A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
In a variation on "the boy who cried wolf," a young woman is unable to get the help she needs in a drastic situation. Since authority figures don't believe her, she's forced to do everything herself. She doesn't trust anyone, and they don't trust her. Her methods include lying and hurting people.
Positive Role Models
Jill is amazingly self-sufficient -- a crafty and very strong survivor. She's physically capable of taking care of herself; she's aware and cunning. On the downside, she lies quite often to get information she needs, and she's also capable of crossing the line into murder. (There's also a suggestion, unproven, that she's mentally unstable.)
Violence & Scariness
The main character carries a gun. She pulls it several times but only fires it at her ultimate target, whom she also burns with kerosene. There are flashbacks to a kidnapping, which include potentially upsetting images. Young women are knocked out with chloroform and are shown with duct tape on their hands and mouths. Viewers see vague images of the remains of former victims (a bit of hair and a broken bone). While wrestling in a gym, the main character gets angry and begins beating on her (male) opponent. A reference to rape.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
When the main character takes a shower, the clear outline of her naked body can be seen through an opaque shower curtain. Also some flirting and more than one scene of sexual innuendo, including somewhat offensive terms.
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Language is infrequent but contains a few strong words, including one "f--k" and a few "s--t"s. Also "bitch," "balls," "hell," "goddamn," oh my God," and "ass."
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Products & Purchases
The main character does a Google search. Justin Bieber is mentioned.
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
The main character's sister is said to be an alcoholic. This is mentioned several times in dialogue, though she's never seen drinking and never falls off the wagon. The main character takes some kind of prescription pills in one scene. (In another scene, she throws them away.) Women are knocked out with drugs.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Gone is a thriller about a kidnapper of young women. Although there's plenty of peril, tension, and violence -- including flashbacks to kidnappings, women being knocked out (with chloroform) and bound, gun use, and more -- the main character (played by Amanda Seyfried) is a strong, fascinating young woman. She's very tough, cunning, and crafty, although she often resorts to lying and isn't above hurting others. In addition to the violence, content includes some sexual innuendo and relatively infrequent language (including "s--t" and one "f--k"). One character is said to be an alcoholic, though she's never seen drinking; another character takes prescription pills. To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
Gone is a most unusual thriller. It's not particularly focused on the killer's identity, and though it does drop in a red herring, the actual reveal means nothing. Likewise, the heroine is rarely in physical danger. Rather, the main theme here is the "girl who cried wolf" story, in which the girl is tough, capable, and cunning. It's fun watching Seyfried bluffing and conning her way through scene after scene; no opponent can best her.
When viewers realize that the bad guy here isn't necessarily the killer, but rather the cops, the movie begins to take shape. The police are the ones who have labeled and cornered Jill, using underhanded tactics and slimy behavior. Her telephone conversation with the killer is the first honest, civil one she has in the movie. Overall, Gone is an odd but appealing combination of flat and subtle, sturdy and loony.
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.