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Chi-Raq | 2015 | R | - 7.5.9

An adaptation of the Greek play "Lysistrata" set in Chicago's South Side, where guns and gang violence are rampant and the women go on a sex strike to get their men to put down their weapons and stop shooting and killing each other, as well as innocent bystanders. With Nick Cannon, Teyonah Parris, Wesley Snipes, Angela Bassett, Samuel L. Jackson, John Cusack, Jennifer Hudson, David Patrick Kelly, D.B. Sweeney and Dave Chappelle. Directed by Spike Lee. During protests in various countries chants are translated with English subtitles. [1:58]

SEX/NUDITY 7 - A man and a woman have sex while standing and they are both fully nude as he thrusts from behind: she screams and he moans (we see his bare buttocks as well as her bare breasts, abdomen side and buttock). A man remembers walking into his mother's room when he was young and finding her having sex with a man; we see the man fully nude from the back and thrusting with the woman against a wall (her bare legs are wrapped around his waist and we see his bare buttocks, back and legs). A man and a woman talk using suggestive terms and the woman comes out of the bathroom wearing bra and panties that reveal cleavage, bare abdomen and bare buttocks as she walks toward the man sitting on the bed; they kiss and lie back on the bed, the man is shown between the woman's legs (oral sex is implied), he kisses her hips, they have sex and we see the man thrusting as they both moan rhythmically (we see his bare back and buttocks and the woman's bare leg to the hip; please see the Violence/Gore category for more details).
 A bare-chested man and a woman wearing a low-cut top that reveals cleavage (we see most of her bare breast when she leans over the man at one point) talk and flirt while many people watch and listen; they sit on a bed and kiss and caress each other, the lights turn off and we hear them both moaning rhythmically but they are interrupted by the lights coming on and several other men being in the room with them (the woman covers herself with a sheet and we see her bare shoulders). A man on a stage leans into a crowd gathered and kisses a woman. A man slaps a woman on her clothed buttock and she complains. A man complains about not being able to have sex with his wife who is a model/stripper; we see the man dressed as a pharaoh and he enters his bedroom where his wife is covered with a sheet and when she removes the sheet she spreads her legs (we see her wearing a top and a brief that reveals her legs to the hip) but tells him that he cannot have sex with her.
 A woman enters a National Guard building and confronts a commander; she speaks to him flirtatiously and they make several references to sex as the man pushes a "rammer" into a cannon with an anatomical name, rips of his clothes to reveal confederate flag decorated underwear (we see his bare chest, abdomen and back), and he mounts the cannon and thrusts on it sexually as the woman ties a blindfold on him and binds his hands. A man imagines seeing several women wearing skimpy undergarments (we see cleavage, abdomens and buttocks) parading in front of him. We see several men wearing boxer shorts and wrapped with tape (their bare chests are seen) in a man's office after women take over a National Guard facility.
 We see large groups of women in many countries leading protests and chanting to withhold sex from men. Several women argue with their partners and refuse their sexual advances. Several women discuss having a "sex strike." A man makes a remark about another man having sex. A man talks about a woman's remarkable beauty as we watch her walk along streets and she is wearing a short skirt and low-cut top that reveal cleavage and bare legs to the upper thigh. People discuss the power of the sexual appetite. A young man says that he was breast fed until he was 12. A man talks about a man teaching him about sex when he was 12 years old. A man repeats the word "booty" over and over again and appears to be in distress until another man slaps him in the face. Women talk about keeping their men happy with sex. "Penis envy" is written on the gun of a tank." A man and a woman argue using sexual insults and accusations.
 Women wearing skimpy outfits that reveal cleavage, abdomens and legs to the hips are seen in a club and a male singer walks onto the stage shirtless (we see his bare chest). A man wearing boxer shorts is shown running out of a burning house (we see his bare chest and abdomen). A woman runs out of a house wearing a sheet wrapped around her (we see her bare shoulder). We see posters on the wall of a building in a few scenes and the women pictured are seen wearing thong style panties that reveal bare buttock cheeks. A woman wears a low-cut top that reveals deep cleavage.
 A woman wears a skirt slit in the front to expose her bare thighs to the hips. Women are shown wearing chastity belts in several scenes. Several male statues are shown nude with visible genitals.
 Men wearing boxer shorts and T-shirts dance and sing a romantic song while women inside an armory and wearing short shorts with chastity belts dance and sing the same song ("Sexual Healing"). Men and women dance in an audience at a club and there is hip thrusting along with other suggestive moves. Two men dance in a club and they have their arms wrapped around themselves to look like they are dancing with women and kissing.


