A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
Characters routinely resort to violence. The concept of family is explored and how relationships within this structure can be complicated. But there are few positives to be taken from this particular family, with family members fighting and worse. Guilt has the power to impact your entire life and your relationships with others.
Positive Role Models
Ray is a complicated antihero with a volatile relationship with his father, Mickey. They are both violent career criminals with their violence often being inflicted on each other. However, beneath it all, there is a bond -- even if neither, especially Ray, would admit it.
The main characters identify as being Irish-American and are portrayed as being hard-drinking and quick to turn to violence, playing into stereotypes. Most characters are White and male with some ethnic diversity in the supporting cast. A family of four brothers includes one who is Black -- their race is referenced a number of times. One female character is a lesbian, but she only appears in the film briefly and viewers would be unaware of her sexuality unless they'd seen the TV show. A "jokey" conversation includes body shaming.
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Violence & Scariness
Violence runs throughout the film. People are shot -- some fatally and often at close range with blood spray and pooling. Several fight scenes involving punches to the head and body. People are hit with baseball bats and cars, and are held at gunpoint. Character seen digging a grave with a body wrapped in plastic next to them. In the opening scene, a brief montage of events from previous seasons show a character being kidnapped, someone jumping to their death from a rooftop, and a brief sex scene, which those familiar with the show will know was not consensual. A character crashes their car after being shot in the gut. Suggestion that a child was abused by a priest, which again, those familiar with the show will know this to be the case. Dead bodies are seen in open caskets.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
References to sex, sex workers, and a brothel. Character seen getting dressed while another lies in bed naked under the sheets -- no nudity shown -- with the presumption they have had sex. It is implied that a character receives oral sex in a car -- not explicit and filmed from a distance.
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Language includes countless uses of "f--k" and "f---ing." Also "bulls--t," "whores," "c--ksucker," "halfwit," and "s--t." "Jesus" used as an exclamation. "Fairy" is used as a homophobic term. "Banging" used in reference to sex.
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Products & Purchases
A number of brands are clearly identifiable including Dunkin' Donuts and Coca-Cola. Apple iPhones are used to track people's movements.
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Characters routinely drink to excess with a number of them seemingly having an alcohol use disorder. One character is seen drinking a bottle of whiskey alone in their car. Though these characters are seen drunk, they are not nearly as inebriated as the amount of alcohol they drink would suggest they should be. Characters are also shown snorting cocaine with one character dealing the drug. Some smoking.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Ray Donovan: The Movie is a crime drama and conclusion to the popular TV series, and features violent scenes, strong language, drinking, and drugs. It picks up from the season seven finale and while fans of the show will be pleased to see a number of loose ends tied up, newcomers will struggle to get onboard. The focal point is the volatile relationship between Ray Donovan (Liev Schreiber) and his father, Mickey (Jon Voight), who Ray tracks down to their old hometown of Boston. As with the TV show, there is no holding back with the violence. Characters are shot -- often at close range with blood spatter -- struck with baseball bats, and hit with cars. There are hints at rape and child abuse, although unless you're familiar with the show, these may pass you by. Variants of "f--k" are heard throughout, along with "c--ksucker" and more. A number of characters, especially Ray, are dealing with an alcohol disorder. They routinely drink to excess, while some characters are also shown snorting cocaine and smoking. Sex is occasionally referenced and it's implied a character receives oral sex in a car. To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
When the TV show was canceled without warning after its season seven finale, fans took to social media to express their outrage. This unrest was evidently heard, as Ray Donovan: The Movie was commissioned in order to provide a conclusion to a journey that began nine years previously in 2013. Perhaps understandably, this film is very much for the fans. If you haven't seen the show, it's unlikely you'll find very much from this movie, other than some trademark violence and colorful language. Too much has occurred in the previous seven seasons for the brief montage at the start of the film to be anything more than a reminder as a opposed to an explainer.
But whether the fans will feel satisfied is debatable. While it's enjoyable to see these familiar faces back on-screen, whereas the show was slick, here the narrative feels uneven. This is perhaps no surprise given that showrunner David Hollander had always planned on an eighth season wrapping up the show. However, so much of the show's enjoyment came from the, albeit, complicated relationships within the Donovan family. Here they spend most of the time separate from each other and it's to the film's detriment. Flashbacks to Ray and Mickey's early life provide some enjoyable backstories and answers. There's also a sweet scene involving a young Ray and (his not yet wife) Abby. However, when fans look back on Ray Donovan, it will be the show remembered fondly, not the 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.