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French Exit | 2020 | R | – 4.3.6

content-ratingsWhy is “French Exit” rated R? The MPAA rating has been assigned for “language and sexual references.” The Kids-In-Mind.com evaluation includes an implied sex scene, discussions of sex aids and male anatomy, dead bodies in a sailing ship’s morgue, a face punch, a face slap, arm wrestling, several arguments, a couple of séances, and over 10 F-words and other strong language. Read our parents’ guide below for details on sexual content, violence & strong language.


When a wealthy socialite (Michelle Pfeiffer) and her son (Lucas Hedges) — both of whom are without any discernible vocation or means of support — are in danger of losing their NYC mansion and plump bank accounts, they move to a Paris apartment but it’s unclear whether they can sustain their new life. Also with Valerie Mahaffey, Susan Coyne, Imogen Poots, Danielle Macdonald, Isaach De Bankolé and Daniel di Tomasso. Directed by Azazel Jacobs. [Running Time: 1:50]

French Exit SEX/NUDITY 4

 – A young man and a young woman stumble into a ship cabin while kissing and the young man falls back on a bed as the young woman struggles to remove her dress (no nudity is shown; sex is implied). We see part of a dead man’s bare chest.
 A young man and a young woman walk arm in arm. A young man and a young woman talk about their engagement and the young man’s inability to tell his mother about it. A young woman asks a young man if he is a woman’s gigolo and he explains that the woman he was with is his mother. A woman asks her son about a relationship and he says, “We are in a holding pattern.” A young woman tells a young man that she is seeing a man that she was engaged to in college; the first young man is jealous and tells her, “But you’re engaged to me.” A man and a woman sleep in a bed together (no physical relationship is suggested).
 A young man finds a sex aid in a woman’s freezer and tells his mother to go see it; she returns saying, “I never understood them,” and asks how they are used. A woman talks about seeing men urinate in a park and marvels at their ability to “just pull them out,” describing the size of one man’s endowment. A woman wears a low-cut sweater that reveals cleavage.

