A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this movie.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Locked Down is a British drama, set in the midst of the global pandemic, starring Anne Hathaway and Chiwetel Ejiofor, with plenty of swearing, drinking, and drug references. Lead characters, Linda (Hathaway) and Paxton (Ejiofor) plan to undertake a major robbery, believing it to be for the right reasons. Paxton has a criminal record, and admits to having attacked someone in the past. He also speeds for the thrill of it, uses a fake ID, and steals. In one scene, drug dealers break into someone's garden, and entice the property owner to smoke an opiate. The same character admits to having taken heroin in the past, and smoking pot. The characters smoke cigarettes throughout, and they celebrate the reasons why, discussing the benefits. They also drink alone and during office hours, and we see one character get drunk by herself. The swearing is frequent, with several uses of the word "f--k" and "s--t." A character also mentions someone he knows who believes in a conspiracy that plays into Jewish stereotypes. A couple allude to having sex, but it takes place off camera. The main theme of the movie is how COVID-19 has impacted society emotionally, and how it should help us realize what's really important in our lives.
- Parents say
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It’s definitely a movie. It just does its thing and leaves. It could’ve been and should’ve been a LOT better
What's the story?
LOCKED DOWN tells the story of Paxton (Chiwetel Ejiofor) and Linda (Anne Hathaway), a London-based couple who, despite recently broken up, are forced to live together under COVID-19 restrictions. Both fed up with life and wanting to do something exciting, they decide to undertake a jewelry heist at a major department store.
Is it any good?
By focusing closely on the impact that COVID-19 has had on the public, there's no denying this feels like a relevant piece of cinema. Locked Down taps into the emotional complexities society has been forced to face during the global pandemic. While capturing a moment in time, the movie's very unique selling point is also it's biggest flaw. Do audiences really want to see their own lives being played back to them right now? Films represent the chance of escapism, a place where we don't have to contend with lockdown and the pandemic. So while this movie may be appreciated in time, it's probably the last thing you want to watch while our daily lives are feeling so disrupted by the very thing the movie depicts. It feels a little too close to home, and a little too soon.
Director Doug Liman, alongside esteemed screenwriter Steven Knight, should be commended for their resourceful means of storytelling however, utilizing media like Zoom to help tell their story, even if that, by default, has a negative effect on the production value and aesthetic. The narrative is also flawed and has many plot-holes to it. The cameos are fun however, as joining both Ejiofor and Hathaway in the lead roles, comes brief appearances from the likes of Ben Kingsley, Ben Stiller, and Mindy Kaling.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about how the global pandemic is portrayed in Locked Down. What challenges do the lead characters face? What challenges have you faced as a result of COVID-19? What has been the hardest thing? What one thing will you take from this experience?
Talk about the language used. Does it seem necessary or excessive? What does it contribute to the movie?
Discuss the characters of Paxton and Linda. Both are flawed and willing to break the law. Did you still find yourself rooting for them? Why, or why not?
What did you think of the filming techniques used in the movie? Have you seen any other movies that used similar techniques?
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