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A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
The universe is amoral, and many among us who have done terrible things walk around without guilt, rationalizing bad deeds. People need to find joy in the simple things -- family, work, and hope that future generations might understand more about the human condition. People define themselves by the choices they've made in life. Comedy is tragedy plus time.
Positive Role Models
A successful and respected doctor pays to have his mistress killed when she threatens to expose the affair and upend his life. At the same time, he espouses his feelings of guilt and also his conclusion that if he can get away with his evil deed, the world must be a godless cesspool. A mistress becomes vindictive as she threatens to expose an affair. A successful television writer-producer is insufferably full of himself. A married man woos a single woman.
Violence & Scariness
A woman is murdered by a hired killer. The act is not seen, but her body is later shown (clothed and with some blood). A reference to a man defecating on a woman.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
A man complains his marriage has been platonic for a year: "The last time I was inside a woman was when I visited the Statue of Liberty." A married man carries on an affair with a younger woman. A reference to sexual bondage.
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Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Adults smoke cigarettes and drink socially.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Crimes and Misdemeanors is a 1989 Woody Allen comedy that addresses adultery, murder for hire, betrayal, morality, and the question of whether the universe is guided by a God and differences between good and evil. At the same time, it sends up self-importance in the entertainment industry and glorifies the Golden Age of black-and-white Hollywood film. Adults smoke cigarettes and drink, and there are references to consensual sexual bondage. Expect to hear the word "bulls--t." A woman is murdered by a hired killer; the act is not seen, but her body is later shown (clothed and with some blood). There's a reference to a man defecating on a woman. To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
The writing, editing, and seamless storytelling make this one of Woody Allen's best films. Few others would think to showcase the human tendency to compare different degrees of immorality through comedy. Two intersecting stories loosely weave together. The one about adultery and murder is riveting. In comparison, the one featuring Allen as an unrealistic documentary maker who longs for an unattainable woman seems a bit slapstick in its comic effort to lighten the darkness. Yet the comedy may, in fact, be a stroke of directorial genius, making the murder story more palatable than it would be on its own. Note that the era of the cinematic antihero probably ended with the worldwide economic downturn, thus no longer affording the privileged, whiny stock characters Allen usually plays their former likability.
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.