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A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
Clearly argues that it's heartbreaking that so many soldiers coming home from Afghanistan are suffering from PTSD and that many of them wind up homeless or attempting suicide. But it doesn't offer any concrete solutions or suggest any steps toward helping.
Positive Role Models
Gabriel is sympathetic but not particularly admirable; he's often harsh and difficult.
Violence & Scariness
Very strong war violence, with shootings, killings, spurting blood, etc. Women and children are killed in battle. A young boy is in jeopardy. Fighting, hitting. Explosions. Discussion/mention of suicide. Pepper spray in face. PTSD is a central topic of the movie.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
Suggested extramarital affair. Sexual innuendo. Woman shown in her bra and underwear.
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Very strong language throughout, with many uses of "f--k," "motherf----r," "s--t," "bulls--t," and "damn," plus "Jesus Christ" and "oh my God" (as exclamations).
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Products & Purchases
Characters drink cold Cokes in one scene; bottles are shown, and "real cane sugar from Mexico" is discussed.
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that war drama Man Down is intended to draw attention to the PTSD-related problems suffered by soldiers returning from Iraq and Afghanistan; many become homeless or attempt suicide. Despite this clear message, the movie is pretty muddled, and although powerful at times, it's mostly off-putting. Expect quite a bit of strong war violence, with characters -- including women and children -- shot and killed. There's fighting, shooting, and explosions, and a boy is in peril. Suicide is discussed. Language is also very strong, with uses of "f--k," "s--t," and more. An extramarital affair is implied, and there's some sexual innuendo; plus, a woman is shown in her bra and underwear. To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
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.
Did we miss something on diversity?
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.