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Atomic Blonde [2017] [R] - 7.9.9



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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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In 1989, before the end of the Cold War, an MI6 agent (Charlize Theron) uses her deadly skills to survive on a mission to Berlin. Assigned to work with the British station chief (James McAvoy), she must defeat foreign spies to capture a crucial list of double agents. Also with John Goodman, Til Schweiger, Eddie Marsan, Sofia Boutella and Toby Jones. Directed by David Leitch. Several lines of dialogue are spoken in German and Russian with English subtitles. [1:55]

SEX/NUDITY 7 - Two women meet at a club, where one woman kisses the other, they walk into a back room and kiss against a wall and one woman slams the other woman against the wall twice as they argue, then slam together into another wall and kiss each other passionately and the camera cuts to the women on a bed; they are dressed in sleeveless tops that reveal cleavage, one wears garters and hose over underwear and the other wears thong underwear and has bare legs and buttocks as one woman pulls the other woman against her and facing the camera, twice rubbing her breasts and rubbing her fingers in the second woman's covered genital area; the camera cuts back to a long shot of the bed next to a mirror so that we see two images of a nude woman straddling another nude woman on the bed, gyrating face-to-face in a sex act (hair covers their faces, but we see the top woman's buttocks, and thighs and the other woman's thighs as the scene ends).
 A woman submerges into a bathtub of ice cubes and water (we see bare bruised shoulders, breasts and nipples, and thighs). A woman is shown in full back nudity, with scars, bruises, and a large red L-shaped scrape down the left shoulder, back and buttock. A woman picks up a "Hustler" sex magazine from a man's desk and the cover shows a crouching woman with bare legs to the underwear and one partial buttock. A few scenes feature either of two women wearing mini-skirts with thigh-high boots, garters and thigh-high stockings. The thighs of a woman become visible from mid-thigh to up about five inches in a couple of scenes. Two women wear sleeveless, legless body suits in three scenes, revealing bare thighs and cleavage; one of the women puts on a see-through lace top over it. A woman wearing a jumpsuit reveals cleavage in a V-neckline. A woman wears a bra that shows cleavage, underwear, and fishnet hose from feet to just below the bra (the skin of her thighs, abdomen (navel shows) shows. A woman is shown wearing a bra in a few scenes (we see cleavage, abdomen and back). In a club we see glimpse two women on a stage, wearing wide straps studded with metal; the straps crisscross over their backs and shoulders, revealing some cleavage and navels. A man runs through a street while wearing a T-shirt and boxer shorts under an open robe.
 Two women lie side by side under a sheet with their shoulders and arms uncovered as they caress each other's faces and hug. A nude man wakes up in bed with two women who are nude from the waist up (their arms hide their breasts) and one woman wears underwear, garters and stockings while the other woman wears skimpy underwear (her legs are bare to the undergarment); the man wears a blanket around his hips (his shoulders, chest and abdomen are visible) and sex is implied. The face of a man is seen in a dream and under a sheet as a woman's hands reach up to it from below the frame, suggesting a sex act; the woman wakes up, gasping.
 Two women stand close together at a bar as we hear a piano play, "As Time Goes By." A man asks two women for "an arrangement" (possibly three-way sex) and the women decline. A soldier turns his head and stares at a woman as she walks by.

