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Smile | 2022 | R | – 1.8.8

content-ratingsWhy is “Smile” rated R? The MPAA rating has been assigned for “strong violent content and grisly images, and language.” The Kids-In-Mind.com evaluation includes a couple of kisses and hugs, many scenes of gruesome suicides and attempted murders including a man gutting himself with garden sheers, a woman setting herself on fire and a woman cutting her own throat, several discussions of gruesome suicides with crime scene photos containing bloody wounds shown, several discussions of a man bludgeoning himself to death with a hammer, a dead cat, a woman becoming more and more agitated over time, many arguments, and over 35 F-words and other strong language. Read our parents’ guide below for details on sexual content, violence & strong language.


A therapist (Sosie Bacon) working in a psychiatric hospital witnesses the violent suicide of a patient, and subsequently her own life inexplicably spins out of control. Also with Jessie T. Usher, Kyle Gallner, Caitlin Stasey, Robin Weigert, Kal Penn, Judy Reyes, Kevin Keppy, Rob Morgan and Gillian Zinser. Directed by Parker Finn. [Running Time: 1:55]

Smile SEX/NUDITY 1

 – A man and a woman kiss and hug briefly. A man hugs a woman from behind and rests his head on her shoulder.
 A woman showers and we see her bare back and shoulders. A woman wears sleep shorts and her bare legs to the upper thighs are shown. Women wear low-cut dresses that reveal cleavage in a few scenes. A woman wears a tank T-shirt that reveals cleavage, bare shoulders and her nipples are visible through the fabric. A woman changes clothes in a couple of scenes and we see her wearing a bra that reveals cleavage and her bare abdomen. A woman wears a tank T-shirt and underwear and we see cleavage, bare shoulders and bare legs to the hips.

