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Self/less | 2015 | PG-13 | - 4.6.5

A NYC real estate baron (Ben Kingsley) is dying from cancer and decides to try a secret medical technique called "shedding": For this to work he transfers his consciousness to a younger, inanimate body via linked MRI machines. His new body (Ryan Reynolds) works well, but after moving to New Orleans he begins having flashbacks of a life that is not his own. Also with Victor Garber, Michelle Dockery, Matthew Goode and Natalie Martinez. Directed by Tarsem Singh. [1:57]

SEX/NUDITY 4 - A woman removes her clothing in front of a man seated on a bed and he gasps, then lies back, saying he is not used to seeing such things (we see the woman from the back wearing thong panties that reveal bare partial buttocks); she covers her chest with crossed arms as she kneels on top of the man and kisses him and the scene ends with her buttocks extending behind her in an exaggerated pose (sex is implied).
 A quick series of images shows a series of women lying back on a bed, clothed, and sex with each woman is implied. Two brief scenes show a man carrying different women into a bedroom and kissing them briefly as he walks (sex is implied). A man and a woman kiss passionately in the backseat of a taxi and the cab driver looks at them, smiling. A man and a woman kiss for several seconds in two scenes.
 A woman completely covered by bed sheets tells a clothed man sitting on the bed to lie down and the scene ends. In a close-up in a club, a woman twerks into the camera lens. A woman in a restaurant is seen wearing a tight mini-dress with a slim skirt and she wiggles as she walks away from the camera while a man stares at her backside briefly.
 Two men lie on gurneys outside MRI machines with their lower bodies draped in sheets (we see bare chests and upper abdomens); we see two other men clothed the same way in two additional scenes. A few scenes include women wearing low-cut blouses and dresses that reveal moderate cleavage. Several women wearing mini-dresses and one or two women wear short shorts. A pool scene features a woman standing by the water wearing a one-piece swimsuit with deep cutouts at the sides of her waist (we see a little cleavage).


