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The Upside of Anger | 2005 | R | - 5.6.5

Joan Allen stars as a woman who has been abandoned by her husband and left to raise her four daughters. Kevin Costner is a neighbor and ex-baseball star turned radio personality who tries to help her through the pain by becoming her drinking buddy. Also with Mike Binder, Erika Christensen and Alicia Witt. Directed by Mike Binder. [1:58]

SEX/NUDITY 5 - A man and a woman are shown in bed after having had sex, the man lies on top of the woman and they kiss (we see his bare back and chest and her bare shoulders). A man and a younger woman lie in bed together sleeping (it is implied that they have had sex) and the young woman's mother walks into the room (we see the man's bare chest and the young woman's bare shoulders). A man and a woman hold each other in bed and sleep.
 A woman showers, we see her bare shoulders, and when she steps out of the shower there is a man in the room admiring her. In another scene, the same woman steps out of a shower, a man is waiting for her and he makes a remark about her appearance (we see her bare shoulders and back).
 A woman wears a negligee for much of the movie that reveals cleavage, a woman wears a low-cut top that reveals cleavage, a woman wears a low-cut dress that reveals cleavage, a woman wears a low-cut dress that reveals her bare back, shoulders and cleavage, a woman in a leotard stretches on a ballet bar, and we see a man in a shirt and boxer shorts.
 A teenage girl leans toward a teenage boy to kiss him and he pulls away. In another similar scene they kiss, he tells her that he is gay and she tries to convince him to have sex with her in order to make sure.
 A young woman ends a relationship with a man and he asks, "You don't want to have sex with me anymore?" and she later says "I faked it." A woman says to a man, "... and now you want to have sex with me?" A woman calls a man on the telephone to tell him that she will be right over to have sex.
 A woman makes a comment to her daughters about the size of their father's endowment. A woman talks about her husband leaving her for another, younger woman. A woman talks about a man having, "a thing for her." Men and women dance together, and a man admires a young woman.


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VIOLENCE/GORE 6 - A woman imagines a man's head exploding and spraying blood and matter onto people gathered at a dinner table, and we see the open, bloody neck wound and his severed nose falls in his soup.
 A woman slaps a man in the face twice, knocking him to the ground. A man shoves a man, and then pushes him back with his arm across his throat while yelling at him. A man kicks a door down and yells at a woman (she cowers against the wall). An enraged woman tears a man's clothes out of a closet, and a woman is bitter and angry and yells throughout the movie. A woman lies in bed sobbing.
 In a few scenes we see a video of disconnected (montage) scenes of violence: armies are marching on civilians, a woman with a pistol, car crashes, in a scene of tribal punishment a woman is beaten by several men with sticks (the woman gets a bat and begins beating them), and animated pratfalls.
 A young woman lies unconscious in a hospital bed and we hear that she is very ill and in great pain. We see people gathered at a funeral around a grave.
 A teenage boy bungee jumps from a tree limb, he swings, crashes through a large window and lands on the floor (he is still for a moment but appears uninjured). A man bungee jumps off a tall crane.
 A dog licks a cooked chicken, people talk about the fact that the same dog had been licking other dogs' behinds, and then people eat the chicken. A young woman appears to have either an eating disorder or illness.


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LANGUAGE 5 - 10 F-words and its derivatives, 1 obscene hand gesture, 9 sexual references, 15 scatological terms, 11 anatomical terms, 10 mild obscenities, name-calling (idiot, pinhead), 6 religious profanities, 11 religious exclamations.


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SUBSTANCE USE - People smoke tobacco and drink alcohol heavily throughout the movie. People, adult and young teens, smoke marijuana.


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DISCUSSION TOPICS - Anger, jealousy, obsession, infidelity, marriage, divorce, bitterness, effects of anger, moving ahead, heartbreak, unplanned pregnancy, resentment, homosexuality, alcoholism, stress, effects of stress, dreams, ambitions, pride, controlling parents, mother and daughter relationships.

MESSAGE - We cannot move ahead in our lives until we let go of our anger.

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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