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To the Stars | 2019 | NR | – 5.4.5

content-ratingsWhy is “To the Stars” rated NR? The MPAA has not rated this film. The evaluation includes a sex scene between a woman and a teen girl, an implied sex scene between a teen girl and teen boy, several kissing scenes, scenes of skinny dipping with partial nudity and discussions of sex and homophobia; a father beats his teen daughter with a belt leaving a bruise on her temple, many scenes of teens bullying another teen, a few rock throwing incidents with one boy ending up with a bloody head wound, talk of a suicide by drowning, many arguments between adult couples, and at least 2 F-words and other strong language. Read our parents’ guide below for details on sexual content, violence & strong language.”

A new girl (Liana Liberato) in a small Oklahoma town in the 1960s, arrives and befriends a bullied teen and helps her become more self-assured and assertive. Also with Kara Hayward, Jordana Spiro, Tina Parker, Shea Whigham, Lucas Jade Zumann, Quinn Gasaway, Connor Scott Frank and Andrew Youngerman. Directed by Martha Stephens. [Running Time: 1:51]

To the Stars SEX/NUDITY 5

 – A teen girl goes to a woman’s house at night and the woman says, “You shouldn’t be here”; they touch each other’s faces tenderly and kiss, the teen goes inside the house, and sex is implied (we hear moaning and there’s slight movement in the dark later when they are seen by another teen girl). A teen girl pushes a boy on the ground, straddles him and removes her shirt (we see her wearing a bra that reveals cleavage, her bare side, back and abdomen) as the boy talks about her being fast as she kisses him (sex is implied).
 A teen boy and a teen girl hug and kiss; we then see them swimming wearing underwear (her cleavage, bare abdomen and back are seen as well as his bare chest, abdomen and back). A teen boy and a teen girl kiss while seated on bleachers at a school dance until a teacher separates them (the boy has his hand on the girl’s knee). A teen girl kisses another teen girl and then panics saying, “I don’t think of you that way.” A teen girl kisses a teen boy. A woman touches a teen girl’s face tenderly and there seems to be physical attraction between them (the teen leaves and the scene ends). A teen boy kisses a teen girl on the neck.
 A woman approaches a teen boy getting ready to leave on his motorbike and she flirtatiously asks him for a ride; she climbs on the back of the bike and he gets off abruptly and walks away. A teen girl watches admiringly a teen boy working in a barn. A teen girl climb son the back of a teen boy’s motorbike and holds him around the waist as they ride to school.
 A teen girl gets into a pond and another teen yells at her, “Are you naked?” (we see her bare shoulders). A teen girl talks about losing her virginity and that she had sex with a teen boy. A woman forces her teen daughter to try on a dress for a school dance and calls it her “boy catcher”; she then tells her that she (the mom) could have had any boy she wanted when she was her daughter’s age and, “If I hadn’t gotten pregnant, who knows where I’d be.” A teen girl poses by pursing her lips and says that she’s “selling lips.” A teen girl says that she could never be a model because she’s “way too flat chested.” Two teen girls talk about an actor in a movie being attractive. A woman talks about her brother having died in a war and that he feared he’d “Never get a girl.” A teen girl says that a teen boy gave her a “promise ring.” A teen boy compliments a teen girl on how she looks and says, “You look all grown up.” A man enters a beauty salon to talk to a woman about work he is doing for her and the man’s wife argues with him about being so attentive to her. A woman describes the town’s preacher as having a scandalous cleft in his chin. A woman tells her teen daughter, “If I have to sell my body to get you a date to prom…” and a woman says of another woman’s teen daughter, “At least she isn’t pregnant. Are you?” and the two women laugh. A teen boy describes a teen girl’s breasts using crude terms. A teen girl says another teen girl is pretty, “In a hard kind of way.” A woman watches a man on a TV show and tells her husband, “That’s a real man.” A teen girl talks about a woman being called the “town punch” and that the term implied that she had been with men sexually, that were not her husband. A teen girl tries on clothes and another teen girl asks if her bust is “popping out” and when they first girl replies, “Yes,” the second tells her that they fit.
 A teen girl removes her bra and underwear to swim and we see her bare back and her fully nude form from a distance (no anatomic detail is seen). Teen boys and teen girls undress to swim in a pond at night and we see girls wearing underwear that reveal cleavage and bare abdomens and legs; a teen boy unfastens his pants and a teen girl says, “Put that away. That’s for my eyes only.” Teen girls in a locker room scene are shown changing their clothes and we see a couple of them wearing bras that reveal cleavage and others wearing shorts that reveal legs to the upper thighs. A teen girl wearing a sheer nightdress (her skin tone is seen through the fabric, without anatomic details) floats alone in water at night in a few scenes. A teen girl changes her clothes in the girls’ bathroom at school, presumably after losing bladder control. A teen girl wears a full slip that reveals cleavage and bare legs to the upper thighs.

