A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
Movie explores a secret society that revolves around the dark web.
Positive Role Models
Lead character steals the identities of bad customers at the bar where he works, which leads him into trouble.
Violence & Scariness
Man shot in the head and killed at close range; bullet shown going through his forehead, with blood shown. Gunfight breaks out between characters wearing deer heads and characters wearing giant baby heads. Lead character works as a bartender and beats up a rude customer. Fighting with punches, kicks. Security guard uses a taser gun, is knocked out with a thick book by one of the lead characters. Explosions. A power outage leads to looting and implied violence.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
Brief nudity -- female breasts. At a masquerade party, lead character opens several different rooms and sees different sex acts happening, brief but graphic (man on all-fours getting whipped by a woman, man performing oral sex on a woman, two women kissing in bed). Undercover NSA agent wears a sex toy wrapped around his forehead. Homeless man shown masturbating in front of a library computer. Man at party scantily clad, exposed buttocks.
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Constant profanity throughout. "F--k" often used. "Motherf--er" frequently used. The landlord of the lead character is deaf, and his sign language is spelled out on screen and includes constant profanity such as "c--twad." Other profanities include: "pr--k," "s--t," "chickens--t," "d--k," "t-ts," "bitch," "goddammit," "hell." Middle finger gesture.
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Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Cocaine use shown at a party. Woman shown ingesting a pill at a party. Drinking at a masquerade party, drinking in a bar. Characters drink shots. Cigarette smoking.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Dark Web: Cicada 3301 is a dark action comedy in which a pair of hackers find themselves competing in a complex game they must play in order to infiltrate a secret society. There's constant profanity throughout, including "f--k" and "motherf---er." Some strong sexual content, including brief scenes of attempted masturbation in front of a library computer, oral sex, bared breasts, and a man getting whipped while on all-fours. Undercover NSA agent shown with a sex toy wrapped around his forehead. At a lavish masquerade party, shots of characters snorting cocaine, and a woman ingesting a pill. Alcohol drinking, cigarette smoking. Man shown shot in the forehead at close range, the bullet going through his forehead; some blood. Gun violence. Lead character gets into a fight where he tends bar, beating up a rude customer. Fighting with punches, kicks, thick books, a taser gun. To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
This is an action-comedy that somehow manages to be engaging despite all the cliches. Dark Web: Cicada 3301 is a movie replete with fast-talking, street-smart, cynical, foul-mouthed characters, secret societies with some strong opinions about society and civilization, and brain-teasing riddles that involve, say, William Blake or Van Gogh. Some of it works, and some of it doesn't, but on the whole, there's enough to the story to keep it interesting for the entire movie. This is less due to the comedy, which doesn't really work, and more due to the raised stakes in each new scene. The mystery of it all and where it's leading outweighs the fun one might have in naming the different movies this movie seems to be borrowing from in one degree or another.
The acting is solid, even if the dialogue is inconsistent and sometimes resorts to the cliches of the cynical urban action character. It surprises no one when the lead character, the cash-strapped Connor, asks to borrow money from his best friend, the successful art history professor Avi, and Avi pretends to reach into his sport coat pocket to retrieve some cash and pulls out, wouldn't you just know it, a middle finger. And even with scenes of decadence during a masquerade ball that leads one to expect Tom Cruise to show up at any time with the "Fidelio" password, there's enough going on to hold interest and see how this whole thing ends. It's not the best movie, but it's enjoyable enough for a lazy weekend afternoon.
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.