A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
Few positive messages with a number of characters leading criminal lifestyles and being motivated by greed and money. Some infidelity. Learning to forgive people their flaws. Staying loyal to family. Resorting to the lesser of two evils to protect as many other people as possible.
Positive Role Models
Dave tries to be diligent, hardworking, and honest. This is compromised by Joe's selfish and criminal behavior. While Joe is irresponsible he does show loyalty and affection to his friends and family. A character cheats on their spouse. Very little ethnic diversity among the cast, but some gender and age diversity.
Violence & Scariness
Punches and kicks follow an argument. Bystanders threatened with guns and violence during a robbery. Character struck with an improvised blunt weapon. Male characters threaten females by grabbing them and threatening them with assault and murder. Character punched to the floor then kicked. Bloody injuries. Gunshot fired in altercation.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
Characters have sex in a toilet cubicle. Clothing partially removed from the waist down. Character shown bare chested in the bath. Kissing. Characters shown in bed together after sex, under covers.
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Language is frequent and includes "s--t," "shite," "f--k," "f--king," "arse," "motherf----rs," "bollocks," "c--t," "bastard," "bloody hell," and "prick." "Jesus Christ" used as an exclamation. The British slang terms "pigs" (for police officers) and "slags" are also used.
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Products & Purchases
Criminals are motivated by greed and money. Character attempts to bribe a police officer. Argument about money that escalates to the point where people's lives are threatened.
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Characters smoke cigarettes and marijuana, drink alcohol, and snort drugs. Some also drink while driving. One character smokes pot until it makes them ill.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Broken Law is an Irish crime drama with frequent strong language, drug use, and moments of violence. When Joe (Graham Earley) is released from prison his subsequent behavior causes both himself and his police officer brother Dave (Tristan Heanue) untold problems. Dave is generally honorable and trustworthy, although he is the midst of an affair with a married woman, Amia (Gemma-Leah Devereux). Joe in contrast is generally irresponsible and selfish, but does show genuine concern for others and feels remorse when his actions place people in danger. Characters are motivated by money and greed leading to arguments and violence. This includes various fights involving punches and kicks, although nothing that results in serious injury. A gun is fired at one point and during a robbery people are also threatened at gunpoint. Men also direct violent threats at women on more than one occasion. More frequent is the strong language, which occurs throughout and includes "c--t" and variants of "f--k." Drinking, drugs, and smoking also feature heavily. Characters are seen smoking marijuana, snorting powdered drugs, and drinking both socially and in moderation, but also to excess and even while driving. To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
This crowd-funded effort by writer-director Paddy Slattery packs a literal and figurative punch. Broken Law's story of two brothers, one wayward and one strait-laced, is nothing new. But strong performances from Tristan Heanue as compromised cop Dave and Graham Earley as his self-destructive outlaw sibling Joe are two of several watchable turns in this modest, Dublin-set crime thriller.
Where the movie falters is its rushed story, which is packed with convenient coincidences. Psychotic, drug-addled gangster Wallace (John Connors) is a compelling presence. But both he and Dave's love interest, Amia (Gemma-Leah Devereux), have relatively little to do as the plot pounds past any real character development on its way toward a neat but hurried ending. Given their constraints, everyone involved deserves credit for creating some tense, unnerving scenes, and the sense that with a more carefully crafted script and a bigger budget, this cast and crew could've created something truly memorable.
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.