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"THE MASTER"
(2012) (Joaquin Phoenix, Philip Seymour Hoffman) (R)


Alcohol/Drugs Extreme
Blood/Gross Stuff Mild
Disrespectful/Bad Attitude Heavy
Frightening/Tense Scenes Mild
Gun/Weapons Minor
Imitative Behavior Heavy
Jump Scenes Minor
Music (Scary/Tense) Minor
Music (Inappropriate) Minor
Profanity Extreme
Sex/Nudity Extreme
Smoking Extreme
Tense Family Scenes Minor
Topics to Talk About Heavy
Violence Moderate


QUICK TAKE:
Drama: A troubled WWII Navy veteran and drifter takes up with a charismatic cult leader and that man's family and followers.
PLOT:
Freddie Quell (JOAQUIN PHOENIX) is a troubled WWII Navy veteran who's having problems readjusting to normal life. He's an alcoholic prone to aggressive outbursts, and can't keep a job, be that as a department store photographer or a migrant worker. Fleeing from one of his latest escapades, he stows away on a party yacht that's leaving San Francisco on its way to New York City. Onboard is Lancaster Dodd (PHILIP SEYMOUR HOFFMAN), a charismatic novelist and philosopher who's developed a cult following regarding his teachings about people's problems stemming from their past lives.

He's there with his pregnant wife, Peggy (AMY ADAMS), and adult son, Val (JESSE PLEMONS), to celebrate the wedding of their daughter, Elizabeth (AMBYR CHILDERS), to Clark (RAMI MALEK). Everyone is friendly to Freddie who thinks all of this is weird but funny, and he becomes a favorite of Lancaster not only because Freddie makes a potent homemade brew of spirits, but also due to believing they know each other from a past life.

As they continue their travels at sea, and then later in New York, Philadelphia and then Phoenix where Lancaster plans to publish his second book about his teachings, the cult leader takes Freddie under his wing, certain he can transform the troubled young man into a better person.

WILL KIDS WANT TO SEE IT?
Older teenagers might have some interest if they're fans of anyone in the cast or the filmmaker, but that's probably it among kids.
WHY THE MPAA RATED IT: R
For sexual content, graphic nudity and language.


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