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A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
Life is tough as a drug dealer. Adapt to unexpected events. Get revenge.
Positive Role Models
Seven isn't a great guy, but there are reasons why. Maddie wants to be there for him. Their love for each other is real.
Violence & Scariness
A fair amount of bloody, violent, and gory deaths. Men get shot up-close. Most of the violence happens to Black men. They are hit, tied up, tortured, and shot -- some in the leg, others in the chest, and all eventually in the head. A young man dies by suicide. A young woman overdoses in her bed. A generic shootout happens in a montage. Some general fighting, kicks, punches, and slaps thrown. A young man gets pistol-whipped. Mention of childhood physical abuse.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
A young couple is shown briefly having vigorous sex in a club bathroom. The woman's bare breast is shown. A young couple in their underwear flirt and make out on a bed. They eventually have sex in a fairly lengthy scene, but there's no nudity. Some romantic dancing and kissing.
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Strong language throughout, including "f--k," "s--t," the "N" word (one said by a White man), "bitch," "d--k," "ass," "whore," "monkey," and "retarded."
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Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
The main character is a drug dealer. Open talk of drugs, selling, measuring, amounts, and addicts. Many scenes show young people doing drugs, smoking marijuana, snorting cocaine, and shooting up heroin. A young woman overdoses on heroin and dies on her bed while a young man tries to recover her. Young adults and adults smoke cigarettes and drink alcoholic drinks.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Heavy is an indie drama about a young drug dealer whose life turns sour after a series of unfortunate events lead him to a breaking point. Starring Sophie Turner from Game of Thrones and Daniel Zovatto from Don't Breathe, this sad tale has a fair amount of violence, constant swearing, and lots of scenes that revolve around heavy drugs like cocaine and heroin. Many scenes feature young people taking drugs, selling drugs, and people talking about drugs. There are moments of intense violence and unhinged revenge. A handful of gory killings are shown without mercy, and almost all of the violence happens to Black men. A young couple has sex on their bed before shooting up heroin. Another young man and young woman have sex in a bathroom, some nudity shown (breasts). Lengthy scene of a young couple in their underwear on a bed that leads to a long sex scene. Strong language throughout includes: "f--k," "s--t," the "N" word (one said by a White man), "bitch," "d--k," "ass," "whore," "monkey," and "retarded." To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
Odd decisions throughout this drug drama make for a poor film. Generally, Heavy is full of bad writing, unlikable characters, and cringey moments. The writing feels rushed and not timed correctly. Sometimes this is an effect of bad editing or bad acting, but here it feels more like a by-product of awkward dialogue. It doesn't help that the White male lead says the "N" word and only when talking with his Black friend (he also calls a bunch of Black men "monkeys"). Even with the actors giving their all with what they have to work with, no one can make unnatural exposition in dialogue work naturally ("Wait a minute. You mean Dave? Your childhood best friend who you haven't spoken with in six years?"). Another bad decision: dividing the story into two halves. The first half chiefly consists of main character Seven telling his girlfriend what happened to him earlier that day. Occasionally we see flashbacks of particular moments, but: Why tell all this instead of simply show it scene by scene, as movies often do? Given the role Sophie Turner's Maddie plays, which is minimal at best, it feels like the decision was to have Seven tell Maddie the events of his day so that Maddie has something to do besides react appropriately to Seven's cheating. But this only amounts to Maddie reacting appropriately to Seven's getting into danger. After all, Maddie is literally shown only in the small apartment she shares with Seven (mainly in her underwear and on her bed) and briefly at her therapist's office. The film is clear: Maddie is only here to give love to Seven, accept his cheating ("It's just your nature, and I shouldn't try to change you"), listen to him, cry, and die.
Maddie's death isn't a spoiler because the scene starts the movie. It's supposed to be this hugely traumatic moment for Seven, but it doesn't work because Seven has been a selfish and horrible person the whole movie and has given no reason for anyone to care about what happens to him. The film quickly (too quickly) mentions early on that Seven was abused as a child, but it's too obvious that this is only being mentioned to garner sympathy for him, and it doesn't feel right. Ultimately, the second half of Heavy simply consists of a White man going around tying up, beating, torturing, shooting, and murdering Black men, until his mentor, another White man, guns down another man of color and his crew. It's hard not to notice that each main character is White (Seven and Maddie) and dies by suicide, whereas everyone else dies horribly and often after lots of pain, suffering, and torment.
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.