A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
No positive messages or themes.
Positive Role Models
Kate is a vicious, brutal, unflinching killer. She does show remorse for past deeds, but it takes slowly dying of poison for her to seek redemption. Sometimes the villains aren't as clear as they might seem.
Many Asian people in the cast, but the majority are yakuza, and most only seem to be present to die horrible deaths. Renji and Kijima at least have depth and feel like real people with histories, beliefs, desires; other main roles are quite thin and one-note. Despite a Japanese setting, White characters are the protagonists, with Kate especially poised to fall into the White savior role amidst the movie's mostly flat depictions of Asian people. One biracial character with a "gaijin" mother might be seen as a stereotype, rather than a realistic portrait of a girl witnessing and experiencing extreme violence, family murders, and trauma. Some yakuza openly bemoan "the West" and call Anni "half-blood."
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Violence & Scariness
Strong bloody violence throughout. Lots of gory deaths, point-blank shots to the head, blood and splatter, stabbings, gunfights, gunshot wounds, hand-to-hand combat. Sword and knife fights, a decapitation, knives going through faces, electrocution, fingers sliced off, throats slit, broken bones. Also sniper shots, pistol whippings, grenade explosions. A woman gets drugged, a girl gets chained to a toilet, and a woman gets into a terrible car crash.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
A man and a woman have sex on a bed (no nudity) with the covers up. Kate sometimes takes her top off to bandage or clean wounds but is always in her underwear. In scene at bath house, men wear underwear but are otherwise naked.
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Strong language throughout includes "f--k," "f--king," "motherf-----r," "s--t," "bitch," "whore," "ass," and "damn."
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Products & Purchases
The anime Deathnote plays in the background in one scene.
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Adults smoke cigarettes stylishly and drink alcoholic beverages. A woman gets drugged and lethally poisoned.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Kate is an incredibly violent, bloody, and brutal action film with strong language throughout. Not for kids, this thriller finds an assassin racing to find out who and why she has been poisoned. Mowing down anyone who gets in her way, Kate (Mary Elizabeth Winstead) eventually runs into a girl who significantly affected the course of Kate's recent life. Expect lots of bloody violence, gunfights, point-blank shots to the head, gunshot wounds, holes in bodies, stabbings, knives going into faces, necks being slit, fingers getting sliced off, hand-to-hand combat, and a decapitation. A woman gets drugged, a girl gets chained to a toilet, and a woman gets into a terrible car crash. There's a brief sex scene without nudity, and another brief scene shows men in their underwear at a bath house. Adults smoke cigarettes stylishly and drink alcoholic beverages. A woman gets drugged and lethally poisoned. Strong language throughout includes "f--k," "f--king," "motherf-----r," "s--t," "bitch," "whore," "ass," and "damn." The film has some stereotypical representations and depictions of Asian people. 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 violence on display is brutal, creative, and intense, but lots of it might be too much for some viewers. Beyond the violence, however, Kate isn't great. For one, Kate's backstory is thin and simply not enough for the audience to get invested in her or her story. Unfortunately, this means that for each wound, every flinch of pain, and all the times Kate suffers, many viewers might not care. And the problem is that the audience needs to care about Kate saving herself, not dying of poison, and finding redemption.
Further, Kate's relationship with Varrick isn't established or built well, and their dynamic or chemistry is incredibly flat. Varrick, a kind of father/mentor figure to Kate, claims at one point that Kate is the only person in the world he has ever loved. But this is never evident in their interactions, in any flashbacks, or in dialogue. Lastly, many viewers might find the story and general idea of Kate to be racist, as the story is another White savior construction that also features a White person murdering hundreds of Asian people. Additionally, it repeats many stereotypes about Asian and Japanese people specifically.
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.