A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this movie.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Kill Me Three Times is equal parts dark comedy and heist flick, with lots of bloody gun violence and a remarkably high body count (including execution-style killings). There's a lot of violence, blood, and weapon use; one character falls off a balcony and is impaled -- but survives. Characters also frequently use strong language ("f--k," "s--t," and more), alcohol, and cigarettes, and one deals with an online gambling addiction. A sex scene includes moaning and naked breasts. Although a couple of the stars will be familiar to teens -- Simon Pegg and Teresa Palmer -- this Australian indie is unlikely to capture much attention.
- Parents say
- Kids say
What's the story?
KILL ME THREE TIMES is a thriller about an assassin and private-investigator-for-hire named Charlie (Simon Pegg), who at first seems to stumble upon an attempted murder in progress by Nathan Webb (Sullivan Stapleton), a dentist with a gambling addiction, and his wife, Lucy (Teresa Palmer). But as the non-linear story rewinds to show different perspectives, it's clear that Charlie had been commissioned to commit that very same murder -- that of Lucy's cheating sister-in-law, Alice (Alice Braga) -- by Alice's abusive, jilted husband Jack (Callan Mulvey). Insert a corrupt sheriff, Alice's adoring mechanic lover (played by Chris and Liam Hemsworth's brother Luke), a bag filled with hundreds of thousands of dollars, and a whole lot of backstabbing, and you've got no guarantee that anyone will end up with the money -- or even alive.
Is it any good?
This lackluster Aussie thriller is reminiscent of Guy Ritchie-style heist flicks in which hit-men, con men, and all sorts of unsavory characters compete for a treasure, bragging rights, and more. Director Kriv Stenders' effort lacks the style and the screenwriting to pull off such an ambitious endeavor, but it does, at the very least, feature a few decent actors, like Pegg, Palmer, and Braga, and Pegg looks like he's having fun as Charlie. The ruthless but carefree killer isn't an amoral philosopher like Anton Chigurh or duty-bound to his rules like Leon the Professional; he just has to make his living, and if he can double cross a few people to make even more money, so be it.
The biggest problem with Kill Me Three Times is that the humor is pretty nonexistent. Perhaps Stenders was banking on Pegg's presence alone, but it's not enough. While it's mildly entertaining to see the third Hemsworth without his shirt off, that's hardly a reason to see a movie. The only compelling reason to stick with it is to put all the pieces together, since the movie isn't told in chronological order, and audiences will legitimately want to know whether -- and how -- a couple of characters scrape out of their seemingly dead-end situations. Otherwise, this is at most passable entertainment for those who really love dark, violent thrillers with a hint of comic relief.
Talk to your kids about ...
Why do you think very violent movies often also attempt to be funny? Does humor lighten the mood? Does it have any affect on the impact of what you're watching?
How is abuse against women depicted in the movie? How do the women deal with it?
- In theaters: April 10, 2015
- On DVD or streaming: July 7, 2015
- Cast: Simon Pegg, Teresa Palmer, Alice Braga
- Director: Kriv Stenders
- Studio: Magnolia Pictures
- Genre: Thriller
- Topics: Brothers and Sisters
- Run time: 91 minutes
- MPAA rating: R
- MPAA explanation: bloody violence, language and some sexuality/nudity
- Last updated: September 20, 2019
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