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A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
Lying and exploitation are at the center of the story. Characters try to expose the lies and confront their trauma.
Positive Role Models
Robert is a con man who lies to people to trick them out of money. Alice is hardworking, successful, and skeptical, but is still gaslit by Robert's lies.
Based on true events, the main cast has strong female representation but is predominantly White and British. Some ethnic diversity among the supporting cast.
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Violence & Scariness
References to terror attacks and deaths. Characters discuss being traumatized as a result of being lied to and exploited.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
A character is jokingly appraised about their appearance. Characters kiss and partially undress. Character shown bare-shouldered in bed. Another character shown shirtless and wearing only a towel. Character shown in nightwear. Brief sex scene with no explicit nudity.
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Language used includes "bloody hell," "s--t," "a--hole," "pr--k," "f---ing," "crap," "bulls--t," "bitch," "bastard," "for God's sake," and "piss off."
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Products & Purchases
Some characters shop for and try out luxury cars, drink in high-end establishments. Character accused of exploiting people for money.
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Adults drink socially in pubs, bars, and with meals. They also smoke cigarettes and cigars. Used ashtrays shown at a party. Lighthearted reference to being hungover. Reference to alcoholism and rehab.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Rogue Agent is a British thriller -- based on the real-life case of con artist Robert Freegard (James Norton) -- with some strong language. The movie revolves around Freegard's deception and criminal activities. His love interest, Alice Archer (Gemma Arterton), is the closest the movie has to a role model: suspicious of Robert's claim to be a secret agent, her intelligence and diligence slowly begin to uncover the truth about him. There is no violence shown on-screen, but there are references to terror attacks and deaths. Characters are also left traumatized as a result of Freegard's lies and deception. This includes Freegard starting sexual relationships with them. There is a brief sex scene, but there's no explicit nudity, with just Freegard's bare back shown. There are multiple uses of "f--k" and "s--t," as well as "pr--k," "bitch," and "bastard." Materialism features in that Freegard's job as a luxury car salesmen means that he entertains wealthy clients and uses his access to vehicles to impress his targets. There is some drinking, with reference to being hungover. Characters also smoke cigarettes and cigars in indoor public spaces. To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
Perhaps the most chilling aspect of this British thriller is its closing stages, when the current status of career con man Freegard is revealed. Before then, Rogue Agent's Norton embodies Freegard as a gaslighting schemer who preys mostly on vulnerable women. Freegard's inner world and life are barely examined, with the film's focus largely being on his victims. Over the course of nearly two hours, we meet Marisa Abela's naive student, Sophie, Gemma Arterton's no-nonsense solicitor, Alice, and Sarah Goldberg's recently single American abroad, Jenny. Each of them react to his psychological manipulation in a variety of ways. These characters are fictionalized versions of Freegard's real-life victims, an approach that does its best to tell a familiar con man's tale from a different perspective. Unfortunately it feels scattershot, unbalanced, and episodic.
The movie's biggest problem is the writers' attempt to turn Alice into the main character. Transforming her into a sleuthing, non-criminal lawyer who spends the closing stages telling two sets of cops how to do their jobs, before attempting to single-handedly save the day, feels too much of a spin on what's already an outlandish story. The facts of the case are, unsurprisingly, rather different. The documentary made about the real Freegard, The Puppet Master: Hunting the Ultimate Conman, is a better bet for those who want their true crime stories to ring truer.
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.