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"REQUIEM FOR A DREAM"
(2000) (Jared Leto, Jennifer Connelly) (Not Rated)

Alcohol/
Drugs
Blood/Gore Disrespectful/
Bad Attitude
Frightening/
Tense Scenes
Guns/
Weapons
Extreme Heavy Heavy Moderate Heavy
Imitative
Behavior
Jump
Scenes
Music
(Scary/Tense)
Music
(Inappropriate)
Profanity
Mild Minor Moderate None Extreme
Sex/
Nudity
Smoking Tense Family
Scenes
Topics To
Talk About
Violence
Extreme Heavy Minor Moderate Heavy


QUICK TAKE:
Drama: Several down-and-out, but hopeful people try to cope with the effects their varying addictions to various drugs have on their hopes and dreams.
PLOT:
It's summer in Coney Island and Sara Goldfarb (ELLEN BURSTYN) is a lonely, middle-aged widow whose only companions are her aimless, drug addict son, Harry (JARED LETO) and her TV. When she gets a telephone call stating that she's going to appear on her favorite game show that's hosted by the charismatic Tappy Tibbons (CHRISTOPHER McDONALD), Sarah decides she must get into shape to fit into her best dress. As a result, she visits her doctor who gives her diet pills to accomplish her goal.

Meanwhile, Harry and his best friend, Tyrone C. Love (MARLON WAYANS), spend their time alternating between taking drugs and being small-time dealers, always hoping to score some cash to keep their habit and "business" continuing. When things quickly go from prosperous to poor when their supply is cut off, Harry persuades his girlfriend and fellow addict, Marion Silver (JENNIFER CONNELLY), to "borrow" money from her therapist, Arnold the Shrink (SEAN GULLETTE).

As the three of them continue on their quest for affluence and more highs, Sara slowly begins to lose it due to a combination of overwhelming hunger and her growing addiction to her diet pills that turn out to be nothing more than amphetamines. From that point on, the four continue in a downward spiral of hopeless addiction and dashed dreams.

WILL KIDS WANT TO SEE IT?
The buzz about the film may cause some teen film fans to want to see it, but the fact that the film won't get much advertising due to its lack of a rating means that many kids won't even know anything about it.
WHY THE MPAA RATED IT: Not Rated
The film withdrew its initial rating (NC-17) in favor of being released without a MPAA rating. That said, the film contains graphic sexual material that easily warrants a hard R rating, if not that NC-17 one, as well as profanity and drug use.
CAST AS ROLE MODELS:
Considering the drug use, language and use of sexual favors/sordid sexual behavior, it isn't very likely that many parents would consider any of the characters here as good role models.
CAST, CREW, & TECHNICAL INFO

HOW OTHERS RATED THIS MOVIE


Curious if this title is entertaining, any good, and/or has any artistic merit?
Then read OUR TAKE of this film.


(Note: The "Our Take" review of this title examines the film's artistic merits and does not take into account any of the possibly objectionable material listed below).


OUR WORD TO PARENTS:
Here's a quick look at the content found in this film that originally received an NC-17 rating, but then withdrew it so that it could be released un-rated. That said, the film contains some rather graphic sexual material and images along with nudity in scenes featuring male/female encounters and women with women ones (the latter being an orgy of sorts with bystanders cheering on the "action"). Some graphic, sexually related talk is present as is suggested/partially seen oral sex.

Profanity is listed as extreme due to the use of at least 33 "f" words, while other expletives and colorful phrases are also used. The four major characters are addicted to drugs in one fashion or another (three the traditional route with pot, cocaine and heroin, while the fourth is hooked on, and then hallucinates from, her prescription diet pills that turn out to be amphetamines). Two of the characters deal drugs as well as take them, and some of the characters go to extreme measures to get them or get the money for them. Some characters also smoke cigarettes.

Violence consists of some off-camera shootings (although a person on camera is splattered with blood), a racist prison guard hitting a black inmate, and some imagined violence. Other gore involves an addict's horribly infected arm (from shooting up) and various scenes related to that.