Smile VIOLENCE/GORE 8

 – A young woman stands in the corner of a room trembling and hyperventilating when a woman enters the room and they talk briefly; the young woman describes seeing things, she screams and throws herself back in her chair and onto the floor gasping for air, the other woman calls for help and when she turns back to face the young woman we see her holding a shard from a broken vase and she uses it to cut her face and throat (blood pours and pools on the floor where she falls dead). A woman imagines going to a hospital and talking to a patient that she then stabs in the chest and abdomen repeatedly (we see blood) as they both scream and a third person in the room screams and pulls the skin off his head (we see the skin stretch and blood and tissue underneath).
 A large creature with long arms and a giant mouth and tight skin over bones lumbers toward a woman as she runs away; she is thrown to the floor, held around the throat as she gasps, she pulls its hand away and the bone breaks (we see flesh open and bone and tissue is visible), she hits the creature with a kerosene lamp (we see it in flames), she runs out of the house and it bursts into flames; the creature then pulls its face off (we see blood and matter), it pulls the woman’s mouth wide open and pushes itself into her mouth as the scene ends. A woman pours kerosene over her head and lights a match; she bursts into flames and we see her body engulfed in flames in the reflection in another person’s eyes.
 A woman is shown lying motionless with her eyes open on a bed and a vomit stain is shown on the sheet near her mouth; we understand that the woman is dead (please see the Substance Use category for more details) and her young child stands at the door looking at her (we see this scene repeated several times in the movie).
 We hear about several gruesome suicides and we see law enforcement photos and a CCTV video of one scene; the photos include very bloody wounds and bodies and the video shows a man stabbing himself with garden sheers while a woman watches (blood pours onto the ground and he falls dead). We hear about a man having bludgeoned himself with a hammer in front of a young woman and we later see the man’s body with his face and head crushed and his jaw and teeth broken and his tongue laying out of his mouth unnaturally.
 Several people are shown with large, stretched, unnatural looking smiles in several scenes. A body in a morgue is shown covered by a sheet with a large bloodstain resembling a smile. A woman finds a blood splatter on her blouse after witnessing a patient’s suicide and she quivers. A woman panics and screams when she sees something lunge toward her; her fiancé charges into the room and the woman holds a knife toward him as she screams. A young boy opens a box at a birthday party and pulls out a dead cat; a woman runs toward him and holds the cat crying, she falls back onto a glass-topped table and cuts her arms badly on the shard (we see a lot of blood) and she screams loudly while others look on in shock.
 A woman sits in her car hyperventilating and imagines another woman coming to the door and her head sliding down with a twisted neck as she screams. A man in a prison tells a woman what he experienced and what led to him killing someone; the man screams and yells for the woman to be taken away. A woman thinks a woman is in the room with her when the phone rings and the woman she thinks is there is on the phone; she falls back off a sofa, stumbles down a flight of stairs as the person in the room with her moves to grab her by the mouth, and laughs maniacally while drooling.
 A man sits on a hospital bed with a large unnatural smile on his face, a woman enters the room and snaps her fingers in front of his face trying to get his attention and he repeats loudly, “You’re going to die,” as he moves toward her and she calls for orderlies to sedate the man; we see several men pinning him to the floor. A woman thinks she sees or hears something in a darkened corner of a room; she jumps and drops a glass on the floor when a man speaks to her. A home security alarm rings and a woman drops a glass shattering it, she holds a pair of scissors and searches through the house; the phone rings and a voice tells the woman to look behind her (she imagined that she was on the phone) and the phone rings and she answers it in a panic. A woman steps into a street and a car screeches to a stop to avoid hitting her as the driver yells. A woman shows another woman drawings that her husband had made before he killed himself and we see unnatural and twisted faces with large smiles. A woman yells for another woman to leave her house. A woman bites her nails and we see blood on her thumb.
 A woman speeds away in a car and a man yells for her to come back. A woman imagines her dying mother asking her for help when she was a child and telling her that she made a mistake; the child runs away and the woman screams for her. An ambulance arrives at a hospital and we see a woman thrashing and screaming on a stretcher.
 A woman yells at a man and another woman when they quiz her about why she does the work she does and why she doesn’t sell her mother’s home. A woman is told to take a week off work to take care of herself; she is told that she cannot be around patients in her current frame of mind. A woman listens to a recording of a patient when she committed suicide and hears her screaming. A woman tries to talk to her fiancé about what she is experiencing and he seems dismissive. A man asks a woman if she killed her cat. A woman yells, “I am not crazy.” A man confronts a woman about mental illness being hereditary. A man talks about a suicide cult. A man talks about another man killing someone he had never met before. A nurse tells a doctor that a patient had pulled out a lot of her own hair and taken drugs and that she was having her stomach pumped. A man in a hospital seated in a chair repeats, “I’m gonna die, she’s gonna die, everyone dies,” as a woman enters the room and tries to calm him. A woman calls out for her cat and cannot find it. A woman says that she is scared to death and yells at her fiancé when he calls a therapist to evaluate her. A woman tells another woman that she has been cursed, they argue briefly and the woman tells her that she has traumatized her young son. A man tells a doctor that a patient of hers has no insurance and the hospital cannot afford to keep funding the uninsured.
 A woman eats voraciously and licks her fingers.

Smile LANGUAGE 8

 – About 36 F-words and its derivatives, 7 scatological terms, 3 mild obscenities, name-calling (stupid, crazy, lunatic, head case, gross, crazies, sick, foggy, creepy, spacey, selfish, monster, out of his mind, box of fruit loops, evil, paranoid, awful, self-centered, smug, unhinged, disturbed young woman, unsettling), exclamations (yikes, nice, shut the [F-word deleted] up), 2 religious profanities (GD), 15 religious exclamations (e.g. Godawful feeling, Jesus, Jesus Christ, oh my God, God forbid, Holy [scatological term deleted]). | profanity glossary |

Smile SUBSTANCE USE

 – A woman lies dead on a bed and the camera pans to show a bottle of liquor and several prescription vials spilled and on the floor and tables in the room, and a woman asks her therapist to prescribe medication after a traumatic event. A woman drinks glasses of wine in several scenes, adults drink liquor at a child’s birthday party, people drink wine in a restaurant, and a man drinks a glass of liquor.

Smile DISCUSSION TOPICS

 – Suicide, trauma, mental illness, post-trauma psychosis, aggression, anxiety, fear, guilt, forgiveness, coincidences, stress triggers, self-diagnosis, overreaction.

Smile MESSAGE

 – Smiles can hide evil intent.

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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