Parents' Guide to

Misconduct

By Sandie Angulo Chen, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 16+

Terrible thriller wastes great actors in a ridiculous story.

Movie R 2016 106 minutes
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Meandering, derivative, and full of predictable twists, this legal thriller is a waste of the considerable talents of Hopkins and Pacino, who work together on screen here for the first time. At first, the movie shows some promise with its admittedly unoriginal but still compelling plot device of a high-powered master of the universe having his significant other kidnapped for a hefty ransom. But that whodunit is overwhelmed by the connected storyline of Ben using Emily's out-of-the-blue reveal to his advantage to bring a case against a big pharma boss. And then as twists and turns sidetrack more than they reveal, the legal aspect of the drama completely fizzles, without any actual courtrroom theatrics.

Sitting through this meandering mess, you start to wonder what new house, yacht, or project legendary actors like Pacino and Hopkins needed to fund with their acting fees. First time director Shintaro Shimosawa has had a modestly successful career writing and producing, but directing doesn't seem to be his forte, and Simon Boyes and Adam Mason's clunky script did him no favors. There's little to redeem Misconduct, and seeing two of arguably the greatest actors alive play flat secondary characters -- both of whom are old, immoral rich men -- is simply cringe-inducing. Let's hope the next time Pacino and Hopkins share screen time, it's in a project that deserves their talent.

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