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A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
Being adaptable and taking care of those in need. Some modelling of selfish behavior. The fantasy element of the movie acts as a metaphor for processing grief, dealing with worsening mental health, and showing how loved ones can bond over tragic and unique experiences.
Positive Role Models
Maria and Ingvar work hard on their sheep farm. However, they decide to raise Ada -- a part-sheep, part-human child -- as their own, at the expense of Ada's biological sheep mother. Likewise, Petur is shown to be hardworking and compassionate, but he too can be selfish and resorts to underhand means to get what he wants.
An international cast and a foreign setting with some gender balance, but no ethnic diversity.
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Violence & Scariness
Bloody violence and death includes dead animals, gunshot wounds. Some blood and internal organs shown as new born lambs are delivered. Sheep's ears clipped and tagged as part of farm work. Animals shot dead off camera but with dead bodies shown. Scuffle between two characters. Character shot and bleeds from the neck. Elements of fantasy horror as a human-sheep hybrid child is shown. Someone attempts to blackmail another into having sex with them.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
Oral sex scene where one character is seen topless. Character shown in the bath from bare shoulders up. Minotaur-like creature shown naked from behind.
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Language is very occasional but includes "f--k," "crap," "goddamn."
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Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Adult characters drink alcohol in a social setting. Some drunkenness results in characters becoming poorly coordinated. Some smoking of cigarettes.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Lamb is an Icelandic horror movie with disturbing fantasy imagery, violence, and occasional sex and nudity. The story, which has a bleak and sometimes comedic tone, centers around Maria (Noomi Rapace) and Ingvar (Hilmir Snær Guðnason), who one day on their sheep farm are surprised to birth Ada, a child with a lamb's head and arm. Maria and Ingvar's decision to take in Ava and raise it as their part-sheep child causes some tension with Ingvar's brother Petur (Björn Hlynur Haraldsson), who views what they are doing as unnatural. Violence is infrequent but bloody and graphic on occasion. Animals are culled and killed with firearms. There is also some murder and death from shootings, but none of the gore is excessive. The only real blood we see is when two lambs are delivered. A scene depicting oral sex also shows a woman topless. There are also references to sex as part of an attempted blackmail by one character. Occasional swearing includes "f--k" and "s--t," and there is some smoking and drinking -- the latter to slight excess in one scene. To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
A horror movie with animalistic elements that's also a very human drama, this Icelandic tale is unafraid to embrace its bold premise. Lamb tells the story of a human couple who adopts a part-sheep child, and raises it as their own. So far, so unique, with Noomi Rapace giving a performance that ranges from defensive to loving, as her attempt to build a new life with a new family results in various highs and lows. Making Rapace's Maria and her husband, Ingvar -- played with quiet acceptance by Icelandic star Hilmir Snær Guðnason -- a couple still mourning the death of their biological child seems like an extra, unnecessary detail. But the disruption of their quiet, lonely lives by Ingvar's brother, Petur, adds a relatable family dynamic to the unrelenting oddness of Maria and Ingvar's new family dynamic.
While Lamb presents itself as a mood piece and a character study, it will at times test the patience of anyone who likes their movies powered by dialogue and action. This is a sparing, sparse drama with horror elements, and a finale that offers no neat resolution to a bizarre chain of events. It might also cause you to never look in a butcher's shop window quite the same way again.
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.