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Parents' Guide to


By Jeffrey M. Anderson, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 17+

Lots of suspense, violence, language in smuggling thriller.

Movie R 2012 110 minutes
Contraband Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this movie.

Community Reviews

age 17+

Based on 3 parent reviews

age 18+

Keeps you wanting more.

I enjoyed the movie, but this is one I would not let my child watch. The only thing that made me uncomfortable was the suggestion you get that a female character will be raped. Mark Whalberg gives a good performance full of suspense and violence without all the gore.
age 17+

too much terrible language

Didn't read commensense review first, big mistake, got up and left not even half way through, f word about every other word, no exaggeration!

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (3 ):
Kids say (11 ):

CONTRABAND's plot (remade from a 2008 Icelandic thriller) is pretty creaky, but Icelandic director Baltasar Kormakur's execution is scrappy and energetic. The movie begins at ground level, with an authentically urban, working-class feel around Chris; it's similar in this regard to the atmosphere of The Fighter. Using this as a basis, Kormakur very simply keeps raising the stakes.

The story grows more and more absurd, but each new wrinkle generates more suspense. Kormakur isn't particularly good at subtle things (like revealing a secret twist or creating a moment of discovery), and the action could have been cleaner and sharper, but most of the movie is based around big events, and they're very satisfying. It's more about guts than brains, along with generating supreme tension. The strong cast also includes J.K. Simmons as a cranky ship's captain and Lukas Haas as a nervous helper.

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