A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this movie.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that the main character in Man on a Ledge spends much of the film perched on a ledge atop a tall building, only one step away from falling to his death. There are references to suicide, several fistfights and shootouts (which cause mortal injuries), and some swearing (including "f--k" and "s--t"), as well as two characters who attempt to pull off an elaborate heist. Expect a few scenes featuring people drinking and smoking cigarettes, and one gratuitous sequence in which a woman strips to her underwear.
- Parents say
- Kids say
What's the story?
Former NYPD cop Nick Cassidy (Sam Worthington) manages to break out of prison, where he's doing 25 years for a jewel theft he claims he didn't commit. Intent on proving his innocence, Nick comes up with an elaborate scheme that requires him to spend most of the movie out on the ledge of a tall building, threatening to jump to his death, while an accomplice tries to pull off an elaborate heist. His plan just might work ... if he can convince police negotiator Lydia (Elizabeth Banks) -- who's tasked with trying to talk him down -- to believe his story.
Is it any good?
Don't be surprised if you walk out of this movie feeling fairly well entertained. With carefully paced scenes building up to a bracing (if not surprising) climax and decent performances, MAN ON A LEDGE is built to be a crowd pleaser. And it is, assuming said crowd is generous enough to ignore a few nagging complaints, from the sometimes clunky, often expository dialogue to the fairly cliched plot elements (corrupt insiders, would-be allies with murky pasts, etc.).
Add that to a few jarring tonal shifts (pseudo-flirty banter in the middle of a heist just doesn't fit) and some quirky casting, which wastes Ed Burns in a useless role (no offense to Banks, but Burns could've stepped into her place without hurting anything) and minimizes both Kyra Sedgwick and Ed Harris. Still, all of that said and taken with a pinch of salt (and a pardon for the over-obvious title), Man on a Ledge is a diverting-enough thriller.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about Man on a Ledge's premise. How do you feel about the suicide set-up? How does the impact of the violence compare to what you've seen in other thrillers and action movies?
What do you think about the way people on the street react to seeing Nick standing on the ledge? Why do they encourage him to jump? What do you think about the way the media reported the incident?
Was Nick's plan the only way to prove his innocence? Does it make sense to commit a crime to clear someone of another crime?
- In theaters: January 27, 2012
- On DVD or streaming: May 29, 2012
- Cast: Elizabeth Banks, Jamie Bell, Sam Worthington
- Director: Asger Leth
- Studio: Summit Entertainment
- Genre: Thriller
- Topics: Brothers and Sisters
- Run time: 102 minutes
- MPAA rating: PG-13
- MPAA explanation: violence and brief strong language
- Last updated: March 14, 2020
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