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What Just Happened [2008] [R] - 6.5.10



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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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A Hollywood film producer (Robert De Niro) struggles to maintain his sanity while working with temperamental directors, agents and actors. Also with Sean Penn, Bruce Willis, Stanley Tucci, John Turturro, Kristen Stewart, Catherine Keener and Robin Wright Penn. Directed by Barry Levinson. [1:50]

SEX/NUDITY 6 - A woman enters a room where a man is doing yoga in his boxer shorts (we see his bare back and legs), she leans down and pulls her dress to the side revealing her bare breast and asks if he wants to kiss her breasts some more (implying that they had sex the night before).
 We see a man and a woman kissing and caressing each other in silhouette, through a bedroom window, and another man watches them from outside. A man lies in a bed bare-chested, his ex-wife sits on the bed next to him, they talk about whether they should have sex or not, she begins to unbutton her blouse (we see cleavage and a bit of her bra), and they are interrupted. A woman walks into a men's room where a man is washing his hands and she tries to seduce him (she speaks romantically and caresses his back) but there is someone else in the room and she leaves.
 We see several teenage girls grieving at a man's funeral and it is implied that at least one of them might have had a physical relationship with him (she says, "He touched me" and her father asks, "Where?" and she replies, "Everywhere"). A man confronts a married man about having an affair with his ex-wife. A man confesses to his ex-wife that he was unfaithful and she confesses that she kissed another man while they were married. A man suspects that his ex-wife is having an affair.
 While dressing we see a man wearing jockey shorts, he rubs his chest and back and appears to be shaving hair on his lower back. A man gets out of bed and we see him in his boxer underwear.

VIOLENCE/GORE 5 - A movie within the movie shows a dog being shot in the head (blood splatters on the camera and we see the dog with a bloody hole in its head and its paws twitch); we see this scene repeated several times.
 A movie within the movie shows a man and a woman being chased through an alley, the woman drives away and the man is shot in the chest (we see a blood spot on his short), rolls down a hill and is shot several more times (several bloody holes open on his shirt).
 A man imagines slamming another man's head into a car window, the glass shatters and he slumps to the ground, and he then shoves a sock in his mouth (we hear muffled yelling).
 A man cuts his own finger and smears the blood on his forehead. In a scene from a movie a dog licks a bloody wound on a man's chest and then his face.
 A man is struck in the stomach accidentally with the handle of a shovel, he falls into an open grave and we hear him moaning and yelling.
 A man yells and is angry, he throws clothing racks onto the floor and overturns tables while yelling and lunges toward a man in a threatening manner (no one is harmed). A man pounds on a table repeatedly spilling small candies in the floor.
 We hear that a man committed suicide by shooting himself in the head. A man says, "I'll beat you to death" to another man. A man makes a remark about a drug making him feel like he wouldn't care if he saw his mother "getting gang-raped." A remark is made about "bloody body parts" in a movie and that "they shot the dog in the head."
 We see people grieving at a gravesite and people shovel dirt onto the coffin that has been lowered into the ground.
 A woman answers the telephone while seated on a toilet, and then stands up and flushes. A man moans, gags, whimpers and appears to be vomiting a couple of times (he complains of a stress related stomach ailment).

PROFANITY 10 - About 51 F-words and its derivatives, 2 obscene hand gestures, we see a pencil sketch of an obscene hand gesture, 10 sexual references, 9 scatological terms, 4 anatomical terms, 7 mild obscenities, name-calling, 1 exclamation (shut up), 3 religious profanities, 7 religious exclamations. [profanity glossary]

SUBSTANCE USE - People drink alcohol at a restaurant, a man drinks alcohol from a bottle, we see champagne filled glasses being passed around at a party, and a man drinks champagne. A woman makes a comment about having taken Ecstasy the night before with a man, a man asks for some prescription drugs to help calm his nerves, we hear that a man has a drug and alcohol problem, and we hear that a man who has committed suicide was a heavy drug user. A man smokes a cigarette, two men smoke cigarettes, a man smokes a cigar, and a man makes a comment about smoking and says, "I gotta smoke on the plane."

DISCUSSION TOPICS - Hollywood, money-making, power, jealousy, success, family vs. professional life, multiple divorces, image, separation, suicide, drug use and abuse, alcoholism, selling out, truth, infidelity.

MESSAGE - The movie industry can be frustrating from every perspective.

Special Keywords: S6 - 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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