A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
A father's campaign of vengeance against the gang members who kill his son leads to more sorrow and pain.
Violence & Scariness
Bloody, loud, aggressive violence throughout; participants' bodies are increasingly marked by cuts, scars, bruises, and welts. Fatal and otherwise brutal action includes shooting (shotguns, handguns), knifing (close-up, blade sunk into chest), kicking and beating, and car crashing (a young man is slammed by a car, in a startling, disturbing way). A car falls off a parking garage upper floor, killing the person inside. Police officers are shown with their throats cut (bloody). Gang members shoot family in cold blood; the camera lingers on the bloody bodies. Final shootout goes on for several minutes, with lots blood, shadows, and fast editing.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
Billy enters a motel room with a prostitute (she wears revealing clothes and is seen from a distance, in shadows), and his brother hands him a condom. Nick appears in a shower, grieving and bruised.
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Nearly 100 uses of "f--k," plus assorted other profanity (not surprising for a violent revenge movie), including "s--t," "ass," "damn," and "son of a bitch." Also, some instances of slang for male genitals ("d--k" and "pr--k").
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Products & Purchases
Car brands mark "masculine" progression: Nick first drives a Ford but eventually takes the villains' muscle car.
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
A couple of scenes are set in a meth lab. Some celebratory drinking of champagne. Gang members drink beer and shots in a dark bar. References to drug use (a man taps his arm to indicate heroin use, a couple appears nodding or "high"). Billy and other gang members smoke cigarettes.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that this revenge drama/thriller isn't for kids in any way. Following the transformation of an orderly, mild-mannered insurance executive into a brutal killer, the film is basically a series of violent acts, each one payback for the one that preceded it. Bloody violence includes shooting, stabbing, fighting, and car chases and crashes. In one scene, a young man enters a motel room with a prostitute hired by his brother (but nothing explicit is shown). There are references to drug trade and use, as well as some smoking and drinking and lots of language, particularly "f--k." To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
Scripted by Death Wish writer Brian Garfield,James Wan's movie is smart enough about its generic limits: The violence is ragingly B, and the cops always steps behind. While the film resembles Taxi Driver, this "new" vigilante movie offers a different anti-hero. Here it's not the loner or the outsider who seeks redress by insane means, it's the family man, the guy who loses hope in the very system he's always trusted.
When Nick meets another father, a gun salesman named Bones (John Goodman), he's briefly appalled by the man's complete rejection of a monstrous son. But by this time Nick's own morality is so skewed and incoherent that he only nods at his new friend, eyes hard and jaw jutting, the low angle making you wonder which dad is the baddest.
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Our Editors Recommend
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