Legend

Movie review by
S. Jhoanna Robledo, Common Sense Media
Legend Movie Poster Image
Amazing star performance in violent '60s crime drama.
  • R
  • 2015
  • 131 minutes
Parents recommend

Parents say

age 16+
Based on 5 reviews

Kids say

age 17+
Based on 6 reviews

A lot or a little?

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

Positive Messages

Loyalty trumps all; even when Reggie and Ronnie's unswerving dedication to each other is clearly a handicap, they refuse to sell each other out. Though it's not necessarily wise, it's admirable.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Reggie and Ronnie live by a code, of sorts, that emphasizes loyalty. They protect each other and their fellow gangsters, they don't prey on women or children, and they respect their elders. That said, anyone else is fair game, especially rival thugs, and they're usually ready and eager to rumble with their enemies. 

Violence

The Kray twins rule London's East End through intimidation and violence and are only too willing to dispense brutal beatings to show someone who's in charge. Many fist fights -- sometimes involving brass knuckles, hammers, and other battering implements -- that leave people on the floor, bloody and maimed or worse. A few conflicts also involve guns and knives, which result in even more bloodshed (sometimes quite gory, especially one graphic stabbing) and death. A character is hung upside down and tortured (including via electrodes). In one scene, a man beats up his wife, leaving her bruised; further assault (rape) is implied. Suicide.

Sex

A few passionate kisses. Some sex talk; racy scenes shown on TV in background.

Language

Plenty of profanity, mainly "f--k," which is used liberally in almost every scene. Other words include "c--t," "bastard," "bitch," "s--t," and plenty of British slang. Some homophobic terms.

Consumerism
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Lots of smoking (cigarettes/cigars). Many scenes take place at pubs, nightclubs, and parties and feature plenty of drinking, sometimes to excess. A character who takes prescription pills overdoses.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Legend is a crime drama based on the real-life exploits of twin brothers Ronnie and Reggie Kray (both played by Tom Hardy), who dominated the London underworld in the 1960s. One is brutal and not quite sane, the other is brutal and cunning, and the film is filled with scenes of intense, difficult-to-watch violence that leave people bloody, battered, unconscious, or dead. There's a scene of torture involving electrodes, graphic shootings and stabbings, and a man physically abuses a woman (sexual assault is implied but not shown). Aside from the violence, there's plenty of drinking, smoking, and swearing (including "s--t," "f--k," and more), as well as some drug use (one character is dependent on pills and commits suicide by overdosing). Also expect some sexual references and a few passionate kisses.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written bydarthsitkur March 23, 2016

rule, fight, live, love LIKE A LEGEND

Totally worth the rental on fios, legend was such a great gangster flick and tom hardy's performance as the Kray brothers was amazing, this was a really fu... Continue reading
Adult Written byEllie9523 January 25, 2016

Legend

The movie is fantastic! Terrific acting and a great story! This film should have been much more popular then it was in the states. This is definitely one though... Continue reading
Teen, 14 years old Written byrebo344 December 21, 2015

The Tom Hardy show.

Ladies and gentlemen, this is The Tom Hardy Show. Get your tickets now for a tremendous performance from Mr. Hardy himself. The story is good, I liked the music... Continue reading
Teen, 14 years old Written byMac Wood July 15, 2018

Excellent crime drama based on true events

I love Legend! Hardy plays the role of both Kray Twins superbly and he really makes you love both of the characters even though you feel guilty for liking them.... Continue reading

What's the story?

In the 1960s, London's East End was controlled by twin brothers Ronnie and Reggie Kray (both played by Tom Hardy), vicious gangsters who loved a good fight and ruled through intimidation and brutal violence. LEGEND charts their rise to power as they eliminate their rivals and become involved in the swinging nightclub scene, which brings them into contact with the wealthy and powerful -- and eventually the American mafia. Reggie's girlfriend/wife, Frances (Emily Browning), narrates the tale, and Christopher Eccleston plays Nipper Read, the dogged Scotland Yard detective who's determined to bring the Krays to justice. 

Is it any good?

In Legend, Hardy brings to life two different-but-similar characters in such an eerily authentic way that it's easy to forget the actor and his roles aren't one and the same. He's that fantastic in the film. Credit is due to the rest of the ensemble, too, who don't give in to the camp that can sometimes overtake period pieces, especially period pieces about the mafia. It helps that the movie is, at heart, a tale of relationships: between a man and a woman who make a connection that might ultimately destroy each other but also sustain each other, and between brothers, one of whom is tasked to care for the other in a way that makes it impossible for the caretaker not to be consumed.

But Legend does let its leading man down a little; Hardy's top-form acting isn't fully supported by the uneven script, which could have been much more complex and gone much deeper into the Krays' dysfunctional, mysterious relationship. It's a quibble, but not a distraction. In the end, Hardy overwhelms with his talent.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about loyalty. How important are Ronnie and Reggie to each other? What happens when one of them is asked to take sides against the other? When can loyalty become a liability?

  • Do you think all of the movie's violence is necessary to tell the story? How does the impact of what you see here compare to what you might experience in an action or horror movie? Does exposure to violent media desensitize kids to violence?

  • How does Legend's take on the 1960s U.K. crime mob compare to movies that show American organized crime during the same period? Can you see similarities and differences in the scenes when the Krays meet U.S. gangsters?

Movie details

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