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VIOLENCE/GORE 5 - Many people are gathered in street and talk about a drive-by while looking at the victim; a woman approaches and says, "That's my baby," and we see the body covered with a sheet, a blood spot on what would be her head and her backpack on the ground (we understand that it is a young girl).
 Two men shoot each other in a crowded club; both men are struck and we see them later talking about their injuries: One man is in a wheelchair and says that the bullet severed his spinal column and he is paralyzed while the other man is shown with a scar on his side and he talks about losing his spleen and most of his intestines so that he has to be fed through a tube. A woman cleans a puddle of blood from a street where her young daughter had been gunned down.
 A house is set on fire and a man and a woman inside run out; the man is carrying a gun and shoots at a car that speeds away. A man hits another man in the head with a baseball bat while he stands on the street outside a house. We hear gunshots outside a house as two women talk inside and they jump up and away from a window. A man holds two guns and a police office holds a gun and they both point and shoot toward the audience.
 Several women take over a National Guard armory; many police and SWAT teams surround the facility. We see large groups of women in many countries leading protests and chanting to withhold sex from men. Women hold pictures of their loved ones who have been killed by shootings.
 Several men carry the coffin of a young girl out of a church and place it in a hearse as her mother and others grieve.
 A preacher makes an argument at the funeral of a young girl that guns must be removed from the streets in order to end gang violence and he talks about the life of a gun; also about mass incarceration and greed, all of which contributed to the death of the girl. A woman yells at many people gathered around her dead daughter on the street and accuses them for not giving information about who might have killed her. A woman yells that if she loses her man, "I'm gonna cut all y'all." Several women argue and one threatens another woman. A woman says that she is an orphan and that she was passed around foster homes when she was young. A woman talks about not wanting to hear the zipper of a cadaver bag. Several women point their fingers at other women and say, "Bang, bang," while they are arguing. People protest in streets and chant, "Put down the guns," "Save our babies," and, "Don't shoot." A man tries to sell life insurance to a woman with a teenage son and quotes statistics of survival rates of African-Americans males. A woman says that her young daughter was shot through the eye. A man tells a woman that he shot her young daughter.
 We see a rendering of a map of the United States made with a variety of guns. We read that 2,349 Americans died in the war in Afghanistan, 4,424 Americans died in the war in Iraq and that there were 7,356 murders in Chicago between 2001-2015. We hear that on July 4th, 2015 in Chicago, 55 people were shot and wounded or killed including a 7 year old boy. Song lyrics include "head shot a Trojan," "Kill a [N-word deleted] for me," "Pistol packin'," and "Boom (accompanied by a gesture resembling a pistol)." A man makes several "one-eye" jokes at the expense of a man with a patch over one eye. We see many newspaper articles with information about people having been shot and killed. Women chant, "Black Lives Matter." Several people wear T-shirts that read "I Matter." A man talks about a "legal form of lynching."
 Mucus drips from a woman's nose when she cries. A man wears a sequined eye patch over one eye.


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LANGUAGE 9 - About 45 F-words and its derivatives, 37 sexual references, large numbers of women chant a protest pledge that includes sexual references in several scenes throughout the movie, 37 scatological terms, 36 anatomical terms, 27 mild obscenities, 22 derogatory terms for African-Americans, name-calling (flesh hound, monster from outer space, machine gun Kelly, heifer, gangster town, Killadelphia, Cyclops, punk, insane, uppity, deviant bastard, thugs, pig, dumb ), 12 religious profanities (GD), 15 religious exclamations (e.g. God, Pray to God, Lord Help You, Lord, For God's Sake, Pray For My City, Lord Have Mercy, Jesus H Christ, Jesus).


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SUBSTANCE USE - Several women drink wine in a woman's home, several men drink alcohol in a club, and a man mixes a drink and puts what looks like a drug in it. A man smokes something and drinks something from a Styrofoam cup while on stage, a man smokes in an apartment, and a man smokes in several scenes.


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DISCUSSION TOPICS - Gun violence, gang violence, Chicago's South Side, death of a child, Cabrini-Green, Malcolm X, Martin Luther King, Medgar Evers, the Civil Rights movement, assassination, economic development, the Sandy Hook massacre, activism, abstinence, underground economy, the NRA, abandonment of the poor, the 16th Street Baptist Church bombing, police violence against African-Americans, surrendering to fear, genocide, Oedipus.

MESSAGE - Gun violence in America is pervasive and out of control.

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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