VIOLENCE/GORE 9 - A woman and two men fistfight and the fight moves down a staircase, with kicks, punches and throws; the woman throws a metal can and hits a man in the face (he spits a lot of blood onto a step and falls), the woman is thrown down a flight, the other man pulls a knife and they struggle with the knife before she stabs him several times in the back and chest, drawing copious blood; the other man falls backward downstairs (blood is smeared the length of the wall), the knifed man rises and the woman kicks him downstairs and takes his rifle, she fights two more men and beats them unconscious with the rifle butt as a barrage of shots comes through a door (no one is struck) and the woman shoots a man through the head (a large circle of blood splashes on a wall), she fistfights another man who throws her, and she punches the attacker and hits him with a floor lamp until finally beating him bloody with a metal pipe; the man gets up and the woman stabs him in the rib cage, eye and throat with a corkscrew, until he is dead and blood covers walls and the floor.
 A man leaves a woman in a hotel room and three other men enter (one has a pistol, another puts on latex gloves, and a third man spreads out a body bag); the woman pulls out a pistol shooting all three men as two other men enter shooting and the woman shoots and kills one man outright and a huge blood spot splatters against a wall as the other man reaches to his bloody neck and falls to his knees (blood pours over him as he falls to his back), she shoots him in the head at close range and the camera cuts to the bloody body in a pool of blood among splattered walls.
 A woman and a bloody man steal a police cruiser and another bloody man jumps on the hood only to be shot off it (we see blood on the hood and windshield) and another gun goes off and the car windows break out; the woman driver shoots behind her and kills another driver, whose car is hit by a semi-truck, flips, and crashes in slow motion as the woman's car is broadsided by another vehicle and falls off a bridge into a river; the wounded man's leg is caught under the dashboard and he dies, and the woman escapes, gasping at the water's surface (her face is covered with cuts, her lip is cut and bleeds, she has a black eye and blood clots in both eyes).
 A man breaks into a woman's apartment, strangles her with a wire, loses his grip, but later strangles her again on her bed; she stabs him in the side and later in the leg and he shouts in pain, she runs a knife into his upper back and he tightens the wire around her throat on the bed and she dies (with eyes open, and falls face up to the floor); another woman enters with a drawn handgun and the camera cuts to a fuzzy image of the man at home, wearing a wide bandage around his waist and on his back, both with large spots of blood showing as he struggles into clothing, douses his apartment in gasoline and lights it with a lit cigarette. A man talks to several younger men lined up on their knees at gunpoint; he calls one forward to break-dance, then beats the man with a skate board in the head and body until dead (blood covers the dead man's face and chest), and the murderer stomps on a boom box.
 In an extended fight scene, a woman confronts several police officers; she fires a handgun and uses kicks to the body and groin, head punches, grabs, chokes, and body throws as we hear grunts and shouts of pain from men; she hits a man in the head with a pot, it looks like one man loses a hand (we do not see a stump), she strangles a man with an electrical cord, uses it as a whip against another man and strangles the first man again, then swings off a balcony to the ground, hanging and killing the man against the balcony railing; on the ground, she punches, kicks, shoots, and kills two men, with some blood flow.
 A man runs through a street as we hear screeching tires off-screen and a car smashes him against a van, then backs up and smashes him again, holding him against the van (the victim lies in the street, head resting on the car bumper as a man curses him and we see a close-up of a handgun barrel as it shoots); the camera cuts to the man falling completely to the pavement dead, without visible blood. In a speeding car in an underground garage, a woman uses a spike high heel to beat a man, drawing blood from his face as he begins to fall out of the car and she beats him until he falls with his face and clothing bloody (blood splashes on the car windows); the woman takes a gun from the driver and beats him with it, then breaks his wrist as the car spins, crashes onto its hood and the woman falls out as another man drags the body of the first man and puts it into a car trunk and speeds away with the woman, and dumps the body in front of a building, punching it in the head as the screen goes black. A man finds a knife stuck into one of his tires and a woman shoots him in the stomach and says, "You didn't have to kill her," as she stomps on his groin area causing him to scream; she takes his watch and a close-up shows a gun barrel firing as the camera cuts to a long shot of his dead, bloody body. A man on a street shoots another man in the stomach and we see blood on the victim's hand and stomach, later spreading to the back of his topcoat and his face. A man threatens another man, who shoots him in the head (the gun fires into the camera), killing him.
 In an extended fight scene, a woman confronts three men after they follow her into a theater where the film "Stalker" is playing and she fires a handgun several times and uses kicks to the body, head punches, chokes, and body throws as we hear the men shout in pain; she beats two men with a length of pipe and turns high metal shelving full of metal objects over onto a man; a man throws her into a wall twice, chokes her, and we see plaster break as she stabs a key chain into his cheek next to a long scar and it hangs there for minutes until he pulls it out. At night, a man fights two policemen with kicks, punches, and kicks to the groin, until they are unconscious; he steals a cruiser, jumps out, and men fire machine guns at it as it goes up in flames. A woman breaks a bottle over a man's head, knocks him down, sits on his chest, and punches him in the face (no blood shows).
 A man aims an assault rifle into a crowd, but people raise umbrellas to block his view. A woman slams another woman into a wall and holds a handgun to her head, and then lowers it. We see men load high powered rifles and handguns and a woman loads an automatic pistol.
 In a morgue, a man's head and shoulders show purple blotches and a large hole covers his forehead with a dark red wound; stitches appear on the upper chest, and we see the feet of other corpses sticking out from sheets. A woman emerges from a tub full of ice cubes and water, revealing scars and red marks across her shoulders and back (please see the Sex/Nudity category for more details). Throughout a long interrogation a woman's face shows raw marks on her cheeks and a cut on the lower lip; one eye is black and the other is bruised.
 Two coffins are shown draped in British flags as they are loaded into an airplane from an interior view. A man in a car wears a thick cervical collar because of a neck injury. A man wears a fake cast on his arm from thumb to elbow and inside is an electronic bug. A photo shows two male hunters holding large dead hares and rifles.
 A TV newscast states that police are beating people and shooting tear gas in Berlin. A TV broadcast says that people are protesting and we see a crowd with signs briefly on the TV screen; in real time, we see thousands of men and women marching with signs against the existence of the Berlin wall and communism. A newscast shows men and women swinging sledgehammers against the Berlin wall, cheering, and dumping champagne on it. A woman ransacks her own apartment and finds an electronic bug in her coat lining. A man says, "I'm going to [F-word deleted] kill you," to another man as several police cars with sirens and flashing lights arrive. A woman tells another woman that a man set them up. We hear that a man was killed. We hear that a woman killed a man. A woman sets fire to a man's photo and it burns to ashes.

