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A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
Advocates biblical and spiritual values throughout, with an emphasis on forgiveness. Unintended message: Law enforcement and judicial systems are blind to truth, ineffectual, and/or corrupt.
Positive Role Models
Positive role models are consistently those who rely on God and accept Christ's teachings: The wayward are made whole (twin Andrew); the sinner is redeemed (prisoner Eddie Waters); those who lose faith find it again through belief and prayer (twin Peter). Central villain is a stereotypical, rich housing developer -- wholly evil and unrepentant. Women are portrayed are victims: a murdered school girl, a murdered (unfaithful) wife, the submissive wife of the developer. Sheriff, the court, and prison staff are shown as mistake-prone, stupid, and having little knowledge of the law. The only African-American men are prisoners.
Violence & Scariness
Man threatens wife with gun; kills her and himself (off-camera); a child hears all. Mild bullying, scuffling between teens. A fistfight leaves a boy unconscious. Unwanted sexual advances on a high school girl result in her death. A father slaps his son. Young man tries to cut his wrists (not graphically shown); however, a pool of blood is seen on the floor afterward. Graphic sequence shows prisoner killed in the electric chair.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
Teens who love each other kiss, embrace, and cuddle. References to extramarital affairs -- a man runs from a house after being caught in the act.
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"Damn," "you rude little miscreant."
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Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Some drinking, drunkenness (including high school boys). Many people, including teens, smoke cigarettes or cigars.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Brother's Keeper is a faith-based movie about forgiveness, redemption, and sacrifice. Its twin teen heroes are persistently faced with life-changing circumstances totally beyond their control. How they manage or don't manage to survive is at the heart of the story. The story is set in what appears to be an all-white Georgia in the 1950s, with the exception of two African-American prisoners, and the portrayal of corporate developers, law enforcement, and the courts is grim and, even by that decade's standards, unrealistically lax and cruel. Some violent sequences (Spoiler alerts: an attempted rape, a murder-suicide, an electrocution, a wrist-slashing attempt), along with the disturbing deaths of important characters, make this iffy material for kids and tweens. Smoking is pervasive; the plot turns on alcohol-induced behavior, including teen drunkenness. To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
Faith-based movies can be inspirational and entertaining to a wide, select audience: The genre is not well-served with movies such as this one. Given one-dimensional characters, weak directing and editing, and the gaping holes in logic, the production was doomed despite an earnest attempt to deliver a meaningful experience. Seasoned actors are defeated by the on-the-nose, corny dialogue; these two leads try their best but can't meet the challenge. "Reveals" or "twists" that are supposed to surprise result more in "Huh?" or "What?" than "Wow!" All that, along with exaggerated hyper-villains and disturbing scenes (an electrocution, several violent deaths), make this movie difficult to recommend.
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.