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Spiral | 2021 | R | – 1.10.10

content-ratingsWhy is “Spiral” rated R? The MPAA rating has been assigned for “sequences of grisly bloody violence and torture, pervasive language, some sexual references and brief drug use.” The Kids-In-Mind.com evaluation includes many scenes of people being tortured to death with a lot of blood and gore shown, a few people killed by gunshot with blood shown, scenes of severed body parts in boxes and at crime scenes, and over 130 F-words and other strong language. Read our parents’ guide below for details on sexual content, violence & strong language.


Part of the Saw torture franchise: A detective (Chris Rock) and his rookie partner (Max Minghella) investigate a series of gruesome murders targeting police and resembling those of a dead serial killer. Also with Samuel L. Jackson, Marisol Nichols, Dan Petronijevic, Richard Zeppieri, Patrick McManus, Ali Johnson, Zoie Palmer, Dylan Roberts, K.C. Collins and Edie Inksetter. Directed by Darren Lynn Bousman. [Running Time: 1:33]

Spiral SEX/NUDITY 1

 – A man talks about women cheating and about his wife having an affair with their marriage counselor.
 Women wear low-cut tops and dresses that reveal cleavage in several scenes. A man and woman go into a men’s restroom and we hear a man urinating in a stall as the woman tells him to “zip up” (we do not see nudity).

