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A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
Many characters are morally ambiguous, and the story deals with troubled family relationships. But a character gets out from under the influence of her bad-news brother and learns that she might be capable of -- and deserve -- a more positive and hopeful life. A few moments of families taking care of one another.
Positive Role Models
The main character, a robber, is mostly terrible, though he does try to help out a family in need in his own way. And his sister comes to realize that she might be worth more than she thought. Characters in smaller roles are generally kind and helpful, even if they have their assorted flaws, problems, and bad luck.
Violence & Scariness
The main character is a bank robber who kills at least three people over the course of the movie. Another of the major characters accidentally kills a man during a fight. A character dies in a car crash. Guns are fired. People are stabbed. Some blood is shown. There's a fight that results in fingers being chopped off; the victim cauterizes the wound on a hot snowmobile engine. A man's neck is sliced on a barbed-wire fence.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
The main female character has sex twice with a man she has just met. During the second scene, she's briefly shown topless. The man's naked bottom is shown.
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"F--k" and "s--t" are used several times, as are "a--hole," "hell," and "bitch."
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Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
A minor character is shown to be a mean drunk, frightening his wife and stepchildren. The main character takes a few swigs from bottles of booze. Main characters occasionally smoke cigarettes. Other characters drink socially in a bar.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Deadfall is a thriller with some strong violence and sexual situations. Though it's set over the Thanksgiving holiday, it isn't family-friendly entertainment: Many characters are morally ambiguous, and the story deals with troubled family relationships. The main female character has sex twice and is briefly seen topless, and there are some bloody killings/injuries, guns and shootings, stabbings, and severed fingers. Language is strong and includes several uses of "f--k" and "s--t" throughout. There's some background drinking and smoking, and one character is shown to be a mean, intimidating drunk. To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
It's somewhat of a surprise that DEADFALL is such a good, strong, compact pulp thriller. Austrian director Stefan Ruzowitzky won an Oscar for his overrated WWII movie The Counterfeiters and was responsible for another, very bad one, All the Queen's Men. But Ruzowitzky's filmmaking is much clearer and more confident in this terrain, using the snow and cold for maximum effect, both in separating characters and bringing them closer together.
The ensemble cast is well balanced, and the complex, nuanced relationships between families build many fascinating layers. In fact, certain plot threads -- such as Jay's accidental murder victim -- are all but dropped in favor of further character development, which is actually refreshing. Addison's extreme brutality makes the mix a bit too top heavy at times, but his early moments with Liza also go a long way in establishing his place. It's this excellent character balance that makes Deadfall so compelling.
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.