IMDb > Requiem for a Dream (2000) > Parents Guide
Requiem for a Dream
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Parents Guide for
Requiem for a Dream (2000) More at IMDbPro »

The content of this page was created directly by users and has not been screened or verified by IMDb staff.
Since the beliefs that parents want to instill in their children can vary greatly, we ask that, instead of adding your personal opinions about what is right or wrong in a film, you use this feature to help parents make informed viewing decisions by describing the facts of relevant scenes in the title for each one of the different categories: Sex and Nudity, Violence and Gore, Profanity, Alcohol/Drugs/Smoking, and Frightening/Intense Scenes.
Visit our Parents Guide Help to learn more


A man's nude bottom is shown as a fully naked woman lies on a bed facing him. Her breasts and hip region are faintly visible but not very clearly. He then runs and jumps on top of her with her legs wrapped around him and they kiss. Later on, we see them having sex in a spooning position from above as the camera zooms out while rotating. There is some soft thrusting and he cups her breast with his hand. Side-on nudity is seen, but no genitals. The woman's pubic hair is slightly visible.

A young woman is seen standing in front of a mirror, she is naked from the waist down.

One of the main themes of the film is that a young woman is hooked on heroin and is forced to start prostituting herself to obtain drugs. She first gives oral sex to a man. The act is not shown, but her head is briefly seen lowering down towards his crotch area as she opens her mouth.

Two women go "ass-to-ass" with a double-ended dildo. Both are drug addicts who perform for heroin. Men stand around watching them and throwing dollars. This scene is graphically detailed and shows penetration in a close-up. In the same scene four naked women are shown from above as they thrust into each other. This is brief, but graphic.


Several people are shot off-screen, it is not graphic and is in a dark setting, but a man is briefly seen with blood splatter on his face afterwards.

We see two people putting a body in a trash can. This is brief, and from a distance.

There's a horrible infected wound on a man's arm. We then see him casually injecting drugs in the infected wound.

In one brief scene, a woman stabs a man in the hand with a fork and blood comes out. But then it quickly cuts away to reveal that this was simply her imagination, and did not happen.

Countless scenes where people inject themselves with drugs.

Four people are seen in a montage going through intense suffering; starting with the first and last scene of graphic violence, a man's arm must be amputated (we see the surgical saw cut into his flesh and blood splatters all over his face); an elderly woman is given electroshock therapy and she is shown to be very much in pain; a young woman is forced to perform in a sex show where she shares a double-ended dildo with another woman (she is very scared and in emotional pain); a man suffering from drug withdrawal vomits and is shown in agony. A disturbing, extremely scary and emotionally intense sequence. This scene lasts for about 35 minutes and is extremely graphic.


Profanity: 35 instances of "fuck", 28 of "shit", 5 of "dick" and 1 of "hell".

Crass language: 7 uses of "ass", 2 of "bitch" 1 each of "piss" and "bastard".

Racial slurs: 1 use of "nigger".

Religious: 11 instances of "Christ", 4 each of "Jesus" and "God".


Three of the four protagonists are heroin addicts. The other one is addicted to diet pills (amphetamines/speed), which causes her to hallucinate. The film shows repeated use of heroin, both injected and inhaled and constant scenes of a woman hallucinating due to the pills she takes.

There are numerous scenes where people take or inject themselves with drugs. These scenes are graphic.

The main focus of the film is drugs and their effects on people over a period of time, something akin to Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas or Trainspotting.


The sex-party scene where females pleasure themselves with a double-ended dildo for the entertainment of a group of men is highly intense.

The drug sequences and hallucinations are intense and disconcerting.

There is a scene where four gang members are sitting in a car and unexpectedly one is shot and killed, sending the others into a panic.

A festering wound in a man's arm that is brought on by extensive heroin use is disturbing. Harry also injects heroin into the festering wound, which is graphic.

A woman experiences gloomy and frightening hallucinations, which become worse as the movie continues.

Toward the end, there is a montage of all of the main characters in the film in similar states of pain or humiliation.

An old woman is sent to a mental hospital where she suffers in extreme and disturbing ways, being force-fed and undergoing shock therapy.

The film uses a unique (hiphop) editing style that may disorient some viewers.

OVERALL SCORE = 45/50. 18+

Rated R for intense depiction of drug addiction, graphic sexuality, strong language and some violence (edited version)
Argentina:16 (original rating) / Argentina:13 (re-rating) / Australia:R18+ / Brazil:18 / Canada:16+ (Quebec) / Canada:R (director's cut) (Canadian Home Video rating) / Canada:18A (edited version) / Chile:14 / Chile:18 (original rating) / Czech Republic:15 / Denmark:15 / Finland:K-15 / France:12 / Germany:16 / Hong Kong:III / Hungary:18 / Iceland:16 / Ireland:18 / Japan:R-18 (original rating) / Japan:R-15 (re-rating on appeal) / Mexico:C / Netherlands:16 / New Zealand:R18 / Norway:15 / Peru:14 / Portugal:M/16 / Singapore:R(A) / South Africa:18 / South Africa:16 (theatrical rating) / South Korea:18 / Spain:18 / Sweden:15 / UK:18 / USA:Unrated / USA:R (certificate #37990) (edited version) / USA:NC-17 (original rating) (certificate #37726) (rating surrendered)

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