A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
While this is a love story on some level, it's weighed down by major themes of greed, deception, and duplicity. The world is peopled with dangerous characters, and the overall feel is rather grim.
Positive Role Models
All characters are flawed, although some as a result of being victimized, and consequently steal, lie, and cheat others in pursuit of their own desires. Men are also shown to have considerable power over women, although female characters get their vengeance in the end.
Violence & Scariness
Violence isn't constant, but there are hangings, choking, torture, and stabbings (with a fair amount of blood).
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
Sexually charged kissing (between both men and women, and women and women), plus simulated sexual activity (including intercourse). Suggested nudity in the form of bare backs, etc., plus a book illustration that clearly shows male and female genitalia. The title itself is a euphemism for a person skilled in masturbation.
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Audible terms include "damn," "ass," "bitch," and slang like "bleedin'," with a few stronger words like "f--kstaff."
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Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Social drinking, mostly in the background.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that, although this is a period piece set in Victorian England, it's based on a 2002 novel, the title of which is a double entendre for a person skilled in pickpocketing...and masturbation. As a result, it includes modern sexual themes (including a sexual relationship between two women) that you might not expect, with simulated sex acts between characters onscreen, albeit with no nudity -- just the occasional bare back. Language is a bit salty, too, with audible terms like "bitch," "ass," and "f--kstaff," and there's also occasional violence (including hangings and stabbings) with some blood. Alcohol consumption is limited to social drinking. To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
For ardent fans of BBC costume dramas, Fingersmith looks like an obvious pick. But if you aren't familiar with the miniseries' source material, you might be in for a surprise when it comes to the plot. After all, lesbian love affairs aren't typically the stuff such miniseries are made of.
Aside from the same-sex romance, however, there's a whole lot more to the story, and it's told effectively with clever plot twists and switches of perspective that deliver a sufficiently juicy tale of greed, deception, and mistaken identity. Jane Austen it's definitely not, but for the right age group, it's a bloody good time.
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.