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Master | 2022 | R | – 3.5.5

content-ratingsWhy is “Master” rated R? The MPAA rating has been assigned for “language and some drug use.” The Kids-In-Mind.com evaluation includes a kissing scene and an implied sex scene (possibly an implied rape), several discussions of a young woman’s death on a college campus, discussions of a witch and a university campus haunted by the witch, several scenes of unexplained sounds and noises in a house, several nightmare scenes featuring a cloaked person threatening a sleeping person, several scenes of people using veiled racial references, several scenes of drug and alcohol use at campus parties, a few arguments, and 4 F-words and other strong language. Read our parents’ guide below for details on sexual content, violence & strong language.


A woman (Regina Hall) is thrilled and honored to have been named the first African-American Master of a student housing unit in a prestigious New England university. However, when strange things start happening in the house and students stir up old legends about a ghost haunting the university, the honor is quickly sullied. Also with Zoe Renee, Talia Ryder, Ella Hunt, Noa Fisher, Anna Van Patten, Will Hochman, John Kroft, Amber Gray, Bruce Altman, Talia Balsam and Kara Young. Directed by Mariama Diallo. [Running Time: 1:38]

Master SEX/NUDITY 3

 – A woman is startled when two young men run toward her in dark woods, she shines her flashlight and we see a young woman crouched by a tree and she has a bloody knee (possible rape is implied); the woman tries to convince the young woman to go to the infirmary and she says, “I won’t do that again.” A young man tells a young woman, “You’re cute,” as he leans toward her and they kiss; another young woman enters the room and appears jealous. Young men and young women dance at a party. While playing “Never Have I Ever,” a young woman says that she is “not a member of the mile-high club.”
 A young woman wears a low-cut dress that reveals cleavage. A young woman in a communal shower wears a towel wrapped around her (we see bare shoulders and cleavage). Two young women dress in their room and we see the bare back and bra strap of one young woman.

