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Wonder Boys



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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

MPAA Rating: R

In this comedy/drama, a college English professor (Michael Douglas) spends a weekend dealing with his editor (Robert Downey Jr.) who wants to see his far-from-finished next book, the married university chancellor (Frances McDormand) with whom he's having an affair and a gifted but ultra-depressed writing student (Tobey Maguire). Also with Katie Holmes, Rip Torn, John R. Devich, David Lean, Matt Ross and Richard Thomas. [1:48]

SEX/NUDITY 3 - Some sexual innuendo (including a discussion about putting spices and other items on male genitalia to increase pleasure) and a little kissing. A clothed man and woman hold each other on a bed; also, we see two shirtless men lying in bed together. We see a shirtless man, a man wearing boxers and a woman wearing only a T-shirt (most of her bare legs are visible).

VIOLENCE/GORE 3 - Most of the scenes have a humorous rather than dramatic tone. A dog is shot several times (the scene isn't too mean-spirited, but could be upsetting to some); its body is stuffed into a car trunk (we see it there a couple of times) and later put in a bed. A dog bites a man's ankle; when he lifts up his pant leg we see the very bloody wound. A man cuts his hand (we don't see the wound, but see him cover it with a bandage). A man jumps in front of a car several times to stop it, then jumps on its hood and makes a dent. A few scenes of reckless driving; in one scene, a car crashes into a brick wall (the driver isn't injured). Some threatening with guns (one scene is quite suspenseful); a man shoots a gun but doesn't hit anyone.

PROFANITY 6 - 8 F-words, some anatomical references and slang terms, many scatological references, several mild obscenities and a few insults. [profanity glossary]

DISCUSSION TOPICS - Writing, infidelity, marijuana and prescription drug abuse, drunkenness, transvestites, homosexuality, theft, deception.

MESSAGE - Stop going through the motions of life and do what you truly want to do.

Special Keywords: S3 - V3 - P6 - 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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