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The Public | 2019 | PG-13 | – 4.3.5

content-ratingsWhy is “The Public” rated PG-13? The MPAA rating has been assigned for “thematic material, nudity, language, and some suggestive content.” The Kids-In-Mind.com evaluation includes a kissing and implied sex scene and many fully nude men showing all but genitals; many tense moments during a peaceful demonstration, threats of police violence, a man attacking and punching another man leaving him with a bloody face, discussions of homelessness and the opioid crisis; and 1 F-word derivative and other strong language. Read our parents’ guide below for details on sexual content, violence & strong language.”


When arctic temperatures take their toll on the homeless population of Cincinnati, the public library becomes the site of a demonstration where over 100 homeless people with nowhere else to go seek refuge from a cold winter night. With Jena Malone, Gabrielle Union, Emilio Estevez, Alec Baldwin, Christian Slater, Taylor Schilling, Michael Kenneth Williams, Richard T. Jones and Jeffrey Wright. Directed by Emilio Estevez. A phrase is spoken in French without translation. [Running Time: 1:59]

The Public SEX/NUDITY 4

 – A man and woman kiss passionately (sex is implied).
 A fully nude man (we see his bare back, buttocks and legs, and then his bare chest, abdomen and partial pubic hair) opens a door where police are preparing to break the door down; behind him we see many fully nude men (we see bare backs, buttocks, chests and abdomens and they all hold their hands over their genitals) and they all begin to sing, raise their hands and walk out of the room. A fully nude man stands at a window singing (we see his bare back, buttocks and legs), he turns around and we see his bare chest and abdomen and he collapses on the floor.
 A woman says that a man and a woman are “swingers.” A man looks down toward a nude man’s genitals and makes a comment about the cold (we do not see anything).


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The Public VIOLENCE/GORE 3

 - A man talks to another man about what he might be going through and the second man jumps on him, tackles him to the floor and punches him repeatedly until others pull him away (we see the man with a bloody cut on his eyebrow and a bloody nose); the attacker is later shown being handcuffed and taken away by police.
 Police officers armed with riot gear pile off a bus and into a library where people have locked themselves. Men lock the doors in a library and stack heavy furniture in front of them to keep security and later the police out. Many men are handcuffed as they leave a library. Many men hold up in a library chanting, "Make some noise" and pounding on tables.
 Several men argue and shove each other in a few scenes. A man tells another man that he should go outside in the frigid temperatures without a blanket and lie on the concrete for 5 minutes; the man does and is clearly uncomfortable. While many men stand in line waiting for pizza, one man cuts to the front and takes a whole pie, the others try to stop him and yell but he gets away. There are several scenes of homeless people sleeping on the streets. A man and a woman walk through a homeless shelter and search for their missing son. A fully nude man (please see the Sex/Nudity category for more details) collapses on the floor, unconscious.
 A man talks to news reporters about a demonstration inside a library and refers to it as a hostage situation to "sway public opinion." Two men argue about keeping the library open over night to give homeless people a safe place to be during an extremely cold night. A man yells over the phone. A news reporter is insulting to a woman, offering her information about a situation and later yells at her. A woman outside a public library entrance, before open hours, complains that she is not being allowed in because, "The Jews don't want me here." A song's lyrics include phrases, "Burn the books," and "Burn them all." A woman complains to a man about his "carbon footprint" because he drives to work. A man says that another man is dead because of him, "Because of my laser eyes. He exploded." A man says, "People froze to death last night." A Quran has been defaced with drawings of a swastika and insulting language written in its pages. We hear that the library is being sued for discrimination for asking a man to leave the premises because of his odor. A man tells another man that the board of directors wants the second man "gone." A man says, "Evil is the root of all money." A man asks a librarian for information about all the laws that he could break that would send him to jail for a couple of months. A man says that his son is missing (he is an addict). A woman says that she cries herself to sleep. A man and a woman talk about their respective addictions (sex, drugs and alcohol). A man says, "Books saved my life." A man and a woman talk about neighbors in an apartment building and the man makes reference to one man having a "freezer full of body parts." Several news broadcasts report severe weather conditions with "arctic temperatures." A political ad shows a candidate with a "silver spoon in his mouth." A man makes a remark about another man's cheap cologne. A man says, "Kill 'em all and let God sort 'em out later." A man says, "You're gonna get us all killed." A woman makes a reference to "kinky waterboarding." A man says, "I've been arrested 19 times," and other men list how many times each of them have been arrested. A man says that there are a lot of homeless vets.
 A woman pounds on pipes in an apartment to correct a problem with the heating (it doesn't work). A large stuffed polar bear with large teeth and claws is on display in the entry lobby of a library.
 A man has a seizure on the floor and we see him foaming at the mouth (he is taken out on a stretcher). Several men brush their teeth, brush their beards and wash their faces and armpits in a public restroom.


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The Public LANGUAGE 5

 - About 1 F-word derivative, 15 scatological terms, 6 anatomical terms, 21 mild obscenities, 1 derogatory term for African-Americans, name-calling (nuts, peachy, thugs, freaky librarian things, swingers, mad, crackpots, bizarre, irrational act, weird, fake news, haters, self-centered, drunks, crazy people, liars, bums, creepy, barrel of monkeys, nut case, bad boy, disaster, so-called Christian, stinking, crazy, angry), exclamations (hail Caesar, oh great, heck, my goodness), 1 religious profanity (GD), 4 religious exclamations (e.g. For God's Sake, God Gives Us All A Voice, God's Law). | profanity glossary |


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The Public SUBSTANCE USE

 - A man says that his son is missing (he is an addict), a man and a woman talk about their respective addictions (drugs and alcohol), and a man drinks from a bottle of liquor. Several people on the streets are shown smoking cigarettes in a few scenes.


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The Public DISCUSSION TOPICS

 - Homelessness, charity, mental illness, addiction, OCD, chaos, hate, veterans, misinformation, democracy, the 4th Amendment, internet dating, freedom, revenge, excessive force, anger, trespassing, civil disobedience, addiction, opioid crisis, Cincinnati, love of books and learning, prosecutors, law enforcement, activism, literature, environmental activism.

The Public MESSAGE

 - Attention can be brought to difficult situations without violence.

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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