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Parents' Guide to

Judy & Punch

By Danny Brogan, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 15+

Violent tale with themes of addiction and domestic abuse.

Movie NR 2020 105 minutes
Judy & Punch Poster Image

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Is It Any Good?

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Kids say (1 ):

This brutal retelling of the 16th century British puppet show "Punch and Judy" is atmospheric and features strong lead performances but is also very violent. Some of that violence, particularly that of Punch's attack on Judy, is tough to watch, but the consequences aren't glossed over. Spoiler alert: The death of a baby (thrown from a window) is handled in slapstick fashion, which will amuse some but horrify others. The majority of characters are hateful, especially Punch. But writer-director Mirrah Foulkes has created a strong feminist lead in Wasikowska's Judy. Despite a few missteps (keep an eye out for the Gladiator reference), the moral of the story is heartwarming, although we aren't shielded from Punch's (some might say well-deserved) fate.

Those familiar with the traditional puppet show will enjoy the backstory Judy & Punch provides, but audiences shouldn't expect the same pantomime violence. Scenes are eye-wincing and upsetting; consequently, some of the jokes fall flat, as you're still reeling from a previous scene. The material is too dark for young teens and should be avoided by those easily affected by bloody violence and cruelty to animals.

Movie Details

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