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A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
No real messages other than "be careful what you wish for." At least characters don't necessarily get away with bad behavior.
Positive Role Models
Most characters indulge in poor/questionable behavior, whether they intend to or not.
Violence & Scariness
Dead bodies. Gruesome crime scene photos. Knife fight, stabbing. Punching. Arguing, shouting. A woman tries to commit suicide by taking pills. Bottle-smashing.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
Kissing. Possible off-screen sex. Some sex talk, discussions about an extramarital affair.
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More than one use of "f--k," plus "goddamn," "hell," "whore," and "for God sakes."
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Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Frequent social drinking, cigarette smoking. A woman tries to commit suicide by taking pills.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that A Kind of Murder is a crime drama based on a Patricia Highsmith novel. Set in the 1960s, it's an entertaining, low-key, pulpy thriller, though it does have mature themes and content. Violence isn't constant but includes images of dead bodies, crime scene photos, fighting, a knife fight with stabbing, arguing, and an attempted suicide via pills. It's implied that a character is having a sexual affair, though nothing is shown beyond some kissing and brief sex talk. Language includes a few uses of "f--k," as well as "hell," "whore," and more. Adult characters smoke cigarettes and drink fairly frequently, mainly in social settings. To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
Often, Patricia Highsmith's novels are adapted into high-class affairs, but this thriller feels refreshingly small-time and pulpy, getting closer to the story's raw emotions and impulses. Director Andy Goddard, a veteran of TV shows like Doctor Who, Downton Abbey, Daredevil, and Luke Cage, brings a small-screen economy to A Kind of Murder, stripping it to its essentials but still providing plenty of style and rich, 1960s-style atmosphere.
The screenplay by first-timer Susan Boyd feels logical and honest, following characters into emotional traps that make sense; the characters never come across as stupid. And the casting is pitch-perfect, with Wilson as a clean-cut everyman, Bennett as a potentially dangerous beauty, and especially Marsan as the twisted, repressed bookseller and Kartheiser (Mad Men) as the relentless, rodent-like detective. A Kind of Murder could almost be a movie magically transported from the bottom half of a 1960s double-bill to the present day. It's sordid, spiffy fun.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.