A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
Red Lights' main theme is the idea of faith: whether or not to believe in something despite the absence of proof. It doesn't necessarily comment upon this positively or negatively, but it does suggest that people who do offer proof are frauds and are only negating the very concept of "faith." On a subtler level, the movie is about belonging.
Positive Role Models
Characters work to solve problems, but each person's motivation seems to be selfish and/or based on revenge -- not to mention that the problems they're working on may be unsolvable.
Violence & Scariness
Some violent and/or disturbing paranormal events, such as angry "ghosts" shaking the furniture, birds suddenly smashing into windows, or lights exploding. There are also some scary sequences, such as nightmares. Main characters die. There's a bloody fistfight in a bathroom. Some blood and gore is shown. Graphic photos are seen. Characters often argue or engage in tense discussions. A character performs a gruesome magic trick that makes it look as if he has pierced his bottom lip with a pen.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
Two central characters seem to be on the verge of some sexual tension, but it doesn't go anywhere.
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Language isn't constant but includes words such as "f--k," "s--t," "crap," and "ass," plus "oh God" and "Jesus Christ" (as exclamations).
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Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
One character is seen popping some kind of prescription pills.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Red Lights is a thriller about paranormal researchers investigating a famous psychic who may or may not be legit. It has some horror elements and some scary stuff, as well as fighting, arguing, a little blood and gore, and characters dying. And there's a general uneasy, tense feeling throughout the movie. Language is the other major issue, with strong words like "f--k" and "s--t" (though they're used relatively infrequently). An older character is seen popping unidentified prescription pills. To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
RED LIGHTS' very subtle writing, editing, and music create a mood of uneasiness and mistrust; certain scenes don't even seem to be "really" happening. It's magnificently off-kilter and constantly gripping. Director Rodrigo Cortes last brought us Buried, a gruelingly intense thriller that used only one on-screen actor and one location; he continues that sense of paranoia, claustrophobia, and tension in this more ambitious movie.
The movie's main drawback is that, to reach its conclusion, it eventually answers its own unanswerable questions. But it can be argued that this is necessary for Tom's character, even if it hurts the story; it's an inevitable conclusion in his personal journey. Plus, Cortes draws excellent performances from Weaver (her best in ages), Murphy, and even DeNiro, who's more mesmerizing and menacing than he has been in years.
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.