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Parents' Guide to

Loving Pablo

By Michael Ordona, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 17+

Brutal violence, strong language in Escobar biopic.

Movie R 2018 123 minutes
Loving Pablo Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this movie.

Community Reviews

age 18+

Based on 1 parent review

age 18+

Not for kids and teenagers below the age 18!

This title has:

Too much violence

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say: (1 ):
Kids say: Not yet rated

This memoir-based drama features strong lead performances but feels naggingly incomplete and uninvolving. The dialogue feels flat, and the narration is written insipidly; it leans heavily on exposition rather than human moments. Loving Pablo is marked by the usual "greatest hits" pitfalls of biopics. Key moments are re-enacted without a sense of insight into the people involved. There isn't enough human connective tissue between the re-creation of the headlines. Yes, scenes are occasionally memorable -- such as when Escobar gives his young son the "Don't get high on your own supply" speech, using Nancy Reagan's "Just Say No" campaign. But those moments are few and far between.

While the lead performances are predictably strong, the portrait of Vallejo (who has a long history in Colombia and was granted political asylum in America following her claims against top political figures in her home country) makes her seem shallow and wide-eyed. Perhaps that's the real her; who knows? Cruz's believable portrayal includes her being shocked to her senses about the people with whom she's become involved. The dependably excellent Bardem transforms as the oft-portrayed Escobar; viewers see him develop over time from an outsider with mainstream ambitions to a cold-blooded, murderous kingpin who's clinging to his family as his last bit of humanity. Unfortunately, real-life married couple and frequent co-stars Cruz and Bardem generate zero chemistry as on-screen lovers here. It's frankly unclear why the characters matter to each other. And, ultimately, the film lacks the charm or thrills of, say, Scarface or the suspense or human elements of, say, A Prophet. Mostly, though, what's missing from Loving Pablo is ... love.

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