A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this movie.
What parents need to know
- Parents say
- Kids say
What's the story?
McIntyre (Peter Reigert), an ambitious executive with Texas-based Knox Oil & Gas, is dispatched by Happer (Burt Lancaster), the company's eccentric billionaire chief executive, to a remote corner of Scotland to acquire a fishing village named Ferness and the land surrounding it for an oil refinery and storage facility. Most of the residents are delighted at the prospect of being bought out; the only hitch to finalizing the deal is Ben, a reclusive beachcomber who lives in a shack by the shore. He owns several miles of beach and refuses to sell.
Is it any good?
LOCAL HERO is to be noted less for its messages or themes than its magnificent cast of quirky, delightfully observed characters and gorgeous location photography. There is a touch of magic in the story, with a marine biologist who seems to be part mermaid, and a deus ex machina happy ending for most of the characters.
This movie has the feel of a fairy tale, but there are some odd moments that may bother some kids. Happer hires a "therapist" for a bizarre "abuse therapy." Danny saves a rabbit that is then cooked and served to Danny and McIntyre by Gordon. And the very un-Hollywood resolution, with McIntyre back in Texas by himself, should prompt some discussion of what kids think may happen to him.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about how McIntyre's life in Houston is cluttered but empty. What does McIntyre list as the requirements for an excellent life in Houston? Do the villagers agree with him, since all but Ben are anxious to sell? Why does the girl with the punk outfit say that she likes McIntyre? Why didn't Ben want to sell? Why, when McIntyre calls the village pay phone at the end of the film, does no one answer?
Our editors recommend
For kids who love oddball characters
Top advice and articles
Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.
Streaming options powered by JustWatch