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The World to Come | 2020 | R | – 6.4.1

content-ratingsWhy is “The World to Come” rated R? The MPAA rating has been assigned for “some sexuality/nudity.” The Kids-In-Mind.com evaluation includes a few sex scenes with partial nudity between two women as well as a man and a woman, a house fire that kills a child, a couple of people dying from fever, spousal abuse, surviving frontier life, several arguments, love and loss, and some name-calling. Read our parents’ guide below for details on sexual content, violence & strong language.


Two women (Katherine Waterston and Vanessa Kirby) in the 1850’s American frontier strike up a friendship that soon becomes physical and passionate and strains the relationships they have with their husbands. Also with Christopher Abbott, Casey Affleck and Karina Ziana Gherasim. Directed by Mona Fastvold. [Running Time: 1:38]

The World to Come SEX/NUDITY 6

 – Two women have sex and we see their bare breasts as they kiss, moan and breathe heavily. A husband and his wife have sex: we see him thrusting on top of her and his bare back is shown. Two women kiss passionately pressing against a wall, and one woman moves her hand to the other woman’s crotch. A woman masturbates and we hear her breathing heavily as we see her shoulder moving rhythmically.
 A husband touches his wife’s clothed breast in bed and pulls her toward him; she says, “It’s still too soon,” and they go to sleep. Two women talk about their feelings for each other, they stand close to each other, one moves close to kiss the other, they kiss passionately, stop and one woman leaves.
 A husband caresses his wife’s hair tenderly in bed as she sleeps. A woman touches another woman’s hand tenderly. Two women lie on the ground and their clothing is disheveled as they caress each other. A woman admires another woman’s long hair. A woman rubs another woman’s feet when they are cold and the second woman pulls away saying that it tickles. A woman talks about young girls being “married off.” A woman talks about her husband expecting her to give him a child, but she has been unable to get pregnant. A husband and his wife dance (she seems to be disinterested). A husband reads a letter from a woman to his wife and becomes upset by what he reads.
 A man undresses and we see his bare back and buttocks. A woman wears a low-cut blouse that reveals cleavage and removes her blouse to show a corset, cleavage and bare shoulders. A woman undresses and we see cleavage. A woman puts on a nightdress (no nudity is shown). A woman’s blouse is partially unbuttoned and we see cleavage and part of her underwear and corset

The World to Come VIOLENCE/GORE 4

 – We hear that a fire burned a house to the ground and a child was trapped inside; we see a woman screaming, “Get her out,” as the house is engulfed and she cannot reach her child. A blizzard blows through an area as a man struggles to get sheep into a barn and a woman tries to ride her horse to her home; she becomes disoriented and calls for a man that helps her inside. A woman talks about her young daughter and we hear her coughing and suffering from a fever as her mother holds her and sings (we understand that the child died); the woman walks to the child’s grave in the dark in one scene.
 A man reprimands his wife and says, “You haven’t accomplished any of your responsibilities,” as she panics and rushes to milk the cows and prepare him a supper. A man talks to his wife about men having poisoned and killed their wives (he seems to be threatening her). A man talks about another man having been beaten. A man reprimands his wife and tells her that he has certain expectations; they then argue. A man pounds on a door and yells at his wife, “Submit to your husband.” A woman has bruises on her neck and it is implied that her husband is beating her.
 A man says that he held his dog in a gale until it froze to death to teach it a lesson. A pig squeals as three men grab it and hold it down, and one man raises a hammer and brings it down on the pig’s head (the squealing stops). Two women pull feathers off birds on a table. A man fears losing his cows without any feed to feed them. After a heavy blizzard, a woman says, “Half the chickens are lost” (we see a few carcasses frozen into the snow). A woman thinks about killing a man (she does not).
 A woman’s voice-over talks about the bitter cold of winter and says, “There was ice in our bedroom for the first time all winter.” A woman says that an earthquake took down their house and barn when she was a child. A character says that her mother said, “We tumble from one mortification to another.” A husband tells his wife, “I would die without you.” A woman says that they are planning to migrate west. A man tells another man to “Keep a civil tongue.” A man says that his wife died of diphtheria.
 A woman with blue-tinged skin lies motionless on a bed. A man cleans an animal carcass pulling out bloody organs and we see his hands covered with blood. A man coughs deeply and we hear he has a fever; a woman talks about giving him an enema with molasses. A woman bandages a man’s thumb (we don’t see the wound). A woman finds a piece of cloth stained with blood and fears for her friend when it seems that they have gone away. A woman says that she cut her hand on a knife and we see it bandaged.

The World to Come LANGUAGE 1

 – Name-calling (dullard, frivolous, slaughterhouse, ignorant, odd little world, tedious, lonesome, desperate, selfish, inmate, hoarder, disagreeable), 1 religious exclamation (God Help Us). | profanity glossary |

The World to Come SUBSTANCE USE

 – A wife says that her husband tied her to a chair and administered laudanum, and a woman takes a spoon of a liquid (presumably laudanum). People drink wine with a meal, and people drink at a meal. A man smokes in a couple of scenes.

The World to Come DISCUSSION TOPICS

 – Farming, frontier life, adultery, hope pride, burdens, contentment, fear, sorrow, grief, expectations, gender roles, marriage, dread, diphtheria, death of a child, self-education.

The World to Come MESSAGE

 – Life is hard, especially without love.

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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