PROFANITY 9 - About 43 F-words and its derivatives, 2 sexual references, 4 scatological terms, 4 anatomical terms, 11 mild obscenities, name-calling (crazy, stupid, crooked, four-faced liars, fascist pig, hatchet man, Communist, Satan's little helper), 2 religious exclamations (Oh My God, I Swear To God). [profanity glossary]

SUBSTANCE USE - A woman swallows a handful of pills from a prescription bottle, with vodka. A woman drinks a rocks glass of ice and vodka several times alone at home, two women in a bar drink glasses of vodka, a woman moans "drunk" during an interrogation after drinking heavily, a woman swallows a handful of pills from a prescription bottle with vodka, a man in a bar shouts as he downs a shot of vodka and smokes a cigarette, a man says that a new whiskey bottle is as pristine as Virgin Mary and gives it to another man as a gift, a man in a sewer tunnel drinks a single serving bottle of vodka, three bottles of whiskey and vodka are seen on a chest of drawers in one scene, a bottle of whiskey along with a bottle of gin and two empty beer bottles are seen on a desk in three scenes, several men drink from beer bottles on a sidewalk in a couple of scenes, a woman opens and drinks from a large bottle of beer in an office, a man drinks a short glass of whiskey at home twice, a man holds a short glass of whiskey on a plane, and a woman drinks a short glass of vodka on a plane. A man and a woman separately light and smoke a cigarette in dozens of scenes, a woman takes a man's cigarette from his mouth and finishes smoking it (we see both characters smoking at their homes, on sidewalks at night, in a club, in an office, and outside a building while he also smokes while driving a car), a woman smokes throughout a long debriefing interrogation, we see a large ashtray full of cigarette butts in several scenes, smoke rises from a desktop in an office (the ashtray is not visible), and a woman tells a man that he smells like a stogie (he is not smoking).

DISCUSSION TOPICS - The Cold War, Communism, the Berlin Wall, world conquest, spies, double agents, murder, death, espionage, danger, protests, peace, freedom, lesbian relationships, courage, sacrifice, justice.

MESSAGE - The Cold War involved several governments and a web of spies and double agents that often lost their lives.

Special Keywords: S7 - V9 - P9 - 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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