Parents' Guide to

Locked In

By Jeffrey M. Anderson, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 15+

Listless thriller has gun violence, smoking, language.

Movie R 2021 90 minutes
Locked In Poster Image

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Is It Any Good?

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It makes good use of its enclosed location, but this tough action/thriller never quite manages to get moving, largely thanks to too many thin characters and all-too-familiar story elements. The feature writing and directing debut of Carlos V. Gutierrez, Locked In's use of the storage facility setting is inspired, with its endless hallways, mysterious steel doors, and surveillance cameras. That said, the movie ends up using these things more to keep viewers off-balance than as a particularly clever use of space. Even with the movie coming in at a tight 90 minutes, it still feels sluggish.

Perhaps that's because the characters are hard to care about. Maggie comes with tons of backstory -- she's a former thief and addict who was "rescued" by a loving husband and then found religion -- and yet she still feels either "on" or "off." She's either pessimistic and weary or clever and deceptive. Not to mention that her claustrophobia, set up in the movie's opening, is never really used for anything. The villains all come across as flat and quite typical; a "twist" involving one of them is terribly obvious and far from a surprise. Polish (the daughter of filmmaker Michael Polish) is the only one who feels alive; she's a precocious teen who's not in the least intimidated. It's too bad the rest of Locked In couldn't have tapped into that energy.

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