21 Grams

MPAA Rating: R

Entertainment: +2

Content: -3

Three families from diverse backgrounds find their lives irrevocably entwined through a tragedy. Paul Rivers (Sean Penn), a college math professor, must have a heart transplant soon, and his wife Mary (Charlotte Gainsbourg) hopes to become pregnant by artificial insemination. Christina (Naomi Watts), once a drug addict, is now happily married to Michael (Danny Huston) with two young daughters. Ex-con Jack Jordan (Benicio Del Toro) embraces religion but must deal with the stigma of his past as he struggles to provide for his wife Marianne (Melissa Leo) and two children. In an instant, their day-to-day problems explode into a major journey of soul-searching, forgiveness and redemption. The term 21 grams refers to the view that at the moment of death, the body is 21 grams lighter, implying that death releases the soul. This theory takes on special relevance for Paul as he faces his own mortality. 21 Grams is a dark, deep drama dealing with sorrow, retribution, revenge, faith and justice, and will not appeal to those looking for holiday cheer.

Jack Jordans deep religious convictions are portrayed as genuine and, although he goes through a period of doubting, he ultimately experiences forgiveness and redemption. As Paul faces death, he brings hope to a young woman who has lost everything. But despite all of its thought-provoking themes, 21 Grams disappoints with some offensive elements. When Paul falls in love with a woman he befriends, a steamy sex scene follows. They also are shown nude together in an early bedroom scene. When his wife insists that he go to the sperm bank so that she can have his child after his death, he reluctantly complies. That process includes a brief view of a pornographic video. Some drug use and drunkenness are portrayed in a negative way, but offensive language includes 20 f-words and some profanity. A violent confrontation between two men dissolves into a scene of reconciliation. Expect Oscar nominations for 21 Grams but not a Preview recommendation because of explicit sex and offensive language.

Preview Reviewer: Mary Draughon
Focus Features

The following categories contain objective listings of film content which contribute to the subjective numeric Content ratings posted to the left and on the Home page.

Crude Language: Several (7) times mild 1, moderate 6

Obscene Language: Many (27) times strong (f-word 19, s-word 6, other 2)

Profanity: Several (8) times moderate (OMG 6); strong (GD 2)

Violence: Few (automobile accident off-camera, two men fight in attempted killing)

Sex: Twice strong (married couple without nudity, unmarried couple in graphic scene with full breast nudity)

Nudity: Few times moderate (couple in bed, female breast nudity)

Sexual Dialogue/Gesture: Few times (brief glimpse of porn video)

Drugs: Few times moderate (a recovering addict and an alcoholic both slip back into habit briefly)

Other: Strong themes of hope, forgiveness and redemption; tragedy transforms characters lives in a positive way; mans religious faith treated positively

Running Time: 125 minutes
Intended Audience: Adults

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