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Doubt | 2008 | PG-13 | - 3.3.4

Drama taking place in the early 1960s: Meryl Streep stars as a rather severe nun in a Catholic school, who prides herself on being feared by the students. She sets her sights on the apparently kind priest of the parish (Philip Seymour Hoffman) when she suspects that he has an inappropriate relationship with a young boy. Also with Amy Adams, Viola Davis, Alice Drummond, Audrie Neenan, Susan Blommaert and Carrie Preston. Directed by John Patrick Shanley. [1:44]

SEX/NUDITY 3 - A nun and a priest argue bitterly, with accusations of inappropriate relationships and implications about sexual abuse of students.
 A woman talks about her son's "nature" (implying that he is homosexual). A nun talks about wanting to get a girl through school intact (as a virgin). A girl tells a priest that she is in love and the priest tells her that she should tell the boy about her feelings. A priest tells a group of boys that they each have the right to ask a girl to the dance and the girls have the right to say no. A boy asks a priest what would happen if no girls would accept an invitation to a dance and the priest says, "Become a priest." A boy asks another boy if he thinks he's fat.
 Boys wear shorts and T-shirts for physical education. A nun sees a priest put something in a boy's locker and she finds a T-shirt when she goes to investigate.


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VIOLENCE/GORE 3 - A nun strikes a boy on the back of the head for talking in church and snaps at another boy telling him to sit up straight.
 A boy has a bloody nose (we see blood on a handkerchief). A woman holds a dead mouse in her hand (we see its fur and tail). A woman has a bloody cut on her face and we are told that she tripped over a fallen branch.
 A boy grabs another boy's book bag and spills books and papers on the floor.
 A nun yells at a boy to come to her. A nun walks through a classroom and finds a boy with an earphone listening to a radio and a girl with a barrette in her hair (she yells at them both).
 A nun and a priest argue bitterly, with accusations of inappropriate relationships and implications about sexual abuse of students. A nun and a woman argue about a relationship the nun suspects the woman's son is having. A woman talks about her son in public school and says, "They were going to kill him." A woman says that her husband doesn't like her son and that he will kill him. A woman talks about her husband beating her son. A nun says that a boy returned to her class with alcohol on his breath after a meeting with a priest. A boy tells another boy that his breath stinks. A history teacher talks about Fascism. We hear that an elderly nun is going blind and that she will be thrown out if she is discovered. A nun tells a priest that her brother is very sick.


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LANGUAGE 4 - 1 scatological term, 3 mild obscenities, 1 derogatory term for African-Americans, name-calling (dragon), an exclamation (shut-up).


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SUBSTANCE USE - Several priests smoke cigarettes and drink alcohol (wine and beer) with a meal. A priest smokes, a boy puts a cigarette in his mouth and prepares to light it (we do not see him some), and we see a pack of cigarettes on a table. People talk about a boy drinking altar wine, a nun says that a boy returned to her class with alcohol on his breath after a meeting with a priest, and a man asks a boy (10 or so) to buy him cigarettes and the boy says he cannot because he is late for church. A woman takes a pill (it appears to be a prescription).


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DISCUSSION TOPICS - Catholicism, sexual abuse, child abuse, suspicion, intolerance, being open to change, racism, the JFK assassination, collective despair, doubt, faith, hopelessness, crisis of faith, President Theodore Roosevelt, bullying, gossip, ignorance, baring false witness, spirit of compassion, cruelty, kindness, virtue, assumption of guilt, emotions, sympathy, regret, heartbreak, friendship, addressing wrong doing, pagan beliefs, magic, progressive education.

MESSAGE - Suspicions based on intuition are not the same as evidence.

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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