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A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this movie.
What 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?