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American Honey [2016] [R] - 9.4.10

 
 

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ASSIGNED NUMBERS

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
Profanity
1 to 10

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A teenage girl (Sasha Lane) desperate to separate herself from her dysfunctional life runs away with a traveling magazine sales group and learns life changing lessons. Also with Shia LaBeouf, Riley Keough, McCaul Lombardi, Arielle Holmes, Crystal Ice, Veronica Ezell, Chad Cox, Garry Howell, Kenneth Kory Tucker, Raymond Coalson, Isaiah Stone, Dakota Powers, Shawna Rae Moseley and Chris Wright. Directed by Andrea Arnold. [2:43]

SEX/NUDITY 9 - A man and a young woman kiss: he lies her back on the ground and they remove their pants (we see her bare abdomen and pubic area and his bare buttocks), he thrusts and we see a glimpse of his genitals; she stops him and removes a condom and disposes of it and they continue having sex and moaning until climaxing. A young woman kisses a man while he drives and he stops the car; they kiss, they remove their pants (we see her bare buttocks), the young woman straddles the man in the front seat of a car and thrusts as they moan until climax. A man unfastens his pants in the front seat of a pickup truck and asks a young woman to "play with me"; she does and we see her arm moving rhythmically as the man moans, he then asks the young woman to remove her panties and then sit with her legs spread (we see her bare thighs) as he masturbates (we hear him moaning and see his arm moving rhythmically). Two people appear to be having sex behind a parked van (we see one thrusting and bare buttocks are visible). A man grabs a young woman (presumably it is her father) and says, "Come dance with Daddy"; he holds her tightly and she tries to push away from him as he squeezes her clothed buttocks and licks her neck. A man chases a young woman, tackles her to the ground and they kiss passionately on a lawn as the sprinklers turn on.
 A young man drops his pants (we see his genitals) and tells a young woman that he wants to be the first to have sex with her (using crude terms). A fully nude young man runs through a parking lot and jumps on the roof of a van where he stomps his feet and chants (we see his bare chest, abdomen, genitals and back). A young man pulls out his genitals and waggles his penis (we see his penis and pubic area) toward a crowd of people and they chase him. A woman opens her motel door and we see her bare breast and abdomen. A young man in a van pulls down his pants and presses his bare buttocks against the window as a young woman and two young children watch from the side of the road. A young woman wears a low-cut tank top that reveals cleavage in several scenes throughout the movie. A young man is shown shirtless in most scenes throughout the movie (we see his bare chest, abdomen and back). Several women in a bare shown wearing short-shorts and low-cut tops that reveal cleavage and bare legs to the upper thighs while dancing in a bar scene. A woman wears a low-cut and short top that reveals cleavage and bare abdomen. Two young men are shown shirtless in a few scenes and we see their bare chest, abdomen and back. A woman's dress bunches up between her legs in the back and two people laugh at her. A woman wears a bikini and we see cleavage, bare abdomen and bare legs to the hips. Young women urinate outside and we see them stand and pull their panties and shorts back in place (we see bare thighs and the side of a young woman's buttock). A man applies lotion to a woman's bare legs from the thighs to the ankles. A man caresses a young woman's feet and bare legs to the thighs.
 Several young women dance around several men and one asks them if they are prostitutes; the young women are offended and they argue as the men leave. A man and a young woman kiss goodnight. A man kisses a young woman on the cheek after meeting her. A man watches as several young teen girls dance suggestively. A young woman gets into a car with three men and one hands her a beer (she drinks from it). A young woman gets into the back of a pickup truck with three men and one asks her to hang out with him for $500; she says that she will do it for $1000. A man is shown in a woman's motel room bed and another man is shown coming out of her bathroom (sex is implied). A shirtless young man (we see his bare chest, abdomen and back) thrusts his hips suggestively to a song while riding in a crowded van.
 A man asks a young woman if she let three men touch her and she replies no. A man asks a young woman if she had sex with a man and she says no. A man asks a young woman whom he just met to go to Kansas City with him for a job.

