A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
The film is about not having regrets. But it also asks the question that if you could change anything in the past, would you?
Positive Role Models
Tony is flawed, but ambitious. Much of his life has been about financial gain, which has led him to damaging important relationships around him. He admits to having stolen his suit in one scene. He's also emotionally vulnerable, as is his brother Roger, as we watch them slowly break down. But strangers on the commute are generally caring and concerned for their welfare.
The leading cast are White males, but there are significant supporting roles featuring people of color, including women. Also diversity among the passengers and conductors who work on the various trains within the movie. Discussions and portrayals around mental health and addiction.
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Violence & Scariness
There is one scene of threat when a kids runs across train tracks, narrowly avoiding a collision. Two characters engage in a fight on a train carriage. A character is seen with an unexplained gash on their head. A character urinates on another while drunk.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
Couple kiss in a train toilet until one puts a stop to it. Some innuendo. A character is seen sat on a floor with his pants off and is subsequently arrested -- their bare backside is visible when they're being taken away.
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There is one use of the word "f--k," as well "s--t." Also "bloody," "hell," "piss," and "arse." Someone who looks as though they could be experiencing homeless is referred to as a "tramp."
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Products & Purchases
Showing off and using wealth to feel important is part of the plot. Money, and the image that comes with being successful, and how people perceive you because of it, is at the forefront of the lead character's mind.
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Some characters appear to be living with alcohol addiction. One character is shown to be incredibly drunk in one scene, in a relatively disturbing manner. Alcohol is discussed. A character hands out champagne when celebrating. People are seen drinking socially on a train.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Last Train to Christmas is an intriguing and moving festive film that looks across one man's life and has some strong language and themes around addiction. While traveling on a train on Christmas Eve, Tony Towers (Michael Sheen) discovers that every time he moves into a new train carriage he is transported to a different period in his life. The film explores nostalgia, regret, and examines the question of what would you change if you could? The film portrays a number of male characters as being vulnerable with some struggling with their mental health and addictions. Characters drink to celebrate and socialize. But the effects and the hold it has on people, when consumed all too regularly, are also shown. There is a fight on the train, and threat in the form of a kid running across the tracks. A drunk character is also seen urinating on another. There is brief nudity when a character is arrested, and his bare behind is seen as he's taken away. There is occasional swearing, including one use of "f--k" as well as "s--t." To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
This British Christmas fantasy movie is a peculiar film in many ways. Last Train to Christmas is not exactly a film to get you into the Christmas spirit as such. But it is weirdly Christmassy -- think A Christmas Carol on wheels. Its time traveling train provides a unique and very clever way of exploring the life of central character Tony, and what transpires is a rather profound and moving production. The period dressing is remarkable too. You get a real feel for each of the different eras depicted. However, the make-up is not as impressive, as the different ages of the characters are not subtle enough, taking you momentarily out of the story.
Sheen is, as expected, wonderful in the leading role, bringing much empathy to the character of Tony, who is certainly a flawed individual. But narratively there is a little to be desired, and while this is a great concept it's not executed quite deftly enough. That said, Last Train to Christmas still has more than enough about it to make it a film worth seeing over the festive period.
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.