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Pain & Gain | 2013 | R | - 7.7.10

A man (Mark Wahlberg) leads several personal trainers and bodybuilders, who in their pursuit of the American Dream are caught up in kidnapping, extortion and murder. Based on the true story of Miami's Sun Gym gang. Also with Dwayne Johnson, Tony Shalhoub, Rebel Wilson, Anthony Mackie, Ken Jeong, Jennifer Nicole Siciliano and Ed Harris. Directed by Michael Bay. [2:09]

SEX/NUDITY 7 - A man puts a pornographic DVD into a player (we do not see it) and picks up a jar of Vaseline, the camera cuts to him sitting on a sofa, one hand in his pants and appearing to masturbate until he stops and says, "My thing don't work"; he visits a clinic for erectile dysfunction (please see the Substance Use category for more details) and a female medical assistant flirts by batting her eyes and smiling at him and after the man receives an injection, the woman says that his genitals are not as big as what she is used to, but they will do and she accompanies him home where the camera cuts to a bedroom scene where she sits astride his pelvis while wearing a leopard print slip (we see significant cleavage and partial thighs) and moves up and down; bouncing violently underneath her the man is shirtless and wearing long pajama bottoms.
 Both clothed, a man repeatedly pushes his body against a woman who is bent forward over the trunk of a car; the car moves forward and stops against a van and the woman pulls down her skirt, briefly flashing white panties.
 In three dimly lit bar scenes we see eight women wearing string bikinis and dancing around poles, writhing and revealing nude bodies, except for genital areas and nipples; one woman pulls down her bikini top and swings around a pole with full breasts bared in a close-up. A woman wears no panties under her skirt and twice a man picks her up, swinging her in the air so that we can see her bare buttocks. An overweight woman (a waxing customer), wears a large sized bikini and we see a lot of curly hair sticking out of the groin area of the pants. Three swimming pool scenes feature women wearing string bikinis with shirtless men wearing swim trunks; one of the scenes features bodybuilders wearing Speedos. Several scenes include men in tight tank tops. Several scenes feature women wearing clinging spandex tank tops and short-shorts. An eight-year-old boy practices bodybuilding poses in a mirror while wearing only shorts and is heavily muscled (we see his bare chest, abdomen and back). A man in a gym performs hair waxing on another man who wears only shorts. Several women wear short skirts that reveal most of their bare thighs and lower legs. A man in a hospital room's bathroom removes his gown and runs out, saying he soiled the gown with diarrhea (he is wearing only boxers). A man wears a towel wrapped around his waist.
 An elderly priest touches a young man's chest in what appears to be a sexual manner and the younger man punches the priest to get away.
 A woman wearing a yellow string bikini under a white net body suit sits down astride a man sitting in a chair, slaps her own buttocks and says that she needs a spanking; he seems disinterested in her and the scene ends (sex is not implied). A husband and his wife embrace and roll across the lawn of their home.
 There are several conversations are about sex: a man says that he loves to suck milk out of pregnant women's breasts; a woman says a man "finger-banged" her and another woman says that she was banging a man for several weeks; a man says that he got a divorce and picked up seven honeys (women) to have sex with; another man says that an old man went away on a sex vacation; and a kidnapped man uses crude sexual declarations about a criminal's wife. Two police detectives ask a beating victim in the hospital if his injuries are sex-related, because he smelled of booze on admission (please see the Substance Use category for more details), and because his car contained sex aids; the victim denies this. We hear that a man buys his girlfriends breast implants. We hear that a male personal trainer is sexually attracted to obese women. A personal trainer states that he does not like "homos." We hear that a woman is a former beauty queen whose dream is to become like Marilyn Monroe, with that star's sexuality and fame. In a self-defense demonstration with a woman, the men in the audience are asked, "Who wants to volunteer to be a rapist?" and all their hands go up; all the wives make the men leave.
 In two warehouse scenes, we see several wall displays full of sexual apparatus: in racks on the floor, we see inflated male rubber dolls with inflated genitals, along with several sets of fake rubber buttocks that quiver when a man taps and slaps them; a man picks up two glowing sex aids, hits the on switches and we see them rotate in the air with flashing lights covering them. In the background of a scene, we see a large billboard that says, "Use a Condom" in huge letters, and features a long row of colored yet indistinct condoms.


