By Jeffrey Anderson,
Common Sense Media Reviewer
Common Sense Media Reviewers
Foul-mouthed character charms, but he's too edgy for teens.
A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
There's a thread of redemption running through the story, and the main character's boisterous, anti-social acts -- while slightly glamorized -- do have some serious consequences.
Positive Role Models
Dom's a rude, angry, self-obsessed safecracker who has alienated nearly everyone around him. He mainly associates with criminals, and tries to solve his problems through shouting or violence. He appears to be headed, somewhat, toward a brighter future, but it's unclear.
Violence & Scariness
The main character mercilessly beats up a man, punching his face (off camera), kicking and biting him, with bloody results. There's a brutal car crash, though mostly the aftermath is shown: a man has a piece of metal jabbed through his back and coming out his stomach. There are many other scenes of threats, yelling, insulting, and some more punching.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
Dom appears naked, from behind for several seconds, and then in a long shot, from the side, with his penis visible for a second or two. In the opening scene, he receives oral sex while in prison, though off camera. In a very brief scene, he has sex with two women at once. Later, at a party, a woman is shown topless in several scenes. In a club owner's office, there is a wall decoration: a repeating video of two topless women (actually the same topless woman, filmed twice) playing ping pong. There's also quite a bit of innuendo.
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"F--k" is used almost constantly in this movie. "S--t" is used a few times, as well as "c--k," "p---y," "dick," "balls," and "son of a bitch." Middle finger gestures are shown. English slang, such as "c--t," "bugger," smoking a "fag," and "don't give a toss," is used fairly often.
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Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
The main character drinks a great deal, mostly beer, but also whisky and champagne in certain scenes. He's very often raging drunk, and often angry while drunk. In one scene he complains of a terrible hangover and then begins drinking again. His daughter makes several sharp comments about his drinking. His best friend mostly drinks brandy, but does not seem to get drunk. In addition, he smokes many cigarettes, and a cigar in one scene. He also snorts cocaine on two occasions.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Dom Hemingway is a crime comedy about a rude, loud, violent, drunk safecracker who is released from prison after 12 years and tries to restart his life. He drinks a great deal in the movie, and becomes angry when drunk. He also smokes cigarettes and snorts cocaine. Language includes a near-constant use of "f--k," plus several other strong words like "c--k" and "c--t." Sex is also an issue: The main character receives oral sex, has sex with two women at once, and appears naked from behind. There are a few topless women as well. There's a brutal fight scene, with blood shown, and a car crash with a gory image. Additionally, there's a lot of yelling, threatening, insulting, and punching. Overall, it's not a movie we'd recommend for teens, but more mature viewers may enjoy it.
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What's the Story?
After 12 years, the volatile, loudmouth, drunk, violent Dom Hemingway (Jude Law) is released from prison. Since he refused to snitch on a powerful Russian gangster (Demian Bichir), he and his best friend Dickie (Richard E. Grant) are invited to his French villa to collect Dom's reward. While celebrating with his new pile of cash, Dom gets into an auto accident and his money is stolen. Back in London, he decides to try and make things right with his estranged daughter (Emilia Clarke), and futilely attempts to find a new safecracking job, with disastrous results. Can Dom stay out of trouble until his luck turns around?
Is It Any Good?
Jude Law gives perhaps his best-ever performance here, as a character who feels everything intensely, from pleasure to rage and, finally, when nothing is left, to anguish. He's an absolutely rotten person, and perhaps even unredeemable, but his high moments inspire giddy laughter, and his low moments earn real sympathy.
Clearly, DOM HEMINGWAY is more of a character study of this oddball than it is a plot-driven crime story. Most of the big events are rather unconnected and simply consist of things that happen to him, rather than a series of events leading up to a big payoff. But the unsung writer/director Richard Shepard (The Matador, The Hunting Party) is brilliant at this kind of dark, vibrant comedy. His unique art direction, staging, and timing, in addition to pages of great dialogue, make every moment a dramatic turning point. It's probably not for all tastes, but a certain type of audience will thoroughly enjoy it.
Talk to Your Kids About ...
Families can talk about the movie's violence. How is violence in this movie portrayed differently than in other crime movies you've seen. How does humor affect the impact of watching violence onscreen?
Why does the character of Dom Hemingway drink so much? Are the consequences of his drinking portrayed realistically in this movie?
What makes such a rotten character like Dom fascinating? Does he have a chance to be redeemed, or are we simply mesmerized by his bad behavior?
- In theaters: April 4, 2014
- On DVD or streaming: July 22, 2014
- Cast: Jude Law, Richard E. Grant, Demian Bichir
- Director: Richard Shepard
- Inclusion Information: Middle Eastern/North African actors, Latinx actors
- Studio: Fox Searchlight
- Genre: Comedy
- Run time: 93 minutes
- MPAA rating: R
- MPAA explanation: sexual content, nudity, pervasive language, some violence and drug use
- Last updated: December 22, 2022
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