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Deadly Illusions | 2021 | R | – 7.6.5

content-ratingsWhy is “Deadly Illusions” rated R? The MPAA rating has been assigned for “sexual content/nudity, some bloody violence and language.” The evaluation includes several sex scenes between a woman and a man and two women with partial nudity, several kissing scenes and seduction scenes, a dead body with the weapon and blood on the body, a stabbing that leads to a lot of blood, several arguments and conversations about child abuse, torture and mental illness, and at least 4 F-words and other strong language. Read our parents’ guide below for details on sexual content, violence & strong language.

A bestselling novelist (Kristin Davis) hires a wholesome twenty-something nanny (Greer Grammer) to care for her children while she’s writing. Writer’s block delays her progress, and strange events frighten the author, who begins to confuse reality and fiction. Also with Dermot Mulroney and Shanola Hampton. Directed by Anna Elizabeth James. A children’s song is sung in French without translation. [Running Time: 1:54]

Deadly Illusions SEX/NUDITY 7

 – A woman sits on a kitchen counter with her back to the camera as a clothed, blindfolded man between her legs thrusts, gasps, bends over and seems to be performing oral sex as the woman moans; she is wearing a skirt and a bra that bares the side of one breast, she shouts at the man and turns her head to smile at the man’s wife, who has sneaked to the kitchen door and then runs away; the camera cuts to the wife awaking on her bed (it is suggested that it was a dream or a hallucination). A woman gets into a bathtub and we see bare shoulders and knees as another woman enters and pours in a pitcher of milk, a cup of sugar, and rose petals; she feeds the woman in the tub a large spoon of honey (please see the Substance Use category for more details), rubs the woman’s head, moves around the tub rubbing the woman’s breasts underwater (we see one nipple briefly), and rubs the woman’s groin area underwater as both moan and gasp; the woman startles awake and sees the flowers and milk, but sees no one else is there as we hear a door closing.
 A husband and his wife hug and kiss in their kitchen several times and she asks, “When was the last time we did it in the kitchen?” as they walk into the pantry, and shut the door; they continue to kiss, clothed, and he stands behind her as the camera flashes to their feet where she is standing on her toes (sex is implied), they moan and the scene ends; back in the kitchen, they hug and kiss for several seconds. We see movement under covers in bed as a husband moves up and we see his head as his wife smiles, suggesting he had been performing oral sex; they hug and kiss, shoulders and arms bare, and then he moves back under the covers and the scene ends. In a kitchen scene a woman kneels behind a counter beside another woman after hugging her and saying, “Please” (oral sex is implied); a man and two children enter and the woman stands abruptly, covering her mouth with her hand.
 A woman is dressed like a dominatrix, wearing a black bustier that reveals cleavage, high-cut underwear that exposes buttocks, garters, stockings and high heels, gloves and a trench coat; she enters a bathroom where a man is shown in the shower (we see his back and bare buttocks), and out of the shower we see him with a towel around his waist (his bare chest and abdomen are seen) as the woman pulls a large knife (please see the Violence/Gore category for more details) and he says, “I told you I don’t want to play these games anymore,” and she says, “All men love games. I always get what I want.”
 Two women embrace in several scenes and kiss several times; while clothed, one woman rubs the leg of the other woman from the knee to groin. A husband pats his wife on the buttocks and later, she slaps his buttocks with a purse. A man and a woman go to a diner and when he asks her age, she replies, “I’m no kid,” tosses an olive at him, and stretches back with her arms up so her sweater rises to reveal her abdomen and the bottom of her bra; the man looks startled.
 Two women dance at home and the thick strapless top of one woman slips down to reveal a bra and cleavage; the women sit on a couch and one woman hugs the other, saying, “We love you.” A woman wearing a high-cut swimsuit bottom is shown topless, lying face down on a lounge chair, and we see the side of one breast; another woman rubs her back and the first woman jumps into a pool (her chest is obscured) and the first woman covered to her chin with water throws her suit bottom at the other woman’s feet; the other woman walks away and reappears wearing a bra and the swimsuit bottom and then jumps in the pool, and the women swim together and laugh.
 Sitting in an armchair, a husband and his wife kiss for a few seconds. A woman, her eyes closed, smiles as her husband kisses her neck; the man’s face turns into another woman’s face and the first woman is startled and opening her eyes she sees that no one is there and when she later confronts the other woman, she tells her it never happened. A woman buys another woman three bras that are tried on (we see cleavage, bare abdomen and back); the other woman takes the first woman’s hand and places it on her own breast over a bra “to remember being young” and the first woman is startled. A man and a woman kiss on both cheeks.
 A man and a woman lie in a bed: he wears a sweatshirt and she wears a sleeveless gown under covers, as another woman walks in the room without knocking, says goodnight and leaves. When a woman leaves a room, and her husband on a phone tells another woman, “I love you.” A woman asks another woman “Have you ever been attracted to a woman before?” and she says no. A woman says a younger woman looks and acts innocent but is like a seductress and, “She would do whatever I want to me.” A woman asks another woman, “When was the last time you were intimate with your husband?” and she replies, “Before I started writing the book.”
 A woman wears short pleated skirts that reveal bare legs to the mid-thighs in several scenes (we see her bare thighs when she crosses her legs on a couch and when she rides a bicycle). A woman wears V-necked tops that reveal cleavage in a few scenes. A woman in a gym wears tight exercise pants that cling to buttocks, thighs and legs. Two women wearing workout wear are shown in close-up and we see their bare legs to just above the knee and bare shoulders. In showers, we see the heads of two women and the tops of their shoulders. A woman wearing a bra that reveals cleavage stands in her room. A woman sees another woman standing in the laundry room wearing a bra and we see her bare abdomen and cleavage. A woman wears a long off-one-shoulder dress that is slit from the floor to above one knee and at a banquet a few other women wear long dresses with straps that bare the shoulders.