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VIOLENCE/GORE 7 - In a home, three bodybuilders argue with another man and a woman; one of the bodybuilders drops a large free weight disk on the man's head accidentally and we see a large pool of blood spread on a white carpet; the woman stumbles and dies when a bodybuilder injects her with "horse sedatives" twice (please see the Substance Use category for more details).
 Three men put a plastic bag over a man's head, hang him from a ceiling conveyor by chains, duct tape him to a chair, punch him, knock him over, beat him with large leather sex aids, burn his hand in a machine press, tape his eyes shut, tape sanitary pads to his eyes, kick him, force him to accept Jesus (he is Jewish), and finally put him into a car; the three men run the car into a backhoe while jumping out of the car (the prisoner survives the crash), they douse the car with gasoline, light it and flames leap up several stories tall, but the man inside stumbles out of the car with a sweater sleeve on fire, which he puts out; the three men knock him down and then run a van over him twice; we see a tire begin to roll over his face but the van drives away leaving the man alive, but with a bloody face (in the hospital, he is shown with a cast on one arm and one leg).
 A man slams a golf club into the head of an armored car guard, who falls off screen (we don't see the injury); the thief steals bags of money, runs away, has dye packets explode green dye on him, is shot at by a dozen police officers and has a toe shot off in a swimming pool; he retrieves the bloody toe and wraps his foot (we see him limp in several scenes that follow). Police officers and a SWAT team chase two bodybuilders and a gymnasium owner through a gym, a church and through streets; one bodybuilder escapes to the Bahamas, where local police receive an alert and chase him through a bank, he jumps off a high balcony and lands safely on the street, but receives a gunshot wound to the calf and we see some blood and later a bandage. In two scenes where one is a flashback, a man runs through streets as a SWAT team fires at him; he falls into a car windshield, cracking it, but is unhurt.
 Two bodybuilders buy equipment, barrels and supplies and transport two dead bodies to a warehouse where they cut them up with a chainsaw (we do not see the cuts, but hear the saw and see some blood later); the bodybuilders then pack body parts in barrels with lye while the third partner cooks severed hands on a patio grill to destroy fingerprints; the barrels are transported and rolled into a river, one of the bodybuilders is shown scrubbing the white carpet and cutting out bloodstains with his knife and when the men return a defective chainsaw to the store, a drop of blood hits the counter in slow motion (it goes unnoticed).
 In a flashback, a prisoner says that he has accepted Jesus as his Savior and that he used physical strength in fistfights with other prisoners in order to witness to them about the Lord; the prisoner punches and kicks men and throws a free-weight disk into a man's throat, knocking him out. Throughout the film, three men argue and shout at one another in a steroid rage, often throwing weights onto the floor or against walls and making dents; one of the men uses a shovel to demolish a patio and a grill.
 Three men enter a gun store in order to purchase handguns, tasers and assault rifles; the clerk volunteers to be tasered in a demonstration and falls down, twitching and grimacing and later, one of the three men tasers a man that they kidnapped.
 A man tries to feed a severed toe to a small dog and the dog carries the toe to the police.


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LANGUAGE 10 - About 119 F-words and its derivatives, 2 obscene hand gestures, 9 sexual references, 51 scatological terms, 49 anatomical terms, 28 mild obscenities, name-calling (dumb, stupid, retard, cokehead, crackhead, manipulator, Supermen, daffy, chunky trunks, pimple, binky, putz, chubby broad, homos, schmuck, Cabbage Patch, scumbags), 22 stereotypical references to physical fitness trainers, patriots, ex-felons, people who join gyms, beauty queens, obese women, anorexics, drug addicts, the poor, illegal immigrants, rich immigrants, homosexuals, Blacks, Asians, Jews, Christians, Chinese, Columbians, Cubans, dwarves, private investigators, inept police officers, exclamations (shut up), 6 religious profanities, 22 religious exclamations.


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SUBSTANCE USE - A man injects a woman with "horse sedatives" twice and it kills her (please see the Violence/Gore category for more details), after being released from prison a man uses cocaine and we see him snort it from his hand several times and from the clothed buttocks of a woman (he staggers afterward each time) and he robs a bank to get money for drugs (please see the Violence/Gore category for more details), a felon is arrested after sniffing cocaine inside a house that he has broken into, we hear about steroid use among bodybuilders and see a man injected with a large syringe of steroids in the thigh, we hear that steroids can cause erectile dysfunction (please see the Sex/Nudity category for more details), a man brags to his personal trainer about selling drugs in Columbia (we do not see any of the drugs or drug deals), and a man visits a clinic for erectile dysfunction and we see four large syringes of medication and as a medical assistant pulls the man's trousers at the waistband and injects him we hear her say it must go into the penis and the man grimaces in pain (please see the Sex/Nudity category for more details). An injured man in a motel room has a bottle of rum and several prescription bottles on his side table and scattered around the room and he swallows several capsules with rum, a man drinks from a jar that he says contains breast milk laced with HGH, a man drinks a beer from a bottle in a bar, men and women drink wine at a wedding, a man drinks whiskey from glass at home, three men pour a bottle of chocolate liqueur down a man's throat and over his clothing to make him appear drunk, a doctor diagnoses a man with delusional alcoholism, a man says that he used to make prison wine, a man repeatedly states that he is newly sober, and a man says that he has been sober for two years.


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DISCUSSION TOPICS - The American Dream, careers, money and power, making choices, bodybuilding culture, steroid use and side effects, cocaine addiction, undocumented aliens, crime and its consequences.

MESSAGE - The American Dream does not include illegal drugs, extortion, and murder.

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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