Spiral VIOLENCE/GORE 10

 – A man wakes up with his hands bound with razor wire (we see blood on his hands), standing on a stepladder on active train tracks and his tongue in a vice mechanism: he hears that the only way to stop an oncoming train is to pull off his tongue, and the man pulls his hands out of the razor wire (we see a lot of blood), the train arrives, his tongue is pulled out (we see the tongue dangling from the vice) and the train slams into him (we see blood splatter on the windshield); we later see the scene with bloody body parts strewn around the tracks and internal organs exposed. A man’s face and head are covered by a cloth held by someone wearing a mask of a pig’s head; the man wakes up with his head in a cage device, his fingers are attached to cables and he is lying back in a shallow amount of water; it is explained to him that to stay alive he must bite the mechanism on his head that will start a device that will pull his fingers off before he is electrocuted; the man bites the mechanism that starts the machine and we watch as his fingers are pulled off his hands and he screams in pain (a lot of blood and tissue are seen) before being electrocuted and he falls back into the water, dead. A man is shown hanging in a meat freezer as he is skinned by another person (we see chunks of bloody skin being cut away leaving more blood under it). A woman goes into a room where she sees someone wearing a mask of a pig’s head in the shadows; she draws her gun, the door locks behind her and gas fills the room, knocking her unconscious; when she wakes up she is strapped to a table with a cloth over her face and a blade in a table under her neck and she is told that she can live if she presses against the blade to sever her spinal column before boiling wax is poured over her face and she is suffocated; she screams and thrashes and wax is poured over her face until she stops moving (we see her skin peel off her face later when the wax is removed to perform mouth-to-mouth on her but she does not revive). A man attached to cables and dangling from the ceiling is shown with several needles attached to tubes that drain blood from him into large jars on the floor (we hear that it will take 3 minutes for him to bleed out); another man tries to free him, a SWAT officer cuts the door open and opens fire when the man’s arm raises and we see a weapon strapped to it (we see bloody bullet wounds as the man’s body flinches). A man is wrapped with a cloth over his face and he awakens handcuffed to a pipe in a room where he finds a saw and a hairpin to free himself (he contemplates cutting off his own arm); another man with a bag over his head is attached to chains holding him off the ground and we see broken glass on the floor and all around him; a machine whirs and bottles move into a machine that grinds them and sprays shards of glass out of chutes and throws them at high speed into the man’s back (we see shard penetrate his skin as he moans, yells, thrashes and bleeds).
 A man shoots another man in the chest and he falls back on the floor dead and blood pools under his body (we see this scene several times). A man is shot in the abdomen and we see the bloody wound. A video shows a man shooting a man in a car when he makes an obscene hand gesture at the gunman. Several men arm themselves in a hotel room, and they shoot open the door of another room where one man punches another man in the face (blood splatters), other men hold guns on the man and a woman in the room while they steal large packets of drugs and money; they leave and get into a car where they are held at gunpoint by many police officers outside a bay door. Armed police officers move toward a parked pickup truck, one opens the door and a dead pig falls out (we see some blood). Armed police charge through a building past people and a very aggressive dog; they break into an apartment and a man inside shoots an automatic weapon at them before being shoved back onto a glass table shattering it and injuring his leg (we see the man with a bloody bone protruding from a leg wound). A man shoots a target that releases a man and he falls to the floor in a puddle of blood. A man tackles another man and punches him in the face and body several times (he has a bloody mouth and face).
 A man bumps into another man at a crowded festival, and then bumps a woman and steals her purse; the man runs and is chased by a police officer that draws his gun and follows the purse snatcher into a manhole, where his face is wrapped with a cloth by someone wearing a mask of a pig’s head, knocking him out. A man goes to an abandoned building with his gun drawn and walks through the dark rooms to find a man lying on a mattress; he kicks the mattress and pulls back a blanket to reveal a mask of a pig’s head and the man is startled and jumps back. A man with his gun drawn walks through a darkened building and hallways and finds a symbol painted on doors and walls, which he follows. A man draws a gun and enters his apartment to find another man also with a gun inside; no shooting occurs. A man slams a door in another man’s face; this happens in two scenes, and in one scene the man falls to the ground with a bloody nose. A man sends an explosive dye pack up to a man in a bucket; the man picks up the explosive and it sprays dye in his face as he yells. A man takes a gun from a pawnshop and explains that it is for police business. A man threatens to shoot someone for not supporting someone else in a dangerous situation; he lunges at him, slams him into a dumpster and we see the victim with a bloody cut on his face.
 A man opens a box and we see a bloody severed tongue that he touches and it makes a squishing sound. A man opens a box and we see severed fingers with tissue and blood exposed. A courier delivers a box to a police precinct and several officers hold him at gunpoint until he kneels on the floor; a man opens the box and we see a pig headed marionette inside with what looks like human skin for its body. A man finds a mask of a pig’s head on a marionette in an abandoned building.
 Two men go to a woman’s house to express their condolences for the death of her husband; the woman cries. A woman (a police captain) yells at a man (a detective) in several scenes. A man yells about being assigned a rookie as a partner. People argue about a detective having turned in another officer for having killed a witness. A man accuses another man of lying on the witness stand repeatedly. A man talks to another man about the second man beating his wife when he drinks too much. A man talks about “cops being given their own discretion to deal with crime.” A man yells in his car and pounds on the dashboard in frustration.
 A man has glass shards in his face and one large one in his arm that he removes and we see blood and hear squishing. We see skin with a name tattooed on it. People gag, cover their noses and mouths and recoil from the smell and appearance of bodies at crime scenes (we do not see anyone vomit); one man tells another man not to throw up on the evidence in one scene. A rat dead in a trap is left on a man’s desk in a police station. A man and woman go into a men’s restroom and we hear a man urinating in a stall as the woman tells him to “zip up.”

Spiral LANGUAGE 10

 – About 133 F-words and its derivatives, 2 obscene hand gestures, 2 sexual references, 39 scatological terms, 5 anatomical terms, 10 mild obscenities, 8 derogatory terms for African-American people, name-calling (pimp, underwhelmed, rat snitch, tweaker, hustler, homeless guy, special needs, disloyal, evil, piece of [scatological term deleted], sick, ghost, sick, scumbag, nightmare, retarded, rook), exclamations (shut-up, wow, geez, hey, oh no), 4 religious profanities (GD), 12 religious exclamations (e.g. Jesus, God Loves You, Jesus Christ, Oh My God, God Almighty, Oh God, Holy [F-word and scatological term deleted]). | profanity glossary |

Spiral SUBSTANCE USE

 – A man snorts cocaine from a table (please see the Violence/Gore category for more details), and a reference to selling and buying meth. A man drinks a glass of whiskey. A woman smokes a cigarette.

Spiral DISCUSSION TOPICS

 – Serial killers, copycat killers, revenge, death of parents, doing the right thing, change, progress, police corruption, alcoholism and addiction, disrespect, truth, family, police corruption, AIDS, divorce, suicide, domestic violence, divorce.

Spiral MESSAGE

 – Revenge can be time-consuming and bloody.

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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