A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this movie.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that this witty, wonderful Woody Allen film focuses on the possibility that a murder has occurred, but there's only some mild comic violence during the climax. The main characters snoop around to dig up the truth, even lying to their neighbor, who they suspect of the crime. There's some suggestive dialogue and rare swearing (including "s--t").
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What's the story?
Carol Lipton (Diane Keaton) is convinced there's something amiss about her genial neighbor, a recent widower who perhaps isn't as upset as he should be about his wife's passing. As she snoops for clues, dragging her reluctant husband Larry (Woody Allen) along for the ride, she slowly comes to the realization that her neighbor just might be a killer. Their pals Ted and Marcia (Alan Alda and Angelica Huston) join in the caper that starts off as a fun lark, but soon becomes deadly serious.
Is it any good?
MANHATTAN MURDER MYSTERY is one of director Allen's better films in a long career filled with hits and misses. The mystery at the center is fun, satisfying, and surprising, and the audience will enjoy uncovering the truth nearly as much as the four characters.
But that's only part of the story. Like many of Allen's movies, the story is a partly a vehicle to show off the characters, and to see how they relate to each other. And there's no more delightful Woody Allen movie pairing than him and Keaton to take on the roles of the long-married Liptons, who love each other and are comfortable with each other, but a little bored, too. The murder investigation is just the thing to infuse some needed zing into their relationship. And we, as viewers, are lucky to come along for the ride.
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