Common Sense Note
Parents need to know that Mud is a nuanced coming-of-age drama about two 14-year-old boys who befriend a mysterious man (Matthew McConaughey) with a dangerous past. Expect plenty of tense sequences, fist-fighting violence, one big shoot-out that leaves several men dead, and a fair bit of strong language (the boys say "s--t" a lot, as well as the occasional "bitch," "ass," and more). As for sexuality, one of the boys is smitten with an older girl, and they share a couple of kisses; his friend asks about her "t-tties" and is excited to find a stash of old Penthouse magazines (no graphic images shown). An uncle is known for "doing it" to the song "Help Me, Rhonda" and gives the boys terrible advice. Despite the film's language and references to adolescent and adult sexuality, Mud is the kind of thought-provoking film that teens and parents could watch and discuss together.
A 14-year-old boy flirts with an older girl and goes on one date with her. They kiss twice. Neckbone asks Ellis whether he touched a girl's "t-tties" and excitedly flips through a stack of Penthouse magazines (no graphic images shown) saying innuendo-filled exclamations like "You've got to see these." Neckbone tells Ellis that "Help Me, Rhonda" is his uncle's "'doing it' song," and then a woman in a cleavage-baring tank top runs out and tells Neckbone that he should treat a girl like a princess, not like his no-good uncle. A woman flirts with and embraces a man who nuzzles on her neck. The uncle tells the boys that when a woman breaks your heart, you have to go find another and "get your tip wet again." A 17-year-old girl is shown laughing and flirting with a boy in his car.
Several fist fights, two between teenage boys and one in which an adult pops a teen boy in the eye. A man nearly chokes a woman and cuts her with a knife. A boy is bitten by a snake; his leg swells horribly, and he slips into unconsciousness before being taken to the hospital. A big gun fight toward the end of the movie leaves several people dead or injured.
The word "s--t" is used in nearly every scene, especially by one of the boys. Other strong language includes "bitch," "bulls--t," "t-tties," "ass," "hard on," and more.
This is a story about redemption and love and the universal heartache that comes with growing up and being rejected and not knowing what's right and what's wrong. Ellis and Neckbone are constantly given advice about what it means to be a man, to love a woman, and to protect those you love, but they have to discover what's true for themselves.
Cans of Beanie Weenie are shown a couple of times. Many Ford trucks. A Geo Metro and Pontiac Fiero are shown. Neckbone wears a Fugazi T-shirt. People shop at a Piggy Wiggly.
Drugs / Tobacco /
A few adult characters drink quite a bit -- Ellis' father, Mud, Juniper -- usually alone, but also at a bar. An adult smokes cigarettes.