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Miss Bala | 2019 | PG-13 | – 5.6.5

content-ratingsWhy is “Miss Bala” rated PG-13? The MPAA rating has been assigned for “gun violence, sexual and drug content, thematic material, and language.” The Kids-In-Mind.com evaluation includes several scenes of women wearing outfits that reveal cleavage, a few pageant sequences where women are judged on their appearance, references to sex trafficking, several shootouts leaving dead bodies with bloody wounds, a couple of executions with bloody results, and at least 1 F-word. Read our parents’ guide below for details on sexual content, violence & strong language.”


Based on an eponymous 2011 Spanish-language thriller: To save herself and her family a young woman (Gina Rodriguez) must carefully navigate her way among gangsters and law enforcers, playing both sides, while acquiring a special set of skills that will set her free. Also with Anthony Mackie, Ismael Cruz Córdova, Aislinn Derbez, Mat Lauria, Cristina Rodlo and Thomas Dekker. Directed by Catherine Hardwicke. Several lines of dialogue are spoken in Spanish with English subtitles. [Running Time: 1:44]

Miss Bala SEX/NUDITY 5

 – Men and women are shown kissing and caressing each other at a party: we hear moaning sounds coming from behind a door (sex is implied) and a woman adjusts her skirt as she walks with a man (sex is also implied) and we hear someone talking about “escorts.” A shirtless man (we see his bare chest and abdomen) tells a woman to take off his boots (she does) and he tells her to take off her clothes and she removes her pants and blouse (we see her wearing bra and underwear that reveal cleavage, bare abdomen and legs to the hips) before they are interrupted and the man leaves he room. A man takes a woman away to another room (sex is implied).
 A man traces a woman’s cleavage with his finger, kisses her on the cheek and tells her to take off her dress and when he returns they are interrupted (please see the Violence/Gore category for more details). A man kisses two women in greeting and he pulls one woman close to him, traces her back and buttock with his hand and squeezes her buttock (she pushes him away). A man lying in a bed touches a woman’s clothed back and tells her to lie down (she does) as he caresses her bare thigh and holds her hand and he falls asleep. A man touches a woman’s clothed breast.
 Women in a club scene wear very short skirts that reveal their full legs to the hips, as well as cleavage and bare abdomens. A woman’s dress lifts up and we glimpse her underwear along with her upper thighs to the hips. Women are shown in dressing rooms changing clothes for a fashion show and we see outfits that reveal cleavage and we see the outline of nipples through the fabric of one dress. Women wear low-cut tops that reveal cleavage in several scenes. A woman wears a halter top and shorts that reveal cleavage, bare shoulders and back, bare abdomen and legs to the hips. A man takes off his shirt and we see his bare chest, abdomen and back. A woman wears a dress that is low-cut in the back and we see her bare back to the hip. A woman wears a low-cut dress that reveals cleavage and the hem is slit to the upper thigh.
 We see a video of women holding numbers and the camera lingers on their clothed breasts (cleavage is evident) as a man talks about men “running women” (implying sex trafficking). Men and women in a club scene dance with hip thrusting. Women practice a dance routine for a pageant. A man caresses a woman’s bare shoulder.
 References are made to women being used for sex by a group of men and we see tattoos on the hands of a few women that are implied to be like brands. A woman says that a man “sleeps with whoever wins the pageant.” Two women jokingly talk about who developed breasts first when they were younger.


