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In the Heights | 2021 | PG-13 | – 4.2.4

content-ratingsWhy is “In the Heights” rated PG-13? The MPAA rating has been assigned for “some language and suggestive references.” The Kids-In-Mind.com evaluation includes a couple of kissing scenes, dancing sequences, sexual references, many cleavage revealing outfits, a death by heart failure, discussion of the death of parents, a blackout that lasted several days in New York City during a heat wave, and some strong language. Read our parents’ guide below for details on sexual content, violence & strong language.


Based on the Broadway musical about a young man (Anthony Ramos) working in his Washington Heights New York neighborhood Bodega and dreaming of making it back to his Dominican Republic home. Also with Corey Hawkins, Leslie Grace, Melissa Barrera, Olga Merediz, Jimmy Smits, Gregory Diaz IV, Daphne Rubin-Vega, Stephanie Beatriz, Noah Catala, Lin-Manuel Miranda and Mateo Gómez. Directed by Jon M. Chu. Many lines of dialogue are spoken and sung in Spanish without translation and others are accompanied by English subtitles [Running Time: 2:23]

In the Heights SEX/NUDITY 4

 – a man and a woman dance up and down the walls of an apartment building, hug, and kiss tenderly. A man and woman argue, she kisses him and leaves. A woman kisses another woman on the cheek while lying in bed. A woman snarls suggestively at a man in a store. A woman and a man hug in a street and a police car bloops its siren at them, off-screen.
 People dance at a club and many men dance around and with a woman, while her date watches, and they say that her moves make them want her more (her dress flips up a few times revealing upper thighs and partial lower buttocks). A man dances with a woman and she makes suggestive moves toward him (he seems uncomfortable). A man and a woman dance and hold hands.
 A man says that he sells items in his shop including condoms (he holds one up) and feminine hygiene products. A man on a street approaches a woman and pleads with her to give him a chance as she walks away not paying any attention to him. A man talks to a woman he has a crush on, pressing his nose against the glass door of a fridge trying to make her smile; she moves close to the other side of the glass then walks away.
 A man and woman talk about having broken up when she left for a university that was out of state. A woman says that there is sexual tension between a man and another woman. A woman teases a man and another woman saying they, “…went for a roll in the hay.” A woman tells a man that he is “thirsty” after he talks to a woman. There’s a reference to someone smelling sex and a line about someone being “In bed with Jose.” A woman says that a man was, “Bouncing between two girl’s houses.” A woman talks about a man having sex with someone and another woman denies the rumor and appears jealous. A woman makes veiled references to the size of a man’s genitals. A woman wonders if another woman has “a little bun in the oven.” People talk about people having sex. A teen boy asks a woman what she is doing over the weekend as an invitation for his older friend; she then asks the man on a date.
 Men and women dance in streets and a club in a few scenes with thrusting and shimmying. Many women wear tight-fitting and low-cut outfits that reveal cleavage, the outlines of their bodies, legs, abdomens and backs in many scenes throughout the movie. A woman wears a low-cut top and shorts that reveal cleavage and bare legs to the upper thighs. A woman changes clothes and we see her bra, bare back, abdomen and cleavage. Men, women and children are shown wearing swimwear at a pool (bare chests, abdomens, legs and cleavage are seen).

In the Heights VIOLENCE/GORE 2

 – A man checks on a woman sleeping in bed and calls out for someone to call 911; we understand that the woman died of heart failure. People walk in a candlelight vigil after a woman dies.
 A man steals from a store and runs away as the proprietor yells and a teen boy chases him. A man steps in a piece of chewing gum and it sticks to his shoe. A man spits on the sidewalk.
 Photos of hurricane damage in the Dominican Republic that left a beachside bar in shambles are seen a few times. The power goes out across a city and we hear about a blackout and high temperatures; people search through streets trying to find people and others set off fireworks to light the area.
 A woman talks about immigrating from Cuba in 1943, and the racism they encountered and how hard her mother worked to survive. There are several references to people living in a ghetto. A teen boy realizes that he will not be able to get financial help to go to college because he is undocumented and a lawyer tells him that it will be a long process to get him a green card. A man and his adult daughter argue about sacrifice, responsibility and giving up on a dream. A man and a woman argue after they are separated, when the power goes out, and accuse each other of abandonment. A man and a woman argue about his leaving home. A man talks about traffic jams and rerouting cars through a city. A man says that another man has no skills. A woman talks about not being able to hack it at a competitive university. Women wonder if a woman “flunked out” of college. A young woman runs through a street and dreams of leaving her home behind. A young boy says a man is “talking crazy.”

In the Heights LANGUAGE 4

 – 4 sexual references, 8 scatological terms, 6 anatomical terms, 16 mild obscenities, name-calling (loser, crazy, freaky, workaholic, drunk Chita Rivera, Frodo, freaks, hustler, stubborn, bogus, devil, creepy, dork), exclamations (yoo-hoo, come on, let’s go, okay, shut-up, hardy har, hey, oh my gosh, whoa, yo, ah, stop, whoo, no, oh man, oh snap), 3 religious profanities (GD), 23 religious exclamations (e.g. Oh God, God Bless You, Jesus, God Rest Her Soul, Ay Dios, Oh My God, What Would Jesus Do, Do I Look Like Jesus To You, Thank God, Holy [scatological term deleted], There Is A God). | profanity glossary |

In the Heights SUBSTANCE USE

 – A man drinks from a beer bottle and we see many empty bottles around the room, people drink shots of liquor and other alcohol at a club, a man and woman hold a bottle of champagne while trying to open it, and people drink wine with a meal.

In the Heights DISCUSSION TOPICS

 – Gentrification, racism, respect, family, stories, immigration, Dreamers, shame, heartbreak, memories, debt, legacy, genocide, not having a community, doubt, betrayal, bravery, patience, blackouts, second thoughts, disappointment, destiny, goals, regrets, death of parents and loved ones.

In the Heights MESSAGE

 – There’s no place like home. Don’t give up on dreams.

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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