A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this movie.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Hit & Run is an action comedy that includes brief full-frontal nudity, drug use, violence, and extremely strong language -- all of which make it inappropriate for young teens. The language is pervasive -- nearly every line of dialogue contains a "f--k" or "s--t," and there are some potentially offensive comments about rape and ethnicity. In two brief scenes, the audience sees a group of seniors completely naked (an orgy is implied but not shown), but otherwise the sexuality is more PG-13 than R (some passionate kissing, conversations in bed, a reference to a massage having a "happy ending" and discussions of sexual orientation). Violence includes bloody hand-to-hand combat and gun use, though overall the movie's tone is light.
- Parents say
- Kids say
What's the story?
Annie (Kristen Bell) is a small-town California professor who's offered the opportunity of her career if she agrees to move to Los Angeles. Unfortunately for Annie, her boyfriend, Charlie (Dax Shepard), is under witness protection; but he agrees to risk his life by visiting the city where the crime he witnessed was committed. Annie's ex-boyfriend, Gil (Michael Rosenbaum), finds out that Charlie was actually a getaway driver and contacts Alex Dimitri (Bradley Cooper), the bank robber Charlie betrayed. With Alex and Gil on his trail, Charlie rushes to evade his pursuers and get Annie to her interview -- even if it means telling her the whole truth about his past.
Is it any good?
Many off-screen couples fail to generate any heat on camera, but there's a genuine chemistry between real-life twosome Shepard and Bell that makes the romantic parts of the film work. The opening scene in bed seems improvisational and authentic, as if it's exactly the kind of conversation the actors would have while cuddling in the morning. As writer and co-director, Shepard clearly has an eye for how to make his beloved shine; even when other aspects of the movie falter a bit, Bell is always charming and adorable as the goody-two-shoes half of the relationship.
As for the action-comedy half of HIT & RUN, it's like an old-school car-chase caper, complete with a likeable supporting cast (Cooper looks hilarious as a dreadlocked surfer-criminal, and Tom Arnold is surprisingly winning as a bumbling U.S. Marshal assigned to protect Charlie) and several pulse-quickening chase sequences. What's surprising is that despite the occasional raunch and violence, the movie is really about the intimacy and honesty required in a long-term romance. The rape and race jokes will be a dealbreaker for some, but if you're not easily offended, this could be a guilty pleasure pick.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about Hit & Run's blend of romance and action. What resonated with you more -- the romantic comedy between Annie and Charlie, or the action comedy with the car chases and criminal involvement?
Why do you think the filmmakers chose to include full-frontal nudity here? Why do so many R-rated comedies have nonsexual nudity? Would they be better without it?
Are the characters' comments about date rape and prison rape meant to be comical? If so, is that OK? What about Charlie's discussion of different kinds of men and their stereotypes? Is that funny or offensive? Why?
- In theaters: August 22, 2012
- On DVD or streaming: January 8, 2013
- Cast: Bradley Cooper, Dax Shepard, Kristen Bell
- Directors: David Palmer, Dax Shepard
- Studio: Open Road Films
- Genre: Action/Adventure
- Topics: Cars and Trucks
- Run time: 100 minutes
- MPAA rating: R
- MPAA explanation: pervasive language including sexual references, graphic nudity, some violence and drug content
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Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.