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A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
The movie is a basic "selling your soul to the devil" story -- i.e. a cautionary tale about taking the easy road to untold riches and glory. The main character suffers and eventually learns his lesson. The movie preaches hard work over backstabbing to get ahead in the world. It also advocates for privacy.
Positive Role Models
The main character isn't much of a role model. While he accepts a "deal with the devil" and eventually learns his lesson, the things he does while working for the devil are pretty much unforgivable: He says horrible things to his loved ones and betrays them many times. He also isn't very smart and seems to get by mostly on luck and on his looks.
Violence & Scariness
Some tense chases and threats, but little actual violent contact, and no blood. A couple of characters crash into cars while crossing the street, but they get up again. A secondary character is deliberately hit by a car and is later shown wearing a leg brace and with a scratch on his face. The main character trashes his apartment looking for surveillance cameras.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
The main character is shown shirtless at every conceivable opportunity. He sleeps with a woman he meets in a bar, though nothing graphic is shown. (The scene goes from dancing and brief kissing to him waking up in her bed.) Later, they fall in love and sleep together again, with kissing and naked shoulders/backs shown. The main character's father is shown ogling his nurse, and there's crude innuendo that he's sleeping with her.
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One "f--k," plus a few uses of "s--t," "ass," "damn," and "goddamn."
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Products & Purchases
Apple products (phones, laptops, etc.) are displayed throughout. A Pepsi bottle is on display in one shot.
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Characters drink wine, vodka, and other alcohol throughout the movie, in social situations. No one is ever shown excessively drunk. The main character's father smokes cigars, although it's shown that he has a medical condition from smoking and should be quitting.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Paranoia is a corporate espionage thriller. There are no fights or blood, but characters are involved in plenty of tense chases and threats. One character is deliberately run over by a car, but he survives and is shown later with only a leg brace and a scratch on his cheek. The main character is shown shirtless as often as possible and has implied sex with a female character, but there's no actual nudity. As for language, "f--k" is said once, and "s--t" is used a couple of times. Characters are shown drinking socially throughout the movie, though they're rarely drunk. One character smokes a cigar. Some teen girls may want to ogle Hunger Games co-star Liam Hemsworth, but otherwise there's not much worth seeing here. To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
The plot of this film isn't just routine but also totally nonsensical and illogical. PARANOIA director Robert Luketic also made the somewhat similar card-counting thriller 21, which also centered on the "selling your soul to the devil" theme. But while 21 had an interesting team dynamic and some fun characters, Paranoia isn't so blessed. To start, it's difficult to believe Hemsworth as a guy who might work in the technology business; he just doesn't sell the part. And, worse, the character is so poorly written that he comes across as flat-out dumb in scene after scene (such as searching for a hidden camera in his silverware drawer). Clearly Luketic is more interested in showing the actor shirtless. The rest of the great cast (Ford, Oldman, Dreyfuss, and Heard) is somehow completely lifeless, perhaps because they're all asked to play opposite Hemsworth, rather than each other. No amount of "suspension of disbelief" can save this movie.
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.