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Notorious | 2009 | R | - 8.6.10

Biopic of Notorious B.I.G. (Jamal Woolard) whose music and lyrics resonated with everyday Brooklyn street life. When gunned down at the age of 24 he was one of the most important hip-hop artists. Also with Antonique Smith, Naturi Naughton, Angela Bassett, Derek Luke, Anthony Mackie. Directed by George Tillman Jr. [2:02]

SEX/NUDITY 8 - A young man and a young woman have sex: we see the man's bare chest and abdomen, her bare breasts and abdomen and buttock, and she straddles him and thrusts on top of the him to climax.
 Two women caress and kiss a man, one removes her top (her bare breasts are shown) and performs oral sex on him (we see her head moving rhythmically at his crotch and the other kisses him).
 We see a woman dressing (her bare buttocks, breasts and back are visible) and it is implied that she and a man, who's lying on a bed in the room, have had sex. A woman undresses behind frosted glass, a man lies in bed in the next room, and it is implied that they have sex. A woman forces her way into a hotel room where she finds her husband and another woman (he is in bed, presumably after having had sex).
 A woman wears short shorts and a low-cut blouse (cleavage and bare thighs are visible) she removes the blouse and wears only suspenders and shorts (revealing bare breasts and bare thighs). A man autographs a young woman's chest (her top reveals deep cleavage). Men and women dance in several club scenes and women are shown wearing low-cut tops and dresses and short skirts that reveal cleavage and bare legs. Women wear low-cut dresses and tops that reveal cleavage in many scenes throughout the film.
 A teenage boy and a teenage girl kiss, a man and a woman kiss and a husband and his wife kiss in a few scenes. A woman caresses a man's ear.
 A teenage girl tells a 17-year-old boy that she is pregnant. A woman raps for a man and uses sexually suggestive lyrics and gestures. A woman uses crude, sexually suggestive lyrics in a rap song in several scenes -- one includes suggestive gestures. A man makes a remark about women wanting to "jump out of their clothes" for a celebrity. A teenage boy makes a joking remark to a teenage girl about "phone sex." A man calls a woman a "sexy gangsta." A man makes a comment about another man having been convicted on sex abuse charges. A young man makes a sexually suggestive remark and grabs his fly while rapping. Two young teen boys grab their crotches as they pass each other on the street.


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VIOLENCE/GORE 6 - Guns are fired between two cars, we see the side of one car riddled with bullet hole and see a passenger inside one car that has been shot (he is slumped over unconscious. We hear gunshots in a building, we see two men with guns punching and kicking two other men, and a man comes off an elevator and has blood on his shirt and head (he complains of pain).
 A car pulls up to a stoplight and another pulls beside it, a passenger in one car looks over at the other car, we see a flash of light reflected in the glasses he is wearing and hear a loud gunshot; nothing else is shown. Men with guns threaten another man.
 A car crashes into a stalled car (we see a man in the hospital). A man grabs his wife and shoves her, and she throws something at him (he is not struck). A man grabs a woman and shoves her against a wall and she yells at him. A woman forces her way into a hotel room where she finds her husband and another woman (he is in bed, presumably after having had sex); she punches the other woman in the face several times. A woman slaps her son (he's a young adult) in the face and tells him to leave her home.
 Police chase 2 young men through streets, one drops a handgun in a garbage can and we see him being questioned by the police at the police station later. We see a funeral procession and people grieving.
 A man and a young man battle in rhyme on the street and make insulting remarks. A man makes a comment about wanting to "stick me for my paper." We hear a report on the radio about a shooting. A woman tells her son that she has breast cancer and another man talks about having lost his mother to cancer when he was 15. We read that a man died at the age of 25 from multiple gunshot wounds.


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LANGUAGE 10 - About 126 F-words and its derivatives, 35 sexual references, 79 scatological terms, 16 anatomical terms, 43 mild obscenities, 46 derogatory terms for African-Americans, name-calling (fat, ugly, train tracks, dumb, stupid, bums, chicks), 1 religious exclamation.


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SUBSTANCE USE - Two young teens are shown selling drugs on a street corner in several scenes, two young men are shown selling drugs on a street corner, a young man is shown selling drugs out of an apartment, a teenage boy cuts cocaine on a plate and then hides it under his bed when his mother comes into the room, several people are shown smoking marijuana and drinking alcohol in a recording studio, people talk about crack, drug use and drug sales in several scenes, a young man says, "I need more weed," and someone makes a remark about "good weed." Young men and men are shown drinking from bottles on a street and in apartments, many people are shown drinking beer and champagne from bottles in several scenes throughout the movie, rap lyrics include references to drinking alcohol ("drink brew with the crew"), and people are shown drinking champagne at a club. Young men and men are shown smoking cigarettes and cigars in many scenes throughout the movie.


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DISCUSSION TOPICS - Success, fame, celebrity, Hip-Hop, Rap, the music industry, competition, estranged parents, struggles between street life and non-street life, rap, teen pregnancy, cancer, death of a parent, death of a child, love, destiny, being a man.

MESSAGE - No dream is too big. What doesn't break you makes you.

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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