A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
Explores idea of whether it's better to be in the resistance, going on offensive against Nazis, or to stay on defensive, trying to rescue as many people as possible. Also addresses idea of heroism and whether or not a hero needs to be entirely selfless. Of Nazis, asks question: How can anyone capable of such evil deeds be human? Tackles concept of revenge; the main character asserts that revenge won't be useful in the end.
Positive Role Models
Marcel is generally accepted as a real-life hero, and the movie, while relying more on storytelling than on cold, hard facts, celebrates that heroism. Marcel starts out thinking mainly about himself; he begins helping others mainly as a way to impress the girl he likes. But soon he's doing it because it needs to be done, and he no longer questions it. He faces difficult challenges and suffers losses (and lights a Nazi on fire) and courageously keeps on going. He truly grows and changes over the course of the movie, and his deeds make a difference.
Violence & Scariness
Scene in Nazi torture chamber includes torture equipment/devices hanging on wall. Discussion/description of "flaying" a person's skin. Guns and shooting; characters shot and killed. Major characters die. Nazis beat and kick people to death. Nazi officer beats a character with a chair and a stick. Hero lights a Nazi on fire. Nazis take people away. Sudden loud noises, screaming. Character slammed up against wall. Character attempts suicide by jumping in front of a train. Truckload of children -- orphans -- whose parents were killed by Nazis. Tension/danger.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
A couple kisses, is naked under covers (nothing explicit shown). Sex is implied. Sex talk. Discussion about a young girl's first period.
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Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
A character casually drinks a pint of beer. A scene in a nightclub shows drinks in the background.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Resistance is about famous mime Marcel Marceau (Jesse Eisenberg), who helped rescue many children from the Nazis during World War II. It has some intense wartime violence, including guns and shooting (characters are shot and killed), brutal beatings, a Nazi being set on fire, family separations, sudden loud noises/screaming, and an attempted suicide. A couple kisses and is seemingly naked under their blanket. Sex is implied and briefly discussed. A character drinks beer, but overall substance use, language, and consumerism aren't issues. It's less a biopic than it is a suspenseful, touching, and bittersweet story of heroism. It does have a few clichés (and it's a French story told in English), but it's still beautifully made and acted. To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
While it hits some familiar biopic notes in its first half, this WWII drama (with a fine performance by Eisenberg) eventually becomes an unabashed, heroic tale of good-vs.-evil and sacrifice. Written and directed by Jonathan Jakubowicz (Hands of Stone), Resistance offers a couple of typical "origin story" moments in the career of the master French mime, and soon puts Marcel's skills to good use in delightful scenes. In one, he entertains unruly children by pretending that he flutters away when they collectively blow on him, like a flame from a candle. In another, he shows them how to hide in a treetop by pretending to be a squirrel.
Before long, Resistance concentrates on scenes of planning, secret missions, and escapes. Jakubowicz captures many moments in long, graceful tracking shots, highlighting the details of places, whether they're underground hideouts or swanky hotels. This is a glossy, vigorous movie, alternately pulse-pounding and heartstring-tugging. Eisenberg is the movie's centerpiece, not only perfecting several examples of Marceau's poetic mime, but also using an entertainer's command both to win over the woman of his dreams and to fool the Nazi villain in a very tense sequence. Resistance has likely taken liberties with some facts, and it's slightly annoying that a French story has been told in English, but it's ultimately designed less to educate than to inspire.
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.