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Cuties | 2020 | TV-MA | – 8.4.5

content-ratingsWhy is “Cuties” rated TV-MA? The TV Parental Guidelines Monitoring Board rating indicates that “this program is specifically designed to be viewed by adults and therefore may be unsuitable for children under 17.” The Kids-In-Mind.com evaluation includes many scenes of preteen girls dancing with highly sexualized gestures and movements, with a few that include partial preteen nudity, a few scenes of sexting, some groping in a school setting, many arguments with a few leading to scuffles and fights, a near drowning, and at least 5 F-words and other strong language. Read our parents’ guide below for details on sexual content, violence & strong language.


An eleven-year-old Muslim girl (Fathia Youssouf) from Senegal lives in a Parisian housing project with her mother (Maïmouna Gueye), when she becomes caught up in internet culture and joins a group of preteen dancers that incorporates highly sexualized moves into their routines in order to enter a competition. Also with Médina El Aidi-Azouni, Esther Gohourou, Ilanah Cami-Goursolas, Ilanah Cami-Goursolas, Myriam Hamma, Mbissine Therese Diop, Demba Diaw and Mamadou Samaké. Directed by Maïmouna Doucouré. In French and dubbed in English with some Muslim-language, including Wolof, phrases with English subtitles and others without translation; a few lines of dialogue are spoken in Spanish without translation. [Running Time: 1:30]

Cuties SEX/NUDITY 8

 – Several seconds of a pornographic film on a cell phone feature six women wearing thong bikinis, twerking into the camera, writhing, and shaking their bodies as we see cleavage, abdomens, bare buttocks, thighs and legs; one buttock with a tattooed design is shown in close-up, and a topless woman sits on the floor and bounces several times, causing her breasts to jiggle, while a preteen girl watches the film under her burka at a religious meeting.
 A preteen girl removes her sweater to reveal her abdomen in a crop top and unsnaps her jeans, bats her eyes at an angry male adult cousin who is shouting at her, and he slaps her in the face and shouts at her loudly; she bites his hand (there’s no blood), he yells, and she locks herself in the bathroom, lowers her jeans and underwear and takes a selfie between her legs, of her genital area, and posts the selfie online (we see only her lower legs with her thighs and bottom below the frame); the next day at school, another preteen girl tells her that she ruined their dance team’s image and reputation by posting the selfie and in class boys stare at her and one boy slaps her buttock (please see the Violence/Gore category for more details).
 Two scenes show a team of teen girls wearing legless cutoff shorts, skimpy sports bras, and a scarf-like cloth over the shoulders as they dance with writhing, twerks, pelvic thrusts, and shimmying; in the first scene, the breast of one girl comes out of her sports bra and we see it for a few seconds. A preteen girl hops up and down wearing a wet undershirt and sports bra (her nipples are clearly outlined). A group of preteen girl dancers wear very tight, skimpy crop-top and legless shorts to give a performance that includes many pelvic thrusts, shimmying, twerking, finger sucking, rubbing their own breasts and crotch, slapping their own buttocks, and lying on the stage while pumping their pelvises in a sexually simulated movement; men in the audience grin and whistle and women boo and one of the girls stops dancing, cries, and runs off-stage and into the street.
 An 11-year-old girl wears makeup, a tight crop top that reveals cleavage and tight-fitting faux leather trousers to school and many older boys stare and grin at her. Preteen girls wearing tight miniskirts or knit dresses that hug their curves and expose legs to upper thighs are shown in a few scenes; their crop tops reveal bare abdomens and we see close-ups of the clothed buttocks of one of the girls. A woman wears a bra and long skirt for sleeping, revealing cleavage, bare shoulders and abdomen in a couple of scenes. Four preteen girls in slow motion throw confetti, bras, and lace underwear in the air; a five-year-old boy follows them, picks up the clothing, and puts it into a bag.
 A preteen girl texts a teen boy, asking if he likes breasts and wants to see hers, because they are like tomatoes; another preteen girl turns on the laptop camera and the teen boy berates the girls and logs off. When four preteen girls are thrown out of a laser tag place by two men, they accuse the men of being perverts and groping child molesters, and then begin dancing and the men let them go. A preteen girl tells female friends that a guy urinates in your mouth and you become pregnant, but if he rapes you, the urine goes from your genitals throughout your body and comes out of your mouth. When preteen girls see a teen boy they think is handsome, they giggle and call him “Toilet Time.” Three teen boys talk to preteen girls and they giggle and lie about their ages, but the boys call them “little girls” and walk away while the girls shout at them. A preteen girl comes home from school with a large red stain over her groin area and her aunt laughs, saying that she was the girl’s age (11) when she was first married; she takes the girl off-screen, telling her that she will show her what to do and later the girl’s mother says, “You are a woman now.”
 A Muslim woman cries and sobs because her husband will marry a second wife and bring her into their home; then off-screen, we hear her slapping herself. Song lyrics include sexual references.


