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The Phantom of the Opera | 2004 | PG-13 | - 4.5.2

Film adaptation of Andrew Lloyd Webber's hit Broadway musical about the Phantom, a mysterious masked figure (Gerard Butler) that's haunting the underground passageways of 19th century Paris, but also tutors a beautiful young soprano (Emmy Rossum) at the Opera Populaire. The Phantom thinks he's found true love with the young soprano, until her childhood boyfriend shows up. Also with Patrick Wilson, Minnie Driver and Miranda Richardson. Directed by Joel Schumacher. [2:23]

SEX/NUDITY 4 - We see many statues of nude men and women revealing bare breasts and chests, buttocks and abdomens in several scenes. A man flashes his bare buttocks at passing people. Men and women kiss and caress each other. A man and a woman kiss and hug each other. A man caresses a woman's throat and cheek. A man holds a woman, caresses her hip, abdomen and thigh and she swoons. A woman caresses a man's face, and he leans into her hand (please see the Violence/Gore category for more details). A man and a woman express their love for each other and kiss. A man and a woman hold each other. A woman playing a part as a pageboy caresses another woman's side and it is implied that the characters kiss while hiding behind a fan. Men and woman dance together, one man lifts a woman's skirt and climbs under it (it is not certain what, if anything, happens). Men admire younger women dancing and make suggestive remarks. Women admire men in a few scenes. Men in theatrical costumes are bare-chested and women expose bare abdomens and cleavage when they wear short tops. Women's theatrical costumes are flesh toned and have patterns that outline their cleavage and nipples. A woman's stocking top, garter belt and bare thigh are seen when her skirt hangs open. A woman's skirt is sheer and when it is backlit the outline of her legs is evident. Women wear low-cut, off-the-shoulders dresses that reveal cleavage and bare shoulders.


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VIOLENCE/GORE 5 - A man is chased through the catwalks above a theater stage, he jumps and swings from ropes, a rope is wrapped around his neck, the man is pushed over the side, he falls and jerks (we see his feet jerk and hear people screaming). A rope is wrapped around a man's throat, it is pulled, and the man falls to the floor dead. A theater begins to burn, people run in panic, a man lies dead on the floor and a woman grieves over his body. A man falls through a hole in the floor and into water, he is pushed under water by a grate and he struggles to lift it before he drowns. A man wraps a rope around a man's throat, lashes him to a gate and threatens to kill him. We see a boy with a bag over his head in a cage, as an attraction of "freaks" in a traveling show (he is called "the devil's child"): a man kicks and whips the boy with a stick, and the boy's bag is lifted for paying customers to look at his gruesome features. A man's mask is removed to reveal a badly scarred and malformed face; he cuts a rope that holds a large chandelier, the fixture swings back and forth -- over an audience that screams and rushes to get out of the way -- and it crashes to the floor. Two men fight with swords, they thrash and slash at each other (one is slashed on the arm spilling a bit of blood), one falls to the ground, and the other holds his sword above him. A man pushes a sword against a man's stomach and threatens others. A man falls through a hole in the floor, and another man follows, holding a sword. A man on a horse chases a woman in a carriage. A woman caresses a man's face, he leans into her hand, and the woman pulls a mask off the man's face revealing a badly scarred and malformed features; the man becomes very angry, throws the woman to the floor and yells at her (she cowers). A woman fears that she will be taken away by a man and that he will kill her. Someone locks a woman in a room, the candles blow out and the woman hears a man singing; she appears to walk through a mirror, walks hand-in-hand with a man through darkened passageways that lead to a boat in water, and they sail through other passageways until they find a cavern. A heavy theater curtain is untied and it falls to the stage knocking people down. A woman slaps a man's face. In a rage, a man breaks many mirrors. A woman sprays something into her throat that makes her croak while she is trying to sing. The relationship is not clear, but a man appears to be holding a woman captive, although she does not protest initially. A painting shows a woman holding a platter with a severed head on it (blood is painted around the neck). A woman sees a mannequin painted and dressed to look like her, she faints, and a man catches her and carries her to a bed. A woman talks of the time when her father lay dying (we see him in bed and she, as a young girl, sits next to him). A man talks about "strange occurrences" in a theater and refers to ghosts. Booming, ominous organ music blares with the introductory credits. We visit a decrepit theater whose contents are being auctioned. A man drags a woman by the hand through passageways and is angry. A woman yells at a man. People argue and yell at each other in several scenes. A woman screams when she sees rats scampering through darkened passageways. A man and a woman are watched by another man who's standing in the shadows.


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LANGUAGE 2 - 6 mild obscenities, 1 religious exclamation.


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SUBSTANCE USE - People are shown drinking alcohol.


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DISCUSSION TOPICS - Love, death of a parent, death of a spouse, obsession, deformities, orphans, betrayal, rage, revenge, stardom, hearing voices, guidance from the spirits of dead relatives, pity, compassion, celebrity, divas, patrons of the arts, cruelty, scandals, love, fear, publicity.

MESSAGE - True love never dies.

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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