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Tenet | 2020 | PG-13 | – 1.6.5

content-ratingsWhy is “Tenet” rated PG-13? The MPAA rating has been assigned for “intense sequences of violence and action, some suggestive references and brief strong language.” The Kids-In-Mind.com evaluation includes a couple of kisses on the cheek, discussions of estranged relationships, many exchanges of gunfire, fights, explosions and chases that result in dead and wounded with little blood shown, and at least 1 F-word and other strong language. Read our parents’ guide below for details on sexual content, violence & strong language.


A clandestine operative (John David Washington) teams up with another operative (Robert Pattinson) and they try to save reality from total annihilation, as well as a woman (Elizabeth Debicki) from her murdering Russian oligarch husband (Kenneth Branagh). To do so they somehow move within time both forward and backward, using technology from the future, left in the past. Also with Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Clémence Poésy, Fiona Dourif, Michael Caine and Himesh Patel. Directed by Christopher Nolan. Several lines of dialogue are spoken in Russian and German with English subtitles. [Running Time: 2:30]

Tenet SEX/NUDITY 1

 – A woman kisses a man on the cheek. A man kisses a woman on the cheek. A husband caresses his wife’s hair and head.
 A man asks another man if he has slept with his wife and the other man says, “Not yet.” A woman tells a man that she tried to love her husband again.
 A wife applies sunscreen to her husband’s back and we see him shirtless (his bare chest, abdomen and back are shown). A man is shown shirtless in a couple of scenes and we see his bare back, chest and abdomen. A woman wears a low-cut top that reveals cleavage in a couple of scenes. A woman wears a bikini with a cover up that reveals cleavage and bare legs to the hips. A woman lifts her shirt to reveal a scar on her bare abdomen from a gunshot wound.