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Miss Bala VIOLENCE/GORE 6

 - A woman is shown kneeling on the ground where she is surrounded by men with guns; one man walks around her while holding a gun and yelling about treason and cowardice and he shoots her in the back of the head (we see this from a distance and later see the body with blood pooled around her). A man holds a woman with a gun to her head and he is shot in the leg, he falls, and is shot several more times (we see the body later with blood on wounds and the ground). A man is shot three times in the chest and abdomen (we see blood on his shirt as he dies). Many men with guns surround a building where a party with many people is underway; we see gunmen shoot a bed where a man and a woman are lying and the woman hides under the bed, from where she sees several men fall dead (we see some blood on wounds and one man chokes on blood as it pools under him). Several men with guns shoot up a crowded night club and many people are struck (we see a bit of blood spray) as they run and scream; gunfire continues outside the club and we see a woman struck in the arm (blood is shown on her shoulder and face). A man detonates an explosive and a car explodes next to a building where we later here at least three people were killed.
 A woman in a van is surrounded by several other cars and a man examines guns in the back of the van; a sniper on a rooftop opens fire on the people on the ground, they shoot back and police officers arrive and open fire (several people are struck and we see some bloody wounds), and a grenade launcher fires explosives into a building where a man is presumably killed and others strike vehicles, blowing them off the ground.
 Several men crash into a women's bathroom through a vent, they search stalls and find a woman in one; a man pulls her out and holds a gun to her head and then lets her go. Several men enter a house where a woman and a young boy are and one badly injured man is laid on a table where he dies (we see blood on his clothing around the abdomen). A woman asks a man for help and he puts a bag over her head (she is then shown handcuffed to a chair while being interrogated). A woman is chased by men, and grabbed and put in a car that speeds away as one man covers her mouth. A woman is grabbed by the arm and shoved into a car by a man. A woman is shoved to the ground by a man as he yells at her. Three cars speed through an intersection on a red light and one is nearly struck by another car. A woman locks herself in a bathroom and climbs out of a window to escape men holding her captive. Packs of dollar bills are taped around a woman's abdomen and more money and drugs are hidden under a car. A woman drives a car loaded with hidden drugs and money across a border where dogs and officers search cars; she is very nervous. A woman drives a van filled with weapons across a border to Mexico. A woman sets a towel on fire in a kitchen and the room fills with smoke as men use fire extinguishers to put out the flames. A few tense scenes show a woman hiding devices and nearly being caught by her captives.
 A woman points a gun at a man (she does not fire). A man with a gun wakes a woman and takes her outside where she fears he will shoot her but he teaches her how to shoot an AR15; they both take target practice and shoot some bottles. A man punches another man in the crotch and he flinches.
 A man holds a knife to a woman's face and tells her, "I'm gonna gut that kid like a chicken," referring to a young boy. A man tells a woman, "I'm gonna hurt you," and "You mess around and I'll kill you." A man threatens a woman with charges of terrorism and arson and holds her by the neck. A man dismissively tells a woman, "Honey, you are not paid to think." A woman says, "They own me." A man talks about he and his mother being deported when he was young. A woman yells at a man and hits him several times as he tries to calm her. We see a video of women holding numbers and a man talks about men "running women" (implying sex trafficking).
 After a shootout, we see a dead body in a body bag with blood on his face and a woman on a stretcher is loaded onto an ambulance (we see blood on her clothing). We see tattoos on the hands of women and it is implied that it is a sort of brand. A woman vomits over a railing after witnessing a murder (we see some goo).


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Miss Bala LANGUAGE 5

 - At least 1 F-word, 7 scatological terms, 3 anatomical terms, 4 mild obscenities, name-calling (Chula, honey, lame American, nobody, stupid, slick, gringa, dirty), 5 religious exclamations (e.g. Holy [scatological term deleted], Oh God, Oh My God). | profanity glossary |


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Miss Bala SUBSTANCE USE

 - People in a club are seen snorting lines of cocaine, drugs and money are hidden under a car and transported across the border between Mexico and the US, and a man puts what looks like a packet of drugs into another man's hand at a party. Two women drink beer on a balcony, two women drink shots of Tequila in a club, several men drink bottles of beer while watching an explosion, a man drinks a glass of liquor, several men drink from bottles on a patio, a man drinks a beer at a restaurant, and many people in a club hold alcoholic beverages while dancing.


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Miss Bala DISCUSSION TOPICS

 - Drug trade, weapons trade, sex trafficking, undercover operations, Mexico/American relations, treason, belonging, family, survival, strength, corruption, assassination, DEA, CIA, terrorism, arson, moles.

Miss Bala MESSAGE

 - Survival instincts can motivate one to do extraordinary things.

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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