Cherry parents guide

Cherry Parent Guide

Even the 360+ swear words don't overshadow the grotesque violence in this film.

Overall D

Apple TV+: Traumatized by his service as an Army medic in Iraq, a young man develops an opiate addiction and starts robbing banks to fund his habit.

Release date March 12, 2021

Violence D
Sexual Content D
Profanity D
Substance Use D

Why is Cherry rated R? The MPAA rated Cherry R for graphic drug abuse, disturbing and violent images, pervasive language, and sexual content.

Run Time: 141 minutes

Parent Movie Review

While attending university in the early 2000s and trying to figure out what to do with his life, Cherry (Tom Holland) bumps into Emily (Ciara Bravo) and falls in love. When Emily informs him that she’s going to Montreal to continue her education, a heartbroken Cherry impulsively enlists in the U.S. Army. On deployment as a combat medic in Iraq, Cherry experiences some of the most horrifying things he could have imagined…and then some. Returning home to Emily and a cozy starter home purchased by his parents, Cherry can’t escape the trauma he endured…until he discovers opiates. As Cherry and Emily fall into a life of drugs, crime, and desperation, Cherry is forced to confront his past and the effect it’s having on his future.

Cherry has perhaps the longest list of content concerns of any film I’ve ever reviewed, and some truly unexpected issues that have never occurred to me. Notably, during a prostate exam on the new recruit, one shot positions the camera inside Tom Holland’s rectum, looking out at the doctor. Now, I’m no big-budget Hollywood director, but I think I can come up with better uses of a special effects budget than synthesizing the inside of the Amazing Spider-Man’s rectum – at least, I sure hope that was CGI. If not, Tom Holland was not paid nearly enough for this role.

As if the rectum-cam weren’t enough, this movie clocks in with over 360 swear words, including a truly staggering 298 sexual expletives – give or take ten. There’s plenty of overlap in the dialogue so I’m willing to admit that my tally may be flawed, but if I’ve erred, it’s because I undercounted the curse words. Add in exceedingly gruesome violence and this isn’t a movie for the faint of heart. Most films aren’t willing to show combat medics trying to pack people’s intestines back inside where they belong. But Cherry isn’t most films.

Subsumed in Cherry’s tsunami of negative content is its attempt to impart an anti-drug message: the drug use in the film is definitely not glorified. On top of that, it’s trying to address several serious social problems. Ongoing treatment for veterans, the opioid crisis, the ethics of the U.S. Army… it’s meaty stuff, which partially explains the two-and-a-half hour runtime. Unfortunately, it also explains why the movie is such a mess. Directors Joe and Anthony Russo bit off a lot more than they were prepared to chew, and I imagine more than you’re willing to chew either. Unless, of course, you’ve just been dying to know what’s going on under that Spider-Man costume…like, a little too far under the costume.

Directed by Anthony and Joe Russo. Starring Tom Holland, Ciara Bravo, and Jack Reynor. Running time: 141 minutes. Theatrical release March 12, 2021. Updated

Watch the trailer for Cherry

Rating & Content Info

Why is Cherry rated R? Cherry is rated R by the MPAA for graphic drug abuse, disturbing and violent images, pervasive language, and sexual content.

Violence: There are several scenes containing violent combat imagery, including shootings, bloody or burned corpses, and severe mutilation. One scene shows a man disemboweled by shrapnel with a medic trying to pack his intestines back in to his body cavity. Individuals are also punched or struck on several occasions. One character is choked into unconsciousness. An individual jumps out of a moving car and sustains serious injuries. One character bites another. A man stabs himself repeatedly in the thigh with a needle.
Sexual Content: There are several graphic sexual references and some scenes implying sex, but no graphic nudity is seen. Individuals are shown partially naked in several scenes. There are brief depictions of male posterior nudity in a non-sexual context. There is an implied rape which occurs off screen, but audio is heard. An individual is shown masturbating. One scene positions the camera inside a character’s rectum looking out during a medical examination.
Profanity: There are at least 298 uses of extreme profanity, 65 uses of scatological profanity, and frequent use of mild curses and terms of deity.
Alcohol / Drug Use: Individuals are shown drinking heavily and smoking both tobacco and marijuana. Characters are shown using and abusing a variety of drugs, including xanax, MDMA, cocaine, oxycontin, klonopin, heroin, and amyl nitrates.

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Related home video titles:

This movie borrows stylistic and story elements from a number of films, including Requiem for a Dream, Full Metal Jacket, Hacksaw Ridge, and Baby Driver.

The horrors of opiate addiction are also addressed in Beautiful Boy.