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Tree of Life | 2011 | PG-13 | - 2.4.1

We see a family living their lives as three young boys grow up together, struggle with their relationships and as adults deal with the death of one family member. Also with Sean Penn, Brad Pitt, Jessica Chastain, Fiona Shaw, Michael Showers, Will Wallace, Pell James and Jennifer Sipes. Directed by Terrence Malick. [2:18]

SEX/NUDITY 2 - A husband and his wife hug and kiss. A husband and his wife sit on a bed together (she is wearing a low-cut top that reveals cleavage) and he climbs out of bed. A husband caresses his wife's bare and pregnant belly. A man and a woman hug and caress each other while lying on a blanket.
 A boy watches a woman through her window, while she is changing her clothes (she is shown wearing a long slip), hanging her laundry out to dry, and rinsing her legs and bare feet (he seems to be watching with a suggestive eye).
 A woman wears a sheer nightgown (no detail is evident). We see boys wearing swim trunks while swimming. A boy breaks into a neighbor's house and rummages through a woman's underwear drawer, takes a slip, lays it out on a bed, looks at it then runs away with it (he throws it away in a stream).


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VIOLENCE/GORE 4 - A boy is pulled out of water by lifeguards and CPR is performed on him while other people look on and his mother grieves when it is determined that the boy died; we later see a funeral.
 We see a house engulfed in flames and later see a boy with a burn scar on his scalp and a missing patch of hair (he presumably was caught in the fire).
 A wife grabs her husband's face and squeezes it, the husband grabs her arms, they tussle, and he holds her and they calm down. A boy tells his father to "be quiet," and the father reaches across the table to grab him until another boy tells him to leave him alone; the second boy is locked in a closet and the first one runs out of the house. A husband yells at his wife in several scenes. A boy yells at his mother and speaks to her disrespectfully.
 Children run through a thick cloud of DDT as it is being sprayed from a truck. Two boys shoot BB guns in the woods (we don't see anything being struck), then one boy tells the other to put his finger over the barrel and when he does, the other boy pulls the trigger; we see the boy yell and run away holding his hand (no wound is visible). A boy tells another boy to put a wire hanger in a light socket and he does (nothing happens), and he then licks his finger and touches the socket (nothing happens). A boy swings a piece of wood toward another boy (he does not hit him).
 A dinosaur cowers on the ground (it could be injured but nothing is visible), another dinosaur approaches, pins it to the ground with a large talon-like foot, and then releases it and walks away.
 We see blood-tinged water and numerous hammerhead sharks circling in the water. We see a fetus in utero. A woman is shown during childbirth and she moans. A young boy cries after cutting his foot (we see a bit of blood while it is being treated). A boy lies in an opening inside a burial ground. We see two bodies wrapped in cloth and tied. We see a woman in a glass coffin.
 We see a man handcuffed and being arrested and another man with a cut on his nose (it is implied that there was a fight between the men). A father teaches his sons self-defense and tells them to hit him; one boy will not hit him and the father pushes him to the ground (no one appears harmed). Three boys wrestle on the ground and one appears upset when the other doesn't want to fight.
 We hear a woman scream a couple of times while grieving over the death of her son. We see people gathered and grieving over the death of a young man. A woman reads a telegram and cries uncontrollably. A man receives a phone call with news of the death of his son and he cries and tries to catch his breath. A woman says, "I want to die to be with him" about her son who had died. A man says, "He died when he was 19" (referring to his brother). A child asks his mother "Will you die too?" A boy tells his father, "You'd like to kill me," and "You can kick me out whenever you want." A boy watches his father working underneath a car and says to himself, "Please God, kill him. Let him die" (nothing happens). A woman says, "I give my son to you."
 A boy is sent away from the dinner table for laughing. A toddler is upset and his mother admonishes him not to throw a wooden toy at his infant sibling. Young boys make fun of a man that appears to be intoxicated and then stare at another man who is disabled.
 There are several sequences that show swirling bands of light in space and we hear people having conversations with an entity (it does not respond and is only represented by the bright light). We see a volcano erupting and lava spewing and flowing. Something crashes into the earth and we see ripples of dust clouds.
 Boys tie a frog to a rocket and light it (it takes off and the frog disappears). We see a cave opening that is carved to look like the gaping mouth of a monkey. Boys are shown throwing rocks and breaking the glass windows in neighbor's garage.
 A boy is shown with a scar on his face. A dog has a bloody bare patch on its back (presumably from a fight). A toddler is shown with a runny nose. A boy buries a dead fish (we see the fish partially dried).


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LANGUAGE 1 - 1 mild obscenity, exclamations (shut up).


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SUBSTANCE USE - A man walks on a street as if he is intoxicated. A man smokes a cigarette while playing cards.


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DISCUSSION TOPICS - Death of a family member, the way of nature, the way of grace, memories, regret, shame, parents' grief, forgiveness, greed, fear, thankfulness, naiveté, right vs. wrong, gambling, patents, losing one's job, inventions, trust, destiny, dishonor, disappointment, trust, hope, wonder, voyeurism.

MESSAGE - Nothing stays the same. Unless you love, your life will flash by.

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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