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A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
Movie is largely about revenge; no real consequences for violent acts. But unlike a lot of movies with lots of dead bodies, this asks audiences to ponder death -- specifically, how the living react to the dead. What makes a death funny, what makes a death sad? Why do we react in these ways?
Positive Role Models
Almost all characters are ruthless killers or criminals of some kind. Very few consequences for all the carnage. Only Kim the police officer seems decent and diligent in trying to solve the puzzle.
Violence & Scariness
Extreme violence tinged with darkly comic tone. Hitting, punching, pummeling. Guns and shooting. Many dead bodies. Gallons of blood, including splatters, etc. A character gurgles/chokes on blood. Teeth knocked out. Kidnapping. Suicide attempt with rifle. Sawed-off shotgun. A man swings at his ex-wife; she dodges, grabs him by the crotch.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
A secondary character plays at being a pickup artist; he tries to sleep with waitresses and hotel maids (he "seduces" the latter by lying naked in bed and putting money on his genitals). No graphic nudity. Some sex-related dialogue. Play on words relating to main character's name ("Coxman"). Married couple kisses (offscreen).
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Very strong language, with many uses of "f--k," "s--t," the "N" word, "ass," "bastard," "damn," "hell," "goddamn," "crap," "d--kweed," "Jesus Christ." Middle-finger gesture.
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Products & Purchases
Box of Fruity Pebbles shown. Mentions of Facebook and Yelp.
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Supporting characters are drug dealers. A character is said to have overdosed. Bags of cocaine shown. Teens smoke pot. Other scenes of pot smoking, plus background cigarette smoking. Main character drinks shots of alcohol. Drinks in nightclub. Beers in a bar.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Cold Pursuit is a thriller/dark comedy starring Liam Neeson as a man seeking revenge for his son's death. It's very violent, with punching and hitting, guns and shooting, and lots and lots of blood. Much of the violence is tinged with a comic tone. There's some sex-related dialogue, and a secondary character tries to seduce waitresses and hotel maids, sometimes by lying in bed naked with money covering his genitals. A married couple kisses, offscreen, for a long time. Language is very strong, with uses of "f--k," "s--t," the "N" word, and more. Secondary characters are drug dealers, and cocaine, pot smoking, and cigarettes are shown. Characters also drink in bars/socially. A remake of a 2014 Norwegian movie, this one is quite a bit smarter, and stranger, than the usual Neeson revenge movie. It also plays around with audience reactions to death, which makes it most appropriate for older teens and up. 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 bloody, deceptive thriller starts out like yet another one of Neeson's revenge movies, but it subtly switches into a very dark comedy that asks us to consider our various reactions to death. Cold Pursuit was directed by Hans Petter Moland; it's a remake of his own 2014 Norwegian film In Order of Disappearance for American audiences. It feels like he's iterating to achieve perfection, tone- and style-wise. For instance, something feels odd when Nelson and his wife (Laura Dern) go to identify their son's body and must wait awkwardly while a morgue worker pumps a foot pedal again and again to raise the corpse to viewing height.
The scene is sad, but it also inspires laughter. Moland allows time for viewers to experience both feelings, and then ask themselves "why did I react like that?" The whip-smart movie balances a large array of characters, and each is treated with respect, with the realization that everyone has his or her own feelings. Viking is a slick, selfish villain who's appalling in many ways but also logical; the scenes in which he attempts to relate to his young son are both ridiculous and touching. The movie's biggest flaw is that it keeps all these balls -- characters, humor, and pathos -- in the air for a long time, and it can get exhausting. But for the majority of its running time, Cold Pursuit is surprising, bracing grown-up entertainment.
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.