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A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
The point of the movie may be to criticize the media for glorifying violence, but it does this through more and more over-the-top violence, clouding the message for many viewers, especially younger viewers.
Positive Role Models
Main characters are serial killers and are meant to be as bad as humans get.
Violence & Scariness
Constant and vivid depictions of graphic murders, torture.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
A father makes unwanted sexual advances towards his daughter. A man performs oral sex on a woman while on a car hood.
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Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Use of and scenes depicting the effects of many drugs.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that this is an aggressive film that features a serial killer couple who kills indiscriminately. Violence is used liberally throughout the film in the form of graphic murder, beatings, and torture -- mostly perpetrated by the couple on their unsuspecting victims. Sex is shown and discussed, and is hardly ever in a loving form. A scene features a father making unwanted sexual advances toward his daughter. Another features a murder that begins with a man performing oral sex on a woman while on a car hood. Language is unrestrained and used quite violently intoned. Parents should note that an unrated director's cut is available on DVD with even more graphic violence and sexual situations added to the originally released version. To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
With the focus of the film being on the media reaction to Mickey and Mallory's crimes, the plot mechanics don't really demand much viewer attention. In a sense, the most important single character is Gale, whose obliviousness to the effects of his news reports on an increasingly sadistic audience acts as a model for the media machine Stone criticizes. Ultimately, this film is a satire with no soft edges or rays of hope. Those unwilling to see the film as a criticism of media violence may misinterpret it as an exaggerated celebration of the violent main characters. As such, this is a film that will only satisfy those already inclined towards negative views of the media, and only the most open-minded of those folks at that.
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.