A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
Life is violent. Sometimes bad people regret their actions.
Positive Role Models
Duncan is violent but resourceful. He kills for a living but in some instances he seems to have a heart and a conscience.
Violence & Scariness
People are shot, gouged, sliced, knifed, punctured, hung in chains, strangled, stabbed, and otherwise attacked in the knees, the chest, the head, the eye, the groin, and various other parts. Blood runs freely. A man is shot while having sex by a swimming pool. While having a scary bad dream, a man mistakenly shoots his dog. A woman describes what seems to have been her rape, and her subsequent dreams of violent retribution against her attacker.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
A man and woman are shown having sex in various positions and in various states of dress until they are naked. Breasts and buttocks are seen. A man is shot dead while having sex by a swimming pool. His Viagra-assisted erection, inside his pants, withers after the shooting. Bare-breasted call girls service men in a large hotel suite. A man who has hired a prostitute hits her when she arrives and asks if she likes "taking it up the a--." A young woman tells an older man that she told herself she'd never have sex with anyone older than her father.
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"F--k," "s--t," "c--t," "ass."
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Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Cocaine use is shown. Heroin use is shown, with needles and paraphernalia. Alcohol and cigarette use is shown.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Polar is based on the Dark Horse graphic novel Polar: Came from the Cold, and, in graphically-violent detail, meticulously records merciless assassinations, sadistic torture, and nonchalant mayhem. While the vibe is comic at first, an episode of malicious, bloody, and closeup torture is dead serious and nearly impossible to watch for anyone with a normal empathy mechanism and ordinary tolerance for pain. Language includes "f--k," "s--t," c--t," and "ass." Heroin and cocaine use are shown as well as alcohol and cigarette consumption. A man and woman are seen naked, having sex in numerous positions. Breasts and posteriors are clearly visible. A man is shot dead while having sex by a swimming pool. His Viagra-assisted erection, inside his pants, withers after the shooting. Bare-breasted call girls service men in a large hotel suite. To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
This extremely violent thriller isn't for everyone. Gallons of fake blood were required for the filming of Polar, and those not prepared for exposure to such excesses might best avoid it, despite the movie's sporadically high-entertainment moments -- especially during its first, quirkiest sequences. In tone, this resembles Pulp Fiction more than it does Goodfellas and other violence-fests, because early segments are played for comedy. The film takes a turn that will suit a more sadistic palate at around an hour in, when close-ups of piercings, gougings, and other graphically-horrific inflictions are showcased alarmingly, parts of it barely watchable.
Mikklesen, whose persona recalls a mix of The Rock with Clint Eastwood, is riveting as Duncan, a killer with a soul, made out to be more enigmatic than anyone who kills for a living has any right to be. It would be most fitting for someone as violent as he has been to meet an equally violent comeuppance, but the script and his performance keep you rooting for him.
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.