Overall, the film has a very grim and unpleasant aura to it, and that, along with the more obvious material may prove to be disturbing or unsettling for some viewers. Should you still be concerned about the film's appropriateness for anyone in your home, we suggest that you take a closer look at our detailed content listings for specific examples of what occurs in the film.

For those concerned with the presence of flashing lights on the screen, some of that occurs in a scene set in an elevator as well as in later scenes in other locales (with some of it being of the strobe-like variety).


ALCOHOL OR DRUG USE
  • None of the drug use that's listed below glorifies the taking of drugs. Instead, it shows how bad they can be.
  • Harry and Tyrone talk about buying drugs that they would then deal to others.
  • Harry, Marion and Tyrone pop pills.
  • We see a highly stylized version of someone snorting cocaine (consisting of various symbolic images of the process and the resultant physiological effect - such as eyes dilating, etc. -- all quickly cut together).
  • Harry smokes pot, but it's shown in a way similar to the above (a succession of highly stylized, quickly cut shots).
  • Tyrone and Harry try some cocaine that they're going to sell.
  • Marion's therapist has wine with dinner.
  • We see another highly stylized montage of a person doing drugs.
  • We see that Harry and Tyrone are selling drugs and see shots of them preparing some cocaine.
  • Sara begins taking prescription diet pills from a doctor's office that turn out to be amphetamines.
  • We see images of marijuana being rolled and then smoked.
  • We see more highly stylized drug use.
  • We see more drug use.
  • Realizing she's becoming acclimated to the prescription pills she's taking, Sarah decides to take more than the recommended dosage.
  • We see Sarah popping more pills and she becomes more strung out as she does so.
  • Tyrone smokes what looks like a joint.
  • We see more highly visualized drug use.
  • We see people buying drugs (cocaine) in the back of a grocery store.
  • Harry and Tyrone do more drugs (shooting up) and we see that Harry's evidently been shooting up a lot (his arm is extremely discolored/swollen from such usage).
  • Marion has a drink with another man.
  • We see more drug use and then do so again.
  • BLOOD/GORE
  • Blood splatters onto Tyrone's face when someone is shot.
  • Marion imagines driving her fork into her therapist's body with bloody results (we see this).
  • We briefly see Marion vomit.
  • We see Harry's arm that's very discolored and gross looking (probably severely infected) from where he's been shooting up. Harry then shoots up some more and we see the needle go into that wound.
  • Later, we see Harry's arm again and it looks even worse than before.
  • We see a surgical rotary saw going into some flesh and blood squirting out (as an arm is amputated - but we don't see that in full detail).
  • DISRESPECTFUL/BAD ATTITUDE
  • Harry and Tyrone take Sara's TV from her place and sell it for drug money. They later become drug dealers.
  • Marion sleeps with her therapist in exchange for money for Harry so that he can buy more drugs.
  • A prison guard has a racist attitude toward Tyrone (who's black) and hits him in the gut.
  • FRIGHTENING SCENES
  • The entire film and its aura and depiction of despair and desperation may be unsettling or disturbing to some viewers, as might be scenes listed under "Violence" and "Blood/Gore."
  • Harry grabs a gun from a cop sitting next to him and then he and Tyrone pass it back and forth between them (but we then see that this is an imagined scene).
  • Sarah begins imagining her refrigerator coming to life and menacingly approaching her.
  • We see men pushing wires/tubes up Sarah's nose (in a mental hospital) with her struggling and screaming.
  • We see Sarah being put through electric shock therapy in a mental hospital.
  • GUNS/WEAPONS
  • Handgun: Harry grabs it from a cop and then passes it back and forth with Tyrone (but this turns out to be an imagined scene).
  • Handguns: Used to shoot and kill people in one scene (we don't see the actual impact, although we do see blood splatter onto another person).
  • Machine guns: Fired into the air as a warning.
  • IMITATIVE BEHAVIOR
