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Black Bear | 2020 | R | – 6.4.10

content-ratingsWhy is “Black Bear” rated R? The MPAA rating has been assigned for “language throughout, sexual content, drug use and some nudity.” The Kids-In-Mind.com evaluation includes a couple of sex scenes including partial nudity, a few flirting scenes, a couple of kissing scenes, and discussions of infidelity, a car crash, a presumed miscarriage with some blood shown, many arguments with some ending with a heavy object being slammed into a man’s head, a shove and a face slap, some blood, and nearly 70 F-words and other strong language. Read our parents’ guide below for details on sexual content, violence & strong language.


A woman (Aubrey Plaza) dealing with celebrity, a creative block and jealousy, embarks on an emotional quest to help find her way. When she retreats to a lake house where she meets a young couple (Sarah Gadon and Christopher Abbott) expecting a baby, everyone’s inner turmoil boils to the surface. Also with Lindsay Burdge, Alexander Koch, Paola Lázaro, Jennifer Kim, Shannon O’Neill and Grantham Coleman. Directed by Lawrence Michael Levine. [Running Time: 1:44]

Black Bear SEX/NUDITY 6

 – A man lies on top of a woman on a sofa and he thrusts briefly, they kiss and he takes off his shirt (we see his pants lowered to below his hips and the top of his underwear is visible, as well as partial bare buttocks). A woman wakes up in bed alone and looks for her husband; she finds him having sex with another woman (we see his bare back as he thrusts on top of the woman). A man and a woman lie in bed together. A woman touches a man’s face and kisses him, she takes off her dress (we see her bare back) and she kisses down his chest and below the frame.
 A man and woman hug tenderly. A woman lies on a floor wearing only her bra and talks to two other women as they try to calm her down and get her to stop drinking (she is very drunk and we see her bare abdomen to the hips, cleavage, pubic hair and partial buttocks). A woman wears a low-cut dress that reveals cleavage and she adjusts her breasts while looking in a mirror. A woman wears a one-piece swimsuit that reveals her bare back, legs to the hips and cleavage in several scenes. A woman wears a low-cut top that reveals cleavage in a few scenes. A woman adjusts her skirt and we see her bare thighs, stocking tops and partial underwear. A woman wears a low-cut dress that reveals cleavage.
 A man and a woman get out of a lake after a swim and the man rubs the woman with a towel wrapped around her. A woman walks to a lake at night, removes her clothing (we see her bare back, legs to the lower buttocks, bra and underwear) and dives into the water; a man follows her, takes off his clothing (we see him wearing boxers and his bare back is seen), and he joins her in the water where they splash each other and laugh. A man and woman dance together while another woman watches them and seems increasingly jealous. A man and a woman lie in bed holding each other and they talk. A man and a woman sit on a sofa and hold hands while they talk.
 A woman whispers into another woman’s ear and the second woman giggles flirtatiously. A woman watches another woman and a man and when she sees them exchanging glances she becomes jealous and angry (please see the Violence/Gore category for more details). A man tells a woman, “I am not in love with her. We are not right for each other,” about another woman that is pregnant with his child. A woman tells a man, “I prefer weak sickly men.” A man tells a few jokes that include some sexual references. A man talks about two men that he is attracted to, and makes a suggestive remark about them.

Black Bear VIOLENCE/GORE 4

 – A pregnant woman finds a man and another woman having sex, she hits the man with a heavy sculpture and he accidentally head-butts the other woman giving her a bloody nose; the first woman and the man argue bitterly, he tries to calm her down and pushes her, causing her to fall on a sofa and start bleeding; fearing that she will lose her baby, they speed away in a car and crash when a bear walks onto the road and the car swerves (we do not see the result). A woman tackles another woman in a movie scene and slaps her in the face repeatedly while straddling her on the floor (we see the woman with a bloody nose). A man and woman argue bitterly and she storms out of a room to pack her bags to leave; the man stops her and they argue, but she does not leave.
 A woman leaves a cabin at night and a security light flips on as we hear what sounds like a bear snuffling in garbage cans. A woman walks along a dark path to a lake at night and she hears noises in the woods (we do not see anything). A woman sits on a dock overlooking a lake in several scenes and in a few of them, there is heavy fog over the water. A woman hears a bear grunting at the steps of a cabin where she is standing and she seems to move toward it (the scene ends).
 A woman becomes angry and jealous when she sees another woman and a man exchanging glances; she storms away, slams doors and begins drinking whiskey. A woman bumps into another woman spilling hot coffee on her. A woman slams into a glass door and spills coffee on herself. A woman runs into another woman, spilling her hot coffee on her.
 A woman yells at another woman in a movie scene and argues with a man and hits him on the chest, saying, “You stole him from me.” A man pins a woman on a bed and they argue. A woman argues with a director when he wants to shoot a scene again and she becomes angry; the man yells at her and storms away. A man and a woman argue in a movie scene. A woman says that her mother is dead and that “She died in front of us.” A man and a woman argue in several scenes and bitterly in a few. A woman talks about her career in movies and that people stopped hiring her as an actor. Two women and a man discuss traditional gender roles and one woman says that hairy armpits on women are disgusting. A woman says, “Children are disgusting.” A woman says, “All women are superior and all men should die.” A man says, “She hates me,” about a woman. A man says, “I’m a terrible person.” A man says, “I don’t know what’s wrong with me.” A man and woman plot to try to make another woman jealous to help her create a better performance during a movie shoot. A woman says, “He’s punishing me.” A man tells a woman, “You are going to regret it.”
 A woman flatulates and her stomach rumbles a few times, as she says that the fish they ate for a meal did not agree with her. A woman says that she has “explosive diarrhea.” A woman vomits in a bathroom (we do not see goo).

Black Bear LANGUAGE 10

 – About 68 F-words and its derivatives, 2 sexual references, 18 scatological terms, 7 anatomical terms, 7 mild obscenities, name-calling (nosy, unsuccessful, disgusting, humiliating, stupid, insane dream, liar, feminist, solipsistic, wasted, self-involved, thick skull, neurotic, petulant, terrible person, precious male insecurity, crazy, insane, offensive, slippery snake, dumb, callous, ignorant, anti-progressive, horrible, stupid, highfalutin, bad), exclamations (calm down, please, shut-up), 32 religious exclamations (e.g. God, Oh My God, My God, Holy God, Jesus, Jesus Christ, I Swear To God). | profanity glossary |

Black Bear SUBSTANCE USE

 – A woman smokes a marijuana cigarette, a woman asks two other women if they are stoned. People drink wine with a meal, a woman drinks whiskey from a bottle until she becomes drunk, people drink champagne at a wrap party, and a man and a woman argue about how much she is drinking because she is pregnant. A woman smokes cigarettes in several scenes.

Black Bear DISCUSSION TOPICS

 – Success, failure, compliments, pregnancy, love, life plans, gender roles, erosion of the nuclear family, nationalism, globalism, forgiveness.

Black Bear MESSAGE

 – Success and relationships can be fleeting.

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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