A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this movie.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Allied is an old-fashioned, well-crafted, mature WWII-era romance starring Brad Pitt and Marion Cotillard. Violent scenes include guns and shooting, bloody wounds and dead bodies, a strangling, a plane crash, explosions, and a suicide. A wounded man has a horribly mangled face. There are several pretty intense sex scenes, one scene with a topless woman, and suggested oral sex. Several couples sneak off to have sex at a party, and others kiss and flirt. Language is infrequent but includes several uses of "f--k," plus "s--t," "goddamn," and "hell." There's a scene of characters snort cocaine, and an alcoholic secondary character is shown in a prison cell "drying out." Characters also smoke frequently (accurate for the era) and drink socially.
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What's the story?
In ALLIED, WWII is raging, and intelligence officer Max Vatan (Brad Pitt) gets a new assignment. He's to meet French resistance fighter Marianne Beausejour (Marion Cotillard) in Casablanca, Morocco, and pose as her husband. They'll be invited to a party where a German ambassador will be present; their job is to assassinate him. They escape, but not before they fall in love. So they move to London, marry, and have a child together. Life is good until Max is called into headquarters. There he's told that his wife is a spy who's sending covert information to the Germans. But Max believes Marianne is innocent, so he embarks upon a dangerous mission to confirm that she's actually is who she says she is. If he fails, he's required to execute her ... or face the consequences.
Is it any good?
Deliberately evoking Casablanca, director Robert Zemeckis proves with this wartime romance that he's a highly skilled craftsman. With Allied, Flight, and The Walk, Zemeckis has embarked upon a new, mature chapter of his career. He doesn't totally shy away from the visual effects and big moments he's long been known for, but now he's more closely focusing on characters and their powerful longings and emotions. He seems to be choosing empathy and compassion, getting behind his characters 100 percent, no matter their failings or drawbacks.
Allied is beautifully constructed, with smooth, polished camerawork and editing, as well as evocative music and design. But it's never self-consciously arty. A love scene in a car in the middle of a desert sandstorm is beautiful, if just a teeny bit silly, but a raucous party sequence, peppered with fear and paranoia, is totally engrossing. Pitt and Cotillard are letter-perfect, not only looking the period, but also generating a warm, vivid onscreen chemistry. This is one of those big, old-fashioned movies "like the ones they used to make."
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about Allied's violence. How does violence in war movies compare to what you see in other action movies? How is it depicted, and how does it leave you feeling? What's the impact of media violence on kids?
How is sex portrayed in the movie? How are the scenes between the loving couple different from the scenes at the party? What message does that send?
What's more important in this story -- duty to country, or duty to family? Which is more important to you? Why?
What's the appeal of war stories? How do we balance the idea of heroes with the idea that war is terrible?
- In theaters: November 23, 2016
- On DVD or streaming: February 28, 2017
- Cast: Brad Pitt, Marion Cotillard, Lizzy Caplan
- Director: Robert Zemeckis
- Studio: Paramount Pictures
- Genre: Romance
- Topics: History
- Run time: 124 minutes
- MPAA rating: R
- MPAA explanation: violence, some sexuality/nudity, language and brief drug use
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