Locked Down

Movie review by
Stefan Pape, Common Sense Media
Locked Down Movie Poster Image
Pandemic-inspired comedy has swearing, drinking, drugs.
  • R
  • 2021
  • 118 minutes

Parents say

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Kids say

age 14+
Based on 2 reviews

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A lot or a little?

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

Positive Messages

Risk-taking and seizing the moment are encouraged, even if that means breaking the law or doing wrong. There is also the theme of second chances, and allowing those with past misdemeanors the opportunity to reinvent themselves. References to drugs, violence, and examples of dangerous driving.

Positive Role Models

Paxton and Linda have their heart in the right place, but they both willingly break the law. Linda justifies her crimes by claiming the sole victim is a huge corporation that she despises. She displays something of a conscience. Paxton admits to having a criminal record, and is happy to receive a fake ID to undertake a job. He also owns up to speeding just for the thrill, despite putting others at risk when doing so. They both steal sweets and snacks from a store without paying. Reference to a stereotype about Jewish people.


Violence is discussed but not seen. Character admits they once "beat a man senseless." A robbery takes place. Character mimics suicide to take a selfie. Two drug dealers break into a garden.


Two characters say they want to sleep together. They seemingly do indeed have sex, although this occurs off camera.


Consistent strong language with several uses of the word "f--k" -- it's often used aggressively, such as when telling strangers to "f--k off." Also the word "s--t." Reference to a conspiracy that plays into a stereotype about Jewish people.


The plot revolves around stealing jewelry from an expensive -- and well-known London -- department store.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Characters smoke cigarettes consistently, and drink alcohol -- during the day, and alone. They discuss the merits of smoking and how great it makes them feel to smoke. They admit to drinking more in "lockdown," and one character is seen very drunk while alone. A character admits to taking heroin, and even tries an opium-based drug in a bid to help them sleep. Characters also admit to having smoked pot in the past.

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.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say

There aren't any reviews yet. Be the first to review this title.

Teen, 17 years old Written bycalmthyself February 9, 2021

Don’t watch if u have emetophobia

Honestly disappointing. We didn’t even end up finishing the movie. It looked like it would be funny, but instead it was down right depressing. It was too much l... Continue reading
Teen, 17 years old Written byTbird26 January 30, 2021

It’s definitely a movie. It just does its thing and leaves. It could’ve been and should’ve been a LOT better

I was honestly looking forward to this movie but I really disappointed me. So much is said but it’s said so quickly you barely understand what’s happening. The... Continue reading

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?

  • How is drinking, smoking, and drug use portrayed in the movie? Are they glamorized? What are the consequences? Why is that important?

  • 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?

Movie details

Our editors recommend

For kids who love comedy

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