Common Sense Note
Parents need to know that teens aren't likely to be clamoring to see this mature indie drama -- though if they do, its focus on the pressures of academia are likely to give them a lot to think about. A fictional take on a real-life tragedy, it includes mass murder and suicide. In addition to the violence, there are a few brief moments of frank sexuality and a bit of strong language ("s--t," one "f--k"), though it's not very frequent.
A sexual encounter in a crowded rental flat is shielded by a blanket but still audible to the other residents; characters watch scrambled pornography and discuss the nature of female orgasm; brief shot of a naked back. A conference is described as featuring "Free booze, good food and beautiful -- albeit high-strung -- women." Chinese characters discuss the rumor that American teens are "doing it" by age 13. A scene between Streep and Liu has a sensually charged undertone.
A Western shootout fantasy sequence features "shooting" but no blood; there are also four realistic graphic murders, and a character commits suicide.
Language includes "bulls--t," "s--t," one non-sexual use of "f--k," and "bastard." A poorly translated toast comes out as "up the bottoms."
Streep's character is a well-off, well-intentioned woman whose interest in Chinese culture is portrayed as the vague affection of a silly tourist. Quinn's character takes advantage of his Chinese students; some of the students attend a church group, but it's clear they're only there for the snacks and social events; one of the students also steals cable. Quinn's character blocks his student's academic progress out of anger and spite.
Characters drink Heineken; no other visible brands.
Drugs / Tobacco /
Incessant cigarette smoking; cigars are smoked; characters drink hard liquor at social events; characters also drink beer while sunbathing.