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A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this movie.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Mortdecai is Johnny Depp's cheeky, if inert, heist-type movie, with plenty of sexual innuendo and farcical hijinks. Expect frequent cartoonish, slapstick-style violence: People get stabbed, shot at, and punched to bits, but it's all treated lightly, and there's not much blood. While there's no graphic nudity (a topless woman sits astride a man, but her breasts aren't seen; other characters are scantily clad), there are lots of unsubtle references to sexual acts and one character's many conquests. Language includes a few milder words ("damn," "bitch") and a couple uses of "f--k."
- Parents say
- Kids say
What's the story?
British art dealer Lord Charlie Mortdecai (Johnny Depp) is in a financial pickle: His less-than-straightforward ways of doing business have caught up to him, and he may just need to auction off his favorite painting. In comes MI-5, led by his frenemy, Alistair Martland (Ewan MacGregor), who's in love with Mortdecai's wife, Johanna (Gwyneth Paltrow). Apparently, an art restorer has been murdered, and the Goya she was working on has disappeared. Where could it be, and who's after it? Also: Will Mortdecai's wife ever kiss him again now that he's grown a mustache?
Is it any good?
This is not exactly the recipe for a successful action comedy. Here's a clue to how tedious a movie is: If, while you're watching, you're mentally trying to recast the main part to imagine what it would be like were it played by an accomplished comedian of the likes of Steve Martin or Will Ferrell just so you can imagine the film hitting some sort of stride, things aren't going swimmingly. Such is the case with MORTDECAI. To be fair, it does have something going for it, mainly the supporting cast, especially MacGregor and Paltrow, who manage to rise above it all and squeeze some joy out of their parts.
Alas, not Depp. With Mortdecai, he's fashioned yet another character made of very specific eccentricities, making him altogether unreal and inauthentic. And while there is, of course, much latitude when it comes to comedies -- bigger personalities do exist in this genre -- Depp's Mortdecai doesn't feel real in any scale, rendering him unapproachable and, worse, tiresomely affected. Plus, the script lacks energy -- and humor.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about Mortdecai's tone. Is it more of an action movie or a comedy? Who do you think it's intended to appeal to? Would it work as well with less-edgy content?
Does the comedy in the film justify the means that Mortdecai takes to make his situation right?
Why do you think Mortdecai finds himself in this particular pickle: Is he a charlatan or simply inept?
For kids who love comedy
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Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.