A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this movie.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Logan Lucky is a comical caper movie from director Steven Soderbergh. It's a highly entertaining cousin to his Ocean's movies, with a more southern drawl (it's set in North Carolina and West Virginia, rather than Las Vegas). The heist itself is largely nonviolent, but there's a minor bar fight, with some hitting, wrestling, and a few bruises. A car is set on fire, another crashes through a store window, and a prison riot is staged. Language includes a use of "f--k," and a few uses of "s--t" and "damn." A woman who wears short shorts and tank tops is referred to as "sexy," but otherwise sex isn't an issue (though neither are central female characters -- or diverse ones). One character is eager to gulp a couple of beers at the race track, a major character works as a bartender, and some scenes are set in a bar, with lots of social drinking (beers, martinis, etc.), though nobody seems to overdo it. Plenty of branding is seen at a NASCAR race, but it's treated as incidental. Channing Tatum, Daniel Craig, and Adam Driver co-star.
- Parents say
- Kids say
What's the story?
In LOGAN LUCKY, Jimmy Logan (Channing Tatum) loses his job because of an insurance problem, and his bartender brother, Clyde (Adam Driver), reminds him of his theory: that the Logans have a bad-luck curse (Clyde himself lost a hand in the Iraq war). But Jimmy -- whose lost job offered him views of how cash was handled in underground tubes at North Carolina's Charlotte Motor Speedway -- thinks he has a foolproof plan to rob the venue. To pull off the job, they'll need help from their sister, Mellie (Riley Keough), as well as from explosives expert Joe Bang (Daniel Craig). Their first hurdle will be to get Joe out of prison and then back in again before anyone discovers he's gone. And there are many more challenges ahead, including a clash with wealthy, obnoxious NASCAR sponsor Max Chilblain (Seth MacFarlane).
Is it any good?
Steven Soderbergh returns to the big screen after a self-imposed "retirement" with a movie that's very much in the vein of his Ocean's trilogy but pulpier and quirkier -- and tons of fun. Whereas the Ocean's movies were slick and sophisticated, with a big-city sheen, Logan Lucky offers a "country cousin" side of the coin, focusing on members of a more close-knit, laid-back rural community, whose lives follow an entirely different rhythm. The characters' Southern drawl recalls some of the Coen brothers' funniest films (Raising Arizona, O Brother, Where Art Thou?, etc.), and their criminal cleverness is reminiscent of some of Quentin Tarantino's work.
The screenplay by Rebecca Blunt -- her first -- cooks up a sharp, air-tight, surprising heist plan, as well as many hilarious, offbeat lines of dialogue. But, like so many writers who pen movies of this type, Blunt fails to consistently balance both elements. The first half of the movie is funnier, and the second half is more thrilling, but the mixing of the two tones doesn't happen as easily as it could have. Still, Logan Lucky is packed with so many sparkling moments, so many belly laughs, and so many truly clever ploys, that it'll be worth several viewings.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about Logan Lucky's violence. How violent does the movie feel, and how much is actually shown?
Do you think the movie offers a positive or negative portrayal of Southern characters? How? Are stereotypes reinforced or upturned?
What's the appeal of movies about criminals? What makes these characters likable? Does it matter if they get away with the crime or face the consequences?
- In theaters: August 18, 2017
- On DVD or streaming: November 28, 2017
- Cast: Channing Tatum, Adam Driver, Daniel Craig
- Director: Steven Soderbergh
- Studios: Bleecker Street, Fingerprint Films
- Genre: Action/Adventure
- Topics: Brothers and Sisters
- Run time: 119 minutes
- MPAA rating: PG-13
- MPAA explanation: language and some crude comments
- Last updated: September 20, 2019
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