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Parents' Guide to

Crossroads: One Two Jaga

By Barbara Shulgasser-Parker, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 17+

Malaysian crime drama has brutal violence, language.

Movie NR 2018 85 minutes
Crossroads: One Two Jaga Poster Image

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The clash between cops and criminals and the corruption of cops on the take are familiar to American audiences, so this one looks a lot like many other movies about such conflicts. But Crossroads: One Two Jaga might be more engaging if it came with some explanations about local issues and customs in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, and neighboring Indonesia. The meaning of the title itself seems to require more than passing knowledge of the subtleties of Malaysian society, criminal justice, and politics generally. The problem of illegal immigration from impoverished Indonesia certainly has parallels to immigration issues arising in U.S.-Central American relations.

But director Nam Ron doesn't bother with much specificity here. He prefers stereotypes: a hardworking and impatient father, a corrupt police department, thieves who only have honor among themselves, a rookie cop who wants to follow the law, a desperate illegal immigrant trying to get back home without being arrested. The director doesn't dwell on character development, which is why fans of violent video games may find this familiar. Good guys and bad guys are labeled as such, and when the guns come out, they get aimed at anyone in the way. Teens old enough for the violence and cursing may find the language barrier and lack of relatable characters a deterrent.

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