  • Phrases: "What the f*ck (are you saying/is wrong with you)?" "We're f*cked," "You f*cking loser," "F*ck you," "F*ck that," "Oh sh*t," "Don't go ape sh*t," "Sh*t yeah," "Bullsh*t," "I don't give a shit," "Screw it," "Loser," "Pissed off," "Bastard," "It's a bitch out there," "That's for damn sure," "Dumb ass," "Sleazebag," "Pale ass" and "Niggers."
  • JUMP SCENES
  • Sarah's refrigerator suddenly moves on its own.
  • MUSIC (SCARY/TENSE)
  • A moderate amount of dramatic, suspenseful and ominous music plays during the film.
  • MUSIC (INAPPROPRIATE)
  • None.
  • PROFANITY
  • At least 33 "f" words (7 used with "mother" and 1 used sexually), 27 "s" words, 2 slang terms using female genitals ("p*ssy"), 9 asses, 2 damns, 1 hell, 1 S.O.B., 9 uses of "For Christ's sakes," 2 each of "G-damn" and "Jesus" and 1 use each of "Christ," "For God's sakes," "God," "Jesus Christ" and "Swear to God" as exclamations.
  • SEX/NUDITY
  • Barry and Marion passionately make out in an elevator.
  • We see some sped up film of people making out, and caressing various body parts such as lips and a male nipple.
  • We see Marion standing in front of a mirror in her bra and we see just the top of her pubic hair in the mirror's reflection.
  • Marion tells Harry that she's not going to sleep with her therapist.
  • We see a woman in Tyrone's bed (and see her bare hip). We then see his bare butt and her bare breasts as he gets on top of her (with her leg up alongside his body) and mentions doing nasty things.
  • Later, we see an aerial view of the two of them lying in the "spoons" position on a bed (him pressed up to her back) with him caressing her breasts and both moving sexually (but no sounds).
  • We see Harry and Marion in bed together, but no fooling around or nudity.
  • We see Marion's therapist kissing her neck and caressing her body as she prepares to sleep with him for money. We also see rhythmic arm movement at his crotch area and then hear sexual sounds as we see the sight of her having sex on top of him.
  • We see Tyrone sitting on a bed nude, but don't see anything explicit.
  • Upset at Harry, Marion tells him, "I f*cked that sleazebag for you" (referring to her therapist).
  • A man makes some sort of sexually related comment toward Marion that sounded like it was about "giving head." We then see him move her head down toward his crotch and then see her hand down inside his pants (and he makes some comment about not taking his penis out for air). It's then implied that she gives him oral sex.
  • We later see that man's bare butt.
  • We see Marion in a bathtub (from an aerial view), but only see her bare back.
  • Marion attends a party where some men watch some bare-breasted women. We then see an aerial view of women moving on top of men while having sex (as others watch), but it's hard to see anything explicit (or really what's going on) as this scene and another are quickly cut together.
  • We then see a large dildo being put into some part of Marion's crotch area (not quite explicitly) while others watch and cheer this on. We then see an aerial view of her and another woman with either end of that dildo inside them as they face away from each other and bang their butts together. We also briefly see bare breasts.
  • SMOKING
  • Tyrone and Marion smoke around 5 times each, while other characters/background figures also smoke.
  • TENSE FAMILY SCENES
  • Sarah talks about being alone since her husband is gone (dead).
  • TOPICS TO TALK ABOUT
  • The negative portrayal of drug use (the varying physical and emotional effects it has on people).
  • Diet pills.
  • People who become addicted to TV shows and the false hope they often represent.
  • VIOLENCE
  • As Tyrone sits in a limo, the window drops and people shoot and kill others (we just see blood splattering onto Tyrone's face).
  • We see some men drive up and put a body into a trash container.
  • Marion imagines driving her fork into her therapist's body with bloody results (we see this).
  • We see Marion ransacking her apartment and tearing things up as she searches for something.
  • A person fires a machine gun into the air as a warning.
  • A prison guard hits Tyrone in the gut.



  • Reviewed September 18, 2000 / Posted November 3, 2000

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