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Fade to Black | 2004 | R | - 4.1.10

A documentary looking at hip-hop artist Shawn Carter's (aka Jay-Z) rise to fame and his performance at Madison Square Garden to a sell-out crowd in November 2003. A year later, fans and artists reflect on the musical night, which was the first time a hip-hop artist sold out an arena in only two hours. Also with Beyonce Knowles, Foxy Brown, Mary J. Blige and Damon Dash. Directed by Patrick Paulson & Michael John Warren. [1:46]

SEX/NUDITY 4 - A man and a woman kiss in a few scenes. A large screen above a stage shows two women in silhouette dancing suggestively. Women sing and dance suggestively on stage in skimpy outfits that reveal cleavage, bare shoulders, bare abdomens and bare thighs. Men and women dance on stage together and caress each other. Two men admire a woman's buttocks as she walks past them. Men and women dance in an audience during a concert. Men grab at the crotches of their pants repeatedly while singing on stage. Song lyrics talk about sex acts, and song lyrics talk about a man wanting a woman's body ("strip for me"). A woman adjusts her breasts in a tiny top that reveals cleavage and bare abdomen, and she also wears a very tiny pair of shorts that reveals part of her buttocks. A man is shown bare-chested. Women wear low-cut tops that reveal cleavage.


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VIOLENCE/GORE 1 - Song lyrics talk about violent acts.


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LANGUAGE 10 - 56 F-words and derivatives, 10 sexual references, 48 scatological terms, 6 anatomical terms, 12 mild obscenities, 57 derogatory terms for African-Americans, 1 derogatory term for Caucasians, 3 religious profanities.


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SUBSTANCE USE - People are shown smoking tobacco and marijuana.


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DISCUSSION TOPICS - Success, artists' responsibility to their fans, luck, talent, hip-hop, patience, persistence, divorce, racism, hard work, perfection, self-esteem, life choices, status, labels, pressure to be like others.

MESSAGE - Shawn Carter is a nice, talented man who deserves his fame.

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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