VIOLENCE/GORE 4 - A man shoots a gun in the air and tells three men to jump into a swimming pool, which they eventually do; the man and a young woman speed away in a stolen car. We hear two men shouting and the sound of punches landing, then see one man with blood splattered on his clothing (we understand that he has beaten a man but do not see the victim). A man grabs a young woman and shoves her against a wall while yelling at her. A man pulls out a handgun and holds it to a young woman's head; she yells as he struggles to unjam it and she takes it away from him and fixes it (no bullets are fired). Two young men fight and wrestle and one punches the other in the face several times (we see blood on his shirt).
 A young woman steps into wet tall grass and hears flies buzzing around her; she looks down to see a stream of blood (presumably coming from a cattle slaughterhouse nearby) and she gags as she removes her blood-covered shoes. A young woman sits outside smoking as a bear lumbers toward her, sniffs her face, and then walks away. A man yells and throws furniture around a room.
 A young woman gets into the back of a pickup truck with three men and one asks her to hang out with him for $500; she says that she will do it for $1000. A young woman gets into truck cab with a truck driver and they drive together (nothing happens). Several people hit a young man on the head with notebooks. A young woman shoves a man into a swimming pool after she jumps in to find out that the water is deep (she cannot swim). A young woman slaps a man in the face and he pushes her back onto a car seat and climbs on top of her; they laugh and play-wrestle. A man and several young men slap and punch each other in a few scenes (playfully).
 A man and a young woman sit on the roof of a van (while it is driving) and dance. Young men and young women jump around and over a campfire (no one is harmed). A young woman appears to sleep walk and leaves her motel room; another young woman in the room tells a third young woman to not let go into the road. A young woman sleeps in a parking lot by a van and wakes up when the occupants of the van come out of a hotel.
 A young girl says, "I'm gonna die of thirst," and a young woman tells her, "I'm gonna kill you first." A woman asks a young woman, "You got anybody that's gonna miss you?" A teenage boy introduces himself and says that he was hit by a car when he was young; when he smiles, we see that he is missing several of his front teeth. A man talks about two "losers of the week" fighting each other. A young woman talks about her father dying in Iraq (it is not true). A woman tells a man and a young woman that she thinks the devil has a hold of them. A man talks about his mother throwing herself in front of a truck (this is not true). A young woman talks about the "Death Star" and Darth Vader in several scenes. A few people talk about a woman being murdered and raped. A young girl sings the lyrics of "I Kill Children."
 A young man has a flying squirrel as a pet and we see it crawling into his hair in one scene. A young boy pokes a plastic covered chicken using a fork and we see some of the flesh squeezing out through the holes. A young woman and a young girl are shown rooting through a dumpster and examining expiration dates on food; we see a whole chicken in a plastic wrapper with bloody juices and it splats on the ground when the young woman drops it. Ants crawl on food on a kitchen counter. Young men and young women urinate outside (we hear the stream). A dog is shown cleaning itself. A dog is shown urinating (we do not hear or see the stream). A young woman has a tattoo of two handguns on her back.

PROFANITY 10 - About 150 F-words and its derivatives, 3 obscene hand gestures, 3 sexual references, 65 scatological terms, 17 anatomical terms, 24 mild obscenities, 5 derogatory terms for African-Americans, name-calling (dumb [anatomical term deleted], cocky, sketchy, lazy, losers, smart [anatomical term deleted], stupid, rednecks, dirty white trash), exclamations (shut-up), 5 religious profanities (GD, God Can Go [F-word deleted] Himself), 5 religious exclamations (e.g. Holy [scatological term deleted], Oh My God). [profanity glossary]

SUBSTANCE USE - Several young people smoke marijuana from pipes and cigarettes in several scenes throughout the movie, a man and a woman smoke marijuana from a pipe on the street, a woman lies on a sofa sleeping next to a table with drug paraphernalia, several people in a van smoke marijuana and talk about getting a dog high, and several young people smoke marijuana and cigarettes while drinking alcohol from bottles in a parking lot. A young woman gets into a car with three men and one hands her a beer (she drinks from it), men and women are shown drinking alcohol and smoking cigarettes in a bar, several young people drink alcohol from a bottle and pass it around in several scenes throughout the movie, a woman drinks alcohol from a bottle, a young woman gets out of a van and asks where the bar is, a young woman takes several shots of Mescal and then eats the worm from the bottom of the bottle, a man smokes a cigarette and has a can of what could be beer next to him, many empty bottles of alcohol are shown strewn around a room, and a young woman drinks alcohol and wine from bottles. A young woman smokes cigarettes in many scenes throughout the movie, a woman smokes in most scenes throughout the movie, many other characters smoke cigarettes throughout the movie, cigarette butts are shown in an ashtray and a smoldering cigarette is shown in another.

DISCUSSION TOPICS - Desperation, door-to-door sales, dreams, love, dysfunctional families, wealth, income inequality, fear, impoverished youth, Iraq war veterans.

MESSAGE - Dreams can often seem unattainable.

Special Keywords: S9 - V4 - 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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