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"ACROSS THE UNIVERSE"
(2007) (Jim Sturgess, Evan Rachel Wood) (PG-13)

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


QUICK TAKE:
Musical: Various people come together in New York City where they must deal with the social and political issues of the 1960s, all scored to Beatles songs.
PLOT:
It's the 1960s and Jude (JIM STURGESS) is a British dockworker who's decided to travel to America to track down the biological father he's never known. His search leads him to Princeton where he finds his dad is a maintenance worker at the college where he ends up meeting Max (JOE ANDERSON), a spoiled mischief-maker whose sister, Lucy (EVAN RACHEL WOOD), has just seen her boyfriend, Daniel (SPENCER LIFF), head off to Vietnam.

When Max has a falling out with his father, he and Jude end up moving to New York where they rent a room from Sadie (DANA FUCHS), a Janis Joplin type singer who wows the crowds with her amazing voice. New to her band and apartment is guitarist JoJo (MARTIN LUTHER), while former cheerleader Prudence (T.V. CARPIO) has also moved in.

After Daniel's death, Lucy then arrives, and she and Jude become an item. But when Max receives his draft notice and war protests begin to grow in the city, the lives of them and the others are changed in ways they can't imagine.

WILL KIDS WANT TO SEE IT?
It might draw in a fair amount of teens, especially if they're fans of the Beatles songs and/or modern day musicals.
WHY THE MPAA RATED IT: PG-13
For some drug content, nudity, sexuality, violence and language.
CAST AS ROLE MODELS:
  • JIM STURGESS plays a British dockworker who leaves his job, girlfriend, and hometown to travel to America where he hopes he'll find the biological father he's never known. He ends up moving to New York with Max, tries to make a go off it as an artist, and falls for Lucy (with whom he has sex). He drinks and smokes (including pot).
  • EVAN RACHEL WOOD plays a young woman who also moves to New York after her boyfriend is killed in Vietnam. She ends up falling for Jude (and has sex with him), but is then swayed by the growing anti-war movement there.
  • JOE ANDERSON plays her brother, a mischief-maker at Princeton who has a falling out with his dad and thus moves to New York with Jude. There, he tries to make a go off it, and tries to get out of being drafted into the Army. He drinks, smokes, and uses profanity.
  • DANA FUCHS plays a singer with a powerful voice who fronts a band in New York when not operating as a landlord for various young people. She drinks a little, briefly smokes, and falls for JoJo.
  • MARTIN LUTHER plays her new boyfriend, a gifted guitarist who joins her band and moves into her apartment.
  • T.V. CARPIO plays a former cheerleader who joins the others in New York.
  • 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 brief summary of the content found in this PG-13 rated musical. Profanity consists of at least 1 "f" word, while other expletives and colorful phrases are also uttered. Sexually related dialogue and song lyrics are present.

    Off-screen sex is implied, while a surreal scene features a man and woman floating in midair in a nude, face-to-face embrace (they're seen fully nude, but the embrace blocks all but a side view of his bare butt, while a different woman's bare butt is seen). Other nudity is just out of the camera view, while faux nudity is present. A woman's bare breasts are seen as she sleeps, while some hookers are seen in standard-issue garb.

    Violence includes a boy being shot during riots, while a soldier is shot in Vietnam, and war protests lead to some physical contact, including a person being beaten quite badly. Some of that has rather bloody results, and may be unsettling to some viewers.

    Various bad attitudes are present, as is some potentially imitative behavior. Characters smoke and/or drink, while drug use includes pot smoking as well as various characters apparently experiencing a hallucinogenic drug trip (visualized on screen). Finally, tense family material is present, including two inter-cut funeral scenes.

    Should you still be concerned about the film's appropriateness for yourself or anyone else in your home, you may want to look more closely at our detailed listings for more specific information regarding the film's content.

    For those concerned with bright flashes of light on the screen, there's some of that from lightning and later in a subway car.

    For those prone to visually induced motion sickness, there are some spin-around camera shots as well as other camera movement in the film.


