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Wonder Wheel [2017] [PG-13] - 6.4.4



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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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» IMDb Listing

Set in the 1950s: a woman (Kate Winslet) working and living with her husband (Jim Belushi) and young son (Jack Gore) on Coney Island is thrown into a spiral of self-destruction when she has an affair with a younger lifeguard (Justin Timberlake) and her husband's estranged daughter arrives seeking a place to hide from gangsters. Also with Juno Temple and Max Casella. Directed by Woody Allen. [1:41]

SEX/NUDITY 6 - A man and an older, married woman have sex on a beach under a boardwalk; we hear moaning and the woman thrusts on top of him (we see his pants down to his hips and her skirt covers him). A man and an older, married woman have sex while standing under a boardwalk; we see kissing and thrusting (no nudity). A man and an older, married woman kiss in his apartment and fall onto a bed (sex is implied).
 A man kisses an older, married woman in a few scenes. A married woman dresses in a man's apartment (sex is implied); we see the man in bed shirtless (bare chest, abdomen and shoulders are seen) and the woman is wearing bra, petti-pants and stockings as she fastens her garters and puts on her dress (we see cleavage, bare abdomen and legs to mid-thighs). A man holds a woman's hand and kisses her on the cheek.
 A man is shown with his arm around a woman's shoulders as they walk on a boardwalk.
 A man says that a woman's age is a "hot age." A man says that he is having an affair with a married woman in a few scenes. A woman talks about going through the motions with her husband. A woman talks about having been unfaithful to her first husband. A man teases another man about his daughter becoming pregnant by a sailor (she does not). A young woman says that she finds a man attractive. A woman describes a man's manner as flirtatious.
 Men and women are shown wearing swimwear in a few beach scenes (we see cleavage, bare shoulders, abdomens and legs on women and bare chests, and abdomens and legs on men). A woman wears a low-cut dress that reveals cleavage as she walks on a beach. A woman wears a full slip that reveals cleavage and bare shoulders in a few scenes. A young woman wears low-cut dresses that reveal cleavage and bare shoulders in several scenes.

VIOLENCE/GORE 4 - A man grabs a woman by the arms and yells at her, "I will kill you." A man grabs a woman's arms and squeezes frantically as he yells at her.
 A man yells and throws things off the counter in his apartment. A man yells and says, "I'll kill him." A man's estranged daughter returns home and her father becomes upset and tells her to leave (she does not). A woman yells at her young son about starting fires in several scenes. A woman says that she had notions of ending everything. A woman confronts her husband about hitting her son. A man yells at his step-son and says, "I'm gonna beat your brains out." A man threatens to take off his belt and beat a young boy with it. A man yells at his stepson and threatens to "Bang it out of you," when he thinks the boy has stolen money from him. A man yells at another man and threatens him because his daughter did not come home from her date with the man.
 A young boy lights many fires in various locations; a few on the beach, one under a boardwalk, one in an office, one at school and he uses gasoline and a match to start several of them (we do not see or hear that anyone is harmed). A woman throws a tape recorder across a room and it breaks. A man throws an empty bottle on the floor and it shatters.
 A woman steals money from her husband.
 A young woman says that she is "marked" and that "They are going to kill me." A woman says, "We got thrown out of our place." A woman says that her husband fell off the wagon and tore up the lobby of their apartment building. A sign at a shooting gallery reads, "No Intoxicated Person Allowed to Shoot." A woman finds her son in a movie theater instead of at school and becomes upset with him. A young boy tells his mother that he stole money from his step-father. A young boy asks where his father is and his mother says, "Gone." A young boy asks his mother why his step-father hits her and she says, "He hits everybody when he's drunk." A man mentions the bombing of Pearl Harbor. A woman makes reference to someone putting people's feet in cement. A woman talks about getting pushed around by her husband and arguing a lot. A woman says, "I know where all the bodies are buried." A woman complains of migraines in several scenes. A woman wonders if a man killed himself because of her. A woman pleads with someone on he phone when they threaten to call the police about her son lighting a fire in an apartment building basement. A man says that he is afraid a woman has been "rubbed out or dumped."

PROFANITY 4 - 1 possible F-word, 6 sexual references, 3 scatological terms, 20 mild obscenities, 3 derogatory terms for Italians, 1 derogatory term for Japanese, name-calling (freak show, gangster, cheap hoodlum, loose talker, phony, demented, pampered, spoiled, racketeer, redneck, crazy, punk, fat, nuts, moody, delusional, phony head doctor, dull, thrill seeker, colorless, boring, slime, trash, idiot, dope), exclamations (wow, my goodness), 11 religious profanities (GD), 40 religious exclamations (e.g. Jesus, God No, Oh Christ, Oh God, Jesus Christ, I Swear To God, Christ, Thank God, My God). [profanity glossary]

SUBSTANCE USE - A woman takes pills in several scenes after complaining of migraines (presumably aspirin). A woman takes a drink of alcohol from a bottle hidden under her sink, a woman takes several shots of scotch, a man drinks wine at a restaurant, a man says he has to have a drink in a few scenes, people drink beer from bottles and glasses in a bar/restaurant, a woman serves two men beers in a restaurant/bar, a beer bottle is shown on a pier while men are fishing, and we understand that a man has a drinking problem. People smoke cigarettes in a few bar/restaurant scenes, a woman smokes cigarettes in her apartment, and a man smokes a cigarette while fishing on a pier.

DISCUSSION TOPICS - Infidelity, regret, guilt, death of a parent, death of a loved one, estranged children, organized crime, Coney Island, survival, dreams, ambition, pyromania, tragic flaws, fate, fantasy, suicide, feeling trapped, love, feelings, ignorance, jealousy, FBI, betrayal, Pearl Harbor.

MESSAGE - Self-destructive behavior tends to repeat.

Special Keywords: S6 - V4 - 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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