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A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
Flaunting money can attract the wrong kind of people; it's important to leave home to figure out what you want in life, even if it means failing; families should allow their members to discover their own identities; mistakes should be forgiven.
Positive Role Models
Family patriarch is forgiving and patient; son is selfish but eventually works to mend relationships; coffee shop barista is a caring person who wants to help her new friend stay on the right path.
Violence & Scariness
A man is punched and slapped and later shown with a red, scraped-up face. He attempts to buy a gun but has no money and is refused.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
Lots of flirting and innuendo and a few scenes of kissing. Many scenes of a man sitting with multiple women in partying scenarios, drunk and leaning on each other a lot and flirting, with suggestive dancing or leaning or pulling and cutaways that imply intercourse has happened.
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Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Multiple scenes of heavy drinking in bars or at parties, often straight from the bottle, with some montages of multiple shots taken and lots of stumbling and drunken debauchery. Reference to a man having thrown up in a dishwasher; references to hangovers and being hungover; lots of scenes of drinks served in everyday environments; casual smoking.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that A Long Way Off depicts a young man's debauched existence in the city after leaving his family farm as a retelling of the Prodigal Son parable. There's heavy drinking, some casual smoking, heavy innuendo, flirting and implied sex, and some light violence when a man is beaten up. It's a clearly faith-based, cautionary tale about excess, straying from one's family, and redemption, so though the message is morally centered, the majority of the film concerns itself with the low points. Best for older kids and families looking for faith-driven messages. To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
For families of faith, the film's messages will resonate loud and clear without the slightest bit of ambiguity. From the opening scenes of simple farm life and stoic men and religious symbolism to the fast-paced city full of opportunities to blow money, drink heavily, and indulge in sin, it's obvious A LONG WAY OFF has an agenda: to retell the Prodigal Son parable for modern times. But the lack of subtlety, the after-school-special-with-a-budget vibe, and the strong agenda overdo what are some probably decent messages about staying in touch with your parents, respecting Dad, and not blowing your inheritance without a tad more research. Secular families will not find as much to hook into here, because otherwise the main character's missteps and consequences appear almost comically exaggerated for a predictable end. There's a lot of heavy drinking, bar scenes, and partying, so it's best for older kids who can contextualize the reason for the relentless focus on excess on the inevitable road to redemption.
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.