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Where the Crawdads Sing | 2022 | PG-13 | – 5.5.3

content-ratingsWhy is “Where the Crawdads Sing” rated PG-13? The MPAA rating has been assigned for “sexual content and some violence including a sexual assault.” The Kids-In-Mind.com evaluation includes a sexual assault, a few sex scenes with partial nudity, an implied sex scene and some kissing scenes, several scenes of child and spousal abuse with injuries shown, a dead body, bullying, discussions of child neglect and abandonment, courtroom proceedings in a murder trial, and some strong language. Read our parents’ guide below for details on sexual content, violence & strong language.


A young girl (Jojo Regina) left by her mother and siblings in the care of an abusive, alcoholic father fends for herself in the marshlands of North Carolina. When she is accused of murder as a young woman (Daisy Edgar-Jones), the truth about her life emerges along with the realization that the town’s disdain for her may lead to the death penalty. Also with Taylor John Smith, Harris Dickinson, David Strathairn, Michael Hyatt, Sterling Macer Jr., Logan Macrae, Bill Kelly, Ahna O’Reilly and Garret Dillahunt. Directed by Olivia Newman. [Running Time: 2:05]

Where the Crawdads Sing SEX/NUDITY 5

 – A young man and a young woman drive to another town and check in to a hotel, they kiss as they move through the door, undress, lie on the bed and we hear the young man’s zipper as he thrusts briefly (we see his bare chest and abdomen); the young man then tells the young woman, “It’ll feel better for you later, after you do it more.” A young man and a young woman kiss and hug; she removes her top, he removes his shirt (we see their bare backs) they lie on a bed and kiss (sex is implied); they then sit in the bed together later (we see the young man’s bare chest and abdomen) and the young man proposes to her. A young man and a young woman kiss, he unbuttons her dress and drops it to her ankles (we see her bare shoulders and back), he takes off his shirt (we see his bare back and chest), they lie on the ground and kiss, and he pulls away and apologizes; he explains that the consequences for doing anything else would be more significant for her.
 A young man and a young woman kiss while surrounded by swirling leaves in the woods; the scene shifts to the couple kissing in her house. A young man and a young woman swim together, they kiss and she wraps her legs around his waist; they lie on the shore together and continue to kiss. A young man asks a young woman if he can kiss her and they kiss.
 A young man and a young woman kiss on a beach, he pushes her back on the sand and moves on top of her (please see the Violence/Gore category for more details). A young man and a young woman sleep together; they are clothed and no sex is implied. A young man and a young woman look at each other flirtatiously.
 A young woman wears a sheer top that reveals the outline of her breasts. A young woman wears a low-cut dress that reveals cleavage and her bare shoulders in a few scenes. Young men and young women are shown on a beach wearing swimsuits (cleavage, bare chests and legs are seen). A young woman wears a slow-cut tank top that reveals cleavage.

