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The Shape of Water | 2017 | R | - 8.7.6

A woman (Sally Hawkins) working as a cleaner in a 1960s era laboratory discovers a secret containment area where an amphibious humanoid creature is held captive. She's drawn to the creature while officials have more sinister plans. Also with Michael Shannon, Richard Jenkins, Octavia Spencer, Michael Stuhlbarg, Doug Jones and David Hewlett. Directed by Guillermo del Toro. A few lines of dialogue are spoken in Russian with English subtitles. [2:03]

SEX/NUDITY 8 - A wife whispers in her husband's ear to meet her upstairs, the man removes his tie and the woman opens her blouse, we see one fully bare breast and she places her husband's hand on it and the man is then shown thrusting on top of the woman (we see his bare buttocks and full bare legs) as he pants and moans (please see the Violence/Gore category for more details). A woman lying in a bathtub props her bare leg on the side of the tub and we see rhythmic movement and hear slight moaning as she masturbates; this happens in at least two additional scenes. A woman drops her robe (we see bare breasts, pubic air, buttocks, legs and abdomen) and steps into a bathtub with an amphibious humanoid creature (sex is implied). A woman undresses in a bathroom (we see bare breasts, abdomen, pubic hair, buttocks and legs) and fills the room with water where she and an amphibious humanoid creature float and embrace (sex is implied).
 A woman undresses to bathe and we see bare breasts, pubic hair and bare buttocks as she steps into the tub.
 A man and a woman hug. An amphibious humanoid creature touches a woman's shoulder and chest and the woman gasps and leaves the room. An amphibious humanoid creature holds a woman's hand. A woman and an amphibious humanoid creature dance and embrace in a couple of scenes. An amphibious humanoid creature jumps into water with a woman and they float and embrace.
 A man makes a sexually harassing advance toward a woman and touches her hair (she pulls away and leaves the room) while saying, "I bet I can make you squeak a little." A man looks at a younger man in a diner with romantic interest and flirts with him as they speak. A man talks to a younger man and when the younger man says that he has enjoyed getting to know the man, the older man touches his hand suggestively; the younger man pulls away angrily and tells the other man to leave and not to come back. A woman and an amphibious humanoid gaze at each other through the glass of his containment area and touch the glass. A man says, "Corn Flakes were invented to stop masturbation." A man says that a man's expression looks like he just discovered the "missionary position."
 A woman wears a gown that shows cleavage and bare shoulders. A woman in a movie is shown wearing a costume that reveals cleavage and bare abdomen. A woman on a TV wears a costume that reveals her legs to the hips during a musical number. There are a few shots of an amphibious humanoid's buttocks and crotch area, with no anatomical details. A man wears a shirt, tie, boxer shorts and socks in a scene when two men come to visit him.


