Cider House Rules, The

MPAA Rating: PG-13

Entertainment: +2 1/2

Content: -2 1/2

In 1940's, Dr. Wilbur Larch (Michael Caine) runs the orphanage in St. Clouds, Maine. Homer Wells (Tobey MaGuire) was raised in the orphanage and trained in medicine by Dr. Larch. But Homer wants to see more of the world and when Candy Kendall (Charlize Theron) comes with her boyfriend, it's an opportunity to leave. Candy's boyfriend gets Homer a job in the family apple orchard before he returns to the Army. One end of the cider house, where apples are pressed for juice, serves as home for the migrant apple pickers. Homer meets Mr. Rose (Delroy Lindo) and his crew, including his daughter Rose Rose (Erykah Badu). As Homer learns the apple business from Mr. Rose, he also becomes more than friends with Candy. But as life becomes more complicated, Homer learns that sometimes the rules, like those posted in the cider house, don't apply. Beautiful scenes of New England combine with excellent acting in this touching story of learning where you belong.

Candy visits St. Clouds because Dr. Larch also performs abortions. When a young woman is found near the orphanage and dies from a botched amateur attempt, Larch tells Homer he does abortions to prevent things like that. But Homer, raised among the orphans, won't do abortions. He changes his mind though when Rose Rose is pregnant from an act of incest. Dr. Larch and his two nurses care for the orphans as well as provide for their education. He reads to them each night and calls them "princes of Maine, kings of New England" to encourage self-worth. But he also inhales ether to rest. Because he trains Homer as his replacement, Larch forges medical credentials and presents them to the orphanage board. While he wants their support, Larch complains about their Christian ethics and later says he's never had much use for the Christian thing. Homer talks about adults being responsible and controlling their passion but later has a passionate affair with Candy. One scene with rear nudity shows her lying naked on his bed. Male rear nudity is briefly scene as a worker jumps out of a cold shower. Although it shows the orphans as a unique family, promotion of abortion, premarital sex, gratuitous nudity, and situational ethics spoil THE CIDER HOUSE RULES.

Preview Reviewer: Paul Bicking
Miramax, 375 Greenwich, NY, NY 10013

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 (6) times - Mild 3, moderate 3

Obscene Language: None

Profanity: Several times - Regular 3 (GD, J, G), exclamatory 2 (Oh God)

Violence: Several times - Mild and moderate (knife threat, cut hand sewn up, bloody sheets and stabbing reference)

Sex: Once (motion - no nudity), implied several times (woman naked on bed, couple fastening clothes)

Nudity: Twice (female rear, male rear)

Sexual Dialogue/Gesture: Girl flirts, sensual kissing, Homer teased about being 'in trouble (infatuated)' with Candy

Drugs: Ether inhaled, reference to drunken father and cirrhosis of liver, cigarettes

Other: Abortion justified, incest not condoned, Dr. cares for orphans, vomiting sounds, Dr. complains about Christians, Dr. forges papers, man says we make our own rules

Running Time: 131 minutes
Intended Audience: Adults

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