Parents' Guide to

6 Days

By Barbara Shulgasser-Parker, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 16+

Reenactment of 1980 embassy takeover has blood, violence.

Movie R 2017 94 minutes
6 Days Poster Image

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This movie is a workmanlike, if fairly flat, depiction of the kind of story that often makes the news these days. Mark Strong plays the real-life Max Vernon, the chief police negotiator who does his best to buy time, keep the terrorists calm, and keep the hostages safe while rescue plans are being devised. The movie does a nice job of showing the emotional connection that can develop between a negotiator and a sympathetic terrorist. In this case, terrorist leader Salim (Ben Turner) seems to appreciate Max's efforts to help get everyone out alive, but in the end, he doesn't believe such an outcome is possible. The emotional toll on Max is great, and he appears to believe that by obeying orders he's been given to distract Salim, he has in some sense betrayed him. While this feeling is understandable, the movie doesn't really provide the in-depth foundation during the action to support the decision to spend quite a bit of screen time on that dissatisfaction at the end.

The filmmakers also don't bother explaining much about the difference between an Arab and a Persian, even though that difference is at the heart of Salim's and his fellow terrorists' grievances. Iran is a Persian nation, where Persian is the native tongue. Arabs like Salim, who speak Arabic, are a minority in that country and are discriminated against by the Persian government, based on 14 centuries of Arab-Persian animosity. More could also have been done to illuminate the terrorist strategy behind taking over the Iranian embassy in London, as opposed to just protesting or attacking Iranians in Iran. The fact that none of this is explained adds to the sense that the 1980 event is being treated more as an excuse to make a suspenseful hostage movie than to enlighten anyone on the issues that prompted the conflict. No doubt this depicts an iconic moment in British history that made the careers of not only police officer Vernon, but also BBC correspondent Kate Adie (Abbie Cornish) and Lance Corporal Rusty Firmin (Jamie Bell), who bravely led the soldiers into the building. Brits who watched the events unfold on TV in real time will probably appreciate 6 Days more than any other audience.

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