99 Homes

Movie review by
Jeffrey M. Anderson, Common Sense Media
99 Homes Movie Poster Image
Great, if downbeat, indie drama deals with moral conflict.
  • R
  • 2015
  • 112 minutes

Parents say

No reviews yetAdd your rating

Kids say

age 15+
Based on 2 reviews

A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this movie.

Positive Messages

The storyline is a spin on the Faust legend, in which a man sells his soul to the devil in exchange for riches; he loses focus on what matters but eventually realizes that family is the most important thing. The lessons of the economic crisis that began in 2008 (and in some ways, still continues) -- i.e. banks gambling on bad mortgages and earning huge profits by foreclosing -- are part of the plot; the movie manages to address these important issues without getting preachy or overbearing

Positive Role Models & Representations

Dennis learns a huge lesson after selling his soul to the devil in exchange for riches and glory. He does things that are morally wrong but eventually sees the error of his way and risks his livelihood to try and set things right.

Violence

A moment of startling blood and gore -- and a bloody corpse. Violent fighting. A house full of human excrement.

Sex

Innuendo/references to sexual acts (i.e. "hand job," "blow job"). Kissing random girls at a party. Scantily clad women; objectification of women.

Language

Uses of "f--k," "s--t," "c--ksucker," "a--hole," "ass."

Consumerism
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Characters smoke cigarettes on a regular basis. A character smokes a "vape" cigarette. Party with lots of drinking and some cigar smoking.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that 99 Homes is a powerful, thought-provoking indie drama that weaves the recent financial crisis with the classic Faust legend. Expect a couple of scenes of bloody violence and gore, a dead body, and some fighting, as well as a house filled with excrement. Language is fairly strong, with uses of "f--k," "s--t," "c--ksucker," and "a--hole." There's some sexual innuendo and passionate kissing, as well as scantily clad women and objectification of female characters. Characters smoke cigarettes regularly (one character also smokes a "vape"), and there's a scene of heavy drinking and cigar smoking at a party. Given that the film stars The Amazing Spider-Man's Andrew Garfield, teens may be interested.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say

There aren't any reviews yet. Be the first to review this title.

Teen, 14 years old Written byjacovi02 March 16, 2017

Sad story about what is important

This movie is very exciting with a lot of sad moments.most when the agents evicted people out of there homes.
Teen, 14 years old Written byMovie_Geek October 1, 2017

What's the story?

Independent contractor Dennis Nash (Andrew Garfield) does his best to support his mother (Laura Dern) and his son (Noah Lomax) with his increasingly intermittent income, but the day comes when the bank sends a foreclosure notice. Dennis tries to navigate the red tape and save his house, but time runs out, and slick, no-nonsense broker Rick Carver (Michael Shannon) shows up to kick them out. An angered Dennis later confronts Rick ... and finds himself with a job offer. As Dennis rises through the ranks of Rick's organization, he finds ways to cheat the bank, and his paychecks increase. He dreams of getting his old house back, but when he starts foreclosing on others, Dennis begins to realize that he may have compromised his soul.

Is it any good?

Acclaimed indie filmmaker Ramin Bahrani, who regularly and bravely focuses on heartbreaking trials of life while keeping his stories rooted in humanity, turns in some of his finest work here. A drama of great power and subtlety, 99 HOMES manages to talk about one of today's most pressing and troubling issues without getting preachy or overbearing. At the same time, the movie borrows the classical structure of the Faust story while still managing to feel immediate and relevant.

Perhaps it's this merging of the classical and modern that makes the movie work so well -- or maybe it's the impressive performances. Shannon has rarely been used so well, with his sinister, snaky countenance and his weird charm crossing paths. And Garfield is both commanding and heartbreaking. Certain moments (losing the home) beautifully capture a kind of short-of-breath panic and others (earning dirty money) a kind of sickening elation, but all of it is remarkably immediate -- and remarkably human.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about 99 Homes' violence. How do the scenes of violence work in the film? Are they an attack or a response? Are they justified? What's the impact of media violence on kids?

  • What is the Faust legend? What lessons are learned from it? Can you think of other movies that build on this concept?

  • How much does the movie explain about the financial crisis that began in 2008? What does foreclosing on people's houses have to do with it? Who gains? Why? Has anything changed?

  • How frequently do the characters smoke? Does it change the way you feel about them?

Movie details

For kids who love dramas

Our editors recommend

Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.

See how we rate

About these links

Common Sense Media, a nonprofit organization, earns a small affiliate fee from Amazon or iTunes when you use our links to make a purchase. Thank you for your support.

Read more

Our ratings are based on child development best practices. We display the minimum age for which content is developmentally appropriate. The star rating reflects overall quality and learning potential.

Learn how we rate