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A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
You can't beat a corrupt system. Never turn down a good thing. Make friends, not enemies.
Positive Role Models
Young cop who wants to do things by the book ends up getting angry, seeking violent revenge, proving his character is as corrupt as the less violent cops who just want to take money, let criminals do their things. Criminals who pay off police show a certain honor among their groups. A man who wants to do good never seems to consider negative consequences of his simple-minded quest.
Violence & Scariness
A man's beaten, stitched-up face is shown in close-up as he ponders violent and deadly mess his noble intentions have caused. Criminals shoot point-blank, execution-style. A man is shot in the leg. A young boy is shot. Enforcers torture thugs for information, breaking their fingers in a door until they talk. It's implied that a woman is sexually abused by her employer.
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"F--k," "s--t," "damn," and "bitch."
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Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Some criminals may be running drugs. Adults smoke cigarettes and drink alcohol.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Crossroads: One Two Jaga, a Malaysian crime drama with English subtitles, is a story of everyday police corruption. A young police officer with noble intentions is paired with an experienced cop on the take. The latter tries to explain that there's no use arresting criminals who pay off the police since they'll just be released back onto the street the next day. Illegal immigrants and striving legal ones are among the downtrodden abused by this system. Some criminals may be running drugs. Adults smoke cigarettes and drink alcohol. Brutal beatings, shootings, executions, and threats, plus language including "f--k," s--t," and "bitch," make this suitable only 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?
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.
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.