A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this movie.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Becky is an extremely violent thriller about a teen (Lulu Wilson) who tries to defend herself and her family from a band of escaped criminals. Violence is frequent and explicit, with guns and shooting, heavy blood and gore (including eyeballs popping out and being sliced off, and characters being stabbed by pencils, burned, and mangled by outboard motors and lawnmowers). Both humans and dogs die, a teen is hit several times and choked, a woman is shot in the leg, and there are various scenes of punching and fighting. Language is also extremely strong, with multiple uses of "f--k," "s--t," "a--hole," and "bitch." Characters kiss and talk about wanting to get married. Kevin James co-stars as the lead villain.
- Parents say
- Kids say
What's the story?
In BECKY, strong-willed teen Becky (Lulu Wilson) is still getting over her mother's death when her father, Jeff (Joel McHale), decides to take her to their lake house for the weekend. But Jeff has a surprise. He's also invited his girlfriend, Kayla (Amanda Brugel), and Kayla's young son, Ty (Isaiah Rockcliffe). Then, Jeff announces at dinner that he and Kayla want to get married. Becky storms out to her tree house to sulk. Meanwhile, four dangerous prisoners -- led by swastika-tattooed Dominik (Kevin James) -- have escaped and are on the loose. They're looking for something that Becky has, and they're not afraid to take out anyone who gets in their way.
Is it any good?
This bloody, grisly thriller is, in some ways, well-crafted and entertaining, but it also neglects its characters and, more than once, crosses a line and goes a little too far. Co-directed by Jonathan Milott and Cary Murnion (Cooties, Bushwick), Becky is basically a Die Hard-type story in which one loose cannon disrupts a well-planned criminal effort. The movie manages the right pace to provide thrills and shocks. And it's definitely satisfying to see the lead character, with her big, blue eyes and fluffy puppy-dog hat, never hesitating as she fearlessly dispatches all of the villains.
But the movie also has faults, and those tend to leave a sour aftertaste. Becky leaves open a few too many questions about its characters, such as how long Becky's father waited to start dating and to think about marriage again. Also, who are the three toughs that go along with Dominik, and why do they follow his orders? Basically, the connections between characters are tenuous, and even Becky -- who's constantly angry at her father -- seems disconnected from everyone but her dog. Finally, death is treated a little too casually. The lives of major characters -- and even animals -- are ended without much fanfare, and it feels like this movie sometimes goes past entertainment and to the edge of cruelty.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about the violence in Becky. How did it make you feel? Is it intended to shock? How much is directed against women? What impact does that have?
Would Becky's actions be considered self-defense or revenge? Or both? What's the difference?
Does the movie go too far in the on-screen violence against animals?
- On DVD or streaming: September 15, 2020
- Cast: Lulu Wilson, Kevin James, Joel McHale
- Directors: Jonathan Milott, Cary Murnion
- Studio: Quiver Distribution
- Genre: Thriller
- Run time: 93 minutes
- MPAA rating: R
- MPAA explanation: strong bloody violence, grisly images, and language
- Last updated: September 14, 2020
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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.
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