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The Upside | 2019 | PG-13 | – 4.3.4

content-ratingsWhy is “The Upside” rated PG-13? The MPAA rating has been assigned for “suggestive content and drug use.” The Kids-In-Mind.com evaluation includes sexual innuendo, hygiene procedures that involve the genital area, many arguments including yelling and breaking objects, discussions of death and near fatal accidents, a few scenes of marijuana use, and some coarse language. Read our parents’ guide below for details on sexual content, violence & strong language.”


A remake of the French 2012 film The Intouchables about a recently restored citizen (Kevin Hart) trying to escape his criminal record that lands a challenging job as a nursing assistant to a depressed, quadriplegic billionaire (Bryan Cranston). While coming from two disparate worlds, the two men soon become friends, learning to accept and appreciate each other’s culture. Also with Nicole Kidman, Julianna Margulies, Aja Naomi King and Tate Donovan. Directed by Neil Burger. [Running Time: 2:06]

The Upside SEX/NUDITY 4

 – A man tries to change another man’s catheter, says he will have to pinch the head of the penis and grimaces as the patient explains how to replace it; we hear some snapping and see a yellow tube and then the first man points to somewhere below the frame and shouts, “What is that? Make it go down!” as a woman walks in and the man throws a sheet over the patient’s body, but we see a protrusion in the sheet at the groin level (the woman walks out, looking embarrassed and the patient laughs). A woman wearing latex gloves reaches below the frame to change a man’s urinary catheter and we hear snapping; another man watching grimaces several times and says it hurts him to watch (he rubs around his groin briefly). A woman tells a man that he will have to help clean a quadriplegic man after bowel movements, gesturing by curling up a finger and wiggling it in the air; the man says he will not ever put his finger into the injured man’s butt.
 A man takes two women (they’re prostitutes) into a room where another man sits in a wheelchair (both women are wearing micro mini-skirts that reveal some cleavage and we see thighs in fishnet hosiery): one clothed woman sits on the first man’s back as he faces the camera while on his stomach and she rubs his bare shoulders and the other woman is shown kneeling in the other man’s lap with her back to the camera as she rubs the man’s ears and he smiles.
 There are several suggestive comments: “My ears are erogenous zones,” “My sensitive side is my behind,” a man accuses another man and a woman of having an affair (they are not), a man asks a potential employer for her phone number and does not receive it, a man flirts with a woman and asks, “Have you figured out how to tell your boyfriend you’re leaving him for someone else?” “I know what else is blue (implying the testicles), and “You are a P.Y.T.” A man dictates classical love poems to a woman who writes them in a letter to the man’s female pen pal and a man and a woman realize they are in love and look at each other tearfully, with smiles.
 A woman wears a tight tank top that reveals cleavage. A woman wears short-shorts and dances with her back to the camera, focusing on her buttocks as she sways and twists. Several women wear evening gowns that reveal cleavage and one woman’s dress also has a small cutout at the abdomen (we do not see her navel). A man shirtless is shown from the waist up in half a dozen scenes, with tattooed designs on his chest and back. A man wears tight biking-type shorts that end at mid-thigh. An older man is seen with bare upper chest and shoulders briefly as he has his hair shampooed.


