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Beloved | 1998 | R | - 9.7.2

Based on the novel by Toni Morrison and directed by Jonathan Demme, this film features Oprah Winfrey as a former slave who is haunted by her dead daughter's spirit. Also with Danny Glover, Kimberly Elise, Thandie Newton, Beah Richards, Lisa Gay Hamilton, Irma P. Hall, Carol Jean Lewis, Kessia Randall, Anthony Chisholm, Dorothy Love Coates and Jane White. [2:52]

SEX/NUDITY 9 - A girl shows her genital area to a man (we also see it several times) and asks him to fondle her; we later see him clothed but thrusting on top of her. A woman's bare back is visible as she's having intercourse with a man; we hear them breathing heavily and thrusting a little bit. Three implied sex scenes: a man and woman kiss and he begins to pull up her skirt (we later see them clothed and lying on a bed together), a man and woman hold and kiss each other (their bare backs and shoulders are visible), and a nude man with his backside visible pulls a clothed woman toward him (nothing else is seen, but we do hear some heavy breathing). A man kisses a woman's scarred back. A man hugs a woman from behind and cups her clothed breasts; in another scene he grabs her clothed buttocks and buries his head into her clothed breasts. We see a woman's bare breast as she breast-feeds her child. We see a nude, pregnant girl's full front and backside a few times during one scene.


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VIOLENCE/GORE 7 - We see a woman with blood on her clothing and face swinging a baby around and holding another very bloody, dead infant (it's implied that she cut the infant's throat with a saw); we also see two slightly bloody boys lying on the ground next to her. We see a man being hung and several people about to be hung, one of whom has a metal muzzle over her mouth. A girl's back is whipped (we hear a loud cracking noise and screaming). Some brief scenes showing a man with metal spikes around his neck and a metal gag in his slightly bloody mouth; a man tied to a burning stake is also seen for a split-second. Twice, we see flashes of scenes in which men are holding a woman on the ground and licking milk that spurts from her bare breasts. During some supernatural occurrences, plates and tables fly around a room and nearly hit people, a table pins a man against a wall (he eventually pushes it away) and a dog is flung across a room and into a wall (it survives, but we see it lying on the floor with its eye hanging out of the socket and blood on its tongue). A woman with bloody feet and a bruised and bloody face collapses on the ground; we later see her walking gingerly on bandaged feet. A group of people are bound together with ropes around their necks. A man burns his hand on a hot stove (a sizzling noise is heard), a woman falls down a staircase and a woman scratches her neck until it bleeds. A girl throws things, turns a table over and threatens a woman with a fire poker. A woman yielding an ice pick runs into a crowd but doesn't hurt anyone. A girl puts a live chick in her mouth and tries to eat it (it's an ignorant act rather than a malicious one). A woman urinates, a woman's water breaks, a girl drools several times and a girl chokes, flails about and eventually vomits. We see large brown stains on a girl's nightgown and bed sheets, presumably from soiling herself while sleeping. A man and woman have many large scars on their backs from being whipped (we see the woman's scarred back a few times during the movie); a girl has scars near her scalp and on her throat. Lots of bugs crawl on a sleeping girl's face and clothing.


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LANGUAGE 2 - Several mild obscenities and couple of racial epithets.


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DISCUSSION TOPICS - Slavery, racism, loss of a child, childbirth, supernatural activities, love.

MESSAGE - Loving someone too much can destroy you.

CAVEATS

Be aware that while we do our best to avoid spoilers it is impossible to disguise all details and some may reveal crucial plot elements.

We've gone through several editorial changes since we started covering films in 1992 and older reviews are not as complete & accurate as recent ones; we plan to revisit and correct older reviews as resources and time permits.

Our ratings and reviews are based on the theatrically-released versions of films; on video there are often Unrated, Special, Director's Cut or Extended versions, (usually accurately labelled but sometimes mislabeled) released that contain additional content, which we did not review.


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