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Where the Wild Things Are | 2009 | PG | - 1.4.1

In this adaptation of Maurice Sendak's children's classic, a rambunctious boy (Max Record), feeling misunderstood at home, lashes out against his mother (Catherine Kenner) and runs away to a world he has created for himself: Surrounded by monsters that crown him their king, he rules his new family, until he realizes that he misses his own family. Also with the voices of James Gandolfini, Catherine O'Hara, Chris Cooper, Forest Whitaker and Paul Dano. Directed by Spike Jonez. [1:34]

SEX/NUDITY 1 - A man and a woman kiss lightly on the lips as a boy watches, hidden from sight. A male monster asks a female monster if she would like to go on a walk, but she ignores him. A monster lovingly nuzzles against another monster.
 A monster comments to a boy that two other monsters are in love. A boy tells a monster that another monster has loving feelings for her. A boy finds a small figurine of two monsters holding hands and another figurine of two monsters leaning against one another lovingly.

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VIOLENCE/GORE 4 - A monster angrily tackles another monster, pins him, and rips off one of his arms; the monster shouts, saying that it had been his favorite arm, and sand pours out of the wound, as though it were blood -- the monster with the missing arm is later seen with a twig sticking out of his side, in place of the missing arm.
 A boy instructs a group of monsters that they are going to have a war of "good guys" versus "bad guys," where they will throw dirt clumps as hard as possible at one another's heads: the monsters throw dirt clods at one another (hitting heads, legs and torsos), the boy is struck in the back of the head by a huge dirt clump, a raccoon is thrown at one monster, he throws it back, it hits a monster's face, and it begins to bite the monster's nose; a monster is knocked down and cries out in pain, and a monster shouts that it is unfair to hit him while he is already injured (we see a wound on the monster but there's no blood).
 A monster swallows a boy whole to protect him, and later lifts the boy out of her mouth after the boy tells her that he is having trouble breathing in her stomach; the boy is covered in slimy slobber.
 A monster angrily swings his arms at a boy, attempting to smash him, the boy escapes and begins to run in a panic through the woods, the monster chases him, and the boy is tripped by another monster, who pulls his foot to drag him away to safety.
 A woman whispers harshly at a boy after he stands on top of a table; he jumps down after shouting at the woman, runs, the woman chases him through the house, catches him, the boy bites her on the shoulder, breaks free from and runs out the door. A monster smashes a hole into a wall, directly above the head of a boy, and walks away angrily, shouting.
 A boy growls at a group of monsters as they circle him, one monster comments that she would like to eat the boy, remarks that the boy does not have "bird bones" that would get stuck in her teeth and whispers to the boy that she can eat him if she wants, and that the boy would not be able to do anything about it.
 A monster comments to a boy that he is the only "King" that they had not eaten. A boy looks nervously at a pile of skeletons and asks a monster if the skeletons were those of people previously in his position; the monster laughs and jokingly says he has never seen the skeletons before.
 A boy throws a snowball at a teen boy, the teen throws a chunk of snow back, several other teens throw snowballs at the boy, a teen chases the boy into an igloo, another teen jumps on the igloo, it caves in and the boy emerges, crying. Several children tackle a boy holding a ball while playing on a playground.
 A monster falls to the ground, another monster trips over him and steps on the monster's head, and another monster also steps on the monster, who sits up and shouts. While hoisting a boy in his arms, a monster accidentally knocks the boy's head against a low tree branch (the boy laughs and acts unfazed). Several monsters pile on top of a boy and each other in a playful manner. A boy jumps onto a monster's stomach playfully. A monster trips and while attempting to stand up, is accidentally kicked in the head by another monster. A monster slams against a rock wall and bounces, causing her back to hit another rock wall. A monster jumps and hits his head on a tree branch, falls to the ground with a thud, stands up and brushes himself off. While playing, a monster hits another monster in the torso with a large log; both monsters laugh. A monster head-butts a tree as another monster playfully punches a hole into a tree. A monster laughs as he picks up another monster and tosses him a few feet into the air. A boy stumbles and crashes down a staircase, chasing after a dog while holding a fork; he falls, tackles the dog and playfully growls and nuzzles. A boy stumbles and falls onto a snow-covered street curb; he stands up and brushes himself off. A boy accidentally falls to the ground, but gets up unharmed. A boy pretends to stumble into a wall and fall to the floor.
