A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
The importance of resilience and courage to survive difficult moments and deal with unexpected events.
Positive Role Models
Valentina and Juan Pablo show courage and resilience as they navigate unexpected turns and twists. Valentina shows compassion for those who are unkind to her. The film is populated with villains who stop at nothing to get what they want.
Most of the ensemble is comprised of Mexican actors of varying ages, skin colors, and body types. There are several scenes in which racism and colorism are used to demean a character, but the scenes highlight the ridiculousness of discrimination between Latin American characters. There are fascinating conversations between Latino and European characters about the effects of colonialism. The women in the film, especially Valentina, are never reduced to damsels in distress; instead, they are tenacious, intelligent, and willing to risk their lives to uncover the truth.
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Violence & Scariness
Several characters are killed with guns in graphic sequences; one of them is killed by a main character. Characters threaten to kill others with guns. A man is beaten up. Valentina encounters several moments of racism and colorism. A man becomes violent and shouts when Valentina turns his sexual proposition down. Various instances of corruption at every level of society. Graphic descriptions of dead bodies, although they are not seen. Juan Pablo becomes paranoid and acts in a way that seems erratic to others.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
Naked women in a porn film perform graphic oral sex on a man. A woman has sex while wearing a bra. Sex toys are seen throughout. A couple has sex under the covers. Couples kiss with their clothes on. Nude models pose for art class students.
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"F--k," "f--king," "f--ker," "s--t," "a--hole," "c--k," "p--ck," "d--khead," "s--thead," "f--got," "jerk," "piss," "moron," "bitch"
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Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Characters drink beer and wine socially, characters smoke cigarettes, Valentina gets drunk, and characters use cocaine and unidentified pills.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that I Don't Expect Anyone to Believe Me is a Mexican thriller. The film is sexually charged and features several scenes in which men and women appear naked, including a graphic oral sex scene, and another one where nude models pose for an art class. Strong language includes "f--k," "f--king," "f--ker," "s--t," "a--hole," "c--k," "p--ck," "d--khead," "s--thead," "f--got," "jerk," "piss," "moron," and "bitch." Characters drink and smoke cigarettes, and there are graphic scenes where characters use cocaine and take unidentified pills. There are plenty of violent scenes: several characters are killed with guns, characters threaten others with various weapons, a man is beaten up, and a man becomes loud and violent when Valentina turns his sexual proposition down. Juan Pablo also becomes very paranoid, which might be scary for some viewers. In terms of diversity, most of the ensemble is Mexican and features actors of varying ages, skin colors, and body types. There are scenes where racism, colorism, and the effects of colonialism are thoughtfully discussed, and women are portrayed as tenacious, intelligent, and willing to risk their lives to uncover the truth. To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
With only three films to his name, director Fernando Frias has created one of the most unapologetic, riveting bodies of work in contemporary cinema, capturing modern Mexico at its best and worst. In Rezeta, he focused on the fast life of a supermodel, in I'm No Longer Here, the plight of a young migrant, and in the masterful I Don't Expect Anyone to Believe Me, the byzantine process of trying to escape corruption. Dario Yazbek gives a stellar performance as the wide-eyed Juan Pablo, whose dreams of becoming a novelist seem to be shattered when he's unwillingly recruited to serve a criminal cartel while he attends grad school in Barcelona. Soon he realizes the horrific events that become his new normal might be the greatest source of literary inspiration, turning a thriller on its head as it becomes the darkest of satires.
Not for the faint of heart, and certainly not suitable for kids, I Don't Expect Anyone to Believe Me, is a violent, brainy thriller that combines genres and multilayered narratives deftly. Frias is at the top of his game, creating a film that entertains and illuminates (its commentary on colorism, racism, and colonialism is invaluable). At times it might feel too insular and erudite (the jokes about graduate studies almost turn into self-parody) but those willing to surrender to the film's pace and strange sense of humor will be rewarded with one of the best thrillers in recent years.
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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.
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