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Chappaquiddick | 2018 | PG-13 | - 1.4.5

Based on the events of the summer of 1969 when the late Senator Ted Kennedy (Jason Clarke) at age 37 drove his car off a bridge and crashed into a pond, where his passenger Mary Jo Kopechne (Kate Mara) died under still ambiguous circumstances. Also with Clancy Brown, Olivia Thirlby, Ed Helms, Bruce Dern, Andria Blackman and Jim Gaffigan. Directed by John Curran. [1:41]

SEX/NUDITY 1 - A man kisses two women on the cheeks in greeting. We see a flashback to a woman caressing a man's chin and consoling him (it's not clear if there was any intimacy).
 A man makes a comment about "the girls" and that there will be no party "without the girls." A man refers to "these girls." Reporters ask if the rumors about a dead woman being pregnant are true (we hear no more about this). A husband and his wife appear to be estranged.
 A man removes a back brace of some sort and we see his bare abdomen, chest and back. Two women are shown wearing swimsuits that reveal bare backs, abdomens and cleavage on a beach and a man wears trunks and an open shirt (we see part of his bare chest and abdomen). Two men remove their clothes to their underwear (one wearing briefs and the other boxers and both reveal bare chests, abdomens and backs) before jumping into water (please see the Violence/Gore category for more details).


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VIOLENCE/GORE 4 - A man drives after having been drinking and swerves onto a road before stopping and turning around to go the other direction; he speeds along an unpaved road and onto a narrow and dark bridge with no side rails and over the side into water below (we see the car on its roof and submerged); the man emerges and we see through flashbacks that his passenger was trapped and died in the car (either by suffocation or drowning). We see a flashback to an accident a few times and we see a woman trapped in the car under water, screaming for help and gasping for air as she cries and prays while the water rises; we later see her motionless from the back (presumably dead), and later still we see her body being taken out of the car by a diver.
 Two men jump into water and try to open a car's doors where a woman is trapped inside.
 A man slaps his adult son across the face and tells him, "You will never be great." Two men wrestle and argue tumbling over a bed and onto a floor; one man yells at the other and leaves the room.
 We see a woman's body in an open casket at a funeral with many people gathered and mourning. We hear radio reports of Joe Kennedy Jr.'s plane being shot down, John F. Kennedy's assassination and Robert Kennedy's assassination. We hear that a woman is ill and on bed rest. A man says, "I had too much to drink." A man calls a woman to tell her that her daughter died in a car crash (we hear the woman sobbing on the phone). A man tells his adult son, "You have lost my confidence." A man receives a suspended sentence for leaving the scene of an accident. We hear that Joseph Kennedy Sr. died 4 months after Chappaquiddick.
 A man is shown in a wheelchair and appears to have suffered a stroke; he has trouble speaking.
 Sailboats race in a regatta and one bumps either another boat or a buoy (no one is shown to be injured and no damage is evident).


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LANGUAGE 5 - About 2 F-words, 5 scatological terms, 2 anatomical terms, 17 mild obscenities, name-calling (flawed, fat, stupid, trouble, putz, mental patient), 9 religious exclamations (Oh My God, Christ, Good Lord, Thank God, Jesus, God Forbid, For God's Sake, For Christ's Sake).


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SUBSTANCE USE - Men and women are shown holding drinks and they drink a toast, a man drinks from a bottle of liquor while sitting on the hood of his car, after having an accident in his car a man says that he had too much to drink, reporters ask if alcohol was involved in an accident that killed a woman, a few men are shown with short glasses of what is probably whiskey in a few scenes, and people drink at a party (we see many of them sleeping on furniture and the floor the next morning). A man smokes a cigarette outside an inn, several men smoke cigarettes and cigars in several scenes.


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DISCUSSION TOPICS - The Kennedys, John F. Kennedy's and Robert Kennedy's assassinations, space exploration, landing on the moon, drunk driving, brothers, living in the shadow of influential people, politics, doing the right thing, cover-ups, Apollo 11, family, luck, integrity, choices, family tragedies, politics vs. public service, aiding and abetting, negligence, manslaughter, The Bay of Pigs, disappointment, driving on an expired license, truth, perseverance.

MESSAGE - Ted Kennedy was a flawed individual and his actions in this case were reprehensible; the rich and powerful find ways to get away with almost anything.

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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