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VIOLENCE/GORE 6 - A man enters a bathroom with an intruder and breaks the intruder's arms and legs, accidentally breaks the toilet in half in the fight, takes the intruder's gun and leaves him lying on the floor, dead; shooting through the bathroom door, he wounds another intruder in the arm with some blood showing, fights with another intruder smashing dents in walls, and rolling on the floor during a fistfight; another intruder grabs him and slams him down onto the kitchen sink and counter, where the attacked man places a leg lock around the intruder's throat and they roll off, fight, and fall through a window and a porch railing as another two intruders shoot rifles and miss their target; the attacked man re-enters the house, takes the woman through a wide vent, and underneath the porch floor where he shoots and kills the remaining intruders causing one of the shot intruders to point the flamethrower at another intruder, who catches fire, runs, screams, and falls into a wooden and metal container (we see one of his arms, flames extinguished, flail over the side and stop); the victim of the attack has a bloody shirt collar and a cut on his temple, with blood on the bridge of his nose.
 A man shoots several guards dead, without blood and runs into a control room where he escapes the grasp of another man, shoots and kills two more men (no blood is seen) while a woman and a little girl in the control room scream (we see red flashes from the gun and hear muffled shots); the gunman shoots a flamethrower through a glass wall, melting it in flames and incinerating a man on the other side then escaping to a hallway with the woman and child, the gunman shoots three additional men and breaks the neck of one of them first with a loud crunch, then shoots another man in the ear and punches him in the nose hard as the injured man screams and we see a little blood (we see a bandaged ear later).
 Men in four vehicles chase an SUV on the highway at night while shooting and the driver shoots back; the SUV driver-side glass cracks and the driver knocks it out as a chasing man shoots through the opening and misses; cars sideswipe the SUV several times, two cars stop and the SUV backs into one and drags it forward, smashing the car's front end before the other car speeds forward and both cars flip high into the air and end over end, one landing on its roof and rocking, and one smashing loudly into a utility pole (we see the driver of one car slumped over the steering wheel sideways, staring out and with blood streaks running down his eyes and face).
 A man with a handgun pistol whips a guard at a laboratory and knocks another man unconscious, then confronts a doctor demanding pills to stop hallucinations (please see the Substance Use category for more details); the first man shoots at a bulletproof glass wall and does not damage it but must dodge the ricocheting bullet as another man grabs him and put him into an MRI with a dead soldier in a linked MRI and attempts to transfer the consciousness of the dead man to the gunman; we see flashes of sparks and learn that the procedure failed.
 Three men enter a farmhouse with handguns drawn and one intruder grabs a man already in the house and attempts to handcuff him as another man places the woman of the house, who has fainted, on a bed; out a window, we see her car on fire as one of the intruders aims a flamethrower at it as the intruders tell the captive man that they will kill the woman. Two men knock each other down once while playing basketball and no injuries result.
 Two men on sliding tables outside MRI machines are seen as a technician places a mesh mask on one man and says that he is giving the man an injection to stop his heart as we see a needle exit the arm bloodlessly; the patient gasps, hyperventilates and shouts; the MRI machines whir, the sounds stop and the two men are taken out as a tech covers one dead man with a sheet and asks the other man his name.
 A man visits a laboratory where human bodies are grown artificially and the camera looks down into a coffin-like box in which we see a large plastic encased artificial man's head and shoulders (the rest of the body is covered); the body hiccups once and the first man jumps, shouting, "It's alive?" while a doctor states that it's only an empty vessel.
 A man enters a farmhouse and finds pictures of himself as a soldier and other images of himself with a wife and small daughter; the wife enters the house, pointing a handgun at his back and when he turns, she collapses on the floor in tears, asking how he can be there and dead at the same time. A man has several flashbacks that are blurry and shaky where he sees American soldiers in Iraq carrying rifles, images of a woman and little girl, a horse running, a sick young girl in a hospital bed and a series of blurred faces; he becomes dizzy when this happen and stumbles and in one of these scenes, he also becomes sweaty, falls onto a bathroom floor, imagines gunfire that we hear and shudders.
 In a laboratory scene, we see a soldier on a gurney with his face and upper chest covered in bruises and scrapes as a doctor states that the man has been resurrected into a new body three times. A man who bought a new body for his terminally ill young son learns that the body is that of a murdered child killed in order to sell the body and the father hangs his head in sorrow. A man on a gurney is taken to a laboratory filled with metal tubes and tanks and has sonogram and brain scans on the walls; plastic translucent sheets hang around equipment, walkways and cubicles where the sick man is to have his conscious transferred into the inanimate body of a younger man, reportedly one grown artificially in a lab. A closet in a room contains breathing tubes, related equipment, oxygen masks and other medical devices.
 A man suffers hallucination-controlling drug withdrawal for 12 hours in a motel bed, sweating, writhing and suffering a migraine and nausea as he holds his stomach (please see the Substance Use category for more details); he later wakes up after another withdrawal session that is implied and finds a video message to himself that a second consciousness in his mind is now gone. A man in a restaurant drinks a cup of coffee, shudders and falls off his chair to the floor; another man shouts for someone to call 911 and we see two medical technicians place the ill man on a gurney with an oxygen mask over his face; inside the ambulance one tech says, "You have to arrive DOA." A man in his late 60s looks sallow, thin and gaunt, with bags under his eyes and we hear that he has end stage cancer and he grimaces and gulps in pain in a couple of scenes. We see video footage of an elderly scientist sitting in a wheelchair on a stage before an audience as he trembles and jerks with an unknown neuromuscular disease in a couple of scenes. A man watching video footage coughs blood splatter onto his computer screen from off-screen.
 Two men argue loudly in a restaurant until one of the men storms out as diners stare. A man and a woman argue loudly in several scenes. A woman cries and pounds a man on the chest. A man argues with his doctor in a few scenes. At a clinic a doctor asks a very ill man if he had all of his metal fillings removed, and the man says he did. We hear that a man is deathly allergic to peanuts. We hear that a man's young son died in an undisclosed manner. A scientist speaks about a procedure that may help terminally ill senior citizens and the video freezes. A newspaper headline states that someone found a scientist dead in a library. We hear that a young girl is sick and we see medical bills in her house. We see a surgical scar on a young girl's chest and we hear that her father gave up his life in an unspecified manner to pay for her medical treatment. A doctor tells a man after a flashback, "Death has its side effects."
 We see a few scenes of a cemetery with large above ground interment vaults with peeling paint and one scene shows a woman and a little girl run between the vaults to a burial, where a robed minister stands with mourners dressed in black. Men enter a Mardi Gras warehouse and find grotesque masks, peeling statues, costumes and portions of floats in the yard. Two men sit in lawn chairs burning things in an old drum with tall flames.
 We hear a man retching vomit three times, but do not see goo or hear it hit anything; he vomits over the side of an MRI table away from the camera, he runs into a bathroom and kneels at a toilet retching as the door covers his image, and he retches behind a bed.


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LANGUAGE 5 - At least 1 F-word, 6 scatological terms, 2 anatomical terms, 4 mild obscenities, name-calling, exclamations (shut-up), 1 religious profanity (GD), 3 religious exclamations (Oh My God, Oh God, Jesus).


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SUBSTANCE USE - A man ingests a pill daily to fight hallucinations and flashbacks (please see the Violence/Gore category for more details) and after a month his doctor doubles the prescription strength, a man gives another man a bottle of capsules, a man swallows a capsule in dozens of scenes, a doctor swallows a pill, and a marijuana leaf appears on a sign above a NYC storefront. Two men go to a bar in New Orleans where one of the men pours bourbon into glasses for men and women sitting with him, men and women at tables in a bar are seen with cocktails and short glasses of whiskey, and a man at home drinks from a short glass of whiskey. A man smokes a cigarette in a warehouse parking lot.


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DISCUSSION TOPICS - Cancer, aging, memory, death, immortality, murder, body stealing, black market medical procedures, drug withdrawal, competition in business, selfishness, determination, courage, sacrifice, helping others, making amends, relationships, friendship, love, respect, trust.

MESSAGE - Human immortality is a dangerous and expensive prospect.

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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