A woman pouts in a sexually suggestive facial expression throughout many scenes in the film. A woman in a washroom sits on a sink as a man runs his hands along her sides and back and the scene ends.
 A man at a party says about a woman that flunked out of college that all the guys in the dorm saw her breasts. A man tells male friends after a party that he thinks he had sex with a woman. A man says that a woman had a finger up his rectum. A man says that the major industry in Southern California is the porn industry. Rave promoters hustle college-aged girls for their phone numbers and ask them to attend a rave; one of the men tells an attractive girl if her friends look like her, to bring them all. A man tells another man that he is tired of the second man masturbating "Five feet from my pillow." A woman says, "I love you" in a cell phone message. The background lyrics of a song repeat "Making love" two dozen times. A woman jokingly tells a male friend that her managers at the coffee shop are all hitting on her.

VIOLENCE/GORE 5 - Three men awaken after a party and find a fourth man gray-faced and blue-lipped, while we hear that he had used a large quantity of drugs the night before, which was unusual for him; they shake him, panic and call the police and then the camera cuts to a funeral that is blurred where we hear mumbled words and see a few mourners dressed in black and one man stares blankly as we see from the viewpoint of inside the grave and then from an aerial view, and the man shovels a shovelful of dirt onto the coffin.
 A flashback shows two men pushing each other and cuts to a close-up of one of them with blood on his temple and side of his mouth. After a fight a man has deep red scratches on his cheek and the corner of his mouth. A man pushes another man into a large swimming pool where they fight under water until other men jump in and separate them. Two men fight in a washroom and after a few punches, one man throws the other man in a shoulder throw, cursing and shouting; the injured man has a bloody mouth and cheek. A man slaps another man so hard in the face for a rude remark about a woman (please see the Sex/Nudity category for more details) and the second man falls down and the scene ends. On TV, an MMA fighter has another MMA fighter down on the mat in a pin for several seconds and the pinned man struggles, but cannot get up. A man aims a nail gun at a male friend, but does not fire it.
 Two men that we hear are under the influence of PCP (please see the Substance Use category for more details) look at a cartoonish painting of a woman astronaut with bright red lips and the men see the eyes move and the lips blow a kiss; one of the men continues to hallucinate and sees bright paint drip from a painting in several colors, flow across the floor, and slide up onto people until the people become cartoons of themselves.
 After a party, a man says that his brain is bleeding. An animated beating heart is projected onto the chest of a dancing man. We see an X-ray of a beating heart in two scenes. Four twentysomething electronic dance music and rave promoters complain and argue about their music and their chances for leaving the boring Valley and becoming famous; they play loud music at several shows that include fireworks that fill the screen with bright lights and we hear roaring crowds and see them jump up and down and dance. Several scenes in clubs and a large outdoor rave feature loud electronic dance music (EDM) with a pounding beat accompanied by men and women jumping and dancing. A CGI sequence explains that a DJ playing EDM affects the audience's hearts emotionally and physically and that EMD playing at 128 beats per minute synchronizes with the average human heart rate. On a wall in a bedroom, we see a watercolor painting of three pistols beside a flyer containing a black skull and crossbones. After a pool party, the house of four men and their patio look trashed. A man records harsh everyday sounds for an EDM tack, including a zipper in use, a coin spinning, sounds of electricity from high tension wire towers, and a carpenter's nail gun being shot.
 A man in a bar rushes to the washroom where he sticks his face into a ceramic toilet bowl and we hear and see him vomit yellow material twice. A man spits on the ground and we hear it, but cannot see what he spit.

PROFANITY 10 - About 90 F-words and its derivatives, 5 obscene hand gestures, 18 scatological terms, 13 anatomical terms, 4 mild obscenities, name-calling (monster, skanky, loser, crazy, drunk sell-out, weasely little [anatomical term deleted], mega [sexual reference deleted]), 2 religious profanities (GD), 9 religious exclamations (Aw Christ, Good God, Oh My God, My God, I Swear To God, Jesus God, Holy Cow, God, Jesus). [profanity glossary]

SUBSTANCE USE - A man sells a very small plastic bag of drug leaves through a chain link fence for ten dollars, a man says that he will sell Special K and Mint drugs as he goes to a rave and shows people several different-sized bags of drug leaves, a man huddles with a few individuals that he is likely selling drugs to, a man shows the drugs that he has to sell at a club, a man berates another man for being a "drug pusher," a man smokes a marijuana cigarette outside a club and shares it with another man who coughs and throws it away, a man takes out a "sherm" (a marijuana cigarette dipped in liquid PCP or formaldehyde) and smokes it, a man invites another man to an after-hours party where we hear there is alcohol and recreational drugs, in the back of a limo a man gives another man a flask and we later learn that the alcohol in the flask contains PCP (they drink from the flask before playing music for a rave on another night) and both men hallucinate (please see the Violence/Gore category for more details), two men sit on a beach and smoke the same marijuana cigarette, a man smokes a marijuana cigarette in a car as well as outdoors and outside a dance club, a man asks a woman "Are you loaded?" and she says "Me? Never!" (she is glassy-eyed and slurring her words), a man swallows a pill at a pool party while another man smokes a marijuana cigarette and the scene ends, a man looks into an empty swimming pool as he smokes a marijuana cigarette, and a man asks for an aspirin and is refused. Two bottles of champagne are seen in a silver bowl on a table in a restaurant where men and women drink short cocktails and other guests drink colorful tall cocktails and short glasses of whiskey, two bar scenes show a man drinking a bottle of beer at one bar while men and women at tables drink tall cocktails and some dancers on the dance floor carry short glasses of alcoholic beverages liquids while the second bar scene features men and women drinking from beer bottles and tall glasses of mixed drinks at several tables, a strip club features a man drinking form a glass of whiskey, several women at different parties ask a DJ if he can play "Drunk in Love," a man at home and in his recording studio pours himself a short glass of whiskey in several scenes and drinks them all, four men chug cups of Saki in a café, three men drink beer from cans around an empty swimming pool, and a bottle of wine is seen on a kitchen counter in one home and several bottles of wine are on a counter in another home. A man smokes a tobacco cigarette outdoors as well as in a car and at home and on a sidewalk, and a man exhales cigarette smoke as he drives a car.

DISCUSSION TOPICS - Glamorous DJ lifestyle, substance abuse, drug dealing, foreclosure and the sub-prime housing crisis, loss, hardship, mentors, relationships, love, trust, respect, conflict, reconciliation, forgiveness, cooperation, goal setting, hard work.

MESSAGE - Music can be an inspiration toward a better life.

Special Keywords: S7 - V5 - P10 - 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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