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Frank | 2014 | R | - 6.5.8

A struggling songwriter (Domhnall Gleeson) stumbles upon what he thinks is his big break when he is asked to play keyboards for a band, after watching the previous keyboardist try to commit suicide. He befriends the lead singer (Michael Fassbender), who is rarely seen without a large artificial head he wears to cover his own. Also with, Moira Brooker, Paul Butterworth, Phil Kingston, Billie Traynor, Shane O'Brien, Scoot McNairy, Maggie Gyllenhaal, François Civil and Carla Azar. Directed by Lenny Abrahamson. [1:35]

SEX/NUDITY 6 - A man is shown sitting in a Jacuzzi and we see his upper chest, he and a woman argue and he stands up angrily and the woman looks at his crotch area (which is implied to be exposed; we see his bare buttock and hip); she jumps into the Jacuzzi and they have sex with loud moaning and thrusting.
 A woman's breasts are seen under the water in a Jacuzzi tub. A man's bare chest and abdomen are seen in a shower scene as another man enters the room. A man is shown without a shirt and his bare chest and back are visible. A woman is shown with her robe open in the front and we see her bra, cleavage, bare abdomen and pants. A man's shoulders, part of his chest and pare of his back are shown when he wears a tank top.
 Two men and two women are shown sleeping in bed together clothed (it is not clear whether sex has occurred). A man says that he spent a lot of time in a psychiatric hospital and that he used to have sex with mannequins. A reference is made to a man having to convince his sex partners to "lie completely still."
 A man thrusts his hips toward a keyboard while another man plays the instrument.


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VIOLENCE/GORE 5 - A man wearing a fabricated head is shown hanging from a tree by the neck; several people scramble to get him down and he is shown dead (his lips are tinged blue) and we see him placed on a float that is pushed out into water and set ablaze; another man is shown gathering some of the ashes later. A woman stabs a man in the leg and he yells and limps around as another man grabs the woman and takes her away.
 Police arrive at a seaside area and two officers run toward the water where a man is wading and threatening to drown himself; the officers pull him out safely and we see him shivering while strapped on a stretcher (his lips are tinged blue) and an officer says that "He drank a lot of sea water. He'll have to have his stomach pumped." A man collapses on a stage while performing.
 Two men fight and one throws the other against a wall; one man runs into the street and is struck by a car (we see him flip into the air and then see a broken fabricated head on the ground); the other man runs after him and is also struck (we see him in a hospital bed with a neck brace and IVs). Two men wrestle and one punches the other in the face, then grabs him around the throat. A woman punches a man in the face and he falls down. A man with a shovel chases another man as the running man runs toward a lake while saying, "I don't want to live"; a woman throws a club and hits the running man who falls to the ground. We hear that several people are having to ration their food and a man is shown secretly eating some powder from a canister; when a woman catches him, she jumps on him and licks some of the powder off his face and puts her fingers in his mouth.
 Sound equipment sparks and pops while band members play and one of them yells, throws equipment around the stage and storms off. A man wearing a fabricated head sits next to a woman smoking and a part of his head catches fire (the woman puts the fire out and the man is unharmed). A man stands up and knocks a table over spilling the food and beverages on the floor.
 A woman tells a man, "I will stab you." A woman tells a man that "Someone needs to punch you in the face." A man and a woman argue on a radio talk show. A woman yells at and insults a man. A man tells another man that "You disgust me." A man says that he spent a lot of time in a psychiatric hospital (please see the Sex/Nudity category for more details). A woman yells at a man and says that he is living off his talent "Like a tick."
 A man throws what he thinks are a friend's ashes into the air (they blow back onto another man) and we hear that it is actually a protein powder. A man is shown with bloody cuts on his face from shaving. A man on a telephone snorts and spits (we do not see spittle). A man describes facial features in a way that makes them sound grotesque. A man is shown with deep scars on his forehead and clumps of hair missing on his head. A man is shown walking on a street and dragging an oxygen tank. A man makes a reference to stale urine.


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LANGUAGE 8 - About 39 F-words and its derivatives, 5 sexual references, 24 scatological terms, 2 anatomical terms, 1 mild obscenity, name-calling (boring, crazy, crazy chick, weird, idiot, total freaks, Gingerbeard, crazy lady, disgusting), 3 religious exclamations (God, Oh God, Christ).


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SUBSTANCE USE - Six people open and drink beer from bottles, and people in a bar are shown drinking beer. A woman smokes a cigarette outside on a bench, a man and a woman smoke, a man smokes while walking in the woods, a man smokes a cigarette in a recording room, a woman smokes a cigarette and blows the smoke into a man's fabricated head, a man and a woman smoke cigarettes in a van, a woman smokes cigarettes in several scenes, and two men smoke cigarettes in a nightclub.


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DISCUSSION TOPICS - Songwriting, ambition, dreams, mental illness, suicide, fear, loneliness, disappointment.

MESSAGE - Face your fears. Mental illness can be hard to understand.

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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