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VIOLENCE/GORE 7 - A man is shot three times (one time in the mouth and we see the very bloody wound) and another man drags the wounded man outside by the mouth bullet wound, then pokes him with a cattle prod and jabs him in the stomach wound, torturing him while interrogating him. A creature slashes a man's throat and he bleeds profusely as he falls to the ground and dies. We hear gunshots coming from a laboratory room and a man limps out of the room and falls to his knees (his shirt is blood-soaked and we see blood spurting from his hand where it looks like two of his fingers are missing). A man shoots two people from a distance and they fall down dead (we see one man shot in the head and see a bloody head wound). An amphibious humanoid is shot twice in the chest and falls to the ground motionless while a woman is shot in the abdomen and falls to the ground (we see blood on all the wounds). A cat and an amphibious humanoid hiss at each other and we then see the humanoid eating the cat's head (blood and tissue are seen and the creature's mouth has blood on it).
 A man pokes an amphibious humanoid chained to a pedestal out of water with a cattle prod and we hear the creature screech (we see blood on his body and coming from his mouth). A man holds a gun on another man and tells him to get out of his car until another man jabs the gunman with a syringe containing a deadly solution (the man falls motionless and we assume that he is dead). An amphibious humanoid slashes a man's arm (presumably accidentally) and we see him bloody. A man is struck hard in the face with a piece of wood that causes blood to spray from his mouth and he falls to the ground.
 An amphibious humanoid gasps for air and appears to be dying, then gasps and seems OK. An amphibious humanoid is chained into a large pool of water; he surfaces and we see gills, fins and reptilian eyes as he makes what sounds like purring noises, he then roars and screeches at a woman seated at the pool's edge and she pulls away. An amphibious humanoid is shown held in a water-filled containment area; he is scale-covered and has webbed claws and a spiny fin on his back (he makes sounds like purring, howling and screeching in a few scenes). A woman touches the glass on a water-filled containment bay and an amphibious humanoid inside bellows loudly then swims away. Men on a movie are shown being whipped by other men as they work in forced labor. A man holds a knife behind his back when two men behave in a threatening manner (he sees a handgun in a holster on one man's hip).
 A woman washes a floor covered with blood and finds two dismembered fingers on the floor; she puts them in a paper bag. Large smears of blood are shown on a laboratory room floor after a man was injured. A woman sees drops of blood on a counter after a man's cattle prod had rested there. A man's hand is bandaged after an attack and we see a bit of blood on the cloth; later we see the fingers blackened and people remark about the smell and the man squeezes the fingers in one scene (releasing fluid) and rips the fingers off in another scene (we hear a crunch and see the bloody digits and stumps). We see bloody handprints around a doorway. A man smells his fingers that have now become blackened after an injury. A man pushes a woman against a wall and slams his hand next to her head.
 A man tells an African-American man and woman that they cannot sit at the counter in his diner and they should just take their food and leave. A man and a woman argue and she hits him on the hand (he is upset). A woman complains to men in a laboratory about garbage strewn on the floor. A woman complains about men urinating all over the floor and that there are splatters on the ceiling of a men's room where she and another woman clean. A line of dialogue in a movie makes reference to sin. Men discuss cutting an amphibious humanoid open to study it. A man describes a stick that he has placed on a counter as a cattle prod. A woman says, "Short people are mean." A man makes a comment about "your people" to an African-American woman when discussing that it is odd for her to be an only child. A man asks another man if he is drinking (apparently he had a drinking problem) and he replies, "No, not a drop." A woman says that another woman was found in the water and sent to an orphanage. During a sexual encounter a husband covers his wife's mouth (we see he has blood on a bandage on his hand as he covers her mouth) and tells her, "I want silence." Women argue while waiting in a line to clock in at work in a few scenes. A woman talks about being incomplete because she cannot speak. A man tells a woman, "You're not much to look at," (please see the Sex/Nudity category for more details). A man says, "The Russians hate the Jews."
 A man crashes a van into a car and drives away as men shoot at the van, leaving the car damaged. A device explodes near a fuse box and the power goes off in a building. A man slams a telephone receiver onto a phone cradle. A large fire burns in a building in the distance and we hear sirens blaring. A sequence shows an apartment completely filled with water and a woman sleeping and floating over a sofa. Sirens blare outside an apartment window. A woman is nearly hit by a car and the car honks at her. TV news shows large dogs attacking people. A woman turns on the taps in a bathroom and blocks the door causing the room to fill with water and drip through the floor to a movie theater below. A man kicks an apartment door open and throws things around the room.
 A man enters a men's room while two women are cleaning it; the man proceeds to use the urinal (we hear urine trickle and his zipper when he is finished) while talking to the women and uses his unwashed hands to put a piece of candy in his mouth. A woman is shown with scratches on her neck. A woman spits a bite of pie into a napkin and wipes her tongue; a man does the same thing later. An amphibious humanoid sheds scales in several scenes and he wheezes and moans.


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LANGUAGE 6 - About 12 F-words and its derivatives (1 using sign language), 1 sexual reference, 18 scatological terms, 9 mild obscenities, 1 derogatory term for Russians, 1 derogatory term for a person of Korean or Vietnamese or Filipino heritage, name-calling (dummy, ugly as sin, primitives, loser, freak, foo-foo, thing, animals, the mute, backstabbers, cockeyed, bastards, mean, filthy thing, affront, liars, moron), exclamations (what in the Sam hill, heck, shut your mouth, shut-up), 1 religious profanity (GD), 26 religious exclamations (For God's Sake, Oh Dear God, Heavens To Betsy, I Swear To God, Lord, Oh My God, Holy Jesus, Oh God, God, Good God, God Awful, an amphibious humanoid is referred to as a god).


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SUBSTANCE USE - A man fills a syringe with a deadly solution, a man injects an MP in the neck with a deadly solution (please see the Violence/Gore category for more details), and a man takes prescription pain pills in several scenes. A man asks another man if he is drinking (apparently he had a drinking problem), and a bottle of vodka is shown on a table. A man smokes cigarettes in an apartment in a few scenes, men and women smoke cigarettes on a loading bay in a few scenes, a man and a woman smoke cigarettes, a man smokes a cigarette while ironing his pants, and a man smokes outside in a few scenes.


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DISCUSSION TOPICS - Orphans, love and loss, inability to speak, racism, inter-species relationships, loneliness, homosexuality, Russian/US relations, decency, fearing things we do not understand, the story of Sampson.

MESSAGE - Love can transcend differences between extant humanoid species.

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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