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A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
Explores aspects of human nature that lead people to blame and accuse Jewell rather than believe he's a hero. Why isn't goodness always appreciated? Also examines idea of "fake news."
Positive Role Models
He's not a typical hero, he has certain qualities that aren't particularly appealing, and he suffers a great deal in the aftermath, but there's no question that, as portrayed here, Jewell is a hero whose actions saved lives. It could be argued that Watson is also a hero for taking on Richard's case, offering him friendship. There's been controversy over how journalist Kathy Scruggs is portrayed in the film; those who knew/worked with her say it's not accurate.
Violence & Scariness
Bomb and explosion. Pools of blood, bloody wounds, and some gore shown. Many guns shown, some shooting. More explosions in nightmare sequence.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
Kissing. Sexy pinup poster in a dorm room. Sexual references. Flirting. It's suggested that a reporter trades sex for story leads.
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Strong language includes "f--k," "motherf----r," "s--t," "a--hole," "son of a bitch," "bastard," "dumbass," "ass," "goddamn," "pr--k," "hell," and "damn," plus "Jesus Christ" and "oh my God" (as exclamations).
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Products & Purchases
Snickers candy bars shown and mentioned in more than one scene. AT&T logo shown several times. Coca-Cola cans shown more than once.
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
More than one scene of teens drinking and/or drunk. People drink beer at a social event. Drinks in bar. Supporting character smokes.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Richard Jewell is Clint Eastwood's expertly directed drama based on the true story of the man who discovered a bomb at the 1996 Olympics in Atlanta. Richard Jewell (Paul Walter Hauser) saved countless lives but was wrongly pegged as the prime suspect. Expect strong violence, particularly the bombing, which leads to pools of blood, bloody wounds, and other gore. Guns are shown, with some shooting. Language is also mature, with uses of "f--k," "s--t," "a--hole," and more. Characters kiss, and there are a few sexual references and some flirting, as well as a sexy pinup picture in a dorm room. Teens drink in more than one scene, characters drink in bars and social situations, and a supporting character smokes. To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
Director Clint Eastwood is a master of deceptively simple, sturdy filmmaking, and this fact-based drama is no exception, though the performances are the real key to its success. Bearing a strong similarity to Eastwood's excellent Sully (2016), Richard Jewell is also about a heroic act that's tainted by accusation and blame. While Sully was beautifully streamlined and could rely on Tom Hanks' effortless charisma, this movie is a little rougher around the edges. Hauser isn't quite as immediately appealing, but his fine performance sells Jewell's unflagging hope and goodness.
Moreover, casting the cool, charming misfit Rockwell not only as Richard's lawyer but also as his friend helps shine a positive light on the hero. Eastwood also gives space to the movie's antagonists (played by Hamm and Wilde), painting them less as sneering villains out to destroy a man's life than as people who are trying to do their jobs but make a mistake. (The portrayal of Scruggs, who died in 2001, has drawn criticism from those who knew her in real life; they say the movie depicts her methods inaccurately.) A standout Bates and a lovable Nina Arianda round out the cast, and Eastwood's expert craftsmanship brings the movie effectively home. Richard Jewell is an example of clear, masterful storytelling that gets to the heart of complex questions about human nature.
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.