Parents' Guide to

SAS: Red Notice

By Stefan Pape, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 15+

Non-stop violence in fun action-thriller; strong language.

Movie R 2021 123 minutes
SAS: Red Notice Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this movie.

Community Reviews

age 16+

Based on 2 parent reviews

age 14+

Red notice

The movie was very well made with a star studded cast it did have some language but not more then you'd expect in a pg-13 movie there wasn't much drinking or drugs and it wasn't portrayed as a good thing when their was there was a lot of violence but it wasn't graphic and their was no sex whatsoever

This title has:

Great messages
Too much violence
age 18+

Action movie with a strong intellectual point about human psychology

For some reason, the entire point of this movie is missed in this review and in others I have seen. This was an action movie but it was also an intellectual movie with an important point about human psychology. For anyone who thinks this movie didn't have a solid plot, you missed this point. Even the title of the movie refers to this point about human psychology and what is going on in our society right now. "Black Swan" is a term they are using to refer to Psychopaths. The group of paramilitary fighters who are the villains in this movie are psychopaths, and the movie points this out directly in many ways. The older man says he has never loved anyone in his life. The female villain commits many violent acts with zero remorse. The hero in the story, Tom, is one who is sort of on the spectrum but not really. The question is raised multiple times throughout the movie: does he have remorse? Can he truly love? Empathy and remorse are entirely lacking in psychopaths, so the question is asked, is Tom a psychopath? And in the end the question is answered: no he is not. He is capable of killing when it is necessary, and he does not regret the loss of life if it is a violent psychopath he is killing. His fiance finally accepts this necessity at the end. And Tom is capable of love, and is devoted to her. There is another point about psychopaths that this movie makes. They are out there, and they hide in plain sight. You think they are normal people, but they are not. They operate in society in ways that do not necessarily make them obvious to spot. And they have value to the military because they will not hesitate to pull the trigger. They do the dirty work that no one else wants to do. This movie demonstrated the reality that the military KNOWS about these people and uses them for their own purposes. In this movie the Black Swans were used to clear a village that was inconvenient, by our government. It is apparent that this is not theoretical: this is happening in our military. And the problem I have with it is that the military is not doing anything to support the people who are affected by them: their families. Psychopaths abuse others around them simply by default. When you don't have empathy, you are casually and inadvertently cruel. Also these people have a lot of hatred and anger because they don't have tender feelings, and their spouses and children bear the brunt of this. The military needs to do more to identify these traits in their members and to put limits on their abuse of their families. I know all this because it happened to me. And finally, the title of the movie has an even deeper and symbolic meaning. "The RISE of the Black Swan" is a reference to the fact that we have more of these people in our society right now than we ever realized. The hatred and discrimination and ideas about "cancel culture" that have arisen over the last 5 years are directly related to the fact that these people have very recently been enabled to come out of their closets and demand their right to be hateful without censure. They are sick of hiding and pretending to be like the rest of us in empathic society in order to get along and get their needs met. What we have been witnessing is a sociopath revolution. The end result of allowing this to go on will be a fascist takeover of our country. Fascism is the government style that sociopaths/psychopaths prefer. This movie was clearly an attempt by the producer to shed light on these issues with psychopaths in order to bring this risk to our democratic/empathic society into general awareness. If all you saw was an action movie, then they failed.

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say: (2):
Kids say: Not yet rated

Based on former SAS soldier Andy McNab's fiction book, this is a throwaway action movie that does exactly as it says on the tin. Mostly set in just one setting, and in real time, SAS: Red Notice follows a classic cinematic trope of one man against a whole army of mercenaries, slowly but surely spoiling their fun. With this comes many twists and turns, as you never quite know which character is on which side and who is double crossing who.

While this keeps the audience on their toes, as we build up to the climax, there's very little new here. It's familiar territory, and while tried and tested, the film does lack a sense of originality. Perhaps given the nature of its action-packed narrative, it's a movie that would really benefit from a big screen viewing. Heughan impresses in the lead role, but the star of the show is Andy Serkis, stealing each scene he is in -- though, sadly, there aren't quite enough of them.

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