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A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
Spending time with those you love is most important in life. Finding empathy for family and friends can help you maintain relationships and mend broken ones.
Positive Role Models
Leif learns to embrace his emotions surrounding his mother and develops empathy for her despite their broken relationship. Leif is able to forgive his mother for abandoning him after hearing her feelings of regret and sadness. Cast is primarily White, with Black and Latino actors in supporting roles and primarily functioning as foils for the main character's humor. Leif's ex, Audrey, is mainly defined through her relationship to him, but she also feels like an independent female character.
Violence & Scariness
Mention of a gun and a mention of killed rabbits. Character brandishes a knife; breaking and entering.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
A comedic attempt at phone sex and descriptions of sexual acts, including a character saying "the taste of your vagina in the morning." Comedic depictions of nudity and sex, shown in an intentionally bad painting featuring nudists and animals in heat.
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Swearing includes "f--k," "f--ked," "s--tty" "ass," "sugar d--k," "candy ass," "goddamn," "f--kboy," "young ass," "f--king," "dips--t," "p---ywhipped," "s--t," "motherf----rs." Potentially ableist terms like "dumb" and "kook." Exclamatory use of "God."
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Products & Purchases
A character wears a Michael Kors bag.
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Smoking pot, drinking wine. Honey's house has jars and bags of pot in the cabinets.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Ride the Eagle is a dramedy about a man (Jake Johnson) who reconnects with his mother (Susan Sarandon) after her death thanks to a scavenger hunt she left for him to complete. Mature content includes drug use (pot), drinking, and swearing ("f--k," "s--t," "d--k," and more). There's also sexual content played for humor -- including a comedic attempt at phone sex and descriptions of nudity and sexual acts, plus depictions of nudity and sex. A gun and killed rabbits are mentioned; one character brandishes a knife. Amid all this, however, is a message about the importance of empathy. To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
Co-written by Johnson and director Trent O'Donnell, Ride the Eagle is a comedic look at grief through the eyes of a man who grew up without his mother. Honey's will -- a scavenger hunt she created to get closer to Leif from beyond the grave -- takes Leif on a journey to realize that time is short and must be spent with those you love. The film does a good job of expanding on this truth, but a lot of the emotional depth feels slightly truncated because of a lack of focus on Leif and Honey's relationship before her death.
While it's possible for a film to successfully tackle mending a strained relationship, Ride the Eagle doesn't hone in enough on Honey and Leif's past for the audience to really connect with Leif's struggle to forgive her. That disconnected feeling leaves more room for comedic situations, but even those situations end up keeping Leif further from his goal of forgiving Honey. For instance, when Leif is finally acknowledging his regret at not spending enough time with Honey while on a hike -- a requirement of Honey's scavenger hunt -- another hiker shows up out of nowhere for comedic relief, ending the heartfelt moment. Leif does eventually have a truly cathartic moment with the memory of his mother. But perhaps more of his catharsis should have been sprinkled throughout the film. As it stands, though, Ride the Eagle stays buoyant thanks to fun performances by Johnson, Sarandon, Simmons, and Carden, and in the end it promotes empathy and forgiveness.
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.