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Killerman

Movie review by
Jeffrey M. Anderson, Common Sense Media
Killerman Movie Poster Image
Missed opportunities in overlong, violent crime drama.
  • R
  • 2019
  • 112 minutes

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A lot or a little?

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

Positive Messages

The main characters make very bad (and even strange) decisions and lose just about everything in the process, but they're said to have escaped with a bunch of money and perhaps started life anew, implying that crime sometimes pays.

Positive Role Models & Representations

The main character has amnesia and is thus more or less excused for his violent and criminal behavior. Other characters are criminals, though there's a certain loyalty between some characters.

Violence

Guns and shooting. Characters, including a pregnant woman, are shot, some at close range (gory brains, blood splattered on car window). Characters are locked in cages and beaten to a bloody pulp. Punching and fighting. Attacking with machete. Characters are hit with blunt instruments. Bloody wounds. Car chase and crash. Fire started. Angry dog sicced on someone. Severed heads in black plastic bag (not actually shown).

Sex

Main character has sex with someone in alley behind bar. Kissing, pulling at clothing, heavy breathing. Brief image of partially naked female buttocks. Main character later shown to have another partner who is pregnant. Young woman seduces an older man; she spreads her legs, he moves his fingers between them. Sex talk.

Language

Constant barrage of "f--k" and "f--king." Also "motherf----r," "s--t," "p---y," "ass," "goddamn," "Jesus" (as an exclamation). Graffiti showing the words "p---y," "d--k."

Consumerism

Beer brands seen in back room of store: Pabst Blue Ribbon, Bud Light. Mentions of Ho Hos snack treat.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Drug dealing is part of the plot. Bags of cocaine shown. Cocaine snorting. Occasional cigarette smoking. Cigar smoking. Brief beer drinking.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Killerman is an uninspired crime drama about a money launderer (Liam Hemsworth) with amnesia and a drug deal gone wrong. It's very violent, with guns, characters getting shot (including a pregnant woman), bloody wounds and some gore, fighting and punching, beating with blunt objects, and a car chase and crash. Language is extreme and constant, with many uses of "f--k" and more. A couple has anonymous sex; partially naked female buttocks are seen, as well as kissing, pulling at clothing, and heavy breathing. A young woman seduces an older man by spreading her legs and allowing him to move his fingers between them. There's also sex talk. Characters are drug dealers, and bags of cocaine and cocaine snorting are shown. Characters also smoke cigarettes and cigars and drink beer.

User Reviews

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What's the story?

In KILLERMAN, Moe (Liam Hemsworth) and Skunk (Emory Cohen) work for Skunk's powerful crime-boss uncle Perico (Zlatko Buric). While preparing to launder a large amount of money, they're ordered to wait. Skunk gets the idea to use the money for a drug deal that could net them a huge profit before anyone knows what's happened. But the deal goes wrong when dirty cops show up. Moe is injured and loses his memory, including the fact that he has a baby on the way with Lola (Diane Guerrero). Perico forces the two men to leave town, but before that can happen, the dirty cops grab Skunk, hoping to get their hands on the still missing cocaine and money. Moe goes on a revenge-fueled rampage, seeking to set things right. But even he doesn't quite realize what secrets are buried in his lost memory.

Is it any good?

It has a few potent moments, but this violent, vulgar crime drama doesn't use its amnesia theme for any kind of creative storytelling or character development; it's just too long and too predictable. Written and directed by Malik Bader, Killerman does a fine job of painting its grimy, crime-ridden urban atmosphere, with Buric's haywire performance as the hot-and-cold crime boss at the center. But the annoying shaky-cam, the constant swearing, and the nasty, one-dimensional bad guys also make it rather unpleasant to watch. Hemsworth is another problem; he seems badly miscast and out of place -- he can't even pretend to be a money launderer without looking suspicious.

Yet another flaw is the criminal underuse of Guerrero (Orange Is the New Black), who shows up for maybe two scenes and serves only as a catalyst for the hero. (This is further undermined by an earlier, gratuitous sex scene between Moe and an anonymous bar girl.) Conversely, the "bromance" between Moe and Skunk is kept at arm's length. The amnesia aspect, which could have been used to drop viewers into Moe's world and help us identify with him, is instead simply introduced at the end of the third act and almost ignored throughout; it's used mainly to reveal a "surprise" at the end, which is all too easy to spot early. Killerman could have been a vibrant, unique crime story, but instead it's drearily routine.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about Killerman's violence. How strong is it? Was it exciting or shocking? Both? How did the movie achieve this effect? What's the impact of media violence on kids?

  • How is sex portrayed? What values are imparted by the on-screen sexual encounters?

  • Are drugs glorified? Are there consequences for using or selling drugs? Why does that matter?

  • What's the appeal of stories about criminals? Does this movie make crime look cool or fun?

Movie details

For kids who love thrills

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