A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
Lots of iffy decisions and behavior without consequence (including drug dealing and teen sex). Teens unwisely take on solving a crime when convinced that adults can't or won't.
Positive Role Models
Addison is confident, responsible, and clever but also reckless and obsessive. He seems kind and smart and might be the kind of teen that some would want to emulate, though for bad reasons as well as good. One character is woefully unprepared and winds up getting injured (luckily avoiding death).
Violence & Scariness
Guns are drawn and fired. Bloody wound. Characters are killed. Main character's mother is dead. Character pushed up against wall. Threatening thugs in scary neighborhood.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
Teens have sex; they're shown under the covers together, kissing, but nothing sensitive is seen.
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Several uses of "s--t," plus "a--hole," "ass," "bitch," "hell," "Jesus Christ" (as an exclamation), "testicles," "neutered," "virgin," "shut up," etc.
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Products & Purchases
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Secondary characters are teen drug dealers. Drugs/pills shown. A secondary character appears to be high/stoned.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that November Criminals is a teen crime movie with some romance and comedy. Secondary teen characters are drug dealers, and sometimes there are no consequences for their actions. Drugs are shown, and one secondary character may be stoned. The main characters have sex and kiss, but they're under the sheets, with nothing sensitive seen. Guns are fired, characters die, and a character is shown with a bloody wound. Language includes several uses of "s--t," plus "a--hole," "ass," "bitch," and more. Teens could be interested thanks to stars Ansel Elgort (Baby Driver) and Chloe Grace Moretz (Carrie, If I Stay, The 5th Wave), but the movie's tentative, unsure tone leaves it feeling fairly disposable. To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
It's not terrible, and the characters are likable, but, much like its vague title, this teen crime thriller, which also has elements of comedy and romance, never finds its center or its voice. Elgort (fresh from Baby Driver) and Moretz make a great, smart movie couple, and their scenes together are quite nice; their talk is honest and sweet. And, as their single parents, Strathairn and Keener are nicely sympathetic. But these scenes don't mesh with the serious accounts of murder and drug dealing that follow.
Director Sacha Gervasi, who made the great documentary Anvil! The Story of Anvil and the entertaining biopic Hitchcock, seems to have lost his way; he never establishes a firm or confident tone. The crime scenes are wishy-washy and hold back from true danger but are just dark enough to sour the movie's otherwise light tone. Scenes of teens involved with drugs are treated matter-of-factly and without concern, and crucial, visual moments occur offscreen; it's almost numbing. Eventually, November Criminals just evaporates, less diverting than it is disposable.
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.