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Waves | 2019 | R | – 5.4.10

content-ratingsWhy is “Waves” rated R? The MPAA rating has been assigned for “language throughout, drug and alcohol use, some sexual content and brief violence — all involving teens.” The Kids-In-Mind.com evaluation includes a sex scene and other implied sex scenes, discussions of teen pregnancy and abortion, and partial nudity and cleavage revealing outfits; several bitter arguments with a couple ending in a physical altercation and one ending in a death; discussions of drug and alcohol abuse and overdose; and nearly 80 F-words and other strong language. Read our parents’ guide below for details on sexual content, violence & strong language.”


After the tragic events of a single night change everything about their lives, a seemingly normal middle-class family has to confront grief and guilt while trying to stay together. With Taylor Russell, Kelvin Harrison Jr., Alexa Demie, Renée Elise Goldsberry and Sterling K. Brown. Directed by Trey Edward Shults. [Running Time: 2:15]

Waves SEX/NUDITY 5

 – A teen boy is shown lying on top of a teen girl in bed (fully under covers) and he thrusts very briefly and apologizes (presumed for premature ejaculation); he then asks her if she’d like to “Go again.” A young man watches a porn video on his computer (we hear a woman moaning and briefly see her face) and we see him from the back with slight rhythmic movement of his shoulders, suggesting masturbation.
 A young man and a young woman flirt at a beach party while others dance and sing on the beach; they then kiss. A young man driving a car kisses a young woman sitting in the passenger seat. A teen boy and a teen girl kiss in a car. A young man and a young woman kiss and embrace. A teen boy and a teen girl kiss, hug, and run through sprinklers.
 Young men and young women dance at a dance and a house party. A young man and a young woman go upstairs at a house party and another young man assumes that they are going to have sex. A teen boy asks a teen girl to get something to eat with him and she accepts. A teen boy and a teen girl hug and lie on a recliner together, sleeping in a hospital room.
 A young woman texts her boyfriend that she is “late” and she finds out later that she is pregnant. A young woman texts her boyfriend that she wants to keep her baby (please see the Violence/Gore category for more details). A young woman tells a young man that the other young man she had been with is gay, when the first young man accuses her of having had sex with him. A husband and his wife argue about not having had sex during a family crisis.
 A teen girl wears a low-cut tank top that reveals cleavage and her nipples through the fabric. A teen boy and a teen girl are shown sitting in a bathtub together (bare shoulders are seen and sex is implied). A teen boy and a teen girl are shown hugging in a shower (their bare shoulders and sides are seen). Young men are shown nude in the showers of a locker room and we see their bare backs, buttocks and legs (no genital areas are visible). Young men are shown shirtless during wrestling practice and we see their bare chests, abdomens and backs. In a few scenes of young men and a man working out, we see them shirtless (their bare chests, abdomens and backs are shown). A statue of wrestlers is seen in a background shot and we see bare backs, buttocks and legs. Young women wear low-cut dresses that reveal cleavage, bare backs and abdomens at a dance. Young men and young women are shown in a swimming pool wearing swimsuits (bare chests, abdomens, cleavage, and backs are seen). A teen girl is shown in a shower and we see her bare shoulders and knees. A teen girl wears shorts that reveal her bare legs to the upper thighs. A teen girl wears a crop top that reveals her bare abdomen and cleavage. Women and a man dressed as mer-people swim in a large aquarium (cleavage, bare abdomens and backs are seen). A teen girl wears a swimsuit that reveals her partial bare buttocks and cleavage.


