Exposed

Movie review by
Barbara Shulgas..., Common Sense Media
Exposed Movie Poster Image
Clichéd thriller mixes cop story, supernatural elements.
  • R
  • 2016
  • 102 minutes

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this movie.

Positive Messages

Cops can be criminals. Parents don't always protect their children from harm. Innocent people can be killed.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Isabella is a dedicated young teacher who's waiting loyally for her fiancé to return from military service in Iraq. Scotty is a seemingly honest cop trying to get the job done.

Violence

A cop beats a source/suspect in front of the latter's wife and baby. A rape is depicted, showing the face of the screaming victim and the sounds of the violent attack. Bodies of gang execution victims are shown. Three stabbings are shown; only one shows the bloody wound. A shooting murder occurs off-screen. A man with a gunshot wound is shown grimacing in pain. A little girl bears bruises that appear to indicate sexual abuse at home. Discussion of a cop having violated a perp using a sharp object. A man's dog is killed by a car; no blood is shown.

Sex

A man is seduced; the couple is seen before and after having sex; no nudity is seen. A man asks his fiancee to show him her breasts via Skype, but no nudity is shown.

Language

"Shut up," "f--k," "s--t," "co------er," the "N" word, "f----t," "suck," "prick," "p---y," "ass."

Consumerism
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Adults smoke cigarettes and drink alcohol.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Exposed is a grim police procedural intercut with a supernatural story about a young Dominican woman who sees apparitions or possibly ghosts. It has lots of mature content and themes, including rape, incest, drug dealing, child abuse, and murder. The rape scene includes facial expressions and sounds; a little girl bears bruises that appear to indicate sexual abuse at home. Characters are beaten, stabbing and shooting murders are shown on and off-screen, and a stabbed body is seen with blood on the shirt. Adults drink and smoke, and frequent strong language includes the "N" word, "f--k," and much more. A woman seduces a man, but the actual sex act isn't shown, and there's no nudity. A woman claims that she's been impregnated by "miracle."

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What's the story?

Detective Scott Galban (Keanu Reeves), a depressed New York City cop still mourning the death of his wife, investigates his partner's murder. In the process, he learns of his partner's criminal doings -- and the police department's fear of what a thorough search may expose. This includes run-ins with Dominican drug dealers, who might be connected to the murder. Meanwhile, the movie's subplot follows a young Dominican teacher (Ana de Armas) as she encounters a supernatural albino man walking in the middle of the air near the subway tracks. Ultimately, the two stories merge.

Is it any good?

Heavy with unexplained symbolism, ghosts, angels, and other ethereal entities, this isn't quite as much of a mess as you might expect from a movie that the director disavowed. (Declan Dale is a pseudonym for Gee Malik Linton, who took his name off the movie.) The two competing plots -- the police investigation and the seemingly unconnected story about the Dominican teacher -- merge convincingly enough at the end. The real trouble here is that clichés and seen-it-before plotting follow the separate threads all the way through. A good Law & Order episode would outshine EXPOSED in both quality and originality.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about why a police officer sworn to stop criminals might become one himself. What do movies about corrupt cops tend to have in common? What, if anything, do they teach us?

  • What purpose does the violence serve in Exposed? Do you think it's all necessary to tell the story? What's the impact of violent media on kids?

  • Do you think old memories can be awakened by new experiences?

Movie details

For kids who love thrills

Our editors recommend

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