Gringo

Movie review by
Jeffrey M. Anderson, Common Sense Media
Gringo Movie Poster Image
Strong language, drug content in over-the-top action-comedy.
  • R
  • 2018
  • 110 minutes

Parents say

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Kids say

age 15+
Based on 1 review

A lot or a little?

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

Positive Messages

Hidden beneath the movie's action, crime, and violence is a message about not needing lots of money or things to be happy; sometimes just the simple things are enough. Ridicule (via one character) of deaf people and overweight people.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Virtually every character is involved in a violent or criminal act, and most are liars. Even Harold, who just wants to be happy, must commit an act of violence before his character finds his strength.

Violence

Guns and shooting. Characters are shot and killed, with blood spurts. Huge climactic shoot-out. Violent car crashes. Big toe snipped off, with blood shown. Man hit by car. Hitting/punching.

Sex

One of the main characters sleeps with two different women. A graphic sexual encounter features a mostly clothed couple standing up in front of a mirror. A woman manipulates men with the promise of sex and by showing her cleavage. Strong innuendo. Mention of "rim job," etc.

Language

Almost constant strong language, with uses of "f--k," "s--t," "c--k," "p---y," "a--hole," "ass," "son of a bitch," "d--k," "pr--k," "balls," "piss," "crap," "goddamn," and "Jesus Christ" (as an exclamation), and a use of the "N" word.

Consumerism

Mentions of Dairy Queen, Whopper Jr., the Gap. Slinky toy is shown.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

A pharmaceutical company makes marijuana pills. One character is a drug mule. The story takes place within the Mexican drug trade. References to smoking pot. Main character gets very drunk. Another character drinks alone, pops pills. Social drinking.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Gringo is a mature, over-the-top action-comedy with a complex plot that involves drugs, violence, and more. Expect lots of guns and shooting. Plus, characters are killed, blood spurts, people hit and punch each other, and cars crash. And a toe is snipped off, with bloody results. Language is extremely strong and nearly constant, with uses of "f--k," "s--t," and much more. Characters have sex with multiple partners, and there's a pretty graphic sex scene (although nudity isn't a factor). A woman uses her sexuality (including her cleavage) to manipulate men, and there's strong innuendo/sex talk. Drugs are a key part of the plot: A drug company invents a marijuana pill, and there are drug dealers and a drug mule. There are references to smoking pot as well as drinking -- the main character gets very drunk -- and pills. David Oyelowo, Joel Edgerton, and Charlize Theron co-star.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say

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Kid, 11 years old March 29, 2018

Hilarious

This movie good and funny. See it!

What's the story?

In GRINGO, Nigerian-born Harold Soyinka (David Oyelowo) works for his friend Richard Rusk (Joel Edgerton) at a Chicago pharmaceutical company. Harold isn't quite on par with the flashy, cocky Richard -- or Richard's sexy, vulgar partner, Elaine Markinson (Charlize Theron). But the three travel together to Mexico to end an off-the-books deal. Harold didn't know about the deal, but when the Mexican drug cartels get wind of it, they start to hunt him down. Also in Mexico, he learns that his wife (Thandie Newton) is having an affair. He runs away to a cheap Mexican hotel, where he bumps into Miles (Harry Treadaway) and his naïve girlfriend, Sunny (Amanda Seyfried), as well as a mercenary named Mitch (Sharlto Copley), who's actually Richard's brother. Harold also pretends to be kidnapped. Soon it becomes clear that Harold is worth more dead than alive, and he must decide who to trust and try to escape before that bounty is collected.

Is it any good?

This twisty action-comedy from Australian brothers Nash (who directed) and Joel Edgerton is colorful and high-energy for a long time, but its humor flags early, and the action finally gets tiring. The Edgertons are part of a collective called Blue-Tongue Films that usually deals in small, gritty crime dramas (Animal Kingdom, Wish You Were Here, etc.). Gringo is their first big, all-star movie (aside from David Michod's War Machine), and it seems a little outsized, a little overeager-to-please. It's as if the energy were ramped up very high in an effort to juggle all the balls in the air; but after a long 110 minutes, a break is needed.

That's not to say the movie is bad. In fact, while the storyline is very complex, it's quite clever and easy to follow, with endless new wrinkles, not unlike Logan Lucky. The characters are a good cross-section of types, and most of them get at least one hilarious moment, from the Mexican gangster who likes to quiz his visitors on The Beatles to Theron's snide, potty-mouth declarations and Oyelowo's Lou Costello-like reactions to his dire situation. It could have been shorter, or benefited from a little breathing room, but on the whole, Gringo is inconsequential fun.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about Gringo's use of violence. Does it seem more intended to be shocking or exciting? What's the impact of media violence on kids?

  • How does the movie handle sexual content? Is the sex here based on trust, or is it based on power? What's the difference?

  • How are drugs involved in the plot? How often are drugs used? Are they glamorized? Are there consequences? Why does that matter?

  • Is Harold heroic? Is he likable? Why do you think he has to commit acts of violence before he finds his strength and his freedom?

Movie details

For kids who love action and comedy

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