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The Two Popes | 2019 | PG-13 | – 3.4.2

content-ratingsWhy is “The Two Popes” rated PG-13? The MPAA rating has been assigned for “thematic content and some disturbing violent images.” The Kids-In-Mind.com evaluation includes a kiss, discussions of sexual abuse of children by Catholic priests, and some male nudity in paintings; several people are shot, people are pushed to their death from a plane and we hear about the torture of prisoners, the sexual abuse of children by Catholic priests, and many arguments about the modernization of the Catholic Church; and some strong language. Read our parents’ guide below for details on sexual content, violence & strong language.”


In 2012, Pope Benedict (Anthony Hopkins) summons Cardinal Bergoglio (Jonathan Pryce), a prominent critic of his conservative stewardship and the scandals of the Catholic Church to try to find a compromise between tradition and progress. When Pope Benedict renounces his papacy, a new pope must be elected and Cardinal Bergoglio becomes Pope Francis. Also with Juan Minujín and Sidney Cole. Directed by Fernando Meirelles. Several lines of dialogue are spoken in Latin without translation and others are spoken in Spanish, German, French, Portuguese and Italian with English subtitles. [Running Time: 2:05]

The Two Popes SEX/NUDITY 3

 – A man and a woman kiss. Men and women dance the tango in a dance club.
 A cardinal yells at a Pope, who confesses to having known about priests preying on children and the scandal of the sexual abuse that occurred in the Catholic Church. Two men discuss the requirements by the Catholic Church for priests to be celibate, and that the dogma does not recognize homosexuality or divorce. People discuss living without love. A priest listens to confessions that include references to sexual desire and masturbation.
 A priest bathes another man (we see his bare chest, abdomen and back). A painting shows a fully nude young boy and his bare chest, genitals and partial buttocks are seen. Several paintings of fully nude men are seen with bare chests, abdomens, genitals, legs and buttocks. A woman wears a full slip that reveals cleavage.


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The Two Popes VIOLENCE/GORE 4

 – Several people are shown bound and blindfolded in a cell and later in an airplane where they are injected with something before being rolled out of the back of the plane over the ocean (we hear that there were complaints about the number of bodies that were washing up on the shore). We see people being taken away by police and others shot in the streets by military police (blood splatters). Soldiers with guns ride in trucks onto the grounds of a Catholic mission and take people away; we see priests blindfolded and we hear that they were tortured and their hands were broken.
 A soccer player is elbowed in the face during a match and we see blood on his cheek. We hear that Pope John Paul II died and we see a body carried on a ceremonial stretcher as people grieve.
 A cardinal yells at a Pope, who confesses to having known about priests preying on children and the scandal of the sexual abuse that occurred in the Catholic Church. A Cardinal confesses to being involved in the aftermath of a government overthrow in Argentina and that 30,000 people were killed or disappeared for disagreeing with the government. A man says that he was thrown out of his position after democracy returned. We hear that confidential Vatican documents were leaked by an aide to the Pope. Three men argue when one tells the others to close a mission to appease a government official. Two men argue in several scenes between dogma and reform, politics and the future of the Catholic Church. People talk about the death of a Pope leading to the end of liberalization and unity. We hear about a cardinal being an advocate for reform. A man talks about Joseph Ratzinger (Pope Benedict) being a Nazi. A man says that a Pope is “too conservative.” When visiting a Pope’s palace, a cardinal says that it is “too grand.” A Pope argues about the Western influence on the Catholic Church. Two men argue and one tells the other, “I don’t agree with anything that you say.” A man says, “People don’t like me very much.” A man says that he is half-blind and has a pacemaker and must resign as Pope. A man and a woman argue and he later says, “She warned me and I wouldn’t listen.” A cardinal talks about the liberation and promotion of the poor. We see images of empty life vests as we hear about the numbers of dead from refugees drowning. A man jokes, “How does an Argentinian kill himself? He climbs to the top of his ego and jumps off.”
 A painting shows a fully nude young boy (please see the Sex/Nudity category for more details) stepping on a snake with his bare foot.
 A man scoffs at being served a Bavarian dish that seems to be broth with dumplings of some sort.


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The Two Popes LANGUAGE 2

 – 4 sexual references, 2 mild obscenities, name-calling (Nazi, harshest critics, dishonest, permissive, narcissistic, silly, disconnected, divisive figure, hypocrisy, traitor, tyrant, angel of death), 3 religious exclamations (e.g. Oh My God, We Are All In God’s Hands, Thank You Lord, several prayers and sermons). | profanity glossary |


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The Two Popes SUBSTANCE USE

 – People are injected with something (presumably a sedative) before being thrown out of a plane. A man drinks wine with meals in several scenes, and two men drink beers while watching a soccer match. Two men discuss whether it is permitted to smoke while praying.


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The Two Popes DISCUSSION TOPICS

 – The Catholic Church, the Argentinian junta, fascism, torture, the sexual abuse of children by priests, scandal, sin, elitism, inequality, depression, forgiveness, absolution, globalization, conservatism, liberalism, succession, change, angels, compromise, Pope Benedict XVI, Pope Francis, reform, change, eternal truth, martyrs, celibacy, egoism, inequality, homosexuality, mercy.

The Two Popes MESSAGE

 – Modernization is a good thing, even for the Catholic Church. Nothing is static in the universe.

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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