The Prodigy | 2019 | R | – 5.7.5
Why is “The Prodigy” rated R? The MPAA rating has been assigned for “violence, disturbing and bloody images, a sexual reference and brief graphic nudity.” The Kids-In-Mind.com evaluation includes a few scenes of touching and embracing between a boy and his mother that are uncomfortable because it is suggested that a man is in the boy’s body, a fully nude man and a fully nude infant are briefly seen, several brutal murders and attacks that end in death with very bloody wounds are shown (mostly carried out by a young boy), and at least 1 F-word. Read our parents’ guide below for details on sexual content, violence & strong language.”
When an 8-year-old boy (Jackson Robert Scott) begins displaying signs of extraordinary intelligence along with a total lack of empathy, his terrified mother (Taylor Schilling) seeks help and suspects that he’s not merely a psychopath but actually possessed by supernatural evil. Also with Brittany Allen, Colm Feore, Olunike Adeliyi and Elisa Moolecherry. Directed by Nicholas McCarthy. Several lines of dialogue are spoken in a Hungarian dialect without translation or subtitles and a couple are translated. [Running Time: 1:32]
The Prodigy SEX/NUDITY 5
– A fully nude man comes out of a rundown house and we see his bare chest, abdomen, pubic hair and what may be an extremely brief glimpse of his genital area to face armed police (please see the Violence/Gore category for more details). A fully nude male newborn is cleaned after delivery and we see his chest, abdomen and genitals. We see a woman’s bare abdomen when she goes into labor in a hospital. A woman wears a low-cut sweater that reveals cleavage. A woman wears a short nightgown and we see cleavage, legs and back. A boy sits in a tub (we see his bare shoulders) and his mother bathes him. A shirtless boy is shown in a hospital (we see his bare chest and abdomen). We see a shirtless man in a mirror (his bare chest and abdomen are seen).
► A husband and his wife kiss in a car. A boy climbs in bed with his mother, snuggles against her back and places his hand on her shoulder. A woman pulls her hand away from her young son and says, “I don’t like it when you touch me like that.”
The Prodigy VIOLENCE/GORE 7
- A boy stabs a woman in the side (we see blood on her shirt), she falls to the floor and the boy stands over her trying to stab her again and when she blocks the blade with her hand she is cut (we see her bloody hand); the boy then slams the blade in her abdomen and draws it across (we hear tearing flesh and see a lot of blood as she dies). A boy stabs a man driving a car in the back with garden shears (we see blood), the car slams into a tree and the man is thrown into the windshield (his seatbelt was cut); we see the man in the hospital on a ventilator, wearing a neck brace and with stitches in his face.
► A boy hits another boy with a large wrench several times (we do not see the result). A woman walks through a dimly lit house looking for a boy, and she walks down dark basement stairs and steps on broken glass (we see her bloody foot as she pulls shards of glass from it). A woman loads a gun and threatens another woman with it (she does not shoot). A woman with a handgun threatens a boy.
► Armed police surround a house and a man inside comes out holding something in his hand and points it toward them (please see the Sex/Nudity category for more details); he is shot and we see him dead with several bloody bullet holes, and we see that he was holding a woman's severed hand in his hand (the flesh is blue tinged). A woman is shot and we see blood on her abdomen and hands as she gasps on the ground (presumably she dies).
► A woman follows a swarm of flies through her house and into the basement where she finds pools of blood and maggots, blood pours from behind a board and when she pulls it away a dead dog falls out (we see a bloody wound on the animal and blood-covered garden shears, and it's possible that the animal's paw was severed). We see a rundown house in the woods as a woman's hand breaks out through the door; she runs through woods across a river and onto a road where she is nearly struck by a car and we see her hold up her arm to show a bloody stump where her hand used to be and she screams, "He took my hand." We hear that a man killed 9 women before being shot to death by police (we see photos of dead bodies and severed hands on display stands in poses).
► A boy holds a spider in his hand and squishes it (we hear the squish). We see photos of dead bodies wrapped in sheets with bloody spots on them. We see a couple of bodies partially covered with dirt. A fully nude newborn is seen with blood on his chest and head before he is cleaned (please see the Sex/Nudity category for more details). A boy sharpens garden shears on a sharpening stone and we hear the repeated sound of the metal dragging on the stone. A man finds a camera in his room and confronts his young son about it; the man yells and slams the device on a table and his wife pulls him away. A few scenes show a boy changing into a man (we see his reflection in a mirror or a man's face on the boy's body, etc.). A boy is shown wearing a skeleton costume and his face is painted like a skull in one scene. A boy draws many pictures of human hands in different poses.
► A woman wakes up to noises in the house; she goes to the hallway where she finds her young son and he runs toward her; he changes into a man as he lunges toward her and she wakes up with a start. A boy under hypnosis thrashes on a sofa and screams, and then goes limp. A boy talks in his sleep (in a foreign language) and thrashes around.
► A boy glares at a man and makes threats, saying that the man drugged him and sexually abused him while under his care. A boy stands in front of a woman and glares at her (she seems uncomfortable and he does not speak to her). A boy stares at his father with a dead stare and talks to him about death, the man becomes angry and tells him to stop and the boy asks, "Or what? Are you going to hit me like your father did to you?" A man goes to pick up his son from school and when he won't come with him, the man yells his name in front of the class and his teacher. We hear that a boy has made threats of violence (like "cut your eyes out") to someone in his sleep and in a foreign language. A boy wakes with a start and seems afraid as he says, "He's inside here," while pointing to his head. A man talks about meeting a boy who remembered what it felt like when he drowned (in a previous life). We hear that a boy has difficulty making friends. A man and a woman argue in several scenes. A woman asks another woman if her son might have suffered abuse in the home. We hear that a man was abused by his father. A boy asks his mother what's wrong with him and she says he is sick. A boy tells his mother that he sometimes leaves his body to "make room." A boy says, "When I leave my body, bad things happen."
► A woman yells while in labor in a hospital. We hear a fetus' heart beat through a monitor when a woman goes into labor. An infant is injected with a hypodermic needle in the leg and does not cry. A boy is shown shirtless in a hospital after a car accident and we see a bruise across his bare chest from a seatbelt. A woman is shown with a prosthetic hand.
► A woman vomits in a sink (we see goo). A dog growls and barks outside a boy's room in a few scenes.
The Prodigy LANGUAGE 5
- At least 1 F-word, 2 sexual references, 3 scatological terms, 2 anatomical terms, 1 mild obscenity, name-calling (smarty pants, filthy whore, craziness, nuts, creepy, exceptional liar, monster), exclamations (shut-up), 2 religious exclamations (e.g. Oh My God, Jesus). | profanity glossary |
The Prodigy SUBSTANCE USE
- We hear about prescription drugs in a man's bathroom medicine cabinet, and a woman gives her young son pills to make him sleep in a car. A husband and his wife drink beer while sitting in a car, a husband and his wife make a couple of joking references to being drunk all the time, and woman is shown with a glass of wine (she does not drink from it). A man smokes a cigarette outside his house.
The Prodigy DISCUSSION TOPICS
- Intelligence testing, early childhood development, being normal, being gifted, divorce, hate, anger management, reincarnation, possession, child abuse, human soul, hypnosis.
The Prodigy MESSAGE
- Some bad people just can't be fixed.
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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