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Parents' Guide to

Man Down

By Jeffrey Anderson, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 17+

Earnest but somber, confusing war drama about PTSD.

Movie R 2016 92 minutes
Man Down Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

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

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This war drama contains an earnest plea, a call for sympathy and understanding for soldiers suffering from PTSD; but the movie is so scattershot, somber, and confusing that it never comes together. Director Dito Montiel is also a novelist, and he likes to tell stories about complex, urban men. But sometimes his ambition exceeds his reach, and his movies end up overly serious and a little one-dimensional. Man Down has the double-edged misfortune of being simultaneously simplistic and complex.

The jumbled, out-of-sequence story has individual pieces that might have worked if they'd been fleshed out, especially the scenes with Oldman as a Marine therapist or the ones of martial strife between Gabriel and his wife. But the "looking for his son among the ruins" sequences are puzzling for a long time ... until a big "surprise reveal," which seems misguided for a movie this severe. Meanwhile, LaBeouf gives an intense, sometimes treacherous performance.

Movie Details

  • In theaters: December 2, 2016
  • On DVD or streaming: March 7, 2017
  • Cast: Shia LaBeouf , Kate Mara , Jai Courtney
  • Director: Dito Montiel
  • Inclusion Information: Female actors
  • Studio: Lionsgate Premiere
  • Genre: Drama
  • Run time: 92 minutes
  • MPAA rating: R
  • MPAA explanation: some disturbing violence, and language throughout
  • Last updated: June 20, 2023

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