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A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
Dutch is borderline abusive to Doyle, though Doyle grows to love him anyway. There's a lot of lying and thievery involved in this film. The female characters are weak, including the mother.
Violence & Scariness
Doyle and Dutch take turns beating each other up, including kicking, punching, throwing books, and shooting each other with a pellet gun. Doyle steals a car and flips it, endangering his life.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
Dutch buys playing cards with naked ladies on them, and Doyle furtively looks at them. Dutch and Doyle get robbed by two prostitutes (and Doyle stares at one of the girls' cleavage). Reed Standish is shown in bed with a woman, though no sex is seen.
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A little salty language, including "bastard," "f--k," and "son of a bitch."
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Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Dutch smokes cigars, and a woman in a diner smokes a cigarette.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that this movie depicts an acrimonious divorce. Doyle is angry and is verbally abusive to his mother, which may give some kids bad ideas about how to treat their mom. Reed is a lying, philandering jerk who neglects his son, which may be difficult for some children of divorce to see. Generally, Doyle is treated poorly by both Reed and Dutch, but he comes to love Dutch because, presumably, Dutch keeps showing up, even if he's borderline abusive. To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
DUTCH is an argument for the strong male role model in a boy's life, even if that role model is a swearing, cigar-smoking parental figure who turns borderline abusive as a kind of reverse psychology. The trouble with this movie is that it's trying to be both a family-values film and a teen version of A Christmas Carol. Doyle learns to respect people who have less money than he does, but the whose-is-bigger posturing between a grown man (Dutch) and a young boy (Doyle) is ridiculous. And the only women in the film are ditsy waitresses, prostitutes, and a completely ineffectual mother.
In fact, the most interesting part of the film is how Natalie's helplessness is a prerequisite for Doyle to play the big, strong man. If Natalie would just stand up to her son and tell him to can the insults, Dutch wouldn't need to be the knight in shining armor. Unwittingly, Dutch teaches teens a little something about gender roles and how you can't have one without the other.
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Our Editors Recommend
Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.See how we rate