Movie Ratings That Actually Work    Become a Member

"One of the 50 Coolest Websites...they simply tell it like it is" - TIME

The Power of the Dog | 2021 | R | – 6.5.4

content-ratingsWhy is “The Power of the Dog” rated R? The MPAA rating has been assigned for “brief sexual content/full nudity.” The Kids-In-Mind.com evaluation includes a fully nude man and other scenes of mostly nude men, the sounds of an off-screen sex scene, a couple of kissing scenes, references to sex, a castration of a cow, a dissection of a rabbit, many scenes of menacing and bullying of a teen boy and adults, alcoholism, arguments and some strong language. Read our parents’ guide below for details on sexual content, violence & strong language.


An angry, brooding cattle rancher (Benedict Cumberbatch) in 1920’s Montana mocks and menaces everyone around him, and when his brother (Jesse Plemons) returns to the ranch with a wife (Kirsten Dunst) and her teenage son (Kodi Smit-McPhee), he does his best to make them all very miserable. Also with Geneviève Lemon. Directed by Jane Campion. [Running Time: 2:06]

The Power of the Dog SEX/NUDITY 6

 – We hear rhythmic noises and moaning when a husband and his wife have sex. A man takes off his shirt and lies on the ground rubbing a scarf across his face and putting it into his pants.
 A man undresses at a pond and he smears himself with mud (we see his genitals, bare back, legs, buttocks, chest and abdomen). A magazine with pictures of nude men and women is seen (bare breasts, chests, abdomens and buttocks are seen, with crotches covered). Several women are shown wearing skimpy undergarments that reveal cleavage and bare legs when men from a cattle drive arrive in a town. A man sits in a tub and we see his chest and partial abdomen. A man is shown wearing underwear. A nude man is discovered by a teen boy in a pond and the man chases the boy yelling (his bare chest, abdomen, buttocks and legs are shown). A woman wears a low-cut robe that reveals cleavage in a few scenes. A dead man is shown lying on a table and we see his bare chest and abdomen. Some shirtless and some fully nude men (bare backs, buttocks, chests, abdomens and legs are visible while they hold their hands or hats over their genitals) jump into water, splash around and wrestle.
 A husband and his wife kiss in a couple of scenes. Men and women dance in a saloon and some are shown kissing. A husband and his wife hug. A man comforts a woman and puts his hand on her shoulder. Two men sleep in a bed together (both are clothed; nothing sexual is implied). A wife teaches her husband to dance. A teen boy smokes a cigarette and holds it to a man’s lips and the man draws from the cigarette.
 A husband tells his wife, “You are marvelous.” A man talks about hiking with another man and that they were so cold that they slept together in the same bedroll to keep warm; a teen boy asks if they were naked. A man talks about a sexual encounter with women when he was younger (using crude terms). A woman asks her teen son about his relationship with a man.

