A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
Promotes importance of family and unconditional support with respect to family -- but that can also mean lying and covering up lies, crimes, and misdeeds.
Positive Role Models
Lauren and William are both high-achieving New Yorkers who, despite wealthy backgrounds, have chosen to go into public service. But as movie continues, it's clear that they're each much more calculating and morally corrupt than we originally realize. Their mother is kind and generous and puts her family above everything.
Violence & Scariness
An emaciated, unkempt prisoner is found in an underground bunker. He's been kept in basically solitary confinement for more than 30 years and is chained around the neck and wrists. Many scenes of someone held at gunpoint. Two flashbacks show a violent vehicular manslaughter and its cover-up. A woman is raped; the rapist is dealt with outside the law. People are shot, kicked, punched. Someone is poisoned, killed. Two characters are shot to death.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
Flashback shows people caressing and kissing. References to a long-term adulterous affair.
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Frequent strong language includes "f--k," "f--king," "s--t," "bulls--t," "bitch," "whore," and several uses of "shut the hell up," "goddamn," "Jesus Christ" (used as an exclamation), "what the hell," "stupid," and more.
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Products & Purchases
Mostly luxury cars: Mercedes, Range Rover, Bentley, Suburban, Cadillac. Also Apple products: MacBook, iPhone.
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Discussion of scotch; flashback shows young men drinking to excess and snorting cocaine.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Inheritance is a psychological thriller starring Lily Collins as a wealthy lawyer whose father leaves her a mysterious, life-changing secret in his will. Expect frequent strong language ("f--k," "s--t," "bitch," "whore," etc.) and a persistent sense of peril. There are also scenes of upsetting violence -- including torture, captivity, and shootings. The violence leads to more than one death. Flashbacks reveal a sexual assault and vehicular manslaughter that have lifelong consequences. Characters drink and snort cocaine in a flashback. Although there's arguably a strong message here about family unity and loyalty, that loyalty can lead to misdeeds, and the overall theme seems to be that rich people know how to cover up their crimes. To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
An initially promising premise devolves into a mediocre psychological thriller filled with plot holes and unbelievable storylines; audiences are better off skipping it. The very first thing viewers -- especially New Yorkers -- will scoff at is the ridiculous notion that a barely 30-year-old Lauren could be the elected district attorney of New York (where the real DAs have routinely been elected in their 50s and typically stay in office for decades) and that her younger brother is running for his second term as Congress at age 28 or so. It's extremely difficult to suspend disbelief, and much of Lauren's behavior also feels ludicrous. Collins tries her best, and she's a luminous actor, but she wasn't well cast, and the artificial-sounding dialogue doesn't do anyone any favors.
Pegg's role as the enigmatic Morgan and his interactions with Lauren are off-putting, as is his odd obsession with the key lime pie recipe that he's memorized and repeats like a mantra. No matter how much evidence Morgan presents to Lauren (as if his presence alone isn't evidence of her father's decades of cruelty), she waffles about what she should do, ignoring her important case, her family, and everything else in her life. This is director Vaughn Stein's second feature and screenwriter Matthew Kennedy's first, and their inexperience shows, despite the well-known cast and slick cinematography and editing. Ultimately, though, it's Inheritance's screenplay that's the biggest disappointment, because the story, even with its various twists, just doesn't live up to its potential.
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.