To the Stars VIOLENCE/GORE 4

 – A man waits for his teen daughter outside their house at night and quizzes her about who she was with; he beats her with a belt a few times (we see a bruise on her face later) and says, “I left my job for you,” implying that she did something where they used to live and they moved to try to change her behavior. Men with baseball bats go to a woman’s house, break her car windows, her mailbox and furniture as she walks out of the house and drives away; one man breaks her windshield and calls her names. A teen girl slaps another teen girl in the face.
 Teen boys in a pickup truck drive alongside a teen girl as she walks to school; they mock her and tease her and one boy gets out of the truck, knocks books out of the girl’s hands and bends down behind her as she picks them up as the other boys goad him about having sex with her; a rock hits the boy in the head (we see some blood) and another teen girl shouts at the boys and throws several more rocks at them and threatens one that he’s, “…gonna be singing soprano,” until they drive away. Teen boys in a pickup truck drive past a teen girl and mock her, asking if she likes girls, until she picks up rocks and throws them at the truck and the boys; they then speed away (no injuries are seen).
 A teen girl rushes home crying after seeing a woman and a teen girl having sex. A teen girl becomes angry and tries to make other teens leave a pond when they are planning to swim there and one boy urinates into the water. A teen boy runs into a teen girl and she spills a basket of eggs on the ground; her mother tells her that she will take them out of her allowance. Two teen girls throw rocks at a dress floating in a pond until it sinks. A teen girl speeds along a dirt road kicking up dust and tells another teen in the car that they are “ditching” school. A teen girl in a pond yelps and says that something has her foot, goes underwater as if something is pulling her down, and scaring another teen in the water with her (the first teen surfaces unharmed). A teen girl overhears her parents arguing, climbs out her bedroom window and jumps from a roof to the ground (she is not hurt); she then runs to a pond and swims alone in the dark and we hear her wishing to disappear.
 A wife berates her husband, throws ice cubes at him and they argue when she gets up to get another glass of whiskey; the man takes the glass away from the woman and tells her that she’s had enough. A husband and his wife bicker and she tells him, “You are working my last nerve.” A woman talks about a doctor that can help her teen daughter “be normal” (they find out that she is gay). A man cries and tells his daughter that he is sorry, and that he did something wrong because she used to be an angel. A woman talks about her brother having died in a war. A teen girl asks a woman if she misses her dead husband. A teen girl tells another teen girl that there is a woman’s dead body in the pond where they are swimming and that the woman committed suicide. Several teens call a teen girl “stinky drawers” and we understand that she has bladder control issues. A woman tells her teen daughter, “You have no sense of humor.” A woman tells a teen boy that he doesn’t need to fear all women because his mother committed suicide. Teens giggle at a teen girl in several scenes. A teen girl asks her teacher why she always has to be “stuck” with another girl as her partner. A teen girl asks another teen girl what her father did to land them in their small town. A teen girl remarks about new classmates and says, “They’ll kill you with kindness.” A woman complains about living on a farm with her husband and makes fun of him for being a farmer. A teen girl says of another teen girl, “The girl needs schooling.” A teen girl talks about “the untouchables” in India and says, “They bathe in their own body waste.” A teen girl mocks another teen girl about her eating habits and talks to her about her weight and self-control. Teen girls tell another teen girl not to associate with one teen girl because it would be “social suicide.” A teen girl says that her parents hate her. A woman storms out of a room saying that her husband and daughter are ganging up on her when she disapproves of her daughter’s appearance (she’s wearing new clothes and makeup). A teen girl says of another teen girl, “Can’t you smell her?” A teen girl says that some people saw another teen girl walking into a pond (it is an implied suicide, but we do not see evidence of this). A woman talks about someone dying of shame.
 A teen boy urinates into a pond (we see the stream). A teen girl talks about getting airsick and when she flew for the first time, “I threw up my Ovaltine.” A woman is shown with a stripe of hair bleach along her upper lip at a beauty salon. A teen girl talks about having a weak bladder. A teen girl takes off her glasses and says, “I’m legally blind.” A teen girl says that she doesn’t want to speak to a boy because, “I might throw up.” A teen girl says that she won’t eat fast food or she will “be blemished” for a dance.

To the Stars LANGUAGE 5

 – About 2 F-words, 4 sexual references, 8 scatological terms, 3 anatomical terms, 14 mild obscenities, 1 derogatory term for gay people, name-calling (prude, stinky drawers, liar, cow, farm boy, Podunk farm town, town punch, untouchable, phony, social suicide, petty, smallminded, mud frog, wallflower, feisty, dense, crazy, dimwit, lone wolf, dumb, bad, flawed person, chicken, pig, sick in the soul, I’m dirty), exclamations (shut your mouth, jeez Louise, calm down), 5 religious profanities (GD), 6 religious exclamations (e.g. Jesus H. Christ, Christ, I Swear To God, Oh God, Oh My God, For God’s Sake, a family prays before a meal). | profanity glossary |


 – A woman holds a bottle of prescription pills and chews one (she identifies them as sugar pills). A woman drinks a glass of whiskey and appears inebriated, a woman holds a glass of whiskey while gazing at a teen boy working near her barn, a teen boy pours alcohol from a flask into a punch bowl at a school dance, a teen girl says that she was drunk, teen boys carry bottles of beer around a pond where they plan to swim with teen girls at night, and two women drink wine while playing cards and smoking cigarettes. Two women smoke in a kitchen in a few scenes, two teen girls smoke a cigarette in a car, and a man enters a kitchen holding a cigarette.


 – Small towns, bullies, fitting in, cruelty, homosexuality, homophobia, jealousy, Pygmalion, Life magazine, suicide, psychosomatic symptoms, the Korean War, sexism.

To the Stars MESSAGE

 – Small towns are not welcoming to those determined to be different.


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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