Line of Duty

Movie review by
Danny Brogan, Common Sense Media
Line of Duty Movie Poster Image
Action-packed but far-fetched cop thriller; violence galore.
  • R
  • 2019
  • 98 minutes

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Kids say

age 7+
Based on 1 review

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A lot or a little?

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

Positive Messages

Redemption. Bravery is shown, but often when going against the rules. Citizen journalism and the role it plays in society is integral to plot. Revenge -- through violence -- is a key theme. Many deaths with little remorse.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Penny is determined to make up for his past mistakes. He subsequently ignores orders, takes things into his own hands. Brooks shows dedication to her work, has strong opinions that she's not afraid to share. A transgender body builder is portrayed in a stereotypically campy way.


Prolonged fight scenes. Characters are kicked, punched, elbowed, head-butted. Character stabbed with knife. Many gun battles, including one that results in death of numerous police officers. Characters bruised and bloodied. Several car crashes, some resulting in explosions. A bomb explodes, causing house fire. Gym weights, metal pole used as weapons. Characters forced to jump from a great height. Character falls to his death from a helicopter. A child is kidnapped, seen trapped in glass box filling with water. The shooting of a child is referenced. A human skeleton is seen.


Reference to a character being naked in the shower. Character refers to their "ass."


Strong language throughout, including "ass," "a--hole," "bulls--t," "s--t," "damn," "hell," "goddamn," "bitch," "crap," and "pissed." One example of sexist language: "sweet lips."


Apple products used throughout, including iPad, MacBook, iPhone.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Line of Duty is a very violent action-thriller with a high body count, starring Aaron Eckhart and Giancarlo Esposito. Multiple fight scenes involve characters being punched, kicked, head-butted, and elbowed, as well as being hit with metal poles and gym weights. Gunfights are also common, often resulting in death. Expect high-speed car chases and crashes and explosions; one character is stabbed in the stomach. Central to the plot is the kidnapping of an 11-year-old girl, whom viewers at one point in a glass box that's slowly filling up with water. One of the main characters continually livestreams all the action to her online followers. Strong language is used regularly, including "ass," "bitch," and variants of "s--t." The villain is motivated by revenge, while the hero is looking for redemption. A sexist term is used, and one transgender character is portrayed as stereotypically campy.

User Reviews

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Teen, 13 years old Written byDwayne Johnson April 24, 2021

Like almost every other movie on here it sounds bad but Is rlly not

I watched this about a year ago so I somt remember much but all I remember is it wasn't bad at all and it was my favorite movie at the time. I reccomend a... Continue reading

What's the story?

In LINE OF DUTY, police officer Frank Penny (Aaron Eckhart) is forced to shoot a suspect dead. What he doesn't know is that the suspect was the only lead to the whereabouts of a kidnapped girl -- the daughter of Penny's boss/former partner, Chief Volk (Giancarlo Esposito). Determined to make amends, Penny goes rogue in a bid to save Volk's daughter. But Penny has caught the attention of online reporter Ava Brooks (Courtney Eaton), who joins him on his rescue mission, livestreaming his every move to an ever-growing audience.

Is it any good?

Full of action but far too unbelievable to be taken seriously, this fast-paced thriller barely stops for breath. Explosions, epic gun battles, and car chases are all present, with Eckhart's damaged Frank Penny in nearly every scene. He proves a likable lead, showing a vulnerability alongside his heroic persona. But, just like the action, the dialogue is far from subtle. Penny and Brooks' unlikely pairing has the odd comedic moment, but largely their relationship is less believable than the action happening around them. Not to mention the fact that Penny allows Brooks to tag along in the first place.

The social media aspect adds a novel dimension -- Brooks livestreams the action to a growing number of followers, and the movie is intercut with her own footage -- but it stops shy of exploring the idea in any great detail, instead using it as a plot device for the movie's sillier moments, most notably the finale. The villain, Dean Keller (Gotham's Ben McKenzie), is cartoonish, and Breaking Bad's Esposito feels wasted as the sidelined Chief Volk. Line of Duty may be big on action, but it's lacking anything more.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about Line of Duty'violence. How did it make you feel? Was it thrilling or shocking? Are there any consequences? Why is that important?

  • What role does social media play in the movie? Discuss the pros and cons of social media use.

  • What were Dean Keller's motivations to act the way he did? Did this help explain his actions? Did you feel empathy toward him?

Movie details

Our editors recommend

For kids who love action and adventure

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