Parents' Guide to

Acts of Violence

By Michael Ordona, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 16+

Human life, the law have no value in empty action flick.

Movie R 2018 86 minutes
Acts of Violence Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

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

Community Reviews

age 15+

Based on 1 parent review

age 15+

Common sense violence

Excellent movie that points out that you can only depend on family and yourselves. The police are "after the fact" participants, and by tried case law are NOT required to protect you. Add political corruption to the process and law enforcement is little more than show of force. Bad guys can do as they please, and if caught (not likely) can lawyer and talk their way out. Back to business. Of course it shows real people, defending their lives and family being arrested, as in real life. Professional tips like wearing rubber gloves when loading magazines, so as to leave no fingerprints on shell casings are appreciated. Amateur stuff, like not expecting the retaliatory strike act the end of the movie was irritating, but acceptable as the family was run to death. More to the point Bruce (The Man) Willis in driving a KILLER CAMERO !!! GUNS GUITARS HOT RODS & MOTORCYCLES is this a Great Country or what?

This title has:

Great messages
Great role models

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (1):
Kids say (2):

This film devalues human life, spits on the law, promotes damaging stereotypes of veterans and people of color, and does it all without a hint of intelligence or originality. It's pretty rough when the best thing you can say about a movie is "The actors look good using weapons." So kudos to stunt coordinator T.J. White (or whoever trained them). Otherwise, Acts of Violence is a mishmash of vigilante-movie clichés and a fairly direct rip-off of Taken, without the tension. In the actor's dictionary under "Paycheck Movie," there's likely now a picture of Willis sitting at his detective characters's desk, conducting a low-energy "argument" with a troubled veteran (the brother played by Hauser) who's about to go all Rambo with his untrained brothers. Willis' enervated performance starts with a sleepwalked raid in the film's opening minutes and never perks up. As his character's partner, Bush has so much more energy and precision in her performance that you genuinely wish that he had even less screen time than the limited amount he already does, and that she had more. To be clear, although this is a Willis-headlined shoot-'em-up, he's here for name recognition only -- this is Hauser's movie. And, as always, he handles himself well in the action scenes. But there's nothing holding the shoot-outs together.

Acts of Violence is, simply, a full-throated, empty-brained endorsement of vigilanteism. In Acts' view, the police are too weak and stupid to, say, question witnesses (they don't -- in fact, they don't do anything resembling police work, apart from arresting the "good guys"). So it's up to citizens to mount up with their trucks and automatic weapons. (By the way, it apparently takes only a few minutes of "training" under extreme emotional duress to become a gun-toting crime fighter or even an amazingly accurate combat sniper, according to this movie.) Acts seems to want to portray the troubled-vet brother sympathetically by showing him seeking help for his PTSD from an impacted VA and writing poetry to boot. Instead, he comes alive only by putting lots and lots of people to death. Cleveland natives, aware of their home's status as a high-crime-rate city, would still likely be quite startled by the movie's portrayal of their town as a leading hub of human trafficking. Likewise, the roughly one-third white, more than half-black population would have to wonder why the only people of color in the film are cowardly criminals or kidnap victims with no lines. Or why a woman who just had an aggressive run-in with lowlifes at a bar would decide to hang around by herself in a dark, lonely alley. Or why the filmmakers think a bad guy's deal with the feds means he now has carte blanche to openly conduct a human-trafficking operation. Presumably you check your thinking cap at the door for this sort of exercise, but the film's willful ignorance is egregious, even for the genre. The worst Acts of Violence here are to viewers' brain cells.

Movie Details

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