 A monster playfully knocks down a very large tree, and a monster and a boy have to run to avoid being hit as the tree falls to the ground. A monster throws a large pile of rocks, narrowly avoiding hitting a boy. A monster stomps on the edge of a cliff, causing a large avalanche of rocks. A monster slams his hand into a hut, breaking a huge chunk. A monster jumps on the top of a hut, causing it to explode. A monster butts his head into a hut, causing it to cave in. A boy runs around, attempting to tear down a hut by hitting it with a large stick. A boy attempts to throw his body into a hut to destroy it, but he falls to the ground.
 A boy sails a small sailboat, huge waves crash around him causing the boat to buck, and the boy is knocked overboard, but surfaces and manages to get onshore. A boy runs down a dark, empty street, chased by a woman, he squeezes through an opening in a fence, tumbles to the ground as he fights his way through a heavily wooden area, and he throws sticks on the ground while shouting, "I hate you!" A boy runs down a dark city street, a dog barks at and chases the boy behind a fence, and the boy barks back and smiles at the dog. A monster throws a rock at a bird, knocking it out of the sky; it then throws a rock at another bird, knocking it out of the sky too, and the monster bounds over to the fallen birds, lifts them up, and cradles them gently in her arms, saying that they enjoy being knocked out of the sky.
 A boy angrily jumps up and down on a bed. A boy angrily throws small knick-knacks against a wall. A boy angrily smashes a Popsicle-stick craft against the floor, stomping on top of the pieces. A boy, while pretending a fence is an imaginary friend, angrily shouts at and kicks it.
 Monsters surround a boy and he begins to shout. A monster shouts in his sleep, and violently claws at the ground in front of him as a boy watches, visibly frightened. A woman shouts, a boy shouts, and a boy growls at a monster and the monster growls back and then laughs.
 A boy tells a monster that he bit his mother, and the monster comments that "biters" are not that bad, however "eaters" are the worst. A teacher tells a large group of children that the sun is going to eventually burn out, but that human beings will probably be extinct already due to war, pollution, earthquakes, famine, plagues, tsunamis, and other disasters. A monster tells a group of monsters and a boy that the sun is going to die, which causes the monsters to panic. A boy asks a monster if the monster knew that one day the sun was going to die; the monster, visibly upset, attempts to change the subject. A boy tells a group of monsters that he had previously caused a group of Vikings' heads to explode just by using his "powers" (he uses his hands to gesture an explosion). A boy offhandedly mentions to a monster that he and the monsters can take off their legs so they would be able to float. A monster complains to another monster that his "eyeballs feel loose." A boy joyfully exclaims that a building will be able to detect intruders and immediately "cut out their brains." A boy relays a story to a woman about a vampire breaking his teeth as he attempts to bite a building and that the vampire is shunned by all of his vampire friends for no longer being a real vampire because all of his teeth fell out. A monster tells a boy a story about how he felt emptiness and loneliness and compares the feeling to losing a lot of teeth. A monster declares to a boy that the monster will have to eat his own feet off to combat loneliness. A monster announces to a small crowd of monsters that he no longer feels the need to eat his own feet off.
 A monster licks the face of a boy, covering his face with slobber. A boy tackles a monster to the ground and laughs as he begins to stick his finger up the monster's nose.

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LANGUAGE 1 - 2 mild obscenities, name-calling (stupid, biter, loud interrupting cow, out of control, downer, crazy, selfish, funny looking, weird, chubby), 1 religious exclamation.

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SUBSTANCE USE - A man and woman are shown holding wine glasses with a bottle of wine in front of them (we do not see them drink).

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DISCUSSION TOPICS - Family, love, frustration, running away from home, imaginary friends, imaginary worlds, war, pollution, famine, tsunamis, earthquakes.
MESSAGE - Trying to make everyone happy is harder than it may seem.
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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