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Tenet VIOLENCE/GORE 6

 – Armed men charge into a crowded theater and open fire at the audience, they stomp through the performers and one man rushes a cello underfoot; gas is pumped into the ventilation system and we see people fall unconscious or dead. A woman is threatened by a man and held against a glass divider as he shoots her in the abdomen (we see a splatter of blood and the bullet stuck in the glass). A man with a gun charges into a room where he shoots a man inside and punches another man before sliding down a cable with another man into seats in an auditorium, where other armed men shoot at a man and plant explosives among the seats. A flashback shows a young man killing another young man with a shovel (no blood is shown). A man beats another man to death with a gold bar and we see blood on the bar later. A man is shot in the chest (we see blood on the wound), he is pushed off the upper level of a yacht, and crashes onto the guard rail of the lower level before landing in the water below. A man and woman are shot in a car (we hear the gunfire but see no wounds). A man is discovered watching another man beat a man to death and he is punched in the face and held with a gun to his head (we see blood on his nose and mouth). A car flips over and a man is trapped inside when another man ignites a trail of gasoline blowing the car up (we see the driver later recovering). Many armed people run through an area shooting at each other, we see explosions and some people appear to be struck without injuries shown; buildings explode and crumble, re-erect and collapse again, a man is trapped behind a wall as it closes on him. Several men in a car open fire on other men outside a car and they exchange fire.
 Several men surround a man at a restaurant table and threaten him; they lead him into the kitchen where one man tries to smash his hand with a meat tenderizer, they fight, and we see and hear dishes and other objects crashing and breaking, as one man dispatches several other men. Two men are tied into chairs surrounded by railroad tracks while two men stand over them; one man pulls a knife and threatens one man before pulling or cutting out his teeth (we do not see this) and we see him with blood in his mouth. What looks like a body is shown lying across a train track with a helmet on one side and the torso on the other (no blood is shown). Two men wearing gas masks and heavy uniforms come out of what looks like a vault; one man fights with another man with punches, kicks and throws, one man shoots a gun several times (no one is struck) and one man stabs the other in the arm and he runs away (we see blood on the wound later). A man is shot in the arm and the back and attacked by several men.
 An underground explosion blows dirt and sand into the air as two men clinging to a cable are pulled out of the ground by a vehicle on the surface, without injuries. A man holds a gun on a woman in a speeding car, and the man leaves the woman with her hands tied in the backseat as the car continues to speed on the road; another man jumps into the car from another speeding car and uses his hand to step on the brakes before slamming into stopped traffic. A woman holds a gun on a man as he yells at her; he hits her and when she falls to the floor, he kicks her and spits on her. A man beats another man on the head with a gun a few times. A man threatens to slit another man’s throat and stuff a part of his anatomy in the opening to choke him to death. A man throws something at a woman and yells at her; he threatens her and says, “If I can’t have you no one can.” A man punches an ambulance driver in the face and steals the ambulance.
 Two men pick a lock in a secure area of a building, as gas fills the room, and they move to another chamber and then another where the pick breaks off in the keyhole and each time they hold their breath. A plane is driven off a runway and through a parking lot, knocking down light poles and running over cars before crashing into a building; one of its engines catches fire and explodes. Two men launch themselves from one building to another building and they climb the wall using cables to enter an apartment where one man chokes out one guard and shoots another; the other man holds several guards at gunpoint. A man swallows what he thinks is a suicide capsule and we see him revive later. A man holds a gun to another man’s head. A man shoots a seemingly empty gun at a wall and we see that its magazine has bullets in it, after he shoots it (time moves backward).
 Two men jump from a high-rise building and slide down to the ground on cables attached to harnesses. A man knocks two other men out using a handkerchief with an anesthetizing agent. A man opens the hatch of a plane while it is moving, deploys the escape slides and two men slide down to the tarmac (they seem unharmed). Several people pilot a racing boat as a woman unfastens a man’s safety belt and pushes him overboard; we see him lying face down in the water until another man dives in and pulls him out of the water (we see the injured man recovered later). A man drives a car erratically, and an extended scene on a highway with speeding vehicles shows vehicles trapped between other vehicles and the drivers are unable to get out as a man climbs across a firetruck ladder, opens a hatch in the top of a transport container, blows a door of the container inside it and retrieves a briefcase, then climbs back across the ladder and into a car speeding next to it; a police car is disabled on the road behind them and it stops in smoke. A man is prepped to be “inverted” and we hear about all the things that will be different, like his lungs not being able to inhale and exhale air, etc.
 People talk about cities underground after a nuclear disaster and that people were recruited to search for plutonium. A reference is made to a nuclear holocaust. A man talks about having injured his ankle during a parachute jump. There are discussions of art forgery. A woman tells a man that her estranged husband “Controls me.” We hear that a child is kept away from his mother by the woman’s estranged husband. A man talks about using halide gas to extinguish a fire in a vault where art pieces are kept. A man says, “You don’t negotiate with a tiger.” A man talks about slitting a man’s throat and pushing him down a flight of stairs. A woman lifts her shirt to reveal a scar on her abdomen from a gunshot wound.


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Tenet LANGUAGE 5

 – At least 1 F-word, 4 scatological terms, 1 anatomical term, 2 mild obscenities, name-calling (rubbish, Russian Oligarch, snobbery, nasty, dramatic, bold, nuts, arms dealer, monster, cowboy [scatological term deleted], filthy business, ignorance, devil, fanatic), exclamations (bloody, blimey), 1 religious profanity (GD), 7 religious exclamations (e.g. Jesus, Jesus Christ, God Will Forgive Me, You Don’t Believe In God, A God Of Sorts). | profanity glossary |


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Tenet SUBSTANCE USE

 – A man swallows what he thinks is a suicide capsule, and a man injects a woman in the arm with a sedative. A man orders and drinks a cocktail at a hotel bar, a woman pours two glasses of wine, a woman drinks a cocktail at a restaurant, two men drink vodka, and a man and a woman have wine with a meal.


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Tenet DISCUSSION TOPICS

 – Duty, survival, World War III, time travel, inverse radiation, nuclear fission, envy, anger, despair, tax havens, antiquities, freedom, failure, betrayal, restaurant, estranged marriages, faith, reality, pancreatic cancer, Oppenheimer, algorithms, grandfather paradox, reverse entropy, forgery, plutonium, the Cold War, arms dealers, trust, debt, terrorism, free will.

Tenet MESSAGE

 – What has happened, happened. Or not.

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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