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The Upside VIOLENCE/GORE 3

 - Many scenes feature a quadriplegic man permanently paralyzed from the neck down sitting in a motorized wheelchair; we hear that he was injured in a hang-gliding accident and that he has no control of his body except his neck and head and he presses a lever with his chin to move his chair.
 A scene that is repeated shows a man in an expensive sports car with a passenger as they speed and weave in and out of traffic and a police cruiser chases them with sirens and lights operating and the speeder gets away until another cruiser cuts it off; an officer slams the driver onto the car and begins to handcuff him until the driver shouts that the passenger is paralyzed and having a seizure as the passenger makes his saliva foam and the police officers escort the sports car to the hospital (the driver speeds away when the police leave). Two men paraglide with professionals holding them in harnesses and one injured man is seen in a wheelchair type seat; both men shout in fun as they fly.
 A quadriplegic man dreams of paragliding and then sees the ground come up fast and we hear a thud; he awakens frightened, but remembers that he was dreaming of the accident that paralyzed him. A quadriplegic man dreams of his wife in a hospital bed at home, wearing an oxygen tube and asleep; we hear that she died of cancer after he was paralyzed. A man tells another man that he has thought of suicide after his wife's death. A man says that he was paragliding in a storm with lightning when he was hurt. A man grimaces as he tries to change a male patient's urinary catheter below the frame (please see the Sex/Nudity category for more details). A quadriplegic man awakens startled and wheezing in the middle of the night; his male aide places an oxygen mask over his nose and mouth and the man struggles at first, but then accepts the oxygen.
 Two men argue about one of them meeting a woman for lunch; the two men meet the woman in a restaurant and one man leaves until the lunch becomes awkward as the woman focuses on food drips on a quadriplegic man's clothing and he backs his wheelchair into another patron, runs into a waiter and sends a pot of coffee into his own lap (people gasp, but he says he cannot feel the hot coffee).
 Two men argue in a few scenes. A man screams and his aide breaks a vase to pieces on the floor. A quadriplegic man sternly tells his female assistant that he wants his "Do Not Resuscitate" order followed exactly; we hear that she had rushed him to the hospital for a breathing treatment. A man tells another man to break things around the room; we see and hear vases, china art objects, and a framed picture crash, shatter, and break for several seconds until the floor is covered with broken glass. A woman berates a man for neglecting her and their son and shouts at him to get out. A man shouts at another man in several scenes. A woman shouts at a man and tells him to get out of her house. A man shouts at a woman and they argue. Two men argue several times, once heatedly. A man argues with his middle-school aged son. A man slams his fist into a table top in a restaurant and other diners stare at him. A man talks and laughs loudly during an opera and other patrons look at him angrily. We hear that a man was incarcerated for theft and concealed weapons, and found his father serving time in jail. We hear that a group of men stage thefts and sell marijuana (we do not see these activities).
 An apartment building has filthy hallways, walls and doors and inside one apartment the walls are stained with dirty water and a plastic tarp is stapled in one corner and it is filled with brown water dripping into a bucket on the floor.
 We see a quadriplegic man nearly fall out of his wheelchair as a woman catches him. A man is seen in a shower from the waist up as seven strong shower sprays hit him and shouts for help. A man shampoos another man's hair and gets soap in his eyes, causing yelping.
 A man feeds another man big spoons full of yogurt and fruit, nearly choking him and yogurt runs down his face. We see a urine bag with some yellow urine in it taped to a man's lower leg in two scenes.


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The Upside LANGUAGE 4

 - 9 scatological terms, 13 anatomical terms, 13 mild obscenities, name-calling (crazy, plantation, white people, white lady, Colombo), exclamations (I swear, oh man), 7 religious exclamations (e.g. Oh My God, God, Oh God, Jesus). | profanity glossary |


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The Upside SUBSTANCE USE

 - A man and a second man who is in a wheelchair each take a few puffs from a marijuana cigarette and the man in the wheelchair begins giggling, slurring words and laughing loudly and hooting, two men take a puff from a marijuana cigarette at an outdoor basketball court, two men come out of a marijuana smoke-filled room and giggle and hoot, a man suggests making a smartphone app for finding marijuana dealers, fifteen medicine bottles of prescription pills are seen on a nightstand, a man says several medicines are for nerve damage that feels like fire in his legs and nothing works, a man asks another man if he had Cialis for breakfast, and a man asks two laughing men if they are high. A man sips from a short mixed drink in a restaurant where glasses of wine are seen on other tables (no one drinks), a table at a party is filled with liquor and wine bottles as waiters carry trays of champagne in tall glasses but no one drinks, a man gives a large bottle of champagne to another man as a gift and a third man later breaks it on the floor spilling the wine, and a man asks another man if he is drunk (he is not).


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The Upside DISCUSSION TOPICS

 - Accidents, serious injuries, paralysis, quadriplegia, cancer, loss, depression, anger, self-pity, recklessness, needing help, difficulties for restored citizens in finding work, class differences, white entitlement, losing one's family, domestic strife, second chances, companionship, unlikely friendships, trust, interdependence, redemption, happiness.

The Upside MESSAGE

 - Everyone deserves a second chance and should make the most of it.

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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