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Moonlight | 2016 | R | - 6.5.7

We watch a young boy grow to manhood while struggling with the difficulties of his mother's drug addiction, his own sexuality and loneliness in a rough neighborhood in Miami. With Mahershala Ali, Shariff Earp, Duan Sanderson, Alex R. Hibbert, Janelle Monáe, Naomie Harris, Jaden Piner, Ashton Sanders, Edson Jean and Patrick Decile. Directed by Barry Jenkins. A song is played in Spanish with no subtitles. [1:50]

SEX/NUDITY 6 - Two teenage boys kiss while on a beach and one unfastens the other's pants; from the back we see their bodies moving rhythmically and one boy moans until climax. A teen boy is shown with his pants partially down (part of his bare back is shown) and thrusting from behind a teen girl bent over an outdoor table (we hear her moaning and skin slapping). A man's pants are wet at the crotch when he wakes up (suggesting an erotic dream).
 Several preteen boys stand in a room and look down below screen (presumably comparing their genitals) and make remarks about what they each look like; we later hear zippers (do not see flesh). Two men cuddle and one caresses the head of the other (not clear if sex occurs).
 A man tells another man, "You are the only man that has ever touched me." A teen boy tells another teen boy that he has detention because he was caught having sex with a teen girl in the hallway (he uses sexually explicit terms and gestures). A man talks about having a baby.
 A preteen boy takes a bath and we see his bare upper chest and knees in the tub filled with bubbles. A woman wears a short top that reveals cleavage, bare abdomen and bra straps. A man takes off his shirt to swim and we see his bare chest, abdomen and back. A preteen boy is shown bare-chested (we see his bare chest, abdomen and back). Women wear low-cut tops that reveal cleavage in several scenes. A shirtless man is shown lying in a bed and his bare chest, abdomen and back are seen.


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VIOLENCE/GORE 5 - A teenage boy punches another teen boy three times and each time the boy falls to the ground; the third time, several other boys kick him repeatedly while he is down (we see blood on the ground around him and on his face later). A teenage boy hits another teenage boy across the back and head with a wooden chair, then hits him a few more times while he is on the floor before being dragged away by classmates (we see the attacker being arrested and taken away from the school building). A teen bully shoves another teen in a hallway and acts threateningly. A teenage bully shoves several others gathered on a school yard.
 Several school-aged boys chase a boy who runs to a boarded up apartment building to hide; the chasing boys pound on the door and throw things at the windows, breaking them while the boy inside cowers in fear. A man pulls a wooden board off a window and climbs into an apartment where a boy is hiding; the boy seems frightened and does not speak as the man offers to help him and take him for some food (the boy eventually joins the man).
 A bully teases a teen classmate in the classroom and threatens him. A man pulls a woman out of car, where she had been smoking a drug; they argue and she smokes a drug and blows smoke toward him as he leaves. A teen bully talks about another teen's mother in derogatory terms and shoves the teen while they stand on the street. Two men on a street argue about the quality of drugs that one man had sold the other. A woman yells at her preteen son. A woman yells at her teenage son and pulls at his pants pockets looking for money to use to buy herself drugs. A preteen boy says that he hates his mother. A preteen boy asks a man if he sells drugs and the man says yes. A teen boy talks about people coming to a beach to drown their sorrows.
 Several preteen boys play a game using a "ball" made of newspapers and they run on a field kicking the ball. Two preteen boys wrestle on a field and one lies on the ground until he is helped up by the other.
 A teenage boy with a bloody face after a beating plunges his face into a sink filled with ice-water and we see blood trickle down his face. A woman looks sick and strung out in several scenes. A man pulls the metallic teeth covers out of his mouth before eating.
 A young man in a car is shown with a gun his car seat. A teenage boy sleeps on a train and in the station rather than going home.


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LANGUAGE 7 - About 27 F-words and its derivatives, 5 sexual references, 28 scatological terms, 20 anatomical terms, 24 mild obscenities, 32 derogatory terms for African-Americans (8 in song lyrics), 5 derogatory terms for gay people, name-calling (funny, soft, stupid, freak, white trash, dog).


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SUBSTANCE USE - A man asks another man on the street for "a little something" and the other man pushes him away (he appears to be strung out and desperate for a drug), a preteen boy asks a man if he sells drugs and the man says yes, a man and a woman smoke a drug in a parked car and another man pounds on the window and tells them to leave, two men on a street argue about the quality of drugs that one man had sold the other, a preteen boy finds drug paraphernalia in a boarded-up apartment and it is later referred to as a "dope hole," a woman is shown in a rehab center, and two teen boys light and smoke something that looks like a cigar but their reactions suggest that it is a drug. A man is shown holding a can of beer (we do not see him drink), a man pours glasses of wine for himself and another man and one pf them drinks the wine quickly, and a man drinks a glass of wine. A man is shown putting an unlit cigarette in his mouth and then behind his ear, a man smokes a cigarette on a street, a young man lights a cigarette for his mother and hands it to her, and a man smokes a cigarette outside a restaurant.


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DISCUSSION TOPICS - Childhood, parenting, drug addiction, bullying, homosexuality, friendship, love, pride, self-deprecation.

MESSAGE - We each are responsible for deciding who we are.

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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