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Honey Boy | 2019 | R | – 5.5.10

content-ratingsWhy is “Honey Boy” rated R? The MPAA rating has been assigned for “pervasive language, some sexual material and drug use.” The Kids-In-Mind.com evaluation includes a couple of implied sex scenes, and a strip club scene that includes some nudity and references to prostitution; many bitter arguments with some ending in shoving or slapping, references to anger management and triggers, rehab therapy, discussions of child abuse and difficult family environments, a car accident that shows a man with a bloody hand, several movie stunts involving a boy and a young man, and a scene of drug use; and over 110 F-words and other strong language. Read our parents’ guide below for details on sexual content, violence & strong language.”


The story of a young man dealing with mental health problems and erratic behavior, after growing up with his dysfunctional father and working as a child actor to pay the family bills. As an adult, he struggles to reconcile with his father, substance abuse and his life’s disappointments. With Shia LaBeouf, Lucas Hedges, Noah Jupe, Byron Bowers, Laura San Giacomo, FKA Twigs and Clifton Collins Jr.. Directed by Alma Har’el. [Running Time: 1:34]

Honey Boy SEX/NUDITY 5

 – A young woman sits in a chair with her legs slightly spread and she wears a bralette, short-shorts and thigh high boots (we see cleavage, bare abdomen and legs to the hips); a man admires her from a distance and holds up what looks like a coin (presumably as an offer for sex) and she shakes her head “No.” A man goes into a strip club and we see a dancer wearing a bra top and thong underwear (we see cleavage, bare buttocks, abdomen and bare legs to the hips); he watches her dance for a while and we see the dancer lie back on the stage and spread her legs apart in front of the man (just below the frame) and then goes to a room with another woman (it’s not clear if any sex takes place, but it seems that he buys drugs from someone). A young woman is shown wearing a bralette and short-shorts in several scenes (we see cleavage, bare abdomen and bare legs to the hips), and it is implied that she is a prostitute. A fully nude man stands behind a screen as he is checked into a rehab center (we see his bare side chest, side abdomen, buttock and legs (his hands cover his genitals). A shirtless young man is shown in a few scenes and we see his bare chest, abdomen and back. A shirtless boy is shown in a few scenes and we see his bare chest, abdomen and back. A boy lies shirtless in bed (we see his bare chest, abdomen and back).
 A woman helps a young man out of a harness and they wrestle on a sofa (sex is implied). A young woman touches a boy’s cheek tenderly, kisses his cheek and he kisses her eye, he takes off his shirt (we see his bare chest and abdomen) and they lie back on a bed holding each other closely and he touches her face tenderly and gives her some money and seems to leave the room.
 A young woman and a boy lie in bed together under covers and get up abruptly; the young woman is seen wearing a robe (please see the Violence/Gore category for more details). A young woman hugs a boy close to her as they talk. A young woman wears a sheer robe and wraps it across a boy’s face; they hug and sit together.
 A man yells at another man and threatens to rape his dead family (please see the Violence/Gore category for more details). A man talks about having blacked out from drugs and that he “woke up a sex offender” after a young woman jumped out of a moving car to keep him from raping her. A man says that his mother preferred women. Two teen girls giggle when they see and recognize a boy (from movies). A man talks to his young son about wishing he was him and that he could get quality women.