Deadly Illusions VIOLENCE/GORE 6

 – A woman enters a building to find another woman dead with large scissors sticking out of the victim’s neck and blood on her blouse, one arm and the floor; the woman screams and calls 911 and we later see a body bag on a gurney roll by in the background. A woman pulls a carving knife from under her trench coat and waves it at a man in a bathroom (please see the Sex/Nudity category for more details) while shouting, “I’m insane and I get what I want!” and the man throws a flower pot that misses her; she slashes his bare abdomen several times (blood gushes down to the floor) and the man slides down to sit against a wall, holding his abdomen and his wife enters and screams. A woman enters a room and frantically scrubs blood from the floor, apologizing many times and referring to her mother torturing her as she cleaned; she picks up and carries a carving knife while speaking in two agitated voices, one shouts “Kill her! Kill her!” as she chases another woman through the house, drops the knife, and the two struggle and wrestle until the first woman’s long hair catches in a blender and some is ripped out to leave a bloody patch on her head; one woman is knocked down and dragged by the hair through the house and one woman breaks a vase over the other woman’s head, causing her to fall, moan and cry until the other woman hugs her.
 A woman argues with a police detective as he asks her what medications she takes and what psychosis she has and she is shocked; he goes on to tell her that he has footage of her entering a victim’s building and that her fingerprints are on a murder weapon. Two women find their front bicycle tires slashed, a flashback shows one woman opening a pocketknife, and slashing a tire and another flashback shows the other woman doing it. A young girl pushes a young boy hard.
 A man and a woman argue several times and in two scenes, and she yells loudly. At a dinner table with a nanny and two young children, a woman shouts that a man is having sex with the nanny and the young son says he’s scared and the woman leaves the table. A woman imagines that she shouts at a job interviewer and the scene rewinds to show the woman being submissive. A woman hires a nanny and after several weeks discovers that the service she was hired from has no employee by that name. A woman shows another woman clippings reporting that a young woman as a child was in a large family of tortured, molested, and starved children, and the parents were imprisoned. A woman argues in two scenes with a man and another woman who tell her to write darker stories. A man tells a woman that her darkest stories are the best ones. A book display contains many copies of a novel that features a carving knife on the cover. A woman in a cemetery places flowers and a manuscript on a friend’s grave, and the camera cuts to the woman visiting another woman in a long-term treatment facility.
 A woman steps in broken glass in a bathroom and we see blood on the sole of one foot as another woman places a Band-Aid on it and picks up broken shards. A woman slaps a dog just beyond the frame and it yelps and whines.

Deadly Illusions LANGUAGE 5

 – About 4 F-words and its derivatives, 2 sexual references, 5 anatomical terms, 11 mild obscenities, name-calling (prude, whore, brats, idiot, insane, crazy, monster, gross), exclamations (shut-up, whoo, wow), 10 religious exclamations (e.g. Oh My God, Oh God, Thank God, Christ, I love to share the Word of God with children). | profanity glossary |

Deadly Illusions SUBSTANCE USE

 – A woman feeds another woman drugged food in a couple of scenes (we do not see what type of drug is in the food). A man and a woman order Bloody Marys at a diner but do not drink, a banquet features several tables with many glasses of wine and we see two adults drinking, a man and a woman drink wine in their kitchen and at the dinner table, two women drink wine on a picnic, and two women drink whiskey and soda as they dance and we see a drink cart with a few whiskey bottles. A woman lights and smokes a cigar in several scenes, and a man and a woman share a cigar.


 – Felonious torture of children, sexual predators, seduction that includes drugging the target, fantasy vs. reality, PTSD, Multiple Personality Disorder/Dissociative Disorder, hallucinations via drugged drinks, money problems, secrets, violence, murder, fear, shock, anger, forgiveness, recovery.

Deadly Illusions MESSAGE

 – Survivors of child abuse need professional treatment and can become violent sex offenders and these behaviors can span the generations of a family.


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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