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A Star is Born | 2018 | R | – 7.4.10

content-ratingsWhy is “A Star is Born” rated R? The MPAA rating has been assigned for “language throughout, some sexuality/nudity and substance abuse.” The evaluation includes several sex scenes and implied sex scenes as well as a scene of evident, although not clear, full frontal female nudity, several scenes of the effects of alcoholism and public intoxication, a suicide, and about 100 F-words. Read our parents’ guide below for details on sexual content, violence & strong language.”

A declining country and rock music star (Bradley Cooper) fights alcoholism as he discovers a young singer and songwriter (Stefani Germanotta, aka Lady Gaga) with great star potential but crippled by a profound lack of confidence in her looks or abilities. They begin a relationship and he boosts her to fame, but their romance hits serious obstacles. Also with Sam Elliott, Andrew Dice Clay, Dave Chappelle and Anthony Ramos. Directed by Bradley Cooper. A torch song is sung in French without translation. [Running Time: 2:15]

A Star is Born SEX/NUDITY 7

 – A man in a shadowed bedroom lies between a woman’s bent legs, thrusting for a few seconds before the scene ends (we see his bare back and her bare knees, lower legs and feet).
 A man and a woman enter a home and remove their shirts (we see his bare chest and her side upper hip and her upper back), lie on a bed and kiss (the scene cuts to breakfast and sex is implied). A man carries a woman wearing a long bathrobe to the bedroom during breakfast and the scene ends (sex is implied). A man sits with a woman straddling his lap in a very sudsy bubble bath (we see part of her side, the side of one breast and part of her hip) and they kiss as the scene ends. A man rubs icing from a large donut over a woman’s face in a bedroom and she closes the door, implying sex as the scene ends.
 A woman in a bubble bath that reveals her bare shoulders and upper back begins to stand up as a man closes the door on the camera and we glimpse full-frontal nudity in a blurry shot (we cannot see nipples and we see a dark triangle around the genital area; it looks as though she is wearing a flesh toned bodysuit). A shirtless man is seen in a few scenes and a man is shown wearing underwear or short swim trunks in three scenes. A shirtless man stands in profile with his jeans unzipped and his head and shoulders above the frame (we see his bare chest, abdomen and one bare buttock). We see a nude man from the navel up from the front and side in a shower scene. A drag queen sits in a straight back chair with her skirt hiked up to reveal bare legs. A few scenes include a woman wearing low-cut dresses that reveal cleavage and tube tops that expose her bare abdomen. A woman wears a sports bra with cutouts above and below her breasts and long hosiery-material trousers as she writhes and dances. Several scenes feature a woman wearing strapless gowns that reveal bare upper back and cleavage. Female dancers wearing yoga pants and T-shirts in a studio dance, twist and writhe; a later scene features their shadows doing the dance routine. A woman on a stage wears a sequined lace and net leotard-type top that reveals cleavage, abdomen and sides through the openings in the fabric. A woman wears a bra under an open shirt, revealing cleavage. Three scenes in a bar feature dozens of men wearing elaborate wigs and makeup and gowns, including artificial breasts (we see cleavage); a man puts on artificial breasts made of a bouncy material (there are no nipple details).
 A woman in a hotel room bathroom uses a washcloth to reach into her clothing to wash her armpits and down the front of her jeans in order to wash her crotch (expecting sex); when she enters the bedroom, her male partner has passed out. A woman lies on her side wearing a long sleeveless shirt (we see her bare thighs and legs); a man enters her room, rubs her shoulder and kisses her briefly. We see a man and a woman at their wedding ceremony, kissing in a close-up. A man and a woman kiss passionately for several seconds in three scenes. A man and a woman kiss briefly in two scenes. A man and a woman hug briefly, a man and a woman embrace for several seconds, a man caresses a woman’s nose and kisses her hand and a man and a woman briefly hold hands.
 A man autographs a drag queen’s exposed cleavage and the drag queen flirts by smiling and staring at him several times. A woman wears a skirt ending a few inches above the knee, fishnet hose and a snug top that exposes cleavage as she kisses a man on the cheek and gives him a rose that she pulls from the back of her dress; she stands on a bar, walks to a man seated there, lies down and gives him a rose as she stares into his eyes and then kicks her legs in the air to expose them to the upper thighs.
 A man asks a woman in a bar if she is ready to leave and a drag queen says, “I’m ready.” A drag queen calls out, “I’m not going to lose my virginity tonight!” A man asks a male celebrity for a photo to prove that his ex-girlfriend did not sleep with a man that looks like the celebrity (no photo is given). A man tells a woman his mother died in childbirth at age 18; the man’s father at age 63 had a mid-life crisis and “knocked up” the daughter of a family for which the father worked. A woman writes a song called “Why you come around me with an [anatomical term deleted] like that?”