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Waves VIOLENCE/GORE 4

 – A young man and a young woman argue bitterly, she shoves him and slaps him and he punches her hard throwing her to the floor where she hits her head and we see blood pooling; another young woman screams when she sees the injured young woman and we see her being taken to the hospital.
 A young man argues with his parents and the young man shoves his father to the floor (apparently hurting his knee). A young man takes his father’s car and drives while under the influence of drugs and alcohol. A young man runs away from his home and is surrounded by police; he is handcuffed and placed in the back of a cruiser. A young man drinks alcohol while driving. A young man slams his car into another car parked behind him on a street (we see the crumpled hood on the other car). A young man drives a car and takes his hands off the wheel as his passenger tells him to stop (no accident occurs).
 Two young men wrestle and one is pinned; the pinned wrestler moans and we hear a crunch when he hits the mat as he is slammed to the mat again and we see him wearing a sling later. A young man pins another young man during wrestling practice and we see the pinned young man with a bloody lip. A few wrestling meets are shown with young men throwing each other to the mat and pinning each other. A young man tries to lift weights, we hear popping, and he moans.
 After his girlfriend tells him that she wants to keep her baby, a young man yells and throws things in his room, breaking things. A young man and a young woman argue bitterly and she gets out of his car and insists on walking home; the young man yells and pounds on his steering wheel. People outside a women’s health clinic hold posters with pictures of fetuses and they call out to a young woman, “Don’t be a murderer.” A father and his son argue about the young man’s attitude and his father slaps him on the head. A father and his son argue and end up arm wrestling on a restaurant table to resolve the dispute.
 We hear about social media posts like, “I hope they fry him,” after a young man is sent to prison. A husband and his wife argue about how they are each dealing with a family crisis and grief; the wife blames the husband for what happened and says, “You make me sick.” A father and his son argue about working hard. A coach yells at high school wrestlers during practice and says, “There’s no second place,” and “Seize the day.” A coach has team members chant before a meet and they yell loudly. A doctor tells a young man that he has extreme damage to his shoulder and bicep and should stop physical activity immediately. A teen girl talks about her grandparents being dead. A teen boy talks about his father saying, “Not being the best dude,” and that he is not in his life. A teen boy says that his estranged father is dying of cancer and that “He deserves it,” for all the bad things he did to his mother and to him. A teen girl talks about feeling guilty about not stopping her brother one night. A man talks to his teen daughter about not being able to connect with his wife anymore.
 We hear that a young man is found guilty of murder in the 2nd degree and sentenced to life in prison with parole after 30 years. A background scene shows two police officers standing over a man kneeling on the ground. A man dies in a hospital and his teen son grieves and cries. A cat has what seems to be seizures and we see it shaking in a couple of scenes. Teens climb a makeshift ladder on the side of a tree and jump from it into water (no one is injured).
 A young man vomits (we see goo and hear retching and splattering) in a toilet after drinking and doing drugs at a party. A young man vomits while running during wrestling practice (we see goo and hear gagging). A man in a hospital vomits blood into a pan a couple of times (we see the blood and saliva). A young man is put into an MRI machine to evaluate shoulder pain.


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Waves LANGUAGE 10

 – About 79 F-words (with possible additional references in song lyrics that several people sing along to), 14 scatological terms, 6 anatomical terms, 19 mild obscenities, 5 derogatory term for African-Americans, name-calling (crazy, crazy women, jerk, stupid, condescending, pathetic, idiot, evil, monster), exclamations (shut-up, I hate you), 3 religious profanities (GD), 8 religious exclamations (e.g. Oh My God, My God, God, I Swear To God, Holy [scatological term deleted]). | profanity glossary |


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Waves SUBSTANCE USE

 – A young man takes pills for pain in several scenes, a young man smokes a marijuana cigarette at a beach party, a young man says that he can’t open his eyes after drinking and smoking marijuana at a party, a young man takes prescription pills with alcohol and snorts a white powder (it’s not clear what it is), teen boys and teen girls take ecstasy at a party, teen boys and teen girls smoke marijuana and drink beers, a teen girl says that her biological mother died of an overdose, and a teen boy talks about his estranged father being drunk and on drugs all the time. Teenagers are shown drinking alcohol in several beach party scenes, and teens are shown buying liquor from a carryout store in a few scenes. People smoke cigarettes in a party scene.


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Waves DISCUSSION TOPICS

 – Pressure to succeed, teenage pregnancy, abortion, jealousy, love, hate, step parenting, being average, goals, dreams, forgiveness.

Waves MESSAGE

 – Life can be full of unexpected tragedy.

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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