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Still shot from the movie: Moulin Rouge.

Moulin Rouge

The tawdry world of the Moulin Rouge is the backdrop for this reinvention of the rock musical that pieces together snippets of popular music from the twentieth century to create a tragic romance between a naive poet (Ewan McGregor) and a seasoned courtesan (Nichol Kidman). Get the movie review and more. »

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Overall: C-
Violence: C+
Sexual Content: D
Language: A-
Drugs/Alcohol: C-
Run Time: 97
Theater Release: 21 Jun 2001
Video Release: 19 Oct 2010
MPAA Rating: PG-13
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Why Is Moulin Rouge Rated PG-13?


Overall: C-
The tawdry world of the Moulin Rouge is the backdrop for this reinvention of the rock musical that pieces together snippets of popular music from the twentieth century to create a tragic romance between a naive poet and a seasoned courtesan. Although the creative use of golden oldies is humorous and even effective at times, the film is often reminiscent of a hallucinogenic experience and contains constant sexual content that oftimes glamorizes prostitution.

Violence: C+
Unconscious man falls through ceiling and hangs by leg. Woman falls from swing, avoids injuries. Woman coughs up small amount of blood on several occasions. Man uses verbal pressure to manipulate a woman’s behavior. Wrecking ball nearly hits unsuspecting man. Man wrestles with and strikes a woman whom he attempts to rape. Two scenes where one man punches another man. Man orders a hit-man to kill another man. Man with gun pursues another with murderous intent. Unconscious man falls down stairs and through a trap door. Several gunshots fired. Sandbag is dropped on man’s head. Man swings on rope after falling from scaffolding. A few drops of blood are shown on woman’s face and man’s shoulder.

Sexual Content: D
Set in a cabaret/bordello, the film’s main character is a prostitute, and there are many discussions and depictions surrounding pimps, whores, and women selling their bodies. To create the Red Light District atmosphere, the film constantly parades women in scanty lingerie, with tightly corseted pushed up breasts, involved in risque dancing (such as the CanCan where their pelvic action and expose panties are featured in many close-ups) or trying to seduce men (by constantly touching them or their own body and grabbing at their crotch). Other background depictions include men dressed as women, and men dancing with other men. Naked women with other women or unclothed couples are the subjects of paintings that adorn walls. Common in the plentiful dancing sequences are lavish costumes, tantalizing bare legs, and flashes of backsides, which mesmerizes the male audience who grope at the performers. Against this backdrop, specific content includes: Man touches another man’s groin with no sexual intent, man pretends to grab woman’s backside, man has cold drink spilled in lap, woman changes her clothes in front of man (head and shoulders shown), remarks about poetry mistaken for sexual banter. A woman who announces she’ll be a seductive temptress dresses in black lingerie, and tries to entice a man by striking sexy poses, fondling her body and making moaning noises. She then attempts to rip off his clothes, and succeeds at putting her hands down his pants. Male friends observing her overtures make sexual comments. Man gets trapped under a woman’s dress. Several occasions of men and women kissing, and woman throwing herself on top of a man or pulling man on top of herself. Man’s attempts to arouse an unconscious woman are mistaken for sexual activity. Gelatin dessert looks like women’s breasts. Champagne bottles pop corks at a scene’s musical climax. Woman argues in favor of sleeping with a man for his financial favors. Embracing naked man and woman stand with blanket wrapped around their waists, woman lies on bed with arms and sheet obscuring her nudity, sexual relationship is implied. Man denied sex grabs woman and pulls off her clothes, puts his hand down her dress, and throws her on a bed. Lyrics to some songs used in this musical are about sexual topics, such as… Like a Virgin, and Roxanne (about a prostitute).

Language: A-
At least: one mild profanity.

Alcohol / Drug Use: C-
Social drinking, drinking to excess, and turning to alcohol to avoid reality are depicted through out the film by both major and minor characters. Lead characters also drink Absinthe (a hallucinogenic beverage popular at that time), which is implied to increase creative abilities. Incidental smoking. Injected medicine administered by doctor and oral medication given to patient by a friend.

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About the Reviewer: Donna Gustafson

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