Beliefnet
Screen It! is not attempting to rate the movie as good or bad but to give parents the tools to decide whether it's appropriate for their kids.

This movie has been screened for objectional content in 15 areas. Click for a detailed look.

OUR WORD TO PARENTS:
Here's a quick summary of the content found in this R-rated, period romantic drama. Several rather graphic and sensual sexual encounters are seen and include related movement, sounds and nudity. Those encounters occur within an affair between a man and a married woman, thus demonstrating bad attitudes among them. Some wartime violence occurs (mostly off camera), but a nearby explosion damages a building and wounds a man to the point that another person believes him to be dead (he also has some bloody cuts on his face and body). Beyond that, a moderate amount of drinking, background smoking, and a few colorful and religious phrases occurring, the remaining categories are mostly void of any major objectionable content. While it's questionable how many kids will want to see this film, we suggest that you more closely examine our listed content should you still be concerned about the film's appropriateness for them, yourself, or anyone else in your home.
QUICK TAKE:
Drama: Spurred and tortured by jealous thoughts of what his married paramour might be up to, a 1940s era writer hires a private detective to spy on her.
WILL KIDS WANT TO SEE IT?
Unless they're fans of someone in the cast, art-house romantic dramas or director Neil Jordan, it's highly unlikely.
WHY THE MPAA RATED IT: R
For scenes of strong sexuality.
CAST AS ROLE MODELS:
  • RALPH FIENNES plays a novelist whose jealousy regarding Sarah, despite their illicit affair having ended some two years earlier, causes him to hire a private detective to investigate her. He also drinks some.
  • JULIANNE MOORE plays that woman who had an affair with Maurice, but swore that he was the only man she truly loved.
  • STEPHEN REA plays her passive and downtrodden husband who eventually comes to accept their affair and even becomes friends of sorts with Maurice.
  • IAN HART and SAM BOULD play a father and son detective team who investigate Sarah's activities that includes them snooping around her place and illegally taking some of her belongings.
  • DETAILED CONTENT LISTING:
    Click on a category for specific details or scroll through the page for a broader overview.

    EXTREME
    Sex/Nudity

    HEAVY
    Disrespectful/Bad Attitude

    MODERATE
    Alcohol/Drugs | Guns/Weapons | Tense Family Scenes | Topics To Talk About | Violence

    MILD/MINOR/NONE
    Blood/Gore | Frightening/Tense Scenes | Imitative Behavior | Music (Scary/Tense) | Smoking | Profanity | Jump Scenes | Music (Inappropriate)

