A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
People who live under strict rules hide their actions (smoking, drinking, mixing with women) to avoid being condemned by society and ending up in prison. Death -- "it's where we all eventually end up."
Positive Role Models
Many characters struggle to make good decisions.
The action takes place in Saudi Arabia with mostly Saudi actors.
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Violence & Scariness
A severely damaged car is shown and we learn the passenger sustained a broken arm and the driver was killed. A man drives recklessly. A club bouncer tries to physically evict a man from a men's bathroom. Someone hits the bouncer over the head with a metal trash can. A crime victim threatens to have the hands cut off of the thief he caught red-handed.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
It appears that a man killed in a car crash was having an affair.
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"F--k," "s--t," "bastard," "hell," "and "damn."
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Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Adults smoke cigarettes. A man pretends he quit smoking and sneaks out at every opportunity to grab a smoke. Although religious restrictions forbid it, people drink alcohol to drunkenness.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that AlKhallat+ is a feature based on a popular 2019 Saudi YouTube series. The film offers four unrelated stories, mostly comedies based on the main characters' ineptitude or ignorance, focusing on the temptation to break strict religious laws about drinking alcohol, extramarital affairs, and the public behavior of women. Several male characters drink alcohol and mix with women -- dressed immodestly by the country's religious standards. Adults drink alcohol to drunkenness and smoke cigarettes. There's a vague reference to an extramarital affair. Language includes minimal use of "f--k," "s--t," "bastard," "hell," and "damn." The content is probably suitable for most young teens but the material isn't likely to interest them. This is Netflix's first investment in a Saudi production. In Arabic with English subtitles. To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
Movies like Alkhallat+, which represent humanity as if it were populated almost entirely by idiots, aren't for everyone. In this comedy subgenre, the emphasis is on the supposed hilarity inherent in watching stupid people struggle with their stupidity. Worse yet, by way of inelegant directing and editing, these four completely unrelated stories are jammed together for no good reason. Publicity suggests that the stories take place on the same day, which still doesn't connect them in any substantial way. If there can be said to be a theme, it might be the depiction of hypocrisy -- people breaking strict religious rules about extramarital affairs, drinking alcohol, and the unacceptable behavior of women. But this may be lost on anyone living in a Western democracy, for whom drinking, having an affair, and dressing in a short skirt aren't punishable by a prison term.
To a Saudi audience, on the other hand, the film may amount to a daring and controversial protest of religious restrictions and the hypocrisy surrounding them. If protest is the point, that may explain why so little effort was made to create actual plots. The protest alone may seem sufficient to the filmmakers. In most movies, both plot and consistent characters help. Here, when a kitchen worker brings her estranged parents to her fancy restaurant in the hopes of bringing them back together, a mean manager turns uncharacteristically kind and then mean again. Her mother is dour and negative, then for no reason turns sunny and romantic. Nothing here makes sense or creates dramatic tension. Finally, the closing credits start with a typo, spelling the director-writer's name two different ways.
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.