Where the Crawdads Sing VIOLENCE/GORE 5

 – A man yells at his children and charges toward them while playing in a small motorboat: he hits one child in the face, knocks one child into the water and pulls her back out, and a boy charges the man and shoves him to the ground; the man then hits his wife hard across the face knocking her down (we see blood and a bruise on her face). A young man slaps a young woman in the face, she punches him in the face, he tackles her to the ground and straddles her reaching to unfasten his pants; he punches her hard in the face and she seems nearly unconscious as he turns her over on her stomach and an attempted rape is implied; the young woman hits the young man in the head with a rock several times (we see blood on his face), she kicks him in the stomach and threatens to kill him if he comes near her again (we see a bruise on the young woman’s face later).
 A young woman in a small motorboat tries to run from police officers (also riding in boats); she hides and runs through a marsh, and swims underwater until she is grabbed by an officer in a boat and pulled out of the water by her overalls. A young girl takes a boat through a marsh and gets lost; a boy helps her get back home. A young girl is shown having to fend for herself for food and necessities. A young woman hides from officials looking for her in several scenes; we hear that they are social services representatives and developers. A young woman hides in the marsh in her boat and she sees a young man looking for her.
 A young woman yells and throws stones at a young man when he comes toward her. Two young men talk about a young woman in a demeaning manner and another young man tells them to stop; one of the first young men charges toward him and they shove each other and one is slapped in the face before they are separated by another man. A young man grabs a young woman by the arm and she pulls away from him, and he becomes angry and yells when another young man mocks him. A young man and a young woman kiss on a beach, he pushes her back on the sand and moves on top of her; she then pushes him away, gets up and yells at him.
 A lawyer in a courtroom describes the events that led to the murder of a young man and says that he was lured to a fire tower and that the killer has a weakness of character. Children bully and mock a young girl when she goes to school for the first time and cannot spell a word for the teacher and we see her without shoes and dirty; they call her names and say she has “cooties.” A young woman is told that if found guilty of murder, the prosecution will seek the death penalty. People in a courtroom call out that a young woman is guilty of murder. A woman glares at a young woman and the young woman crosses the street to avoid her. A woman says that her son told her that he had broken up with a young woman.
 A woman leaves her home and children and her young daughter runs after her as she walks away (we hear that the woman never returned). A young girl talks about everyone leaving her as we see her siblings leaving one by one and one teen boy is shown with a bruise on his face. A young girl talks about her father leaving her and that she was totally alone. A man ransacks his home and breaks and burns items that belonged to his wife. A young woman describes feeling invisible. A young man talks about his mother and sister dying in a car accident. A young man tells his sister that their mother died. A young man tells a young woman that he is leaving for university and she becomes upset. A young woman waits on a beach alone into the night and wakes up in the morning still alone; she becomes upset and cries and a voiceover refers to “heart pain.” A young woman describes insects’ behaviors and says that the females of a particular type of insect have a specific call to attract males in order to eat them. A man warns a young woman that people in the town will judge her using their preconceptions. A man tells his young daughter to be careful and protect herself; he says that she cannot trust anyone.
 A woman is shown dead in a small boat and a man grieves over her. Two pre-teen boys find a body (we see no visible injuries) in a remote swamp and the police investigate; we see X-rays of a person’s head after an autopsy. People are shown grieving at a funeral for a man. A coroner determines that a man died from a fall from a 63-foot tall fire tower and hit his head on a metal bar on the way down.
 A young man rummages through things in a young woman’s home, he drops some drawings on the floor and the young woman becomes concerned that he will damage something. A young man goes to a young woman’s house to explain after another young woman introduced herself as his fiancée; he becomes angry and throws things around the room when he cannot find her. A young woman returns to her home to find it ransacked.
 A young girl carries a letter from her mother to her father and he reads it and burns it as the child pleads with him to let her have it. A young woman is startled by a young man in the woods and she hides. The marshlands of North Carolina are shown with alligators in the water.

Where the Crawdads Sing LANGUAGE 3

 – 1 sexual reference, 1 scatological term, 1 anatomical term, 10 mild obscenities, name-calling (crazy marsh girl, marsh girl, witch, swamp rat, outsider, silly, reclusive, half-wolf, missing link, nonsense, low-down dirty creep, liar), exclamations (jeez), 2 religious profanities (GD), 3 religious exclamations (e.g. God, oh my God, for Christ’s sake). | profanity glossary |

Where the Crawdads Sing SUBSTANCE USE

 – People drink beer in a bar, and a young man drinks bottles of beer in a few scenes and appears inebriated in one scene.

Where the Crawdads Sing DISCUSSION TOPICS

 – Murder, hate, relationships, betrayal, child abuse, sexual assault, survival, grief, Leukemia, jealousy, disappointment, loneliness, illiteracy, the death penalty, terminal illness, death of a parent, life choices, PTSD.

Where the Crawdads Sing MESSAGE

 – Everyone does what they must to survive.

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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