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Magic in the Moonlight | 2014 | PG-13 | - 2.2.3

In 1928 on the French Riviera a British illusionist (Colin Firth) determines to expose an American psychic (Emma Stone) as a charlatan. Instead of satisfaction, the magician has a chain of magical experiences that cause onlookers to wonder about rationalism vs. the supernatural. Also with Marcia Gay Harden, Simon McBurney, Hamish Linklater and Jacki Weaver. Directed by Woody Allen. [1:40]

SEX/NUDITY 2 - A man and a woman kiss for a prolonged period while standing in a parlor doorway after becoming engaged. A woman wet from rain and cold asks a man to put his arm around her and he does.
 A woman asks a man she has been dating if he feels any affection for her and he says no; she says that she will marry another man and shows off a large ring but, later we hear that she breaks up with him. A man tells a male colleague not to come into his room because the colleague might be accused of sodomy. An elderly woman asks the spirit of her dead husband if he was faithful to her and never had a sexual affair with another woman and he says "yes" by knocking the table once. A woman gives a psychic reading for an older woman, stating that the older woman had an affair with a married man in Parliament, but they broke up.
 Female magician assistants wear either bras or short sleeveless tops that end above the waist, baring their abdomens. A few women at parties wear long flapper dresses that bare, in a few cases, slight cleavage. A woman wears a skirt that is transparent and slit up the legs to the top of the thighs. A woman singer in a club lifts her wide skirt to mid-thigh as she dances, revealing panty hose as well as thighs. A woman wears a one-piece swimsuit. A man wears high-waisted swim trunks and we see his bare chest.

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VIOLENCE/GORE 2 - At a séance, a woman appears to go into a trance with her eyes rolling back and her voice becoming singsong; something knocks on the table, once for "yes" and twice for "no" throughout a long series of questions and a lighted candle floats in the air until a man grabs it and says it has no supports attached. A magician vanishes an adult elephant from a large box and appears to cut a woman in a long box in half, without blood.
 A car breaks down just before a rainstorm and the man and woman in it argue about car repair; heavy rain and lightning cause the woman to shout twice, "We're going to die!" and they run through the rain to an abandoned observatory to wait out the storm and he falls asleep. A man hidden in a parlor overhears his best friend and a woman he dated speaking about a trick they are playing on him; he turns his swivel chair around and confronts them, they argue and the formerly hidden man leaves the room. A man and a woman argue about whether to be married or not. A man argues with his best friend about a female psychic medium; upon meeting the woman, the man insults her and the entire family at the estate at which they are meeting for séances and he calls psychics fakes and frauds and calls the believers gullible, stupid, mental defectives and other names. A man and a woman have several mild arguments about the existence of God, the afterlife, angels, and ghosts. A caustic, sarcastic magician argues with, berates and insults everyone around him, including friends and colleagues, with bouts of shouting and name-calling; he shouts at an assistant saying that she nearly stabbed him, which would have caused blood to stain his costume and he remarks that a former female assistant is scarred and as fat as an elephant; he shouts that all supernatural displays are phony, from séance tables to the Vatican. A woman tells a man that her mental vibrations tell her that the man's uncle died by water and the statement is accurate. We hear that a man had a missing toe and that an elderly woman has sciatica. A woman says that prayer could have been effective.
 We hear that an elderly woman is in a serious car accident and in surgery; the woman's nephew prays for her, however, he breaks off his prayer saying that he has been duped and that there is no God after all, and a psychic who manipulated him into believing is a fake; we hear that the woman came through surgery well and, later, we see her walking with a cane and in another scene, walking unaided, completely recovered.

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LANGUAGE 3 - 4 mild obscenities, 1 mild scatological term (fertilizer), name-calling (fake, fraud, phony, dullard, idiot, moron, mental defectives, lunacy, fool, foolish, Neanderthals, fat, stupid, load of twaddle, cheap swindler, gypsy, gullible, sleazy, scoundrel, dupe, megalomaniac, specious, preposterous, disgusting, street finagler, low grade halfwits, pessimistic bore, obnoxious, joker, charlatan, poppycock, marks, bilge, humbug, criminal, con artist, Lilliputian, misanthrope, milksop, claptrap, boobs [idiots], uneducated nobody, ridiculous), stereotypical references to men, women, magicians, psychic mediums, skeptics, believers, gypsies, scientists, the elderly, the Chinese, Americans, exclamations (rubbish), 8 religious exclamations (e.g. Oh My God, Thank God, Oh Lord, Lord Knows, God Exists, Only God Can Forgive You, and a long prayer).

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SUBSTANCE USE - Two men drink short glasses of whiskey and we see shelves of liquor bottles in a bar, two men drink whiskey at a bar that has shelves of liquor bottles and two glasses of wine set out, three men drink glasses of Scotch and a woman drinks a spoon of a tonic and a glass of wine or sherry in a home, a man and a woman drink Scotch in a home, many men and women drink from martini and cocktail glasses at a palace ball and waiters carry filled glasses on trays, a doctor goes to look for whiskey to give a visitor in a hospital (he does not return), a man and a woman drink wine at a restaurant dinner table, a woman drinks wine at home and pours a Scotch for her nephew and he sips it, and a woman tells friends that she needs to call a man and postpone having drinks with him. Several men and a few women light and smoke cigarettes and thin cigars in dozens of scenes in homes and bars and clubs, as well as outdoors and in a car, men and women hold cigarettes that are lit (we do not see them smoke), three women at a party use long cigarette holders, bar scenes feature wafting cigarette smoke from tables as a few men and women smoke, a man wearing long pajamas gets out of bed at night and smokes while sitting on the side of his bed, and a doctor smokes a cigarette in a hospital.

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DISCUSSION TOPICS - Relationships, love, wealth, families, communication, magic, the afterlife, ghosts, fraud, Nietzsche and Existentialism, hope, redemption, forgiveness.
MESSAGE - Falling in love is magic.
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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