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A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
Depicts corrupt, real-life systems that allow an innocent man to be locked up for life. Also depicts the brave and unflagging efforts of a few good people to stand up against difficult odds.
Positive Role Models
Journalist Victor Malarek (based on a real person) and Daniel Léger (based on the real-life Alain Olivier) could both be considered role models in some ways, as flawed as they are. Victor often puts his work ahead of his family, but does learn his lesson by the end. He can also be pushy and threatening, but his efforts do save a life. Daniel is a drug addict who tries to get clean but falls off the wagon several times -- but his efforts to continue fighting also result in his freedom. By the end, he has embraced spirituality (Zen Buddhism) and (according to end titles) never touched heroin again. Female characters are thinly drawn, largely lack agency.
Violence & Scariness
Guns and shooting. Bloody dead body in street. Prison fighting, punching, stabbing, bloody wounds. One character slices another's face, with blood. Woman attacked in her home, windows smashed. Car crash. Stealing gas for motorcycle.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
Kissing. One character straddles another. Sexy dancing. Brief objectification of a woman. Brief lewd doodling.
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Frequent strong language includes uses of "f--k," "motherf----r," "s--t," "bulls--t," "a--hole," "t-ts," the "N" word and other racist slurs, "ass," "hell," "d--k," "pr--k," and "porn."
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Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Drugs are a major part of the story. Drug smuggling and dealing. Drug use, mostly smoking heroin/blends of heroin. Drugs (mainly heroin) and drug paraphernalia shown. Social drinking. Cigarette smoking.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Most Wanted is a crime drama based on real events. It tells the story of a Canadian man who's set up by crooked police to look like a drug lord. He's imprisoned in Thailand while a journalist fights to get him out. Drug dealing and drug use are major parts of the story: Drugs are shown and used, drug paraphernalia is shown, and a character is said to be an addict. There's also cigarette smoking and social drinking. Violent content includes guns and shooting, blood, dead bodies, fighting, stabbing, a car crash, and a woman and child in peril (their home is attacked, windows smashed). Language is very strong, with frequent use of "f--k," "s--t," and more. A couple kisses, with the man briefly straddling the woman. Three characters dance in a sexy way, and there's brief objectification of a woman. Josh Hartnett and Antoine Olivier Pilon co-star. Though it's long and a bit messy, the movie has an interesting structure and characters, and it's recommended for mature viewers. To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
Messy and overlong, this based-on-a-true-story crime drama still has an innovative structure and crisp, colorful performances that grab you, even as you feel enraged by its cruelty and corruption. With Most Wanted, writer-director Daniel Roby has figured out a creative way to tell the story from various ends, all meeting in the middle with a satisfying snap. This way, a variety of characters end up feeling more human -- they drive the story rather than being driven by it. Pilon is terrific, at first coming across as past redemption but eventually developing fears and hopes that make him appealing.
Gaffigan adds dark humor to his nasty, deceitful character, and McHattie is as grizzled as they come, broken by the fact that he's been overlooked for a much needed promotion. Hartnett swaggers across the screen with his long, flowing hair, but he too becomes likable thanks to his connection to his wife. Unfortunately, Crew has little to do other than wait for her husband and worry, and the only other major female character, played by Rose-Marie Perreault, disappears before she can leave much of a mark. Roby relies on irritating, wobbly hand-held camerawork for much of the movie, and it does occasionally betray a bit of self-importance and bloat, but overall Most Wanted works thanks to its focus and its life energy.
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.