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Honey Boy VIOLENCE/GORE 5

 – A man slaps his son in the face twice during an argument and holds his hand over his mouth. A man yells at another man, threatens to rape his dead family members and throws him in a swimming pool. A man flicks a lit cigarette at his son and the boy holds his head and cries. A man enters his rented room and finds a young woman with his son; the man quizzes them about whether or not they had sex and the young woman slaps the man and shoves him to the floor.
 A young man and a young woman drive (he is apparently inebriated) and the car crashes and flips over (we see shattering glass and the young man has blood on his hand); we then see the young man being arrested and placed in a cell where he screams to be released. A man yells at several women complaining that they are making a lot of noise at night and one woman comes to his door, they argue and she throws a bottle of something at him (it hits a wall behind him) and they continue to argue until he slams a door on her.
 We hear laser fire and explosions accompanied by a black screen in the introductory sequence that then shows a young man on a movie set standing in front of a passenger plane fuselage cut in half with flames burning around it as he is blasted back through the air and dangles from a harness and cables until he is lowered back to the ground (there are no injuries). A few movie set scenes are shown with a young man performing stunts and one scene shows the young man being slammed on the hood of a police car as he yells at the officer. A boy is slammed in the face with a cream pie and is thrown back into the air on a movie set where he dangles from a harness and cable.
 A young man wearing a harness for a movie shoot is unable to remove it and wrestles with trying to reach the zipper in the back until someone helps him. A man runs fast on a treadmill and breathes heavily. A man holds a boy’s hand and quickly pulls away as they approach other people. A man drives a motorcycle with a boy on the back and pulls into traffic where two cars honk at him. A boy falls asleep while riding on the back of a motorcycle and the driver bumps his helmet into the boy’s to wake him.
 A man yells over the phone at a woman. A man and his son argue bitterly in several scenes throughout the movie. A man and his son argue about why the boy’s mother works and the man tells the boy it’s in case the boy fails. A woman yells at a teen girl in a few scenes. A woman conducting therapy session with a young man in a rehab center asks the young man what makes him angry and talks about triggers. We hear that a young man has had a “drunken altercation with police” and that he is in a rehab center. A man describes himself as a “professional schizophrenic.” A young man in a rehab session becomes angry while talking about his father and is instructed by his counselor to snap a rubber band on his wrist and name things in a room to help calm him. A man wears a jacket with POW-MIA on the back. A man describes what “Ford” means and says that it stands for “found on the road dead.” A woman asks a man if he can leave the country “because of his record.” A man describes his mother as having been an alcoholic and that her girlfriend would “beat you until she broke her hand.” A man says that his mother died when she fell out of a window and onto a highway. A man asks a young man if he is mocking him or being genuine. A man talks about his cousin beating him if he knew he was in rehab. We hear that a young woman jumped out of a moving car to keep a man from raping her. A man yells repeatedly in a forest as a therapeutic method. A man threatens to hit and beat his son in a few scenes. A boy urinates in a toilet and his father teases him about the size of his genitals, making crude comments.
 A boy throws bricks into the windshields of abandoned cars and they shatter. A man describes a trick he would do with a chicken and that he would have the chicken jump off his head and into a flaming bucket of Kentucky Fried Chicken. A video shows a man dressed as a clown with a chicken on his head and the chicken walks down the man’s back and sits on the man’s clothed buttocks as the man poses in a handstand. A man climbs under a table and a chicken squawks at him, startling him. A snake slithers through a swimming pool. A young woman and a boy toss a pillow at each other and play a hand slapping game.
 A man vomits and we hear splatter in a toilet and gagging (we do not see goo). A young man spits on the ground in a few scenes (we see saliva). A boy urinates in a toilet and we hear the trickle. A man urinates in a toilet and we hear the trickle. Two men shovel out a chicken coup and one man holds an egg that he says still has feces on it (we see a smudge on the egg). We see a medical specimen cup filled with urine. A young man picks up a piece of chicken dung and squishes it between his fingers.


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Honey Boy LANGUAGE 10

 – About 114 F-word and its derivatives, 41 scatological terms, 13 anatomical terms, 3 mild obscenities, 3 derogatory terms for African-American people, 1 derogatory reference to Jewish people, 1 derogatory reference to Japanese people, name-calling (selfish, weird, liar, honey boy, thief, hookers, naïve, victim, ridiculous, stupid), exclamations (shut the [F-word deleted] up), 5 religious profanities (GD), 8 religious exclamations (Holy [scatological term deleted], God, Oh God, Oh My God, I Swear To God, I Found God, a man asks another man if he prays before eating). | profanity glossary |


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Honey Boy SUBSTANCE USE

 – A man in a strip club goes to a room with a woman and the scene cuts to him inhaling a smoke from a blue powder that he heats up, a man and his son smoke a marijuana cigarette together, two men share a marijuana cigarette, a man tells his son that he is growing marijuana and they go to see the plants together, and a man says that he did so much cocaine that he can’t breathe through his nose anymore. A man drinks from a bottle of liquor, a man talks about his mother having been an alcoholic, several women are shown drinking from beer bottles, a man tells his young son that he “can’t get sober for you,” a young man says that “my dad is not the reason I drink,” and a man talks about being “4 years sober.” A man smokes cigarettes in many scenes throughout the movie, a boy smokes cigarettes given to him by his father in many scenes throughout the movie, a boy puts a cigarette in his mouth but can’t find a lighter so he puts it behind his ear, two men smoke outside, and a boy asks his father if he can “bum a smoke.”


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Honey Boy DISCUSSION TOPICS

 – Child abuse, child actors, growing up, estranged families, divorce, PTSD, Alcoholics Anonymous, alcoholism, sex offenders, discrimination, idealism, Big Brothers, poverty, father figures, probation, pain.

Honey Boy MESSAGE

 – Letting go of the past can save you.

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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