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A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
People with money and power are more concerned with maximizing profits than with doing what's best for the community. Often thieves and criminals will betray each other, but at times they conduct themselves honorably, better than supposedly upstanding citizens. "Self interest is the sincerest form of flattery." Police sometimes help rich bad guys. "They got eyes; just can't see."
Positive Role Models
Curtis is smart and wary. A man is told, "You're not smart enough to know how not smart you are." People in power are corrupt. A criminal behaves with honor and doesn't take more than he needs. Diverse cast.
Violence & Scariness
A man betrays a friend because his family is threatened. We learn a man attacked in prison with a knife had to stab his assailant to survive. People are beaten, thrown in car trunks, and shot to death. A White man refuses to sit next to a Black person. An abusive husband, who has been beaten by rival gang members, learns his wife has been cheating on him. Her face is bloodied and bruised. He gets shot and killed.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
Married people have affairs.
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"F--k," "s--t," "goddamn," "Jesus Christ," and the racist epithet "Sambo." A man implies he removed the "stein" ending of his surname so that no one would assume he was Jewish.
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Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Adults smoke cigarettes and drink alcohol. "Wine is good for you. Ask Jesus," says one thief. "So is having a clear head. Ask Pontius Pilate," retorts another.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that No Sudden Move is a heist thriller set in the 1950s. Director Steven Soderbergh uses the genre to explore racism, anti-Semitism, the unfair American power structure, automobile-related pollution, and other social ills. Married characters have affairs, but there's no sex or nudity. Double-crosses and plot twists abound. Two men are roughed up and thrown into car trunks. Characters are held hostage at gunpoint, beaten, shot, and threatened. Language includes "f--k," "s--t," "goddamn," "Jesus Christ," and the racist epithet "Sambo." A man implies he removed the "stein" ending of his surname so that no one would assume he was Jewish. A White man refuses to sit next to a Black person. Characters smoke cigarettes and drink alcohol. To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
No Sudden Move is an extremely likable caper movie that nods to many iconic films of the past. The plot's nearly incomprehensible twists and turns mimic Beat the Devil and The Big Sleep, films with famously hard-to-follow narratives. The hostage set-up echoes 1940s and '50s tension-fests Suddenly, The Desperate Hours, and Key Largo. The message of corporate corruption at the expense of a naïve public echoes the cynicism of Network, Steven Soderbergh's own Erin Brockovich (about water pollution), and Chinatown, about how wealthy parties took control of access to water in dry Southern California. Soderbergh is a student of film as much as he's a gifted filmmaker and storyteller, so his nod to past films is no surprise, nor is the film's studied noir-ish feel, as these characters seem to move through a brown cast to the air around them.
Performances are solid and reassuring, and it doesn't seem coincidental that some of the smartest characters here are women -- played by Frankie Shaw, Julia Fox, and Amy Seimetz as Matt's weary wife. The film feels most old-fashioned and unnecessarily talky when it allows an elite executive played by Matt Damon to deliver an absurdly chatty philosophical tangent that manages to offend and insult most minorities. That brings the movie around to reverse-Frank Capra territory, where we are cynically lectured, as in Network, that none of us little guys can effectively fight the powerful executives who really run things.
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.