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Greta

Movie review by
Jeffrey M. Anderson, Common Sense Media
Greta Movie Poster Image
Dark, violent stalker thriller has strong performances.
  • R
  • 2019
  • 98 minutes

Parents say

age 14+
Based on 4 reviews

Kids say

age 12+
Based on 6 reviews

A lot or a little?

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

Positive Messages

Main takeaway is pretty negative: Being nice and trusting people can lead to dire consequences.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Frances is shown to be very kind, helpful, trusting, but doesn't quite qualify as role model since her trust gets her into big trouble. She also has a few other issues that make her less than admirable (e.g., her reluctance to talk to her father).

Violence

Character held captive, locked in trunk. Dog killed. Dead human bodies. Some guns and shooting. Finger sliced off with cookie cutter. Bashing with blunt objects. Injections. Nightmare sequence: Elevator collapses inward on a character. Jump scares. Temper tantrum, overturning dining table, smashing glass.

Sex

Woman naked in tub; nothing graphic shown. Tight exercise outfits.

Language

Uses of "s--t," "bitch," "ass," "hell," "goddamn," "moron," "crappy," "badass," "Jesus Christ."

Consumerism

Nokia phone. Apple iPhone.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Social drinking. Wine with dinner. Drinks at club. Characters inadvertently drink drugged beverages.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Greta is a Neil Jordan-directed thriller about a young woman named Frances (Chloe Grace Moretz) who befriends the title character (Isabelle Huppert) -- who turns out to be a psychopathic stalker. Violence is the biggest concern and can be quite graphic: There's a severed finger, bashing with blunt objects, injections/drugged characters, guns/shooting, dead people (and a dead dog), a nightmare sequence, and jump scares. A young woman is shown naked in the bathtub, but nothing sensitive is seen. Somewhat infrequent language includes uses of "s--t," "bitch," "ass," "hell," and "goddamn." Characters drink socially: wine with dinner and cocktails in a nightclub. The material is pretty routine, but the fine direction and performances make it worth a look for mature viewers.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written byPyppydog1234 March 2, 2019

Very good movie

I watched this movie with my 12 year old son and it was not bad at all. At first I was debating bringing him but Alger all there was no need to worry. There wer... Continue reading
Adult Written bysquid_888 March 2, 2019

Great movie, original and unpredictable!!

Great psychological stalker movie that actually wasn't cliche. It's similar to Misery except it's more of a slow-burn but overall more creepy and... Continue reading
Teen, 17 years old Written bytoby woby March 2, 2019

A decent suspense film

I'm actually surprised that Greta is as good as it is. The acting was pretty good, aside from a few strange lines, with Isabelle Huppert having my favorite... Continue reading
Kid, 12 years old March 1, 2019

Cheesy Cliched Stalker Thriller Saved By 2nd Act and Great Acting

Ok so.... The first half rolled in and I was like: “Ok, so these stalker cliches are going to drone on for an hour and a half. Great.” And spoilers ahead!! .... Continue reading

What's the story?

In GRETA, Frances (Chloe Grace Moretz) is a kind young woman who's trying to make a go of it in New York after her mother's recent death. She's working as a server in a restaurant and rooming with her friend Erica (Maika Monroe). On the subway, Frances finds a purse, and -- too nice to discard it and steal the money inside -- she decides to return it to the address on the driver's license inside. A grateful Greta (Isabelle Huppert) comes to the door and invites Frances inside. Greta seems lonely, too, and Frances offers to help her adopt a dog. The women begin seeing more of each other, until Frances discovers an alarming secret in Greta's home. She tries to cut Greta out of her life but quickly discovers that Greta isn't so easily brushed off. Before long, things take a very dark turn.

Is it any good?

This thriller is cut from the same cloth as a dozen other psychopathic stalker movies, but director Neil Jordan's sure, insightful touch and the solid lead performances make it briskly entertaining. An intelligent, skilled storyteller, Jordan sometimes aims higher with his films (The Crying Game, Michael Collins, etc.), but he doesn't shy away from genre films like Greta. He embraces the silliness but also avoids going over the top. He establishes a New York that's neither bustling nor noisy, finding quiet spaces where loneliness sprouts. This quietness helps enrich the characters, as well as enhance the suspense.

The movie sometimes resorts to lazy genre shortcuts, such as the stalker character seemingly being able to know where everyone is at all times and able to sneak up on anyone from any distance. But the movie generates enough goodwill to get by. Best of all are the performances. Moretz is instantly appealing with her deep sadness and kindness, and Monroe's character is surprisingly nuanced as well. But this is Huppert's film; she's played dark characters before (Merci pour le Chocolat, The Piano Teacher, Elle), and she revisits that scary place with similarly bracing results. All of this helps elevate Greta and makes it worth seeing.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about Greta's violence. How intense is it? Is it exciting or disturbing? What's shown, and what's not shown? What's the impact of media violence on kids?

  • How is Frances' act of kindness rewarded? What does the movie have to say about kindness and trust? Is it a positive or negative message?

  • What's the appeal of movies about psychopaths and stalkers? How does Greta compare to others you've seen?

  • Have you ever felt lonely or had a friendship where one person was more assertive than the other? How did it turn out? What was learned?

Movie details

For kids who love thrills

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