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Life [2017] [R] - 1.7.7



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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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Six astronauts on a space station discover a nascent Martian lifeform that may endanger humans. Led by the science officer (Ryan Reynolds) and the medical officer (Jake Gyllenhaal), the dwindling station crew must find a way to keep the alien from invading Earth. Also with Rebecca Ferguson, Hiroyuki Sanada, Olga Dihovichnaya and Ariyon Bakare. Directed by Daniel Espinosa. [1:43]

SEX/NUDITY 1 - We briefly see a pregnant woman with a very swollen belly under a long gown on a tablet screen as she grunts and groans in labor and we later see a baby in a blanket; a man jokes with the father, asking him who the real father is.

VIOLENCE/GORE 7 - A man is grabbed by a squid creature around an ankle and unsuccessfully tries to burn it with a light stick; he shoots a blow torch assembly at a creature several times without harming it and it drops from a ceiling onto his head and its tentacles extend from around the back of the man's head and enter his mouth as he gasps and gags (bubbles of blood pop out of the man's mouth, followed by larger blobs of blood vomited out); the creature slithers out of the mouth, larger than when it went in and the man is shown dead as the animal squiggles into the air ducts and vents of the space station.
 A man wears gloves to shock a small creature with a thin electrode through a plastic barrier; we see sparks and the creature begins moving, then the man begins to scream and grimace in pain as the creature extends a tentacle and grabs and crushes the screaming man's hand (we hear bones crunching); after a struggle, the man removes his hand, which appears boneless and flopping, red, and bruised in close-up.
 A large white rat is constantly held in a harness by metal cables attached to the floor of its glass cage; a squid creature enters the cage, touches the rat's head, engulfs it, sucks off the skin, sucks the blood of the screeching rat, and swallows it (we see bare muscles) in a few seconds in close-up.
 A squid-like creature crawls around inside a paralyzed man's pant leg, a woman opens the seam and the creature bursts out, knocking her into a bulkhead; the man becomes unresponsive and a man and a woman administer defibrillating shocks four times to revive him and he then dies while floating in the room.
 A squid-like creature puts a tentacle inside the mouth of a dead man, and blood floats out toward the camera. A man lures a squid-like creature into an escape capsule and launches to deep space, the creature slams against the man, and shoots reptilian spikes out of its head into the walls of the capsule; we later see the capsule land in a sea and two fishermen open the hatch.
 A woman goes on a repair spacewalk and tumbles hard against the side of a space station several times; she opens a valve and a squid creature rushes out and grabs her ankle and leg, puncturing her coolant system and releasing toxic chemicals into her helmet as she tries to reach an entrance hatch while a man inside directs her to push a lever and she pushes it the wrong way; we see her die as she floats with her eyes open.
 A man pursued by a squid-like creature locks himself into a sleeping pod; the creature bangs its head against the glass and squeezes the cover with its tentacles, the man exits the pod setting off alarms and he struggles with the creature until they push through a hatch and float off into space (the man is presumed dead).
 A man tires to kill a squid-like creature with a defibrillation charge, to no effect. A creature breaks a part of an electrode off a cable and punctures a glove attached to its glass cage, escaping. A man and a woman struggle with a squid-like creature and they go deeper into the station as we see debris floating past them, some floating out a broken window.
 A man and a woman on a space station see a spacecraft attach to the station; it pushes the station toward deep space, then breaks apart and falls into two arms of the station as we see flames and sparks. A man on a spacewalk ducks away as a large space probe slaps into a robotic arm nearby.
 A single celled animal has hairs that grow into grasping whips or combine to form short flappers and long tentacles as the animal grows quickly into a creature like a starfish and then like a squid or octopus with a dragon's head formed by a clump of petal-like appendages on the neck; it is over six feet long when it is full grown and it screeches as a young animal almost like laughter and as an adult it makes no sound.
 Most scenes occur inside a dimply lit, cramped space station that contains many dark corners and shadows; a crew of six locks themselves into a small compartment in one scene, sweating and one man gasps for air. Three people get into sleep pods that look like glass-covered coffins.
 Two men and two women shout and curse for several seconds at one another about what to do and some of their words are indistinguishable. A man slams a lab door shut and yells and a woman yells. We hear that each cell in a lifeform is both brain and muscle. A man says that creatures like the one they have discovered probably killed all the life on Mars in the past. A man says twice, "We need to kill it." A woman in an escape capsule screams uncontrollably as she is launched into space. A man mentions that he saw bombed out cities in Syria. A woman tells a man that his radiation exposure is at an unsafe level.
 Two people lock themselves into a compartment and find that they have two hours left of life support and only 39 minutes until re-entry into Earth's atmosphere and burning to death. A space station falls into a decaying orbit, about to burn up in Earth's atmosphere.
 A man who was attacked by a creature groans and whimpers and we see a bandage around his damaged hand for the remainder of the film. A man is shown to be paralyzed from the waist down and we see his withered legs when wearing his space suit and shorts (please see the Sex/Nudity category for more details). Men and women wrap a dead man's body in foil and we see the body later, lying against a bulkhead with dried blood on its mouth and chin. A woman picks at her little finger until it bleeds tiny droplets that float toward the camera; a squid creature eats the droplets and we see from its point of view.
 We briefly see a space station toilet, but no one uses it.

PROFANITY 7 - About 25 F-words and its derivatives, 6 scatological terms, 2 mild obscenities, name-calling (thing, bastard, ugly, blood filled buckets of meat, Re-Animator), exclamations (shut-up, shoot), 4 religious exclamations (e.g. Oh God, Holy [scatological term deleted], Jesus). [profanity glossary]

SUBSTANCE USE - A man tells another man that the second man is drunk on examining a space creature.

DISCUSSION TOPICS - Extraterrestrial life, monsters, space exploration, international cooperation, astronauts, science, discovery, sentience, danger, fear, extinction of humanity, safety, protecting others, duty, government sacrifice of individuals, anger, anxiety, courage, sacrifice, teamwork, faulty thinking, making mistakes, claustrophobic places.

MESSAGE - We may find that not all life in the universe is nice.

Special Keywords: S1 - V7 - P7 - 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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