Parents' Guide to

Above Suspicion

By JK Sooja, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 17+

Stale drama about gripping true story; violence, language.

Movie R 2019 104 minutes
Above Suspicion Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this movie.

Community Reviews

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

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say: Not yet rated
Kids say: Not yet rated

This movie is based on a true story, but unfortunately it's a poor recreation of the real thing. While Above Suspicion valiantly tries to equal its real-life counterpart in terms of shock and awe, most of the drama that leads up to the end feels stale and uninspired. Also based on Joe Sharkey's book, likewise called Above Suspicion, this film adaptation feels like it can't decide whether Susan is victim or villain, and the same goes for Mark Putnam. Because of this, it's hard to root for either of them, as they aren't particularly likable and the film can't decide either. Further, the film can't decide whether it should be didactic or simply a tragedy. Perhaps different decisions like these wouldn't make this film better, but it's hard to not think of them: more realistic and less cliched dialogue, simpler shots, tonal confidence in artsy or realist presentation, tighter pacing, etc.

Clarke and Huston do an admirable job trying to make their characters work, but whether the directing or writing or both, they just can't quite seem to get their characters right. Their chemistry doesn't feel great, neither does their romance, and Huston doesn't do enough to come across as charming as the real Mark Putnam. Clarke's Susan is often a fierce ball of fire, but also too often she burns too bright, perhaps from proverbially flying too close to the sun. Surprisingly, the best performance goes to Johnny Knoxville's Cash, whose subtle, smoldering menace threatens to explode at any moment.

Movie Details

Inclusion information powered by

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.

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