Master VIOLENCE/GORE 5

 – A woman finds a young woman hanging in her dorm room (the woman struggles to try to lift her up while screaming); we see people gathered at a vigil later. A discolored hand reaches up from under a young woman’s bed and scratches her arm (we see bloody scratches on her arm later). A woman uncovers a portrait of herself and sees a moth flutter out of the eye and maggots pour out of the mouth. A young woman walks alone in the dark and imagines someone grabbing her from behind; she wakes up to a woman pounding on her door and we see the word “LEAVE” carved in the door and a noose hanging around the door handle. A young woman has a nightmare that she is being stared at by adults touring her dorm building; they stop in her room and ask, “What’s that,” as we see her sleeping in her bed and the guide identifies her saying, “This is a Black student sleeping” and something creeps up on her, quickly wraps a rope around her neck and she wakes up screaming; her roommate stands over her and the sleeping young woman finds bloody scratches on her neck. A woman is startled when two young men run toward her while in dark woods, she shines her flashlight and we see a young woman crouched by a tree and she has a bloody knee (possible rape is implied); the woman tries to convince the young woman to go to the infirmary and she says, “I won’t do that again.” A young woman touches her computer monitor and we see a smudge of blood. Alarms blare and lights flash in a dorm building and a young woman runs outside to find a cross in flames, as a woman tells her to move away. A woman scrubbing a floor hears a bell ringing and goes to an attic room where papers float in the air and she sees a woman on her hands and knees crying and the first woman shakes and quakes in fear. A young woman walks alone in the dark and sees someone wearing a dark robe and hood, she screams and runs, pounds on a locked door, she gets into her dorm room and hears someone clambering at the door; she climbs out her window and falls and we see her in the hospital later with her arm in a sling. A woman tries to dance with another woman at a party and the second woman shoves her away and yells at her.
 A woman accuses another woman of being a fraud and pretending to be Black. A young woman tells another young woman, “I hate you.” Several young people talk about a young woman killing herself by jumping out a dorm window. A woman talks about women being hanged for practicing witchcraft. A young man says, “A chick died here in the ’50s,” and that the school was cursed by a witch. A young woman reads a newspaper article about a young woman found hanging in her dorm room. People talk about ghost stories in several scenes and about a person that died by hanging in a dorm room and that the university is haunted by her ghost. After arriving at a university campus, students in their dorms scream loudly in unison and the practice is referred to as a primal scream. People chat awkwardly and a woman becomes increasingly uncomfortable with their references to her being the first Black Master on-campus. A young man at the door of a party stops a young woman and tells her they are at capacity until another young woman comes out to bring her inside with her. A young woman reads a diary entry that describes strange noises. A woman complains to colleagues that their university supports a culture of hatred. A woman says, “Sisters are an endangered species on campus.” A professor talks to a student about a grade on a paper discussing race in literature and says, “Whiteness doesn’t have to be the default.” A young woman says that she is going to file a dispute against a professor about a grade. Men and women discuss another woman’s application for tenure and whether she is qualified. A young woman becomes upset when a professor seems to imply that the coursework may be more difficult than she can handle. A woman says of another woman, “The Devil is inside her.” A woman yells at another woman and calls her a fraud, accusing her of pretending to be Black. A woman says, “She’s going to haunt me,” about a young woman that died.
 An adult and a child wearing dark cloaks with hoods and bonnets walk through woods and two women seem frightened by seeing them. A woman hears singing coming from a cemetery and sees many people carrying candles walking toward a grave where a man digs in the ground. A young woman packs her belongings and leaves campus. A woman in a hospital bed calls for a young woman in the bed next to hers to help her; when the young woman gets up and tries to console her, the woman berates her with racial slurs. A woman walks across a campus at night and is approached by a security guard asking for her ID; we hear a call on the radio talking about a “suspicious female.” A young woman yells at her roommate when she wakes up to the young woman looking under her bed. A woman in a library searches a young woman’s backpack when an alarm rings as she passes through a sensor. A woman tries to unlock a door on a campus housing building and the lock is jammed, but moments later the door opens by itself. A woman finds dried muddy footprints on a floor. A woman hears a bell ringing in servants’ quarters in several scenes. A woman serving food in a cafeteria glares at a young woman and serves her a plate without comment. A woman finds a cookie jar in the stereotypical likeness of a Black woman and becomes upset. A young woman is startled when the lights go out in a communal shower room and she sees what looks like a figure standing in the shadows. A young woman is surrounded on a dance floor while mostly young men crowd around her while singing a song loudly. The photo of a young woman hanging on her dorm door is shown with her face scratched off.
 A woman opens a kitchen drawer and it is filled with writhing maggots (she recoils and yells). A woman in a hospital bed has a bloody bandage on her head. A young woman is shown with a bruise on her cheek and chin after a fall. A man slurps up a piece of meat.

Master LANGUAGE 5

 – About 4 F-words, 12 scatological terms, 6 mild obscenities, 1 derogatory term for African-American people, name-calling (dumb white idiots getting high together, divorced from reality, fraud, liar, insane, white folk, aloof, humiliating, scapegoat, awful embarrassing, dramatic, out of control, weird, derogatory, grade grubbing, irrelevant, disgusting, faux woke, dude), exclamations (chill, calm down, shut-up, how dare you, oh my gosh), 6 religious exclamations (e.g. thank God, oh my God, God rest his soul, my God, oh my [F-word deleted] God, oh God). | profanity glossary |

Master SUBSTANCE USE

 – A young woman refers to dumb white idiots getting high together, and several young women and young men smoke marijuana in a dorm room. Young women drink shots of alcohol during a game of “Never Have I Ever,” a young man and a young woman drink shots at a party and the young man says, “I can drink like a Russian,” men and women at a party drink alcohol and some seem inebriated slurring their words and laughing loudly, a young woman drinks a glass of wine, young men and young women at a party drink and smoke (it could be tobacco or marijuana or both), and a woman pours a glass of wine and spills some.

Master DISCUSSION TOPICS

 – Legends, ghost stories, racism, witch trials, FDR, judgment, inclusiveness, insomnia, inclusion, diversity, disenfranchisement.

Master MESSAGE

 – Racism will never end.

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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