Parents' Guide to

American Hangman

By Jeffrey Anderson, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 16+

Pessimistic, violent, but effective cautionary thriller.

Movie NR 2019 99 minutes
American Hangman Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

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

Community Reviews

age 18+

Based on 1 parent review

age 18+

Really interesting, plot-heavy suspense thriller

Very dialogue driven and is a mix of kidnapping, courtroom drama, and angry young crazy man terrorizing people. (Is that a genre? lol) The acting is excellent.

This title has:

Too much violence
Too much sex
Too much swearing

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say: (1):
Kids say: Not yet rated

This modest but pessimistic drama about social ills may feel a little familiar, but the intelligent banter, a superior central performance, and one or two likable supporters keep it crackling along. Written and directed by Wilson Coneybeare, American Hangman follows in the footsteps of many other recent movies that use social media and the internet to demonstrate society's cynicism, selfishness, and apathy -- and it can be a bit much. But at least the movie also builds a rhythm, doling out information and surprises slowly, so that it becomes somewhat pleasurable as well.

With the exception of various shocked/aghast minor characters watching the video stream, Coneybeare stays mainly in the moody basement, conjuring up unseen visuals through expressive dialogue. Sutherland's performance is impressive as he attempts to teach the law to the viewing masses in a way that will be both understandable and dynamic; he falters and stammers as he searches for the right way to say things. Oliver Dennis is appealing as a smart, moralistic police lieutenant who's about to retire but is slowly piecing together the case; he's more like a wise turtle than a grizzled cop. The movie's daring final note strikes a bit of a minor chord, but on the whole, American Hangman gets a "not guilty" plea.

Movie Details

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