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A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
The notion of revenge is glorified, even if the victims in question are reprehensible characters. Unconventionality and being different is celebrated, highlighting characters' quirks in a positive light. Friendship and teamwork are both prevalent, and how both can help upset the odds. The benefits of therapy is also explored, and how speaking to others can help overcome grief.
Positive Role Models
Markus is motivated by revenge. He is also a flawed father, with a difficult relationship with his daughter Mathilde. But is he trying to do what is right. He wants her to exercise and stay fit, which subsequently causes her to be afraid of putting on weight. He is also close-minded to therapy, and refuses it on Mathilde's behalf. The supporting characters have their hearts in the right place. They do admit to hacking, while another opens up about drink driving in the past, and losing his daughter as a result. Most of the characters are very methodical in their approach to life, seeing the world through statistics and algorithms. This perspective is shown to work at times, but lets them down at others. Otto lives with a disability in that he only has one working arm. But he doesn't let it get him down and succeeds nonetheless.
Violence & Scariness
There is an explosion on a train, following a targeted terrorist attack. Innocent people die. A widower is seen holding the hand of their dead spouse in a morgue. It is suggested that their injuries are so severe that they are barely recognizable. Characters hold guns to people's faces. Character breaks someone's neck, and another kicks the corpse on the floor. Torture including fingers being broken. Two gangs open fire at one another, and the bloody wound of someone caught up in the crossfire is seen. Characters are shot in the face, and there is a mass killing. A young character survives, but is shot in the shoulder. Someone headbutts a mirror when experiencing a panic attack, as a result of their grief. References to child sex abuse.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
Character pulls down their underwear and shows their bare behind. A sex worker is heard asking someone to engage in anal sex with them. Character is seen gagged and in a sexual position.
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Two uses of "c--t," and countless uses of the word "f--k," as well as "piss" and "s--t." There is also homophobic language, with "f--got" used on several occasions. Character is referred to as a "retard." An overweight character is called a "fat pig." One character refers to another as a "p---y."
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Products & Purchases
Two characters give a presentation showing that rich people drive nice cars and lower-income people don't, which they intend to use for advertising purposes.
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Characters -- both adults and teens -- smoke throughout. Characters drink alcohol too. Someone is seen drinking beer alone while grieving. Behind them are empty cans, implying they are using alcohol to help them get through the situation.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Riders of Justice is an incredibly violent and profane -- but also excellent -- Danish (with English subtitles) revenge comedy starring Mads Mikkelsen. Following the death of his wife in a suspected terrorist attack, Markus (Mikkelsen) joins forces with a group of misfits who seek revenge, something which is arguably glorified as they begin to enjoy the thrill. The terrorist attack (on a train) is depicted with the explosion killing many. There are also multiple shoot-outs and mass killings throughout. One man is killed and after dying, someone kicks his corpse. Characters are also tortured for information, such as fingers being broken. There is also reference to child sex abuse. The language is incredibly strong, with words that some viewers may find offensive. There are multiple uses of the word "c--t" and "f--k," as well as hate language such as "f--got." Though there are no actual sex scenes, a sex worker offers herself to a man and a character is seen gagged and tied up in a sexual position. Despite the adult themes, the movie is filled with heart. Friendship and teamwork are celebrated, as are people's quirks and idiosyncrasies, with the heroes of the movie being very much the underdogs. There is plenty of smoking, including teens, while Markus is seen drinking heavily as he tries to work through his grief. To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
With its brilliant plot, this Danish comedy thriller balances genres in a seamless fashion, while starring a remarkable central performance by Mikkelsen. Riders of Justice is, at its core, a tale of revenge. It's violent and action-heavy, and yet it has such a distinctive comedic streak that it's impossible to not find yourself laughing. Its tone is true of the region it hails from, as this film is emblematic of Danish cinema, managing to be so quirky and unconventional, but without any sense of being unnatural.
Mikkelsen excels, but this is a film that thrives in the ensemble. Lie Kaas turns in a moving display, while Nicolas Bro and Lars Brygmann bring the comedy, in emphatic fashion. Fans of Scandi-cinema will be in for yet another treat, though this really is an experience designed for anybody to enjoy. In other words, this really is a movie not to be missed.
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.