By Renee Longstreet,
Common Sense Media Reviewer
Common Sense Media Reviewers
Female-driven action thriller has graphic violence, language
A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
Strong women can be counted on to persevere. Good triumphs over evil.
Positive Role Models
Leading character is courageous, resourceful, determined, compassionate, forgiving; she takes her responsibility seriously. Even when forced to act while terrified and distraught, she rises to the occasion. Young troubled teen learns from her rescuer.
Violence & Scariness
Frequent brutal battles: hand-to-hand combat, gunfights, assault weapons, bloodied victims. Point-blank shootings on multiple occasions. War battle. Leading characters, including a teen, are under fire, captured and handcuffed, slapped, choked, barely escape with their lives several times.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
References to teen having sex with multiple partners. She is seen from the back, topless. Female bodyguard is shown in underwear.
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Multiple instances of "f--k," "s--t."
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Products & Purchases
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
References to teen's past alcohol and drug abuse; she drinks alcohol. Marijuana is smoked. Lead adult character smokes. A bar scene shows drinking.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Close is a fictional story inspired by a real-life bodyguard, Jacquie Davis, who assisted in the production of the film. The story opens in a war zone with a dramatic, violent sequence in which the leading character reveals her extraordinary skills as a hard-core fighter and weapons pro. For the remainder of the movie, she is called upon again and again to use those skills and save a rich, troubled young heiress who is being hunted by powerful villains. Brutal hand-to-hand combat, point-blank shootings, knife-play, captures, daredevil escapes, and attacks with assault rifles result in multiple bloody deaths. Language includes numerous instances of "f--k" and "s--t." There are references to underage alcohol and drug abuse; characters drink and smoke (including marijuana). Females occasionally appear in underwear or revealing clothes, and in one shot from the back, a teen is bare from the waist up. It's set in Morocco, and many of the aggressors are Middle Eastern.
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What's the Story?
Though reluctant to take on the assignment of safeguarding a young heiress, Sam (Noomi Rapace), an elite bodyguard, finds herself and her charge on the run from both police and killers in CLOSE. After the death of her rich and powerful father, Zoe (Sophie Nelisse), now grieving and contemptuous, is at risk from both kidnappers who would hold her for ransom and other more mysterious enemies who want her dead. Escaping from what would appear to be an impenetrable fortress, Sam and Zoe are forced to kill several police officers of questionable allegiance. Sam's attempts to connect with the security company she works for result in yet another nightmarish attack. At the same time, Zoe's stepmother, Rima (Indira Varma), who has an erratic relationship with the troubled teen, is trying to save the family's immense business holdings. Sam and Zoe quickly discern that they can trust no one; they're on their own, and no place is a safe harbor.
Is It Any Good?
Stylish, suspense-filled action sequences with a strong, convincing leading woman aren't enough to satisfy savvy fans who want a coherent, logical, and satisfying story along with the mayhem. There are too many loose ends in Close. Too many random phone calls, secret meetings, and recurring characters whose motives are questionable. It's one thing to wonder who's cleverly behind all of the evil -- it's another to wonder what's going on. And the clichéd disturbed teen who acts out because of feelings of a) abandonment, b) self-loathing, and/or c) desperation to be loved isn't given any new notes to play. Production and performances are fine. Rapace turns in another solid job as the stoic but secretly vulnerable action hero. Adventurous filmmaker Vicky Jewson gets all of the pandemonium right. Still, it doesn't add up to much.
Talk to Your Kids About ...
Families can talk about the violence in Close. Violence raises the stakes for the "good guys" in films and is meant to be exciting and suspenseful. But how much is too much? What is the impact of violence on kids, even older ones?
Females appear as daring action heroes in an increasing number of movies, and not just as superheroes. How does that reflect changes in the culture? How have women's roles evolved over the last decade? Who are your favorite female action stars?
How does the film's location -- Morocco -- heighten the plight of Sam and Sophie? In what ways did the filmmakers use the distinctive setting to their advantage?
- On DVD or streaming: January 18, 2019
- Cast: Noomi Rapace, Sophie Nelisse, Indira Varma
- Director: Vicky Jewson
- Studio: Netflix
- Genre: Action/Adventure
- Topics: Adventures, Friendship
- Run time: 94 minutes
- MPAA rating: NR
- Last updated: February 18, 2023
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