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Emperor's Club | 2002 | PG-13 | - 3.1.4

Based on the short story "The Palace Thief" by Ethan Canin, Kevin Kline stars as a passionate Classics professor who finds himself drawn into a turbulent battle of wills with a new student (Emile Hirsch) who challenges his authority. Their conflict results in a series of compromises on the part of the teacher who's trying to befriend the student, and finally to a fateful decision that has a profound influence on both their lives. Also with Embeth Davidtz, Joel Gretsch and Rob Morrow. [1:49]

SEX/NUDITY 3 - A group of young men row across water to reach a girls' school on the other shore; they approach three young women sitting on a pier, they flirt back and forth, talk about skinny dipping and begin to remove their clothes (we see a boy bare-chested and two girls open their blouses exposing cleavage and part of their bras). A young man opens a footlocker that is stocked with pornographic magazines, one boy begins to look at them and says "these show hair"; the covers show nude women with private parts strategically covered and we are shown a centerfold who is holding a pillow over her bare breasts. A young man and a young woman kiss briefly. A man kisses a woman on the cheek. We see young women dressed in cheerleading outfits that expose their bare thighs, and a woman's evening gown exposes cleavage and bare shoulders. A man and a woman seem to be attracted to each other, but the woman is married.

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VIOLENCE/GORE 1 - A man talks about when his father died. A man bats a baseball that crashes through another man's car window. A man speaks abusively to his son. A boy spits on the ground and snorts a couple of times. A man urinates (we hear a trickle).

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LANGUAGE 4 - 3 scatological terms, 6 anatomical terms, 4 mild obscenities, 12 religious exclamations.

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SUBSTANCE USE - People are shown smoking cigarettes and cigars, and drinking alcohol.

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DISCUSSION TOPICS - History, the Greek and Roman periods, greed, consequences, Democracy, preparatory schools, bravado, conscience, pressure to succeed, cheating, moral leadership, virtue.
MESSAGE - A man's character is his fate. Conquest without contribution is without significance. The worth of life is not determined by a single success or failure.
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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