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The Sapphires | 2013 | PG-13 | - 4.5.4

Australian film based on the true story of a group of four Australian cousins (Deborah Mailman, Jessica Mauboy, Miranda Tapsell and Shari Sebbens) from a remote Aboriginal mission who form a girl-group that travels to Vietnam in 1968 to sing for the American troops. Also with Chris O'Dowd, Don Battee and Tory Kittles. Directed by Wayne Blair. [1:43]

SEX/NUDITY 4 - A young woman straddles a young man, they kiss passionately, the young man sucks the young woman's finger and they continue to kiss passionately; we later hear the young woman chide a different young man, saying that men were "lining up" to suck the ring off the young woman's finger. A teen girl and a teen boy kiss passionately as the teen girl straddles him and the teen boy interrupts her to ask her to marry him. A young man and a young woman are kissing passionately as the young woman's young adult sister tells the young woman to not kiss passionately so close to her. A young woman kisses a man on the forehead, saying it would be a happy kiss from her mother, and then kisses the man passionately; they hold one another's faces and continue to kiss. We see a man and a young woman kiss as the young woman performs on a stage in front of a crowd of people. A young man and a young woman kiss. A man is about to kiss a young woman when they are interrupted by an explosion (please see the Violence/Gore category for more details).
 A man asks a young woman if he can buy her a drink, the young woman giggles and he wraps his arms around her. A young woman and a man dance arm-in-arm and we see them dancing, staring in each other's eyes. A man sniffs a young woman's hair in a loving way. A young woman stares longingly at a bare-chested young man and the young man admires her as she walks away.
 A young woman pants sexually and acts like she is kissing in her sleep as another young woman (her sister) watches; the young woman shouts at the sleeping young woman to wake up, the sleeping young woman shouts that she was having "the best dream of her life" as the other young woman teases her for having a "dirty dream." A man cups a mannequin's breasts and instructs a seamstress to make the dress for a young woman being measured to be "very sexy." A man implies to a woman that he had sexually pleasured her when he says, "I made you feel like a lady of 50." A young woman teases her cousin saying it does not matter what the young woman wears, since she "won't be wearing it long." A man tells a young woman that she and her sisters better "shake their money makers."
 We see women wearing bikinis dancing suggestively in a club. We see a woman wearing a bikini dancing briefly. We see men shirtless throughout the movie. We briefly see two shirtless men as they box. We see a man wake up in the back of a car wearing his brief-style underwear. We see a young woman's bare shoulders as she showers.


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VIOLENCE/GORE 5 - We see a helicopter swoop into a war zone where a man and a group of young women are standing, unprotected; the man rushes to put the young women in a helicopter for safety as we see bullets whiz past them and a building on fire from an explosion; when another man rushes back out to save another girl, he sees a soldier hit by a bullet and fall to the ground in front of him (no blood is visible), and a man is struck by a bullet and he falls to the ground (no blood is visible; we later see the man recovering in the hospital).
 Several armed insurgent soldiers threaten a group of young women and their adult male manager; one of the young women asks the manager if they should get out a handgun given to them for protection and he disregards the question; the young women are terrified until one of them speaks to the insurgents and they slowly lower their guns and allow them to pass.
 Several young women are alarmed as an injured soldier lies on the floor of helicopter and a second soldier tells one of the young women to help the man; he shouts at a young woman and she pulls away when the soldier refuses the young woman's help. A group of teen and young adult sisters (and one cousin) are disturbed as they drive through a war zone, and we see bullets flying and a dead man on the ground. We see a group of injured young men in a hospital, including a young man with his arm in a sling and another young man with his head wrapped. A hospital scene shows a young man with his face wrapped and there is blood on his bandage. Two young women and a soldier walk through a hospital and we see a man in recovery with a black eye and his torso and arm wrapped.
 A group of men chase a group of children, one of the men shakes another man and as we see this, we hear a young woman's voiceover explaining that government men had been seeking out children, specifically white-looking children.
 Two young women slap one another angrily and we later see one of the young women with a split lip as she winces in pain when she tries to kiss a young man. Two young women shout and slap one another until their older sister breaks up the fight and shouts at them. A young woman slaps her teenage sister in the face repeatedly to get her to center herself and the young woman then pushes away a man's offer of a flask and rushes away. A young woman half-jokingly slaps her teen sister's arm.
 A young woman shouts at her older sister as the young woman vacuums a feather on the pillow next to the young woman's face. A young woman shouts at her mother. A man shouts at a young woman. A man shouts into a phone, then angrily slams down the phone. A young woman half-jokingly threatens to "knock out" a man. A woman crudely curses a man. A man jokingly teases another man, saying that if he wanted to marry his daughter he would have to learn how to duck spears and wander the bush without clothing. We watch as a man guts a fish while another man watches awkwardly; the first man threatens the other man, saying that if he harmed his daughters, he would gut him like a fish.
 A young woman weeps as she reads a letter from her suitor, who is presumed to have been killed during a firefight. We see a young woman weeping and see what is implied to be a soldier's dead body covered by a tarp. A group of young women watch in shock as they see television footage announcing that Martin Luther King Jr. had been killed. A young woman comforts her sister, who is crying, worried that someone could "lob a hand grenade across the room." A man asks another man if he is a murderer, and the man denies it. A man warns a young woman that a woman might be Viet Cong and could throw a hand grenade across a bar.
 A young woman screams in terror when she finds a leech on her shoulder and she slaps at it with her hands. A young woman screams in shock from cold water as she showers.
 A soldier hands a man a small handgun, saying "You might find use for this" after the man and a group of young women are left in Saigon without a military escort during wartime. A man jokingly spins around, knocking drinks out of woman's arms.


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LANGUAGE 4 - 5 sexual references, 11 scatological terms (2 mild), 4 anatomical terms (1 mild), 5 mild obscenities, 6 racial slurs, name-calling (blaster, four-eyes, twit, gobs, moron, treated like dogs, goat face, lazy mongrel, hot headed drunkard, big lip, ugly, drunkard, little monsters, dopey white fellow, silly in the head, dopey, white boy, fool, gabber, racist, mouth on legs, defensive, argumentative old witch, terrible mouth, silver Tom wannabe, blaster), exclamations (bloody, act your age not your color," flaming, shut up), 15 religious exclamations.


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SUBSTANCE USE - A young woman remarks to her older sister that all soldiers in a war zone are "high all the time." We see men and women drinking liquor at a bar, a young woman drinks liquor and she pours it as her teenage sister chides her, a man drinks from a flask, we see a man blacked out (presumably from drinking) with empty liquor bottles around him, a young woman accuses her teenage sister of being too drunk to perform on stage, and a group of men and women and teens are shown drinking at a man's house party. Throughout the movie we see a man smoking cigarettes, we see men with cigarettes tucked behind their ears, and a young woman smokes a cigarette.


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DISCUSSION TOPICS - Rejecting your past, pride in your heritage, Vietnam War, racial tensions, accepting yourself, self-sacrifice, death of a parent.

MESSAGE - Overcoming adversity makes personal triumph even better. It is important to support the troops.

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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