Land Ho!

Movie review by
S. Jhoanna Robledo, Common Sense Media
Land Ho! Movie Poster Image
Offbeat buddy comedy has language, drinking, some drugs.
  • R
  • 2014
  • 94 minutes

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A lot or a little?

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

Positive Messages

Growing old doesn't have to mean growing stale. Also, friendships that run for decades can ground you when you need a ballast. Plus, changing your scenery can be a tonic.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Both Colin and Mitch are admirable in their own ways, though Colin is gentler and more respectful of women.

Violence

Mild arguing.

Sex

A man objectifies women, talking about their body parts, including genitalia. Two people who just met end up kissing, and it's hinted that they spend the night together, though viewers don't see anything.

Language

Fairly colorful, including "piss," "crap," "damn," "hell," "s--t," "ass," and (minimally) "f--k."

Consumerism

Some labels are seen or mentioned, including Hummer, Facebook, and Lonely Planet.
 

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Some drinking in bars and restaurants; one character drinks so much that she passes out. One character smokes pot, with increasing frequency as the film unfolds.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Land Ho! features some frank conversations between two 60-something men facing the twilight of their years. They discuss everything from retirement to sex to a bitter divorce and the death of a spouse. It's fairly weighty stuff that might not resonate with -- or, frankly, be of interest to -- younger teens. There's a fair amount of swearing, including "f--k," "s--t," and more. One character is sexist and doesn't hesitate to comment on women's clothing, body parts, etc. There's also a fair bit of drinking (once to the point of passing out) and some drug use (marijuana).

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What's the story?

After years of estrangement, Colin (Paul Eenhoorn), an Australian businessman, and Mitch (Earl Lynn Nelson), a Texas surgeon, are finally hanging out once more in LAND HO!, an unusual buddy comedy. They used to be brothers-in-law, until Mitch and his wife divorced and Colin became a widower. Eager for excitement, Mitch surprises Colin with tickets to Iceland, a once-in-a-lifetime trip that could change the course of their friendship -- and their outlook on life.

Is it any good?

Land Ho! is no ordinary road trip buddy comedy. For starters, it's quieter than most, with a subtlety that envelopes it in a kind of beauty, casting the male friendship in an empathic and refreshingly heartfelt light. Though Mitch and Colin are drawn to be temperamental opposites, they share a history and warmth -- plus a healthy skepticism of what lies ahead -- that makes the movie oh-so-relatable.

And then there's Iceland itself, as much a character in the movie as the two leads. It's untamed, like Mitch; spare, like Colin; and stark, like aging. A side plot involving Mitch's niece and her friend feels like an interesting yet unnecessary interlude, but it's not enough to turn viewers off of a movie that's soulful, honest, and quietly moving. 

 

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about what kind of movie Land Ho! is. Though it has the feel of a road trip film, it's atypical of the genre. How is it similar, and different, to other road films?

  • How does the movie portray drinking and drug use? Are there realistic consequences?

  • What is the film's take on growing old? How does it adhere to, or debunk, any of the cliches on the subject?

  • What binds Colin and Mitch together, given their present family situations?

Movie details

Themes & Topics

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