Parents' Guide to

Fortress

By Tara McNamara, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 15+

Kill-or-be-killed actioner is tired; violence, language.

Movie R 2021 98 minutes
Fortress Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this movie.

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Is It Any Good?

Our review:
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For an action film about U.S. muscle, Fortress sure is weak -- but it does have some unexpected entertainment value. Just like a slasher film, there's an element of audience participation here: Viewers may find themselves shouting at the screen when watching the heroes' epically bad strategy ("Grab the gun!" "Lock the door!"). Teens in particular can be strengthened by these types of viewing experiences; it can be empowering to realize you know better than the characters on screen.

But from the opening scene of Willis shooting targets in the woods to a wise-cracking "elite ops delta force master sergeant" character in combat fatigues hollering the battle cry, "It's Miller Time!," it's pretty clear that this actioner isn't meant to be high-concept entertainment. Teens may spark to the fact that Paul has a cryptocurrency financial services company. And while there's too much talk about how the SEC monitors this emerging market, there's also some authentic humor in a 40-year-old villain knowing he needs his money in crypto but not truly understanding how it all works. Murray goes for the gusto as villain Balzary, hamming it up as a fancy, suit-vest wearing criminal mastermind. It's laugh-out-loud ridiculous, but at least he's one menacing figure who won't haunt your dreams. By comparison, it's difficult to buy Shannen Doherty as an Army general, but props to her for giving it her all -- she shines bright against the landscape of subpar performances, including Willis, who seems to need a nap. Bottom line? Except for the vibrant cinematography, there's nothing special about this rote actioner.

Movie Details

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