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The Identical | 2014 | PG | - 2.3.2

Poverty-stricken parents (Brian Geraghty and Amanda Crew) give up one of their newborn twin boys during the Great Depression. While the infant they keep becomes a rock 'n' roll legend (Blake Rayne), the other baby grows up with a tent preacher and his wife (Ray Liotta and Ashley Judd). Also with Erin Cottrell, Seth Green and Joe Pantoliano. Directed by Dustin Marcellino. [1:47]

SEX/NUDITY 2 - A husband and his wife are shown kissing on their wedding day, and a female voiceover says they are unable to have children. A husband and his wife kiss briefly and embrace at their front door three times.
 A man serenades a woman under her bedroom window as men and women lean out their windows to listen and police officers nearly arrest him (please see the Violence/Gore category for more details).
 Teen girls and college-aged women cry and scream during a concert by a rock singer. Four older women in a small-town beauty salon giggle at an attractive parcel deliveryman. Teen girls giggle and remark that a man looks like a famous singer. A woman giggles at a man three times while they talk, remembering each other from high school years.
 We see a pregnant woman with a moderately swollen abdomen sitting in a boxcar on a railroad line and later, we see her in bed covered with a quilt and holding twin infants.
 We hear that a woman is unable to have children, but later see her pregnant with a large swollen belly and in end credits, she plays with toddler twins, presumably her own. We hear that a man is divorced five or six times and left with lots of alimony.
 Women wearing strapless knee-length dresses that reveal a little cleavage in a roadhouse dance the twist and jive in the 1960s. Half a dozen women wear bikini tops that reveal a little cleavage and bare midriffs, with high-waist bikini bottoms that reveal bare legs from feet to the top of the thighs. Female backup singers in the 1970s wear halter-top floor-length dresses that reveal a little cleavage in a few scenes. A few women and teen girls wear some open-necked shirts that reveal minor cleavage. Some women wear above-the-knee skirts that reveal a couple of inches of the lower thighs and lower legs.

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VIOLENCE/GORE 3 - A husband and his wife bury an empty cardboard shoebox tied up with string, without a marker, in front of witnesses, claiming that this is their dead infant; we hear a voiceover say that many babies died in the Depression.
 A rock-star fastens his airplane seat belt as the plane hits severe turbulence before the camera cuts to an auto mechanic's garage and we hear a loud crash off-screen; we see a tribute artist who has fallen off his chair at the garage, face down and unconscious, knocking tools to the floor.
 A teen boy is seen in a roadhouse and a county sheriff enters, shouting for several minutes about serving alcohol to underage teenagers (please see the Substance Use category for more details) and about rock ‘n' roll being the "devil's music"; the sheriff also suggests that Whites not mix with African-Americans then slaps a teenage boy hard twice for disagreeing about racism, making the boy fall twice (no injury shows), then shuts down the roadhouse and the camera cuts to parents picking up teenagers outside the county jail; one young man's father chases and catches him and another teen's father (a preacher) speaks sternly, raising his voice about secular music and forbids his son to involve himself with it, then tells the boy that racism is not the son's fight yet.
 A husband and his wife argue about giving away one of their twin baby boys during the Depression and the wife shouts loudly that she will not do it; in the next sequence, she parts with one of the babies and both mothers cry and hug goodbye. A teenager takes his father's car at night and his father runs out of the house, shouting, but cannot catch the car. A preacher looks threateningly at his young son sitting in the front pew in church when the boy hesitates over a Bible verse until he snaps his fingers and sings it all the way through, using a rock ‘n' roll melody; the congregation applauds and the preacher looks angry and disgusted. A preacher and his son at various teen and adult ages argue about the son's choice to drop out of Bible College to perform music, instead of preaching and they both cry in one scene. A man forces his son to join the US Army where a sergeant shouts at him and his fellow privates.
 Black and white TV footage shows bombs and missiles causing smoke and fire in the 1967 Six Day War and the camera cuts to a preacher in church shouting that America must stand firm with Israel, because Jesus was a Jew. A Southern preacher shouts and screams emotionally during a tent revival and in two church services. During a tent revival, a preacher says that his wife miscarried again and requests prayer from the crowd as both he and his wife cry.
 Teen girls mob a tribute artist's bus, forcing him to run onto it to escape; the girls cry, laugh and pound on the windows as the tribute artist and his crew smile.
 A man sneaks into the darkened hospital room of an ill woman whose closed eyes are dark red and sunken, her skin waxy; he sings her favorite song, tears run down her cheeks as she opens her eyes and reaches for his hand, calling him by a name he does not know and newspaper headlines the next morning say that the woman died. We hear that a man fell unconscious when a rock-star's plane crashed and killed him; the unconscious man is uninjured but he becomes depressed, grows a thick beard and stops working for a few months. An older man at a family dinner says that he is too dizzy to change a light bulb and will retire; the man clutches his chest, his wife shouts, his adult son calls for an ambulance and we hear that the man had a mild heart attack. A man walks up a hill to a family cemetery and finds his ill biological father (the man is bent, nearly bald, and with a spotty face and milky eyes, using a cane to stand) at the graves of his wife and son; the elderly man cries over both graves, the first man calls him "Daddy" and they embrace and both cry.
 A man walks weakly to a desk and looks pale; he finds a letter lying open that his son found (about his son being adopted), then lowers his head to the desk and cries and wails loudly. A man and his adoptive father both cry briefly as they embrace.
 As a man serenades a woman under her window on a summer night, two police officers with nightsticks approach and begin to arrest him, but let him go; the woman calls out, "Why is it always the police with you and me?" A man finds evidence of his adoption and becomes sad and angry.

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LANGUAGE 2 - 1 mild obscenity, name-calling (crazy, stupid, punk, PK, preacher's kid, boy, redneck, knuckleheads, fat, lazy, pretender, Identical), stereotypical references to men, women, childless couples, the poor, the rich, rockabilly stars, groupies, tent revival preachers, rednecks, talent agents, Southerners, Christians, Whites, African Americans, 12 religious exclamations (e.g. Amen, Praise Jesus, That's What The Lord Wants, Good Lord, Oh My Lord, May God Be With You, He's God's Now, Father Bless This Dear Lady, In The Name Of God, God, God Ryan.

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SUBSTANCE USE - A sheriff in a roadhouse shouts about a smell being "hooty weed" and "reefer" (marijuana) but we do not see any. A close-up shows a man pour a glass of whiskey from a decanter in the back of a limousine and drink from the glass alone, a man drinks from a short glass of whiskey on an airplane alone, a teen boy brings two bottles of beer to a friend at a table in a roadhouse and drinks from one while the other teen boy smells the bottle and refuses to drink, two teen boys (one of them drinks beer) and two teen girls dance and we see bottles of beer on tables as the local sheriff comes in and closes the facility down for underage drinking, a man receives a short glass of whiskey at the bar in a roadhouse and begins to drink it but puts it down and asks for a Dr. Pepper instead while a man sitting next to the first man drinks whiskey from a short glass, bottles of beer are shown on tables in a few club scenes (no one is seen drinking) and waiters carry trays of short glasses of clear and amber colored liquors, and a man orders a Bourbon in a club and when a preacher at his table looks at him pointedly he changes the order to a soft drink while an older man at the table orders a double Bourbon. A teen boy smokes cigarettes in three roadhouse scenes.

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DISCUSSION TOPICS - Family secrets, poverty, the Great Depression, adoption, illness, death, dwarfism, music as a calling, faith, Judaism and Christianity, values, fame, money, conflict, redemption, reconciliation.
MESSAGE - Writing and performing music can be a calling.
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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