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A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
Themes around coming out of your shell and becoming your own person. Finding the strength to overcome a challenging time in your life. The film can be accused of condoning violence.
Positive Role Models
Eloise is a strong-willed young woman, not bending to the expectations of society and embracing her unconventionality. However, the London she moves to is filled with seedy men and gossipy girls. Parallels are drawn to the 1960s where Sandie, despite her talent, is treated poorly. She is referred to as a "creature" and called "blondie." Men are controlling and forceful. They imply that to make it in the entertainment industry, Sandie must "play the game," as well as sleep with "important" people.
The movie has an empowering feminist narrative, as the two leading characters -- both women -- are nuanced and well-rounded representations. This is despite all manner of sleazy, predatory, and inappropriate behavior from the men they encounter. There is a leading character of color, but the majority are White. In the scenes set in 1960s London, there is not much diversity in terms of race and ethnicity. But in the present day, there is greater representation.
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Violence & Scariness
There are graphic scenes of violence, including sequences where men attack women, strangulation, and stabbings. Murders take place and there is much bloodshed. Characters have frightening and disturbing visions of ghosts, some intimidating, and some of a deceased parent. There are graphic suicide references. Characters engage in fist fights. Someone is run over and killed on the street with blood seen on the body. Characters also try to murder others with scissors, poison, and there's also the threat of a burning house. Character is pressured into having sex for money.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
There is a brief sex scene, but no nudity on show. There is also a scene where it's clear a character is performing oral sex on someone. Couples are shown engaging in foreplay. A character is coerced into sleeping with a series of different people for money. There are sex shops on the street and a burlesque-style show in one sequence. There are naked, male ghosts.
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There are two uses of the word "c--t." Countless uses of the word "f--k." There are derogatory terms used such as "bitch," "ho," "slut," and "whore." Also uses of the word "s--t" and a character is seeing doing an offensive hand gesture to another. "Jesus/Jesus Christ," "God," and "Oh my God" used as exclamations.
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Products & Purchases
Characters are seen quite clearly drinking Coca-Cola and listening to music on famous, branded headphones.
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Smoking and drinking throughout. A character gets a job in a pub, so naturally much alcohol is consumed there. Lots of characters smoke cigarettes, especially in sequences from the 1960s. A character in the present day is seen vaping. Characters do cocaine in the toilets at a nightclub. A character is seen injecting a substance -- believed to be heroin -- into their arm.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Last Night in Soho is a British coming-of-age drama from writer-director Edgar Wright with horror elements, bloody violence, and strong language. It follows a present-day teenager, Eloise (Thomasin McKenzie), who mysteriously travels back in time to 1966 London and ends up in the body of her singer idol, Sandy (Anya Taylor-Joy). Eloise and Sandy encounter a series of distasteful, unlikable people. Men lust after women, and seek to control and manipulate them. While girls from Eloise's college are bullies. The movie doesn't explicitly condone its strong and frequent violence -- there are various bloody murders -- but a blind eye is turned when it deems the victim deserving. Although not explicit, sex is frequently discussed and present, be it in London's sex shops or when a character is pressured into sleeping with people for money. In one scene, a woman is seen performing oral sex. There is much profanity, including two uses of "c--t" and multiple uses of "f--k" and "whore." Characters drink and smoke throughout -- the latter mostly in the 1960s, depicting that era -- and there is occasional drug use. The cast is mainly White, but there is a person of color in a leading role, and the film has an empowering undercurrent, with two strong female leads at its center. To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
Edgar Wright has a very distinctive style and this time traveling coming-of-age mystery drama is straight out of his back catalog. Last Night in Soho is a movie that most certainly looks the part, with Wright having shot modern day London in a striking way, while the flashbacks to the city's "Swinging Sixties" is delectable viewing. The lighting and vibrancy makes for a film that cannot be faulted from a visual standpoint.
From a narrative one, however, it leaves much to be desired. It simply doesn't know when, or seemingly how, to end. The story just gets a little too ambitious and out of hand, losing sight of what made the first half so enjoyable: the characters. It truly is a movie of two halves. So while it does have an unsatisfying finale, thankfully the first act is so good that the experience of seeing the movie doesn't feel like a waste of time. What also helps, of course, is the fantastic soundtrack.
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.