Once Upon a Time in Shanghai (2014) Poster

Parents Guide

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Sex & Nudity

  • Mild sex scenes but no nudity.
  • There is a reference to the attractivness of a woman: "There are many of this quality in Shanghai Bund".
  • There is a female singer, Sheng, on stage wearing a dress that is a little tight, though not revealing. The scene focuses on her lips at the beginning of the song. She is shown later in the movie on stage in a slightly more revealing dress and dancing with other women. The dress covers to her mid thigh and is no worse than what you would see in summer. There is a lot of focus on their bodies, especialy the legs, hips, and breifly the chest, but it flashes rapidly. The scene only lasts for a few seconds. She is seen again in another scene in a dress that reveals some cleavage and more of her legs, though it doesn't focus on them. The dancing girls are shown dancing in multiple scenes afterwards, but not as close as it was in the first scene.
  • There are implications that Ma is thinking of sexual things as Tei Ju apologizes to him for her rough treatment. He is then scolded by her for those thoughts.
  • Sheng shown in bed with Long Qi after sexual relations. There are sheets covering most of her breasts, but moderate cleavage can be seen. You also see the mans bare back and chest. At the end of the scene, the man rolls on top of her, implying that they will have intercourse again.
  • Long Qi is given a pen that has a metal decoration of a woman on it. There are no details of clothes or nipples, but is obviously female.
  • Ma and Tei Ju are both eating hot dogs in two different scenes, and due to the language, they misinterpret it as genitals.
  • During the last fight scene, Ma is shirtless.

Violence & Gore

  • There are quite a few martial arts fighting scenes. There is very little blood throughout the movie.
  • A man is seen with a sword through the chest. Later on, Long Qi is stabbed in the ankle and back. Another man is seen stabbed multiple times.
  • In the last fight scene, Ma is stabbed through the shoulder. There is little blood, but it is a bit graphic. He lands a punch at the same time and his opponents jaw is exaggeratedly broken.


  • The words "Bastard", "Hell", and "Damn" are each said once.

Alcohol, Drugs & Smoking

  • A woman is shown smoking in the distance, the scene focuses on her and lingers for a few seconds. There are men shown drinking and smoking throughout the movie, though most of the scenes are very brief, there are many.
  • There is a mention of Opium and the price of it. There are many packets of Opium tied up in the traditional style, but it never shows the drug itself.

Frightening & Intense Scenes

  • Some of the fighting scenes can be intense.
  • There are quite a few bodies hanging off of a stairwell, some tied up and others collapsed on the ground.
  • A lit sign from a bulding falls and breaks. It's not intense, but can be frightening for a very young child. A man is later shown dead, lying on top of the sign.
  • There is a scene of a man getting his fingernails cut by another person, who messes up. She is obviously scared of the punishment, but the man only shows her how to do it and dismisses her saying that her hand is useless if she can't do it correctly next time.
  • Flora is seen crying and being dragged by a man who claims that her father stole from their stocks of Opium. An axe is revealed and raised to cut her, but it is interrupted. The axe is flung into a tree, which then falls over in front of the crowd of people.
  • After a fight scene, Ma asks for matches and sets the stocks of Opium on fire in the back of a truck.
  • Towards the end of the movie, there are scenes of men being stabbed multiple times. The scenes are long and drawn out.
  • In the final fight scene, Ma is stabbed through the shoulder. There is a closeup of the wound as it occurs.

See also

Taglines | Plot Summary | Synopsis | Plot Keywords

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