The Power of the Dog VIOLENCE/GORE 5

 – A man castrates a bull as other men hold it on the ground; we see blood and tissue, and the man accidentally cuts his hand. A teen boy has a rabbit pinned to a board and he has dissected it (we see intestines out of the abdominal cavity and some bloody tissue). A man and a teen boy try to get a rabbit out from under a woodpile; they get to the animal and they say that its leg is broken (we see a spot of blood on its fur) and the teen snaps the animal’s neck (we hear a crack).
 A man menaces and intimidates people throughout the movie; he plays banjo and whistles to distract a woman from practicing to play the piano. A man whistles for a teen boy across a ranch yard and the boy runs and joins him in a barn; the boy’s mother is alarmed. A man yells in a rage after he becomes aware that many cowhides were given to Native Americans. Several men on horses move toward a teen boy and kick up dirt around him as the boy tries to get away and then runs away. A man yells at and hits a horse with a blanket when he becomes upset about some news; the horse stumbles and nearly falls down. A man becomes angry and storms out of the house when he hears his brother and his brother’s wife having sex.
 A teen boy learns how to ride a horse and when the gate of a pen is opened and the horse rides out, the boy falls off and onto the ground with ranch hands watching and laughing. A man yells and lunges toward several people in a restaurant when they laugh and sing while one of them plays the piano; the people leave. A man calls his brother names in a few scenes and says that the brother is too dumb to get through college. A woman talks about her father dying. A man asks another man if he has a sore gut and that it seems to pain him to “sew two words together.” A man refers to Romulus and Remus and the “wolf who raised us.” A man mocks a teen boy for making paper flowers and speaking with a lisp; other men laugh at him. A man lights a paper flower on fire and uses it to light his cigarette. A woman cries in a kitchen after a man has insulted her son and other guests in her restaurant. A man tells another man that what he said to a teen boy made the boy’s mother cry. A man tells his brother that he married a woman and has brought her home; the brother seems upset. A man locks another man into his room while his wife washes up in the hall bathroom. A man yells at a man for not bathing before coming to a dining table. A man says to guests, “I stink and I like it.” A woman tries to play piano for guests and she freezes and is unable to play, to the embarrassment of her husband. A teen boy tells a man that his father killed himself by hanging and that the boy found him. A man seems to be feverish and we see a very infected cut on his hand; his brother takes him to a doctor and the man dies; we see him being prepared for burial and placed in a coffin. A woman collapses on the ground and a man carries her to her bed.
 Men skin cows and the skins are thrown over a fence to dry in the sun (we see knives and some blood). A teen boy makes a trap and catches a rabbit. Several cows are shown dead and decaying and we understand that they died from Anthrax. A teen boy finds a dead cow with lesions on it and flies buzzing around it and he cuts some tissue from the carcass (we see blood and tissue). Cows are roped and held on the ground by several men in a few scenes. A woman talks about rats drowning. A woman says that after people die, their hair continues to grow. A teen boy visits a cemetery and places flowers on a grave.
 A woman gags, coughs, vomits (we see a dribble of goo) and complains of a migraine.

The Power of the Dog LANGUAGE 4

 – 3 sexual references, 1 scatological term, 1 anatomical term, 16 mild obscenities, 3 derogatory terms for gay men, name-calling (fatso, dumb, too dumb to get through college, pie-eyed, gutsy bugger, tomcattin’, whore, half cooked, Little Lord Fauntleroy, cheap schemer, old time), 3 religious profanities (GD), 2 religious exclamations (e.g. Holy hell, for dear Christ’s sake). | profanity glossary |

The Power of the Dog SUBSTANCE USE

 – Men are poured liquor at a bar, men and women dance and drink in a saloon and some seem very drunk, a man serves people cocktails with paper umbrellas in them, a woman guzzles liquor from bottles and hides to do so in several scenes, a woman hides bottles of liquor in her bed and appears drunk in a few scenes, a man says that woman is “on the sauce” and “boozing it up,” and a remark is made about people having wine in them. Two men smoke cigarettes, a man smokes in many scenes throughout the movie, a man smokes in a barn, and a teen boy smokes a cigarette.

The Power of the Dog DISCUSSION TOPICS

 – Family, disappointment, death of a loved one, gender roles, obstacles, facts, secrets, alcoholism, obsession, harassment, bullying, toxic masculinity.

The Power of the Dog MESSAGE

 – People can be cruel just for the pleasure it gives them.

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.


how to
support us

PLEASE DONATE

We are a totally independent website with no connections to political, religious or other groups & we neither solicit nor choose advertisers. You can help us keep our independence with a donation.

NO MORE ADS!

Become a member of our premium site for just $2/month & access advance reviews, without any ads, not a single one, ever. And you will be helping support our website & our efforts.

WHAT DO YOU THINK?

We welcome suggestions & criticisms -- and we accept compliments too. While we read all emails & try to reply we don't always manage to do so; be assured that we will not share your e-mail address.

how to
support us

PLEASE DONATE

We are a totally independent website with no connections to political, religious or other groups & we neither solicit nor choose advertisers. You can help us keep our independence with a donation.

NO MORE ADS!

Become a member of our premium site for just $2/month & access advance reviews, without any ads, not a single one, ever. And you will be helping support our website & our efforts.

WHAT DO YOU THINK?

We welcome suggestions & criticisms -- and we will accept compliments too. While we read all emails & try to reply we do not always manage to do so; be assured that we will not share your e-mail address.

Subscribe to our newsletter

Subscribe to our newsletter

Know when new reviews are published
We will never sell or share your email address with anybody and you can unsubscribe at any time

You're all set! Please check your email for confirmation.

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This