    ALCOHOL OR DRUG USE
  • A young man complains that the pubs have been open for five minutes and that some of the people are thirsty.
  • Max and others drink, while using beer bottles as golf tees.
  • Max gives Jude his flask.
  • Jude, Max and the latter's friends have beer, and we then see some of them (including Jude) sharing a joint, all as a song has the lyrics, "I get high with a little help from my friends."
  • Max, Jude, and others drink beer in a pool hall and later appear to be passed out.
  • Jude has wine with Thanksgiving dinner with Max's family.
  • About Jude, Max says he needs a bar, a brawl, and a brothel.
  • About New York City, Max says they have great music, great dope, and orgies.
  • Jude might have wine.
  • About Max, his mom tells Lucy that he's probably surrounded by promiscuous dope-fiends.
  • Jude and others have beer.
  • Max's friends give him advice about how to get out of being inducted into the army (after already receiving his draft notice). One tells him to fake track marks (from heroin) in his arm.
  • Max and others have beer.
  • Miscellaneous people drink.
  • Some of the characters attend a party and then take a bus ride, all representing a psychedelic drug trip (visualized on the screen). Later, the group still appears to be high.
  • Sadie drinks liquor from the bottle.
  • We see a joint in Jude's ashtray, and then him smoking one.
  • Jude and others drink in a bar.
  • Jude and JoJo stumble out of a bar in the morning, with both appearing intoxicated.
  • A song has the lyric, "I need a fix."
  • Jude and others drink in a pub, while Max drinks in a different bar.
  • Miscellaneous people drink.
  • BLOOD/GORE
  • A boy who's shot and killed has blood on his shirt.
  • Prudence has a bruise on her face from a guy who beat her (not seen).
  • During a military physical musical number, we see streams of urine filling jars or the equivalent.
  • Jude has strawberries pinned to a canvas or wall, with them "bleeding" down it. We then see some hitting the canvas or wall, exploding likes bombs with resultant "blood."
  • Police struggle with some protestors, and one punches an activist leader in the gut. We then see one person with a lot of blood on their face and matted in their hair (from being hit).
  • DISRESPECTFUL/BAD ATTITUDE
  • Some viewers will see the police and national guard as having the bad attitudes, while others will view the protestors as the ones exhibiting them.
  • Some soldiers whistle at some cheerleaders in passing.
  • As he eyes passing women with Jude, Max asks, "When did Emily get t*ts?"
  • Jude says that his biological father walked out while his mother was still pregnant with Jude.
  • Jude likes Lucy, and when Max says she has a boyfriend, Jude says that's okay as he has a girlfriend.
  • Prudence has a bruise on her face from a guy who beat her (not seen).
  • Max's friends give him advice about how to get out of being inducted into the army (after already receiving his draft notice). One tells him to say he's a "homo," and another suggests a pedophile. One says eating beets makes one's urine look bloody, and there's the suggestion to fake track marks (from heroin) in his arm and to swallow cotton balls to make it look like spots on one's lungs.
  • Max burns his draft notice.
  • An activist leader grabs Jude by the clothes (when the latter has stormed into their headquarters, in song), prompting Jude to punch the leader in the face. Others then forcibly remove Jude from the premises.
  • We see some protestors assembling homemade bombs, and there's later news of such people being killed in an accidental explosion.
  • FRIGHTENING SCENES
  • Scenes listed under "Violence" may be unsettling or suspenseful to younger viewers and/or those with low tolerance levels for such material.
  • GUNS/WEAPONS
  • Rifles/Machine guns/Military Explosives/Molotov Cocktail: Carried and/or used to threaten, wound or kill others and/or cause property damage. See "Violence" for details.
  • A song has the lyric, "Happiness is a warm gun -- bang, bang, shoot, shoot."
  • We see some protestors assembling homemade bombs, and there's later news of such people being killed in an accidental explosion.
  • IMITATIVE BEHAVIOR
  • Phrases: "All f*cked," "Sh*t, I'm out of shape," "Sh*ttiest," "Oh sh*t," "We got to transcend the bullsh*t," "When did Emily get t*ts?" "You bastard," "Pissed off," "You sound like a limey," "You couldn't hit the barnside of a broad," "Collegiate crap," "What the hell /do they talk about/are you doing/was that?" "Screwing up," "What a fox," "Homo," "Crappy," "Piss me off," "They both suck," "You're looking wicked cool," "Sucked" and "Get your ass out there/out of here."
  • The film might inspire teens to start or join some sort of protest.
  • Some soldiers whistle at some cheerleaders in passing.
  • Max and others hit golf balls off a roof using beer bottles as the tees, with one golf ball eventually striking and breaking a distant window.
  • Max hits a golf ball off a tee that's held in Jude's mouth as he's lying down.
  • Max, Jude, and others slide down banisters.
  • We see miscellaneous graffiti.
  • JUMP SCENES
  • Glass in a phone booth suddenly breaks during a protest.
  • MUSIC (SCARY/TENSE)
  • None.
  • MUSIC (INAPPROPRIATE)
  • A song includes the lyric, "Making love to only you."
  • A song has the lyric, "I get high with a little help from my friends."
  • Lyrics include "I need somebody to love" and "I want somebody to love."
  • Sadie belts out a sultry and powerful version of "Why Don't We Do It in the Road" (that includes those very lyrics).
  • Sadie sultrily sings to JoJo the lyric, "I want you, so bad."
  • A song has the lyric, "You been a naughty girl, you let your knickers down."
  • A song has the lyric, "I need a fix."
  • A song has the lyric, "Happiness is a warm gun -- bang, bang, shoot, shoot."
  • PROFANITY
  • At least 1 "f" word (and another possible one), 10 "s" words, 2 sexual terms ("shagger"), 1 slang term using male genitals ("pr*cks"), 1 for breasts ("t*ts"), 8 hells, 4 asses (2 used with "hole"), 2 craps, 1 damn, 1 S.O.B., 3 uses of "G-damn," 2 of "Jesus" and 1 use each of "My God" and "Oh my God."
  • SEX/NUDITY
  • Various songs have sexually related lyrics (see that category for details).
