A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
An honest look at what living with a mental illness can involve. Courage, communication, and teamwork are prominent themes with the power of friendship shining through. Looking back at your past, recognizing your mistakes, and trying to make amends.
Positive Role Models
Eric Bishop lives with depression, discusses suicide, and has a mental breakdown. But his friends open up a dialogue about his mental state and provide support in times of need. His past is troubled -- including abandoning the mother of his child -- but he's realized the error of his ways and confronts his past actions. He is also a protective father that will do anything for his kids. Eric Cantona provides strong, philosophical advice to help Bishop.
Most of the cast is White and male with any characters of color reduced to minor supporting roles. Central to the film is an imagined friendship between a character who is living with mental illness and a real-life French soccer player. The portrayal of the character's mental health is sympathetic, but also honest, with their friends showing them support. The characters are representative of lower-income and underserved societies.
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Violence & Scariness
A character stores a gun for a gang member. During an altercation with their parent, they hit them in the head with the weapon. It's later revealed that the same gun was used to shoot someone, who survived the attack. Gang members set dogs on an innocent person to scare them. Armed police aim their weapons when arresting civilians. A group of masked people attack a property with baseball bats, smashing up the car and house, and shooting the owner with red paint. A character looks back over a violent incident from their past, while another condones their actions. Violent threats are made.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
Characters are seen sitting around watching pornography on the television -- nothing explicit is shown. A character comes out of a bedroom fully naked holding their genitals to protect their dignity.
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Two uses of "c--t," as well as countless uses of "f--k." Other words include "pr--k," "knob head," "s--t," and "twat."
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Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Characters are seen smoking marijuana on more than one occasion. Smoking cigarettes is frequent too. Soccer fans are seen drinking alcohol on their way to a game. Some scenes take place inside a pub where multiple people are seen drinking.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Looking for Eric is a superb British drama, directed by Ken Loach, with themes of depression, strong language, and criminal activity. Despite the heavy subject matter, it ultimately celebrates the good in people, and the importance and strength of friendship. Eric Bishop (Steve Evets) is a postman who is living with mental illness. He looks back over his life and with the advice of real-life soccer player, Eric Cantona -- who appears to Bishop after he smokes pot -- tries to make amends for the mistakes he's made. This includes protecting his kids, even when putting himself in danger. Teamwork and friendship is celebrated as Bishop's friends support him in his battle with depression. Depression is explored and confronted head on. The opening scene involves Bishop having a mental breakdown and he later discusses suicide. An altercation between Bishop and his stepson, Ryan (Gerard Kearns), leaves Bishop with a cut on his forehead. Ryan hides a gun for a gang, after his family is threatened. There is an attack on someone's property, where a group of men use weapons to smash up a vehicle and a house. In one scene, characters are seen watching pornography. The language is strong including "c--t" and multiple uses of "f--k." As well as pot, characters are seen smoking cigarettes and drinking alcohol. To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
One of the most engaging and impressive dramas to come out of British cinema this side of the millennium. Looking for Eric is also one of the finest pieces of work from kitchen-sink realist and director Ken Loach. The movie displays the filmmaker's natural ability for exploring working class issues in a unique and compelling way that's arguably been missing from his more recent films.
Equipped with a comedic flair, Looking for Eric still maintains a gritty realism. By using metaphors and surrealism, the film is able to tackle tough themes such as depression. Hope, for example, comes in the form of the main character's favorite ever soccer player, Eric Cantona, who miraculously appears to him to provide much needed life advice. The film is also noteworthy for confronting mental health in men in a way not many manage to do. Combine that with a series of great performances, including a wickedly deadpan Cantona playing himself, and you really do have the makings of a British classic, that celebrates life, friendship, and vitally, soccer, in a truly wonderful way.
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Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.
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