A Star is Born VIOLENCE/GORE 4

 - A man walks into a garage and looks out into the night as he whimpers tearfully and closes the garage door, hiding himself from the camera; we later hear that the man committed suicide.
 A woman shouts and punches a man in the face, knocking him into a group of people; a man tapes frozen peas in a bag to her hand to prevent swelling (no injury is seen). A man argues loudly with an older man in a few scenes and punches the older man in the face hard, once, but no injury occurs.
 A woman looks at glass-covered framed posters on a wall and drives the palm of her hand into them (we glimpse a splash of blood on her forehead, but her hands show no injury). A man drives his pickup truck out of a garage and the camera cuts to the ground outside the driver's door where we see glass breaking on gravel and we hear the breaking.
 An intoxicated man on a motorcycle runs into a wall, falling. An intoxicated man slips on a stage while playing guitar and rolls his eyes (please see the Substance Use category for more details); another man helps him into the audience, he gets up to walk to the podium with a woman but falls on the stage steps, he gets up again as she talks, he stumbles, walks in wide semicircles, and stands at the podium beside her where he closes his eyes and urinates down one trouser leg (another woman yelps and covers him with her gown). A man lies passed out on a sidewalk in front of a friend's home and the friend helps him up and into the house.
 A woman in a washroom argues with someone on a cell phone and then hangs up and screams. A man and a woman argue in several scenes and she cries three times. A woman argues with an older man in a few scenes, berating him and telling him that he has "celebrity fan disease." A man abusively berates a woman about her dancing, looks and hair color. A husband and his wife argue about his drinking several times.
 Four nooses appear on a billboard behind a man's head as he rides in a limo. A man experiences tinnitus from hearing loss that worsens during the film and twice we hear the loud buzzing that he constantly hears. A man shouts at a semi-conscious intoxicated man, puts him into the shower, clothed, and the man's wife gets in as well, still in an evening gown.
 A man tells another man that at age 13, he put a belt around his neck, hanged himself from a ceiling fan and his father was so drunk he did not notice; the fan came out of the ceiling and cut the boy's forehead (we don't see this). A man says his father's grave washed away in a flood. A woman tells a man, "I won't ride on your motorcycle (with you) if you have been drinking." An intoxicated man falls off a couch and his wife says, "It's OK, he does this all the time."
 A woman and a man cry about a man's death. A few close-ups feature a man and a woman at different times, weeping into the camera. A man tells a woman that his father died when he was only 13.

A Star is Born LANGUAGE 10

 - About 100 F-words and its derivatives, 18 scatological terms, 11 anatomical terms, 14 mild obscenities, name-calling (crazy, stupid, jealous, ridiculous, nobodies, bus driver, old man, drinking buddy, jug, ugly), exclamations (wow, oh my gosh), 4 religious profanities (GD), 11 religious exclamations (e.g. Oh My God, Oh God, I Swear To God, My God, I'm So Blessed, Holy [scatological term deleted], a prayer before a stage performance). | profanity glossary |


 - A man swallows three pills from a prescription bottle before singing on a stage, a man slams a boot heel onto a pill and it breaks into powder that he snorts, a man snorts white powder in two scenes while drinking a gin and tonic, a man and a woman share a marijuana cigarette, a man receives an injection in one buttock that we hear is steroids, and a doctor gives a patient a bottle of unknown prescription pills. A man drinks from a bottle of whiskey in a limousine and finishes the bottle in the car later before entering a bar to order and drink a gin and tonic, a man and a woman drink short cocktails at a bar, a man chugs a double shot of whiskey, a few large martinis are shown on tables in a bar and a woman picks one of the drinks up but does not drink, men in a band back stage drink cocktails after performing, men in a band drink from a whiskey bottle off-stage during a break and a woman drinks a shot of clear alcohol, a man holds a rocks glass at home and admits to his wife that he had a "double," a bottle of champagne pops its own cork on an airplane and suds run down the outside of the bottle, a man says that another man "drinks a bit much," and a man in a rehab scene states that he is "an alcoholic, a drug addict." A man lights and smokes a cigarette in a bar and two homes, and a woman complains about having to clean a large ashtray full of cigarette butts that we see.


 - Life as a singer, hearing loss from exposure to loud music, fame, envy, happiness, money, attention from fans, definitions of beauty, the working class, the rich, substance abuse, self-medicating, drug rehabilitation, difficult relationships, co-dependence, death, loss, suicide, grief, families, grudges, love, respect, communication.

A Star is Born MESSAGE

 - The best singer-songwriters have something vital to say, but their fame can be short-lived and filled with obstacles.


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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