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A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
Other than "you can't get away with murder," no strong takeaways.
Positive Role Models
Fletch is a former investigative journalist who's curious, fearless, relentless, and facetious when it comes to getting to the truth. But to get the information he needs, he does lie (or go undercover, however you want to look at it).
Some actors of color in supporting roles, including police detectives and a couple of artists.
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Violence & Scariness
Shooting. A punch. Martial arts moves. References to a kidnapping. Dead body.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
Sex scene with focus on a woman who's depicted in the throes of passion (glimpse of the side of her breast). Passionate kissing. Sexual situations and innuendo.
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Strong language includes "ass," "a--hole," "c--k," "dammit," "hell," and "s--t" and one character's frequent use of "f--k."
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Products & Purchases
Brands shown seem to be to drive home a point, like Enterprise to represent a rental car facility.
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Pot smoking. Drinking throughout. Talk about a side character's substance abuse problem, with references to the drugs OxyContin, Molly, and Percocet.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Confess, Fletch is a reboot of the 1980s Fletch series that starred Chevy Chase. It was adapted from author Gregory Mcdonald's second novel about the character and features Jon Hamm stepping into the shoes of the temporarily retired investigative reporter. Aside from tricking people to get to the truth, Irwin M. Fletcher is mostly a stand-up guy, and most of the movie's iffy content comes from the supporting characters. Fletch's curmudgeonly former editor (John Slattery) is hilariously profane, with "f--k"s flying at a rapid pace (you can also expect to hear "s--t," "c--k," and more). A woman (Marcia Gay Harden) comes on to Fletch with humorously sexually suggestive behavior. And Fletch's "pothead" neighbor (Annie Mumolo) tokes up and makes references to another character's drug problem; characters drink throughout. A sex scene includes a moment of intense gratification, and there's some passionate kissing. To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
No matter the quality of the writing, the authenticity to the source novel, or the talent of the cast, this new Fletch movie is missing a pivotal element: Chevy Chase. Irwin M. Fletcher is Chase's career-defining character, so there's no way to watch anyone else, even the very talented Hamm, put on Fletch's Lakers hat without thinking of how Chase would deliver every line. And because Chase was allowed to improvise dialogue and fly in whatever direction he felt worked when making his two Fletch films, he's said that the Fletch character is basically him. How can anyone overcome that legacy?
That said, if Fletch fans watch with low expectations, knowing that it will never quite measure up, this story about the former L.A. investigative reporter who walks into a murder does have legs. And it could be a great pick to view with teens who haven't yet seen (or aren't emotionally attached to) the 1985 classic before watching Chase's version and then getting their take on which one is best. Comedy changes over time, and kids' opinion may not be what you expect. Really, the humor in Confess, Fletch is closer to an episode of Seinfeld: Fletch is the sane one, and the supporting actors are zany (they're all pretty funny, and Annie Mumolo's performance is hysterical perfection). The beats are similar to the previous Fletch movies, moving from one crazy scene into another. But this time, the retired reporter goes undercover in a more believable way: No wacky costumes or fake teeth here. Neither, however, are there any quotable lines, which were the hallmarks of great '80s comedies and feel like an art form that has mostly vanished with the move toward more authentic stories. But some things are consistent, like an ending that hurts your head if you try to make sense of it.
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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.
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