The middle ground
The East (116 min., PG-13) A private investigator (Brit Marling) infiltrates a group of eco-terrorists — or does she join them? Amateur surgery is performed on a wounded group member. In another scene, the group guts a deer. The film includes a quite steamy but not-very-explicit sexual situation, as well as a bathing/swimming scene with implied nudity. The dialogue includes mild sexual innuendo.
The Internship (119 min., PG-13) Vince Vaughn and Owen Wilson are up to their old tricks, only this time, instead of weddings, it’s Google they’re crashing. The script includes mild-to-midrange profanity (the F-word only once or twice, the S-word a lot), crass language, and mild sexual innuendo, including comic references to sadomasochism and group sex, plus a verbal/visual gag about breast enlargement. A scene involves a club with pole-dancing and lap-dancing, which inspires semi-crude sexual humor.
Man of Steel (143 min., PG-13) Henry Cavill plays Superman, as the original superhero returns to the screen. The violence becomes highly destructive at the film’s climax. Thousands surely die, though we see no victims up close, except for one person alive and pinned under wreckage. The climactic battle over Metropolis recalls images of 9/11. Clark Kent’s adoptive dad dies during a tornado, not allowing Clark to save him. Nine-year-old Clark freaks out at school when his X-ray vision kicks in. Characters use occasional crude language and toilet humor and a modified, abbreviated use of the F-word.
Before Midnight (109 min., R) Ethan Hawke and Julie Delpy reunite for this third installment in the story of their on-again, off-again romance. The dialogue includes some strong profanity and some fairly steamy sexual language. There is one sexual situation with partial nudity.
The Kings of Summer (93 min., R) Three teenage boys set up housekeeping in a cabin in the woods. There’s profanity, which includes the F-word as a nonsexual exclamation, the B-word, and barnyard epithets. Mild jokes about masturbation and suicide (a squirt gun in the mouth) crop up, and a cancer reference is used as an angry insult. Other sexual innuendo is very mild. High-schoolers drink at a party and the boys briefly smoke cigars. A rabbit is killed for food out of frame, but the skinning and gutting are then shown.
The Purge (84 min., R) It’s America in 2022, and for 12 hours once a year anything goes, crime-wise. There is much violence, including several exchanges of gunfire, one stabbing, bone-cracking physical struggles, and quite a lot of blood. Strong profanity occurs only a few times in the dialogue. A teenager and her boyfriend have a steamy makeout scene that starts to go further, then doesn’t.
This Is the End (106 min., R) A bunch of Hollywood comic actors, playing themselves, confront the Apocalypse. The comedy includes gory horror-movie-style violence, such as a beheading, a demonic monster with a prominent phallus, and a cannibalism joke. Characters use drugs and indulge in continual strong profanity, graphic sexual slang, crude sexual innuendo, and rape jokes. There is much gross toilet humor, and a nude photo from a porn magazine. The movie’s spoof of the Apocalypse is bound to offend some on religious grounds.