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A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
"Scuzzy deals" have consequences. The pursuit of money and, by extension, materialism is what leads to crime, although it's not shown so much as greed but rather a means to an end. Implies that an excessive lifestyle leads to celebrity friends.
Positive Role Models
This film is about the consequences of drug deals, and there are no positive role models. The wives don't support engaging in criminal activities in the pursuit of money, but they both demonstrate materialistic behavior.
Violence & Scariness
Three instances of empty threats of physical/deadly violence.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
A character strips down to her underwear to change clothes and is briefly topless. A woman under the influence kisses and grabs another woman's breasts. Tight/revealing clothes. An affectionate married couple implies through flirtatious interactions that they're planning to have sex.
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Frequent swearing/crude language, with variations of "ass," "c--k," "hell," "s--t," and "f--k." Insults include "idiot," "scumbag," and more.
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Products & Purchases
A Pontiac GTO is treated with worship, and a Rolls Royce golf cart is shown as a sign of money.
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
The film revolves around an entrepreneur raising money through an illegal cocaine deal. Bricks of cocaine are seen, packaged, and wrapped; a glamorous character alludes to the fact that she once had a habit. One example of drugs being snorted: Unsavory characters snort several lines and pressure another character to do so, too, which is followed by outrageous behavior. Characters drink frequently, especially in social settings. Smoking is constant.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Driven explores the events that led to the downfall of 1980s automobile mogul John DeLorean (Lee Pace) -- namely, a drug deal that was intended to financially rescue his company (but didn't). For a story that's all about how possession and intent to distribute cocaine destroyed careers, there's just one instance of the drug being used. Unlikable characters snort a few lines, leading to behavior that's obnoxious -- although some teens might see it as wacky fun, including a woman impulsively stripping off her clothes and grabbing another woman's breasts. Drinking, swearing ("f--k," "s--t," "c--k"), and smoking (accurate for the time period) are constant. The film's true value is to show that illegal get-rich-quick schemes can cost you something more valuable than money. To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
If you're looking for the truth about what happened to John DeLorean, put on the brakes. But if you're looking for an example of how the American dream can be achieved or derailed, Driven hums as a cautionary tale. DeLorean's story is bigger than two hours; he spent more than a decade climbing to power on a slippery slope. But the film makes it appear that the arrogant entrepreneur was a rookie in the world of shady deals with criminals, rather than the regular player that history shows he was. Director Nick Hamm hones in on the mogul's toxic friendship with Hoffman, his neighbor with a checkered past. Hamm paints them both as far more sympathetic than either likely deserves.
It's like Dirty Rotten Scoundrels: Real Life, with both men portrayed as charming and empathetic rogues who simply made a few iffy decisions and now are trying to right the ship. Both hit their moment of absolute desperation at the same time and see the other as a lifeline to escape. Other parties had a role to play in this story as well: the wives, the FBI agent arranging the sting, and a couple of drug smugglers. The film gets really chewy when you start to analyze it on an ethics and culpability scale: Who's "good," who's "bad," and who's complicit?
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.