Parents' Guide to

Ace the Case

By Sandie Angulo Chen, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 12+

Tween detective story is surprisingly violent, dark in tone.

Movie PG-13 2016 94 minutes
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Even Academy-Award winner Sarandon can't save this forgettable mystery, which is too dark and frightening for younger kids and too obvious and poorly executed to please teens and adults. Kid gumshoes can be iconic (Nancy Drew, the Scooby-Doo gang, Encyclopedia Brown, the Hardy Boys), but Ace the Case's Olivia won't be joining their ranks. While there's nothing wrong with Sobo's performance, the movie isn't compelling enough to draw viewers in. And Sarandon's presence here is even less understandable than Kevin Spacey's in Nine Lives, since at the very least he had notable actors to work with and most of his performance was voice work. In Ace the Case, Sarandon has the unenviable job of being the sole recognizable actor.

The worst part is the subplot involving the Surgeon, who the kidnapping victim's father hires to help him find his daughter. The Surgeon can tell everything about someone's background just from a sentence or two. Perhaps he's supposed to be Sherlock Holmes meets Jason Statham meets Harvey Keitel's Wolf from Pulp Fiction -- but with a giant pet rabbit (don't ask, because it makes no sense). But as performed, he's an off-putting show-off with disappointing, fake-looking action moves. Perhaps if the story had focused more on Olivia and Dottie than on also including the Surgeon and the criminals (all so terrible they don't warrant mentioning), Ace the Case could have been slightly more kid friendly and not as instantly forgettable.

Movie Details

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