Entertainment Weekly


Stay Connected


Advertise With Us

Learn More

Skip to content


Separating R from NC-17 rated films

Separating R from NC-17 rated films — We count the sex and violence scenes in ”Bad Lieutenant,” ”The Lover,” ”Basic Instinct,” and ”Damage”

Posted on

Just how much nudity, crude language, and sexual coupling — or for that matter, drug use, rape, and murder-separate an R — rated movie from an NC-17? Hard to say, judging by our meticulous tally of the sex and violence in four recent films.

*130 profanities (78 begin with f)
*4 people killed
*1 nun raped on an altar
*2 scenes of crimes’ bloody aftermaths
*10 scenes of drug use (snorting, smoking, and 2 long injection scenes)
*3 nude scenes, including male buttocks, female breasts and pubic hair, and 1 full frontal shot of Harvey Keitel
*Keitel’s soon-to-be-notorious masturbating interrogation scene

THE LOVER (originally rated NC-17, rerated R on appeal)
*0 profanities
*0 people killed
*1 implied female masturbation scene
*4 sex scenes, including 1 deflowering quickly followed by a second helping, 1 act of intercourse while slithering on the floor, 1 scene of rough sex, full frontal female nudity, male and female buttocks, and tons of moaning
*2 scenes of postcoital bathing

*38 profanities (32 begin with f)
*5 people killed; 2 are stabbed with ice picks a total of 19 times
*4 scenes of sexual intercourse, including: 2 breast-licking shots, 2 finger-licking shots, 2 sexual uses of Hermes scarves, 2 implied instances of oral sex, 1 scene of rough sex, and lots of breasts, buttocks, and undulation
*3 scenes of lesbian sexual activity (no nudity)
*Sharon Stone undressing from behind
*Stone’s notorious pantyless police interrogation

DAMAGE(the original, NC-17 version, before the shot pictured above was cut to achieve an R)
*4 profanities (all begin with f)
*1 person killed (accidentally)
*1 implied oral-sex scene (in pajamas)
*5 sex scenes, including 1 fully clothed on the floor, 1 outside fully clothed against a door, 1 rough-sex scene, 1 sitting intertwined on the floor, 1 in bed, a few breast and buttocks shots, and 1 brief glimpse of Jeremy Irons’ penis
*1 scene of female toplessness