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Cuties VIOLENCE/GORE 4

 – A preteen girl watches other girls practice dance moves and one of the other girls hits her in the head with a rock, leaving a bruise; at home, the girl spits on her finger and puts white spittle onto the sore. A teen girl throws a can of soda at a preteen girl, who charges at the older girl and begins an intense fist fight for several seconds until a teacher breaks it up; we see punching and choking, but no injuries and one girl partially pulls down the other girl’s trousers and everyone laughs at the design on her underwear (we do not see). A preteen boy slaps a preteen girl’s buttocks in school, she shouts and then stabs a compass point into the back of his hand, drawing some blood. A preteen girl runs to a canal and as a female classmate passes by, pushes her into the canal; the second girl sinks and rises several times, spluttering and unable to swim as the first girl only watches and runs away as the victim finally pulls herself up onto a buoy.
 A mother collapses onto the floor at dinnertime, scaring her young son and her preteen daughter ignores her and the woman gets back up. A woman calls her preteen daughter names and slaps her in the face, head, and body several times, and says, “I should kill you.” A preteen girl’s aunt shouts at the girl in several scenes, calling her a whore.
 Mean preteen girls hassle a new girl in their class, pushing her, name-calling, telling her she is flat all over, and knocking her books to the ground; the girl returns home, steals a cellphone, steals a large amount of cash from her mother and buys other preteen girls presents. Four preteen girls tell a fifth girl that she can no longer be in their dance group because of sexting intimate photos and giving them all a bad image; the five girls scuffle, pushing and slapping one another and the fifth girl shouts and leaves and one of the team members later tells the fifth girl that she cannot be friends with her in front of the other girls.
 A preteen girl comes home from school with a large red stain over her groin area and her aunt laughs, saying that she was the girl’s age (11) when she was first married; she takes the girl off-screen, telling her that she will show her what to do and later the girl’s mother says, “You are a woman now.” A preteen girl sees what appears to be a vision of a figure wearing a long robe and face covering, holding a golden light, and the girl runs out of her house. A woman wakes a preteen girl before sunrise and forces her to peel and chop huge bags of yams and onions. A preteen girl looks into her closet and sees her long formal dress dripping blood from the chest down to the floor; we are not clear whether this is real or a hallucination.
 A preteen girl picks up a used condom outdoors, not realizing what it is, and blows it into a balloon, stuffs it in her shirt and asks female friends, “Anyone want some milk?” and they scream several times, tell her it’s a condom and she’ll get AIDS and already smells like death; they take her to one of their homes and scrub her tongue with hand soap and a toothbrush and we see the girl spit lots of foam. At school in a washroom, we see a preteen girl from the waist up as she sits in a stall and listens to friends talking outside. In several scenes, a preteen girl has worsening acne, with red dots on her forehead and cheeks.
 A Muslim priest lays hands on a preteen girl and prays in the Wolof language; he tells her mother that there is no devil or evil in the girl. Two women perform a water sprinkling ceremony on a preteen girl and she shimmies, twerks, and convulses for several seconds, finally becoming quiet. At home, a woman shouts at her preteen niece for being a whore and her mother stops the aunt as the girl cries loudly.
 A preteen girl locks her brother into the bathroom at home and he floods the bathroom and bedroom while he plays in water. Two preteen girls jump up and down on a new bed meant for newlyweds, have a pillow fight, cram jelly candies in their mouths, and slobber jellies onto the bed. A preteen girl tries to iron her hair and burns a small part of it off. A preteen girl steals clothing from a man in a laundry room, runs away and the man chases her, shouting; when she enters an apartment he pounds on the door, curses and then goes away. Four preteen girls in a grocery store run, push each other, crawl on the floor, and bark like dogs, creating a brief disturbance.


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Cuties LANGUAGE 5

 – 5 F-words, 10 scatological terms, 9 anatomical terms, 12 mild obscenities, name-calling (whore, ‘ho, slutty, slut, loser, homeless person, homeless, thug, weird, crazy, idiot, stupid, little girls, little boys, little man, brat, sassy pants, baby, flake, pervert, child molester, Senegal, Toilet Time), exclamations, (shut-up, quiet, shut your mouth, shut your trap, I swear, what the …, bam, whoa, gross, ew, whoo), 20 religious exclamations (e.g. Oh My God, I Swear To God, God, Oh God, My God, Good God, Amen, Praise The Name Of Allah, Fear God, May God Bless Their Marriage). | profanity glossary |


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Cuties SUBSTANCE USE

 – None.


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Cuties DISCUSSION TOPICS

 – Hypersexualization, immigrating, internet culture, social media, the desire to be popular online, pornography, sexualized teenagers, sexting, embarrassment, losing friends, anger, jealousy, sadness, fighting in school, dance contests, suggestive dance moves, cliques, rivalries, Muslim traditions and values.

Cuties MESSAGE

 – Preteen obsessions with internet culture can lead to the hypersexualization of young girls, harassment, and emotional pain.

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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