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Battle of the Sexes [2017] [PG-13] - 6.2.4



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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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The real-life story of the 1973 tennis match between Billie Jean King (Emma Stone) and Bobby Riggs (Steve Carell), which was cast as a battle to prove that one gender is athletically superior to the another. Also with Andrea Riseborough, Natalie Morales, Sarah Silverman, Bill Pullman, Alan Cumming, Elisabeth Shue, Fred Armisen, Austin Stowell and Jessica McNamee. Directed by Jonathan Dayton & Valerie Faris. [2:01]

SEX/NUDITY 6 - A woman moans in bed as another woman kisses her chest and shoulder; they are interrupted when the phone rings (we see one woman's bare shoulders and upper chest). Two women stand close to each other in a hotel room, one removes the glasses from the other, they talk about one of them being married and the other having a boyfriend and one woman asks if she can kiss the other; they kiss, then kiss passionately and remove each other's clothing (we see bare abdomens and cleavage) as one woman kisses the other's neck. A woman climbs in bed with another woman and they kiss (sex is implied). Two women hold hands and kiss on an elevator. Two women lie in bed together and snuggle; one woman is shown wearing a bra (cleavage and hair in her armpits are seen). A man and woman kiss on crowded bleachers.
 A woman gets out of a bed with another woman and we see her wearing underwear (her full bare back is visible). A fully nude man reclines on a sofa during a photo shoot and a tennis racket covers his groin (bare shoulders, chest, abdomen, pubic hair and legs are visible). Two men are shown in a locker room with towels around their waists (we see one man's bare chest and abdomen and part of the other man's chest and abdomen. Women are shown wearing short tennis dresses in several scenes that reveal bare legs to the hip. A woman is shown wearing hip hugger pants and her abdomen to the hip is shown. A woman undresses in a locker room and we see her wearing a bra (cleavage and bare shoulders are seen). A woman wearing a one piece swimsuit walks onto a tennis court (her cleavage, bare sides and legs are seen). Many women are shown around a swimming pool and wearing swimsuits that reveal cleavage, abdomens, backs and legs. A man wears a Bo Peep dress while playing tennis. Cheerleaders wear short outfits that reveal full bare legs to the hips. Shirtless men with short wraps around their waists are shown carrying a woman onto a tennis court (we see their bare chests, abdomens, back and upper thighs). A woman wears a low-cut dress that reveals cleavage.
 A husband arrives at a hotel and is surprised to find another woman's bra in his wife's room (he surmises that they have been intimate).
 Two women appear to be flirting and one asks the other if she likes to dance; they go to a club together. A woman caresses another woman's hair in a hair salon (there is sexual tension). A woman puts lipstick on another woman and tells her, "You're perfect." A woman tells another woman that she can stay in her hotel room with her. A woman tells another woman, "I don't know what to do with myself around you." We read that a husband and his wife divorce and that the woman has been with a female partner ever since. A man tells a woman that someday, "We will be able to love who we love."
 Men and women dance at a dinner party. Men and women dance at a club. A man asks a woman to dance and she declines, and then another woman accepts.
 A man tells a woman, "We'll miss your pretty faces," when the woman threatens to boycott a tournament. A woman talks about going on a "sex strike" and another woman says that she would miss sex. A wife tells her husband that a woman is another woman's lover and he is shocked. It is implied that two men are gay and they design the tennis outfits for female tennis players.

VIOLENCE/GORE 2 - A woman seems anxious and unsettled while playing a tennis match. A tennis match between a man and a woman is intense and very competitive.
 A wife argues with her husband about his gambling addiction and throws him out of the house (she throws his underwear out the upstairs window) and he stays with his adult son. A husband and his wife argue and she asks, "Who's been bank rolling you? Me. A woman."
 A man and a woman argue about his being the announcer for a tennis match and the woman threatens not to play if he is. A man tells two women that they are not allowed in a men's club and one woman asks, "Because I'm a woman or because I'm a Jew?" A man says that men have families that they need to support and thus they should be paid more; he says that men are faster and more competitive and they are better to watch than women. A man tells several women, "You're cuter than the men." A man argues at a Gamblers Anonymous meeting about the people there are just being bad gamblers. A man describes a woman as being a "Nice old fashioned girl who will do whatever she is [mild obscenity deleted] well told." A woman describes another woman as being licentious and sinful. A sports announcer says, "Bobby's just toying with her." After a woman loses a tennis match to a man, another man says, "Women are not in the same league." A woman describes a tennis match as a "massacre." A man says that men are the superior animal. A wife tells her husband that she cannot be with him anymore and he leaves (they end up back together and remain married). A man says, "I love women in the bedroom and the kitchen."
 A man and his young son play a quicksand game on living room furniture, climbing across and not touching the floor. Several men bet on a tennis match between two men, where one of the men is holding two dogs on leashes while playing. A boy bets his father $1 on the amount of peppercorns in a grinder.

PROFANITY 4 - 3 scatological terms, 1 anatomical term, 8 mild obscenities, name-calling (honey, girls, miserable ingrates, the old dears, renegades, little twerp, male chauvinist pig, nice old fashioned girl, lousy, clown, dinosaur, nuts, sucker, sweetie, idiot, crazy), exclamations (shut-up, jeez Louise, nonsense, I swear, oh my, are you kidding me, oh for goodness sake), 1 religious profanity (GD), 10 religious exclamations (e.g. For The Love Of God, For God's Sake, Oh My God, Oh God, Jesus). [profanity glossary]

SUBSTANCE USE - A man takes many supplement pills in a few scenes and they are described as "super nutrition." Men are shown drinking alcohol in a men's club, a woman drinks from a glass of champagne, a man and a woman drink wine with dinner, men drink alcohol and beer at a tennis club, a woman serves a man a cocktail on the tennis court while he is playing, and a woman drinks a glass of wine at home. A woman smokes cigarettes in many scenes throughout the movie, a woman smokes in a diner and passes out packs of cigarettes to tennis players, a woman lights a cigarette and takes a puff and then coughs and puts it out, and a tobacco company becomes the sponsor of a women's tennis league.

DISCUSSION TOPICS - Equality for women, gender roles, sexism, homosexuality, gambling addiction, Women's Tennis Association, US Lawn Tennis Association, Women's Lib, feminism, promises, competition, fate, chauvinism, secrets, giving women a voice, respect, being black balled, emotions, control, sport sponsorships and funding.

MESSAGE - Women are as capable as men.

Special Keywords: S6 - V2 - P4 - MPAAPG-13

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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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