    ALCOHOL OR DRUG USE: MODERATE
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  • Maurice has a drink while typing.
  • Henry pours whiskey for himself and Maurice.
  • People have drinks at a party where (in voice over) Maurice states that he met Sarah for the first time while drinking sherry.
  • Maurice and Sarah have drinks with dinner.
  • Sarah hands a drink to Henry.
  • Maurice has a beer and offers a drink to Sarah in a hotel bar.
  • Maurice has a shot of liquor while we see an untouched beer in front of Mr. Parkis.
  • Maurice and Henry have drinks.
  • People have drinks at a cocktail party.
  • Maurice has a drink.
  • BLOOD/GORE: MILD
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  • Maurice has some blood on his head as well as bloody cuts on his chest and other such wounds that are seen through torn holes in his shirt after he's injured during a bombing attack explosion.
  • DISRESPECTFUL/BAD ATTITUDE: HEAVY
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  • Sarah has an affair with Maurice despite being married to Henry.
  • In that context, Maurice has both for not trusting and/or believing Sarah when she says that she's not cheating on him and for hiring a private detective to follow her and collect related information.
  • Working for his father, Lance snoops around Sarah's place looking for information on her.
  • It's implied that Sarah is also having an affair with a priest, but we later learn this may not be true.
  • Mr. Parkis snoops around Sarah's place and steals her diary during a party.
  • Some may see Maurice for having both for also not believing in and/or condemning God and a local priest for taking Sarah away from him.
  • FRIGHTENING SCENES:MILD
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  • An explosion blasts through a window, sends Maurice flying and then falling through a stairwell. As a result, the stairwell is partially destroyed and Maurice is injured and somewhat bloody (and in one flashback Sarah believes him to be dead and he briefly appears to be that way).
  • GUNS/WEAPONS: MODERATE
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  • Unseen bombs: They fall on England during the war and cause property damage as well as wound Maurice in one scene.
  • IMITATIVE BEHAVIOR: MINOR
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  • Phrases: "Whore" and "To hell with you..."
  • JUMP SCENES: NONE
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  • None.
  • MUSIC (SCARY/TENSE): MINOR
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  • A brief bit of suspenseful music occurs in the film.
  • MUSIC (INAPPROPRIATE): NONE
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  • None.
  • PROFANITY: MINOR
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  • At least 4 uses of "Oh God" and 2 uses of "Oh my God" as exclamations.
  • Viewers will also hear a character use the adjective "damnedest" and another use the phrase "to hell with." but neither is used as standard profanities.
  • SEX/NUDITY: EXTREME
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  • We see a flashback to Maurice and Sarah ascending a stairwell where he runs his hand up inside her skirt before they passionately kiss. They then take turns feeling each other's clothed crotch and more passionate kissing follows. As he then lies down on top of her, we see the side of his bare butt, and then see a full view as he moves between her spread legs in a fashion that's both graphic and sensual. Then there's heavy breathing and he feels her clothed breasts while continuing to have sex with her. When they then hear Henry returning home, Maurice worries that he may have heard them, but Sarah comments that Henry wouldn't recognize the sound (of having sex).
  • We see Maurice and Sarah in bed (along with her bare breast in partial shadows).
  • Maurice and Sarah make out again with her on top of him. He then pulls down her top, revealing her bare breasts. We then see suggested sexual movement (as we only see a head and shoulders shot of them), and then see her moving on his lap as both sit upright on a bed. We then see him on top of her with views of her bare breasts as well as graphic movement. She's then back on top of him with movement, related sounds and more views of her bare breasts.
  • While hiding in Sarah's place after snooping around it, Lance sees Sarah come home with another man who then closes her bedroom door (giving the implication of something sexual occurring between them).
  • After Mr. Parkis states that he named his son after Sir Lancelot who found the Holy Grail, Maurice corrects him and states that Lancelot was discovered in bed with Guinevere.
  • We see Maurice and Sarah lying on their sides, face to face, having sex. As such, we see movement as well as the side of her bare butt.
  • We see a brief glimpse of Sarah's bare breast as she gets dressed (this is seen again).
  • Parkis gives Maurice an ashtray as a souvenir and then explains that it came from beside a bedside where a threesome was discovered.
  • As we see Sarah walking out of a restaurant, her diary states that in the old days Maurice would have followed her and made up or "made love" with her.
  • We see some movement under the sheet involving Maurice and Sarah, but can't exactly tell what they're doing.
  • Having discovered that Mr. Parkis is now following him and Sarah around, Maurice asks if Parkis needs photos of them in the act or their soiled sheets.
  • SMOKING: MINOR
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  • Some people smoke at parties and in movie theaters (in the '40s when one could do that) and we briefly see newsreel footage of Winston Churchill with a cigar.
  • TENSE FAMILY SCENES: MODERATE
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  • Obviously Henry and Sarah's marriage is shaky.
  • A man must deal with his wife's death.
  • TOPICS TO TALK ABOUT: MODERATE
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  • Infidelity.
  • How Maurice and Henry become something of friends despite the former having had an affair with the latter's wife.
  • The implications of miracles in the film (Sarah praying for Maurice to be brought back to life, her kiss ridding a boy of a large birthmark on his face).
  • VIOLENCE: MODERATE
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  • We hear the sound of bombs exploding in the distance and in a later scene see smoke from far off explosions.
  • An explosion blasts through a window, sends Maurice flying and then falling through a stairwell. As a result, the stairwell is partially destroyed and Maurice is injured and somewhat bloody (and in one flashback Sarah believes him to be dead and he briefly appears to be that way).
  • We see a flashback to the above explosion once again.
  • As Sarah walks through the street, we see an overall view of some nearby damage caused by a recent bombing attack.
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