French Exit VIOLENCE/GORE 3

 – A man punches a young man in the face and he falls back into a chair (we do not see blood); a woman then slaps the man in the face and he holds his cheek, as she tells him to leave. A woman standing in the dark in a kitchen sharpens a knife and tells her son that she likes the sound; she flails her arms around while sharing bad news and accidentally throws the knife, which lands near the young man’s feet (no injuries occur). A woman smashes a pill using her shoe, sprinkles it on a cat’s food and we see the cat lying motionless on the floor (it’s not clear if the woman killed the cat or sedated it, until later when we see that the cat is alive). A woman stands up and hits her head on a lamp (we do not see an injury). Police roust homeless men sleeping in a park, one man tries to return for his bag and officers tackle him; one officer kneels on his back and they handcuff him (we see him later with bloody cuts on his face). A woman arrives at an apartment and pounds on the bathroom door fearing that the woman inside has killed herself; she cries when the woman comes out unharmed. Two men arm-wrestle several times and one man slams the other man’s arm to the tabletop repeatedly.
 A woman tells a man that when she found her husband dead, she left the body until she returned from a ski trip. A young woman tells a young man that she told an elderly woman that she is in the presence of death during a reading. A woman says that her husband choked and died and points to the chair the other woman is sitting in and says, “He died in that very chair.” A woman yells at another woman and storms out of the room. A man says that he could actually kill a young man. A woman describes a time when a man was speaking poorly of another woman’s dead husband and said that he would dance on his grave; she goes on to say that the widow entered the room, stopped at the man’s table and drank his drink while staring at him with complete disinterest. A man tells a wealthy woman that she will be locked out and that she is losing everything; the woman tells him that she thought she would die before the money ran out. A school official yells at a woman as she leaves a boarding school with her teenage son. A young man and a young woman argue about their engagement and his inability to tell his mother about it; the young man tells the young woman that he is leaving for Paris and he doesn’t know when he will be back. A homeless man asks a woman for money in a park and when she asks what he will do with it, he says that he’ll probably buy some wine and cigarettes and some food; the woman gives the man money and he leaves. A woman sobs after a session with a fortune-teller. A man tells a young man that a young woman was thrown in a ship’s brig after telling an elderly woman that she was going to die, and the woman did die from cardiac arrest. A woman tells an immigration officer that she is in Paris to see the Eiffel Tower and then die and he seems alarmed. A woman sprays a flower on a table with perfume and sets it on fire when a server is dismissive of her son’s request for the check; the server charges to the table yelling. A cat climbs on a table and knocks a small Christmas tree to the floor. A woman says, “I have no need of friends in my life.” A woman says, “My life has fallen completely to pieces.” A woman writes a postcard to another woman saying that she will kill herself when her money runs out. A woman talks about men and women throwing themselves out windows for love.
 A young woman does a séance calling to a cat that we are told contains a deceased man spirit and a man’s voice speaks to the group of people gathered around the table as a candle in the center flickers; the voice talks about his wife’s intention to kill him with her bare hands. A young man talks to the spirit of his father and accuses him of not being present when the young man was a child and asks, “Was I that repellent a creature?” and throws a glass against a wall and storms out of the room when the dead man does not reply. A woman tries to give a pile of money to a homeless man, the man takes a few bills and gives the rest back; the woman gives the money to another homeless man and he grabs it and runs away. A woman walks along a dark street alone and a cat follows her in the distance.
 A woman describes returning home from a ski trip and finding her husband’s body, “Blown up like a balloon, and the color of one too,” in their bed. A cat scratches a woman’s arm, screeches and runs out of a room. We see several dead bodies in a morgue on a ship. A cat sits on a dead man’s chest and licks his face (we see the man motionless and pale). A young man lies on a bed in a ship’s cabin holding a wastebasket on his chest (implying seasickness, but we do not see him get sick). A woman talks about seeing men urinate in a park and marvels at their ability to “just pull them out.” As a woman climbs into a bed with a man, she tells him that she has sleep apnea, she gnashes her teeth and that if he should see her sleepwalking that he should not wake her. A woman talks about another woman going to the bathroom in a bucket (we do not see this). A man’s voice talks about having fleas and worms as a cat.

French Exit LANGUAGE 6

 – About 11 F-words and its derivatives, 2 scatological terms, 3 anatomical terms, mild obscenities, name-calling (odd, difficult, idiotic, coward, gigolo, moron, jailbird, cruel, ashamed, rude, miserable, emotional moron, evil, ruinous, ugliness, repellent creature, meager, witch, hocus pocus, puzzled), exclamations (freak the [F-word deleted] out, what’s eating him), 1 religious profanity (GD), 4 religious exclamations (e.g. Christ, Thank God, For Christ’s Sake, Oh God No). | profanity glossary |

French Exit SUBSTANCE USE

 – A woman smashes a pill using her shoe and sprinkles it on a cat’s food (we see the cat eating from the dish. Please see the Violence/Gore category for more details). A woman drinks in a lounge, a man and a woman drink at the Captain’s table on a ship, a woman drinks a whiskey, a man drinks from a flask in a morgue and offers some to a young man (he refuses and leaves), people drink champagne with breakfast, two women and a young man drink martinis before dinner and one woman says that she is a little crocked, and people drink while in an apartment and in a ship’s lounge in a few scenes. A woman smokes a cigarette at a dining table, a woman smokes outside while walking in a few scenes, a woman smokes in bed in a few scenes, a man smokes outside a restaurant, and a woman smokes in indoor and outdoor restaurants.

French Exit DISCUSSION TOPICS

 – Wealth, selfishness, greed, reputations, death of a parent, estrangement, debt, jealousy, dignity, homelessness.

French Exit MESSAGE

 – Wealthy people are different, and have problems that cannot be solved with money.

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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