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Struck by Lightning | 2012 | PG-13 | - 5.4.4

A teenage boy's (Chris Colfer) aspirations of becoming a writer are cut short when he's struck by lightning and dies. In flashbacks, he relates his high school troubles, trying to find a place for himself until he could leave to go to college. Also with Rebel Wilson, Christina Hendricks, Dermot Mulroney, Sarah Hyland, Allison Janney and Robbie Amell. Directed by Brian Dannelly. [1:30]

SEX/NUDITY 5 - We see a teen boy kissing an adult woman: the boy kisses the woman's chest as she states, "I love dirty talk" and we hear the boy speaking Spanish (we see the translated phrases, which are random and non-sexual); the teen then makes a phone call, telling another teen boy that he was making out with a woman.
 A teen boy hears two teenage boys kissing (we see their feet from under a bathroom stall); the boy then crudely pantomimes oral sex, implying that the two other boys had been performing oral sex on one another.
 A man shouts at a teen girl and a teen boy who are kissing passionately and chases them apart while shouting that there is a "motel down the street." We hear the passionate kissing sounds of a teen girl and a man as another teen girl is filming them through a window (we do not see any kissing).
 A teen boy lifts his shirt and we see a portion of his bare stomach and chest. We see a woman wearing a bathrobe and we then see her wearing a nightgown. A teen boy shows a teen girl a series of photographs of her wearing a short skirt, with a whip in her mouth and her foot on the back of a kneeling young man. We see a teen boy looking at a photograph of a teen girl holding her shirt open and her cleavage is visible in the photograph.
 A man kisses his pregnant fiancée's stomach. A man and woman hug in greeting. A woman turns away from a man's hug.
 A boy tells a classroom of boys and girls that he was given his name because he was conceived while his parents were watching a television show. A teen boy sarcastically mentions that a dance's theme is also the name of a popular porn movie. A doctor crudely tells a woman that he believes all teenagers are interested in "rubbing up against a pillow or someone else." A teen boy makes a crude sexual remark to an entire class about climaxing being the name of a presidential term. A teen girl tells a teen boy that she caught a teen boy and an adult female coach having sex in a locker room. A teen boy tells a teen girl that he had caught two teen boys playing "Lois and Clark" in the bathroom. A teen girl tells a teen boy that she hates him more than she hates an STI. A boy tells a classroom of boys and girls that the founding fathers were "closeted homosexuals and slave owners." A teen boy tells another teen boy and a teen girl that he "gets chicks" because he speaks Spanish. We hear a teen boy's voiceover explain that a group of teenagers are members of the "celibacy club" and we hear a teen girl explain that she "respects her body." A teen boy tells an elderly woman (his grandmother) that he had written an article titled, "Small Town Sex Scandals."


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VIOLENCE/GORE 4 - A teen boy is struck by lightning and we hear the teen boy's voiceover explain that he had died, as we see his body splayed on the ground (no gore nor blood is visible); we see two police officers informing the teen boy's mother that the teen boy had been found dead and we later see the teen boy's body under a tree and he has a scorch mark on his shirt as the boy's voiceover says it took three days for his body to be discovered.
 We see an elderly woman in a nursing home and she is sleeping; a woman tells a teen boy (the elderly woman's grandson and her son) that the elderly woman fell and bruised her hip and when the woman wakes up we see a bruise on her arm, but she appears generally healthy.
 A teen girl throws a pen at a window, aimed at another teen girl and she then slaps a teen boy on the head. A teen boy dramatically swats at a street sign with an umbrella and then throws the umbrella into a field. A teen boy wads up a paper bag and throws it at another teen boy's head.
 A teen boy shoves his way through a crowded hallway and we see two teenage boys push past the teen boy. A teen boy lifts up a piece of toilet paper that another teen boy had placed in a box.
 A woman shouts and cries as she calls her dead son repeatedly and leaves him panicked voicemails. We see a woman dragging her young son to a funeral: the boy is terrified when his father scares him, grabbing him from behind and saying "boo" and the boy is obviously upset. We hear a woman screaming at a man as she follows him out the door, grabbing his belongings and then throwing a shirt at his car as he drives away. A teen girl shouts at a teen boy, saying that people will not believe anything he says to blackmail her and the boy shouts back and throws papers at her. A teen boy screams at a group of teenage boys and girls and an adult male. A teen girl shouts at a teen boy and he shouts back and storms away. A teen boy shouts at an adult male (a principal) and the principal shouts back. A teen boy shouts at his mother and she raises her voice in response. A teen boy tells a teacher that he no longer wants to "throw things" at people who have different beliefs. We hear a teen boy's voiceover explain that his grandmother had "gotten sick" and we see the elderly grandmother obviously confused and then in a nursing home. A woman half-jokingly tells her teenage son that she wishes she had had an abortion. A woman tells her teenage son that she never wanted to have a child. A teen boy tells a counselor that he has spent more time in a town than people can spend in jail for a murder sentence. A teen boy's voiceover sarcastically explains that he thinks forms of torture are better than attending a meeting. A teen girl sarcastically tells a teen boy that she hates him more than she "hates the Holocaust." A man tells a woman that the last time he had seen her she was "screaming profanities in the middle of the street." A teen boy jokes to an assembly of teenagers that he would publish "hit lists." A teen girl makes a crude joke about literary magazines. A teen boy's sarcastic voiceover crudely jokes that a teen girl defecates cupcakes. A female television reporter announces that a teen boy's death was disappointing.


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LANGUAGE 4 - 9 scatological terms (1 mild), 7 sexual references, 5 anatomical terms, 4 mild obscenities, name-calling (perfect example of something I refuse to become, selfish, walking clichés, little man, big mouth, unstable, Precious, little Indians, young and naïve, future farmers and inmates, hidden crazy sisters, fatties, you people, fascist, Hobbit, ugly sophomores, mules, human mosquitoes, lunatic, liars, threw like a girl), 15 religious exclamations.


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SUBSTANCE USE - We see a woman smoking marijuana cigarette and she puts it out in front of her teenage son, a teen girl and a teen boy hand another teen boy a plastic bag (it is implied that the bag had marijuana in it), a woman hands another woman at a pharmacy a large selection of prescriptions, a teen boy tells his mother that he does not want to take medication for depression and she tells him that she put medication in his food, and a woman jokes that it is "easier to roofie." A woman drinks a glass of wine rapidly, a woman with a hangover is awakened by her teenage son and the boy expresses concern that she is drinking too much while on medication, a man and a woman discuss drinking in excess, a man asks a woman for "one more beer," and a woman offers a man a beer and he turns her down.


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DISCUSSION TOPICS - High school cliques, disappointment, creative writing, encouragement, divorce, blackmail, prescription drug and alcohol abuse, inspiration, school stereotypes, dementia, death of child.

MESSAGE - High school can be challenging. Life changes very quickly.

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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