Parents' Guide to

Mona Lisa

By Alistair Lawrence, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 16+

Neo-noir British drama has strong language, sex, violence.

Movie R 1986 104 minutes
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Is It Any Good?

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A compelling, multiple award-winning performance from Hoskins as George, the movie's naive and occasionally thuggish protagonist, is the high point of this classic British drama. Where Mona Lisa falters slightly is its script's lack of pace and plot, which results in its story often struggling to serve the cast's impressive work of portraying 1980s London and George's descent into a criminal underworld.

Tyson too deserves enormous credit for her portrayal of Simone, a self-assured sex worker who nonetheless suffers at the hands of the men who control her world. The two leads provide fizzing chemistry, while solid supporting work from Michael Caine and Robbie Coltrane add menace and some deadpan comedic touches, respectively. So despite the occasional dragging plot, there's more than enough screen presence for this to be an enjoyable, and occasionally uncomfortable, slice-of-life movie from an often-forgotten era.

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