A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this movie.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that 7500 is a thriller about an airplane hijacking that stars Joseph Gordon-Levitt as a pilot. Violence is intense, with lots of stabbing, fighting, struggling, kicking, and grappling, plus bloody wounds and lots of blood. Characters die, and one is shot. Characters are bashed with fire extinguishers, kicked in the head, and smashed with doors. Language is strong, with uses of "f--k," "s--t," "c--t," and more. There's some flirting and a kiss. The movie is very tense and gripping but also shocking and unsettling. Death means something here, and it's an experience that mature viewers won't soon forget.
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What's the story?
In 7500, American co-pilot Tobias (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) takes his seat in the cockpit of a flight out of Berlin. Flight attendant Gökce (Aylin Tezel) sneaks in for a quick chat about their daughter and kindergarten. She tries to be discreet, since they've agreed to keep their relationship secret while working. The captain, Michael (Carlo Kitzlinger), arrives, and the pre-flight check is mostly normal. But not long after takeoff, a group of glass knife-wielding terrorists hijacks the plane. One gets into the cockpit, wounding both Michael and Tobias, but Tobias knocks his attacker unconscious. Other terrorists start threatening hostages, one after the other, in order to gain access to the cockpit. Unfortunately for Tobias, Gökce becomes one of the hostages. Can Tobias keep his wits about him and safely land the plane?
Is it any good?
This white-knuckle thriller uses constricted space and realistic details to generate intense suspense, but at the same time, it never forgets the sobering, tragic seriousness of the situation. A strong feature debut by director/co-writer Patrick Vollrath, 7500 is, incredibly, set entirely inside the cockpit and focused entirely on Gordon-Levitt, who gives an exhaustively impressive physical and emotional performance. The movie begins with no bombast or fanfare: The pilots just go through their ordinary routine. But this everyday tone helps establish that a hijacking isn't popcorn-movie fare, and that we shouldn't expect giddy, enjoyable thrills.
After the initial attack, Vollrath establishes a sickening dread as Tobias recovers and regroups to the sound of violent hammering on the cockpit door, which lasts for many minutes. Tension here comes from a place of terror, of waiting, as events keep turning well past anything we might expect. But perhaps more importantly, death actually means something here -- there's no Bruce Willis knocking off villains left and right -- and two scenes in particular have the potential to shock viewers into stunned silence. 7500 is a wrenching, bracing experience, but it's also a humane movie that's capable of leaving viewers thinking about the significance of life.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about 7500's violence. Is it thrilling? Exciting? Shocking? How does it differ from other thrillers you've seen?
Should Tobias have opened the door when Gökce was being threatened? Why or why not?
What does the quote from Gandhi, "An eye for an eye only ends up making the whole world blind," mean?
Did you identify with Vedat? Did the movie humanize him? How did you feel about the way his story ends?
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