Kill Me Three Times

Movie review by
Sandie Angulo Chen, Common Sense Media
Kill Me Three Times Movie Poster Image
Twisty dark comedy is quite violent and not very funny.
  • R
  • 2015
  • 91 minutes

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this movie.

Positive Messages

No clear positive messages, as all the characters are assassins, cheaters, gamblers, and thieves.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Alice is determined to get away from abusive Jack. Dylan courageously want to make sure Jack accounts for how he's hurt Alice. On the other hand, Alice was having an affair and steals from Jack. Not a movie to watch for the role models.

Violence

People die in various ways, but most are executed at close range or die in shoot outs. Cars are covered in gasoline and set on fire and then left to burn with people inside. A man is pushed off a balcony and impaled upon falling -- but survives. Two different men strike women they're married to or in a relationship with.

Sex

One brief sex scene that includes nudity -- naked breasts are visible, and there's moaning and a few edits that show the couple's bodies from different camera angles. Later, another two people watch a recording of the tryst on a smartphone. A woman takes a shower, but the camera focuses on her face. A married couple kisses on a bed while she's in a nightgown. Two different women kiss men who aren't their husbands.

Language

Frequent use of "f--k," "f--king" (both as another word for sex and as an expletive), "s--t," "ass," "bitch," etc.

Consumerism

Brands seen include Mercedes, Volkswagen, and Audi.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Many scenes of Charlie smoking a cigarette and of Jack drinking.

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.

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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 ...

  • Families can talk about Kill Me Three Times' violence. How much of it is necessary to the story? What's the impact of media violence on kids?

  • 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?

Movie details

Themes & Topics

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For kids who love thrills

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