A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
Highlights the strength of a local community and how important the arts can be in bringing people together. How group activities, interests, and hobbies can provide comfort and acceptance. Gentrification and the negative impact of knocking down old establishments and buildings are key themes.
Positive Role Models
Liz never gives up, even in the face of stronger, more influential opposition. She is willing to go toe-to-toe with the system, doing whatever it takes. Her adversaries use dirty tactics, such as waiting for characters to be at a funeral before pouncing, hoping to knock down the cinema Liz and her friends are trying to protect. A character admits to having broken into the cinema on numerous occasions.
Set in Wales in the early 1990s, the leading cast is mostly White. But there are supporting roles that belong to people of color, including the local mayor. It's a majority female-led piece too, as it's the strong-willed women who are working most tirelessly to preserve the cinema that's at the heart of the story.
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Violence & Scariness
A character is seen sat lifeless on a bench, having peacefully passed away.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
There is a brief mention of sex, when a character claims their spouse was caught "shagging" elsewhere. Two couples are seen kissing. Character describes Jesus Christ kissing Mary Magdalene passionately.
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A character says "piss off." Also "bloody," "bulls--t," and the British slang word for sex, "shagging."
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Products & Purchases
Gentrification is a key theme with the movie being about the protection of tradition and culture over financially motivated endeavors. As such greed is modeled but it is portrayed negatively.
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Characters are seen drinking in a pub. Champagne is poured at social events, and a character claims they are going to "get hammered." They also make cocktails for their friends. One character is seen smoking a cigar.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Save the Cinema is a heart-warming British drama based on a true story that focuses on the strength of a local community and what can happen when people come together. When a local mayor (Adeel Akhtar) agrees to knock down a youth theater, local resident Liz Evans (Samantha Morton) vows to stop him. The movie is a celebration of the arts, highlighting the importance of communal experiences, such as going to the cinema and the negative impact of gentrification. Women are at the center of the narrative and display true resilience, using teamwork to come together for the greater good. Central to this is Liz, who is a strong-willed woman, who fights tirelessly for her cause. Her opponents are much bigger than her and she encounters various dirty tactics. But she refuses to give up. There is no violence as such but a man is shown passed away peacefully on a park bench. There is brief mention of someone's husband "shagging" someone else and also use of "bulls--t" and "piss off." Characters can be seen drinking alcohol in social events and in the pub, and the local mayor is seen smoking a cigar. The mayor is portrayed by an actor of color, and the movie does have roles for non-White actors, but the cast is majority White. To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
This feel-good movie plays out just as you'd expect it to, but in a comforting and familiar way. Perhaps lacking a little in originality, Save the Cinema makes up for that with a great deal of heart, as the sort of film you'd happily put on for all the family on a lazy Sunday afternoon. The ensemble cast is impressive. Morton is great, as always, in the leading role, while there are strong supporting turns from the likes of Akhtar, Jonathan Pryce, and Susan Wokoma.
There's something endearingly Welsh about it all too, with an infectious community spirit. And of course, in the true spirit of the Welsh, there is singing, which is hugely emotional. The character's resilience is also inspiring, specifically that of the women that make up this tale. This is a movie that manages to be empowering without striving to be anything of the sort, just telling a honest tale in a pleasing, gentle manner -- and the results are gratifying.
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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.
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Our Editors Recommend
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