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A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
There's a secondary theme about the corrupting power of money; Heineken says that you can be rich in two ways, with friends or money, but you can't have both.
Positive Role Models
Criminals pay the consequences for their crimes, but there are no role models; according to the end credits, some of them went right back to a life of crime after serving their time in prison.
Violence & Scariness
Guns and shooting, but no victims. Fighting, beating up squatters in a building. Car chases/crashes. General tension, fighting, and anxiety.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
Brief scene of buying handcuffs in a sex shop; the clerk flirts with the customer.
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Very strong language, including many uses of "f--k," "s--t," "ass," "a--hole," "p---y," "d--k," and "damn," plus "for Christ's sake."
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Products & Purchases
Heineken beer is mentioned many times, in reference to one of the main characters.
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Scenes of social drinking in a pub, plus beer drinking in a background way. Cigarette smoking. References to Freddy Heineken being a famous maker of beer.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Kidnapping Mr. Heineken is a thriller based on the real-life 1983 abduction of beer king Freddy Heineken in the Netherlands. But aside from the true-story aspect and a good performance by Anthony Hopkins (as Heineken), the movie isn't very thrilling or involving, and it's likely that few teens will be interested. There's some violence (guns are fired, cars chase and crash, and there's fighting, punching, and shoving), as well as general tension, anxiety, and arguing. Language is very strong, with multiple uses of "f--k," plus many uses of "s--t" and "p---y." Characters drink frequently and smoke cigarettes, typically in social settings or in a background way. One brief scene takes place in a sex shop (the male clerk flirts with one of the guys). To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
There's no real suspense in this film. Daniel Alfredson, who directed the second and third films in the hit Swedish Girl with the Dragon Tattoo trilogy, The Girl Who Played with Fire and The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest, should be familiar with complex crime films -- but even though truth is often stranger than fiction, KIDNAPPING MR. HEINEKEN doesn't spark to life. We know going in that this case involved the highest ransom ever paid at the time, so we can guess what the outcome of the story is.
That, plus the details of the kidnapping aren't quite as nutty or as inventive as a fiction film might have been. The tensest moment comes when the kidnappers realize they left the ransom note on a copy machine; they retrieve it, and everything's OK. The characters never feel alive, and we're not even sure how they know each other. In their roles, Sturgess and Worthington can only give middling performances. But Hopkins is entertaining in brief spurts as the chatty victim.
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.