Preteen girl looking at a cell phone with her parents

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Parents' Guide to

Je Suis Karl

By JK Sooja, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 16+

Teen joins hate group; sex, violence, language, drugs.

Movie NR 2021 126 minutes
Je Suis Karl Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this movie.

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Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say: Not yet rated
Kids say: Not yet rated

While the intention behind this German-Czech thriller may be admirable, too much of it focuses on the wrong story and the wrong characters. In the beginning, Je Suis Karl introduces Alex, Maxi's father, and for a while, it seems like Alex will be a central figure. But soon, Maxi and her new Nazi friends take over, and the rest of the film follows them around as they plan and plot more acts of terrorism and violence. Eventually, the film ends in an explosive scene of riotous bloodshed, where people of color are chased down, shot, and executed. Meanwhile, Alex finally tracks Maxi down, just in time to escape into some underground tunnels when the rioting begins. Maxi, who at this point has had quite a hand in motivating hate around Europe with her new Nazi friends, seems visibly shaken by all the violence that she encouraged, but many viewers may also feel like her character didn't earn any compassion, as many might not care at all what happens to her by the end of the film. Viewers might also be confused about how an intelligent young woman who has a great relationship with both her very liberal and pro-immigrant parents could so easily be indoctrinated into a group of racists.

Nevertheless, Je Suis Karl feels like another well-produced and well-acted film about the wrong thing. When Yusuf, the one non-White speaking role reappears at the beginning of the third and last act, the film significantly gets more interesting. Unfortunately, the film only uses Yusuf as a plot device.

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