  • Daniel kisses Lucy on the neck.
  • Jude nuzzles his girlfriend's neck.
  • Some soldiers whistle at some cheerleaders in passing.
  • Jude finds the American father he never knew working as a maintenance man at Princeton. When the dad recognizes the accent, he says he good a good time in Liverpool during the war, with Jude saying he knows (referring to his dad impregnating his mom back then).
  • When Jude asks what some other college students were going to do to Max (for hitting a golf ball through their window), the latter jokes it has something to do with shoe polish and genitalia.
  • A poster shows a bent-over woman revealing cleavage.
  • As he eyes passing women with Jude, Max asks, "When did Emily get t*ts?"
  • About Jude, Max says he needs a bar, a brawl, and a brothel.
  • About New York City, Max says they have great music, great dope, and orgies.
  • Some miscellaneous hookers wear standard-issue garb, some of which shows varying amounts of cleavage. We then see another view of them and/or others, similarly scantly clad, with some doing some gyrating in unison, and another sashays her clothed hips back at a man's clothed crotch that's close or right up against her.
  • About Max, his mom tells Lucy that he's probably surrounded by promiscuous dope-fiends.
  • Prudence makes some sort of comment about not sleeping with someone anymore.
  • Jude and Lucy passionately kiss, and we then see them in bed, under the covers, post-sex (he's shirtless, we can't tell about her).
  • We see Max in his boxers and others in briefs as they go through Army physicals and such (a musical number). We also see a brief side view image of a man holding his hands over his presumably bare crotch.
  • We see Jude with his shirt open (we previously saw a miscellaneous man the same way).
  • In a train of thought moment, one character mentions "masturbating alligators."
  • We see a surreal, slow-motion bit where various characters are seen floating in midair, and we see the bare butt of one such woman, but it then appears she's wearing a leotard of some sort that at least covers her crotch. We then see Jude and Lucy also floating in midair, completely nude, and in a face-to-face embrace (meaning we can tell they're nude, but his bare butt is the only explicit nudity), and they passionately kiss while in that embrace. This is repeated again in the end credits.
  • We see Max floating nude in the water, with his crotch area just below the surface so nothing there is seen.
  • We see Lucy's bare breast as she sleeps, while a sketch of her shows the same as well as full frontal nudity. She then gets up with a sheet around her and tells Jude that he didn't get her left nipple right (in the sketch). They then passionately kiss as the sheet is opened (her exposing her nudity to him -- but we don't see anything from our side view).
  • About the activist leader that Lucy idolizes, Jude says he's a "shagger" and then explains that as a "Don Juan."
  • We see various women "floating" and they initially appear to be fully nude, but we then see that they're wearing flesh-colored bodysuits (even so, we seem to see their breasts and crotches).
  • Some nurses (who are really just the same person multiplied together on the screen) show cleavage, and there's also the image of one in a small syringe, and she appears to be nude (but the image is so small that no details can be seen).
  • SMOKING
  • Jude and Max each smoke around 5 times, Lucy, JoJo, and Sadie each smoke at least once, and a number of miscellaneous characters smoke in various scenes.
  • TENSE FAMILY SCENES
  • Jude finds the American father he never knew working as a maintenance man at Princeton.
  • Max briefly clashes with his father, with the latter getting angry over the former's plans for his life.
  • Jude says that his biological father walked out while his mother was still pregnant with Jude.
  • A mother receives bad news about her son's military service (meaning he was killed), and we see the military funeral for him. This is inter-cut with scenes from a protest where police or national guardsmen end up shooting a young black boy, and we see his funeral as well (including a view of him in his casket).
  • TOPICS TO TALK ABOUT
  • Vietnam and the war protests of the 1960s and '70s.
  • The draft.
  • The Beatles and their music and the various ways in which some of their lyrics can be interpreted.
  • The question of whether what you do determines who you are, or vice-versa.
  • Prudence has a bruise on her face from a guy who beat her (not seen).
  • There are news reports detailing the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr.
  • VIOLENCE
  • We briefly see footage showing protests and some physical contact between armed guards and protestors.
  • There's some choreographed football violence during a musical number.
  • Max and others hit golf balls off a roof using beer bottles as the tees, with one golf ball eventually striking and breaking a distant window.
  • We see riots, where parts of a city block are burning, a soldier hits a man with his rifle, a Molotov cocktail is used to cause an explosion and more fire, and a fleeing boy is shot and killed.
  • We see military choppers and soldiers carrying machine guns in Vietnam footage, followed by some explosions going off in the water.
  • In Vietnam, one soldier is shot and downed (no blood), and we then see archival bombing footage that shows explosions and some machine gun fire.
  • Jude pushes one guy down in Lucy's office.
  • An activist leader grabs Jude by the clothes (when the latter has stormed into their headquarters, in song), prompting Jude to punch the leader in the face. Others then forcibly remove Jude from the premises.
  • Police struggle with some protestors, and one punches an activist leader in the gut. We see one person with a lot of blood on their face and matted in their hair (from being hit).
  • We see explosions and machine gun fire in Vietnam, and one person is hit.
  • There's a clash of people at a protest, with police hitting protestors, and something hits the glass in a phone booth in which Lucy is making a call.



  • Reviewed September 4, 2007 / Posted September 14, 2007

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