A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
There are no pure, good motivations/themes/acts in this movie. Family members try to stick up for one another, but that involves crime and violence. Even a final "good deed" involves a bag of stolen money.
Positive Role Models
The characters are mainly violent people who've done/are doing illegal things or seem to have a tendency toward violence or trouble. The only character who comes across as decent, Jeanie, refuses to forgive or speak to her family members.
White men drive this story, although a strong matriarch is the one in charge of the crime family. A Black man with power appears in one scene.
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Violence & Scariness
Guns and shooting. Blood spurts. Bloody shootout; many characters die (bloody corpses). Character dies by suicide (ties bootlace around neck). Characters are struck with a gun butt and smothered with a pillow. Person punched, hood pulled over head, thrown in car trunk. Teen robs store with gun. Violent death metal music heard.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
Characters meet at a porno theater: Sex noises can be heard coming from the screen, and blurry images from the bottom portion of the screen are seen in the background. Young characters (including a teen) go into a bathroom for sex; nothing shown. Woman in underwear.
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Strong, frequent language includes "f--k," "s--t," "motherf----r," "bulls--t," "p---y," "son of a bitch," "ass."
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Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Teens (supporting characters) steal and drink beers. Teen smoking. Teen gets in trouble for drinking a beer at school. Adults occasionally smoke cigarettes and drink beer.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Ida Red is a crime drama about a man (Josh Hartnett) who's trying to get his crime boss mother (Melissa Leo) out of prison. Violence is very strong, with lots of guns and shooting. Many characters shot and killed, with blood spurts and bloody corpses. One character dies via suicide, and a teen robs a store with a gun. The same teen goes into a bathroom to have sex with another character, though nothing is shown. Characters also meet up in an adult movie theater; blurry images from the lower half of a pornographic movie are seen, and sex noises are audible. Language is strong and frequent, with uses of "f--k," "s--t," and more. Teens smoke cigarettes and steal and drink cans of beer; a teen girl gets in trouble for drinking beer at school. Adults also drink and smoke. The movie a little convoluted and a little clichéd, but the sharp characters and a good pulpy quality make it worth a look for mature viewers. To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
The storytelling in this crime drama is far from clean, and the screenplay drags out quite a few stale old chestnuts, but it has a good pulpy quality. John Swab's Ida Red gets off on the right foot with its characters, and the actors do a good job of bringing those characters to life. Wyatt has a legitimate business that covers up his criminal activities, and he's capable of being charming as well as brutal. His visits to his mother in prison reveal that Red is the one who's in charge of everything, and Leo is powerful in the role; she recalls the "Smurf Cody" character from both the movie and TV series Animal Kingdom, as well as Margaret Wycherly's Ma Jarrett in White Heat (1949). Grillo is a standout, choosing to go over the top (as he did in Boss Level) and coming out mesmerizingly psychopathic. (He does a little dance to Naked Eyes' "Promises Promises" before dispatching one of his victims.)
Most of the other characters seem to have real inner lives, or at least specific bits of business to perform, such as cop William Forsythe forever shoving pieces of broccoli-green gum into his mouth, or bearded lawyer Mark Boone Junior lunching at a sushi-train cafe. Some of the dialogue includes groaners like "I'm getting too old for this s--t" or "one last job and we're out," and some of the movie's ideas and events feel tacked-on, not quite fitting into the rest of the story. But Ida Red has its share of unique touches, such as Wyatt and Dallas' attempt to set up a meeting with a mob boss, as well as a spiky B movie quality. It embraces its under-the-radar cheapness and seems unafraid to try off-the-wall things like using Madonna's lush, romantic "Crazy for You" as backdrop for a shocking moment of violence.
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.