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Parents' Guide to

Disturbing the Peace

By Tara McNamara, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 15+

Profane shoot-'em-up cops-and-robbers flick is very pro-gun.

Movie R 2020 91 minutes
Disturbing the Peace Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this movie.

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In many ways, this is a paint-by-numbers version of every testosterone-fueled flick made for men of a certain age -- although it surprises by upending a few cliches. The name of the movie's town -- Horse Cave -- pretty much tells you how everything is going to go down in Disturbing the Peace. This is a take on small-town America where order is kept under the eye of an unflinchingly masculine U.S. Marshall (who's a former Texas Ranger to boot). The townspeople gather in the local diner, run by the preacher's daughter, and talk about the morning's sermon while the American flag waves proudly. When a biker gang rolls in with a bank to rob and a score to settle, the meek, nerdy mayor cowers while the law steps up to save the day. The origins of the leader's vendetta go back to his childhood, when his coal miner father's job disappeared and he turned to the bottle.

And those are just the cliches; there's also some flat-out ridiculous stuff here. A gang leader wears a 3/4-sleeve thermal shirt under his black leather vest, and the women wear half-shirts and tight pants. No one's Southern accent matches anyone else's. The one Hispanic character speaks with a Mexican accent and carries a pistol in each hand, pointing in opposite directions at all times. The gunplay is over the top, as is the male swagger. Pearce's acting shows he's put in the 10,000 hours ... and the performances of the rest of the cast shows that they have not. The script isn't sophisticated, and it's hard not to notice that the town seems to only have 15 residents. That said, we can give a few nods to being aware of the times. While Disturbing the Peace doesn't have many characters of color, the one Black man is a sweet security guard, rather than a menacing criminal. And while no one will accuse Blank of great acting, her Amanda is the film's delightful surprise. She's quiet but will pull out a can of whoop-it when the situation arises -- and when she does, no one in the town is surprised, nor does it affect her appeal. It's clear she's been a protector of the town longer than Dillon has. Progress comes in small doses of evolution -- and dressing it in highly-choreographed moves in a MAGA fantasy film only makes it more effective.

Movie Details

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