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A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
How hard work can help improve your life. Overcoming setbacks and maintaining focus on what you want to achieve. Some dishonesty and swindling in order to make money. Also gambling.
Positive Role Models
Davie is well read and works hard. But the methods he uses to achieve his goals are questionable, because they involve lying to and deceiving people. Davie is colorblind and mocked for his disability, which is often played for comic effect. The main cast is predominantly White and male.
Violence & Scariness
Comic violence includes characters chased down the street, being strangled, threatened with a wooden crutch. Character breaks their leg off-screen in an accident. References to gangsters breaking people's bones, killing people. Character grabbed by the hair and threatened. Character punched in face and stomach. Small bloody injuries. Characters scuffle during disagreements.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
Characters kiss, partially disrobe, but are interrupted before they can have sex. Characters joke about opening a brothel. Reference to "biting the pillow" during intercourse. Characters wear swimming trunks on the beach. Female characters and musicians referred to and complimented mainly in regard to their looks.
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Language used includes "s--t," "shite," "f--k," "f--king," "arse," "t-ts," "twat," "pr--k," "c--k," "whore," "slut," and "bloody." "Jesus Christ" also used as an exclamation. British slang includes "shag," "pish," and "fanny."
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Products & Purchases
Davie gambles heavily and undertakes other risky money-making enterprises.
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Characters smoke cigarettes and pot. They also drink to excess. One character vomits from too much alcohol. One character appears high on morphine while in hospital. Characters snort drugs.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Schemers is a Scottish coming-of-age biopic, with strong language and some violence, which is often played for comedic effect. The movie's positive messages revolve around Davie's (Conor Berry) ambition to establish himself as a music promoter. He is bright and tenacious, but often resorts to being selfish and dishonest to get his way. His gambling habit leads to him falling in debt to fearsome local gangsters. The characters are mostly sympathetic, but the female characters are under-drawn and largely exist as foils to enable Davie and his friends. Violence is intermittent and mostly played for laughs, but there are some scenes involving peril where Davey is punched and a female character is grabbed by her hair while her employer is being extorted. Sex is mild and infrequent. In one scene Davie kisses and partially undresses along with a woman who he knows has a fiancée. There is also some discussion of sex and crude sexual terms. Consumerism features heavily in the form of Davie's gambling, which he partly does out of compulsion and at other times to try and fund his burgeoning career as a concert promoter. Drink, drugs, and smoking all feature. They are all done socially and occasionally to excess, with one character vomiting after drinking too much. To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
Inspired by his own life as a concert promoter, Mclean is perfectly placed to both direct and co-write his debut feature. Unfortunately Schemers is a clichéd coming-of-age movie that starts with a chase scene and voiceover lifted straight from Trainspotting and adds nothing new or original with what follows. While it does feature a pitch-perfect 1970s soundtrack that echoes the world in which Davie lives, the characters -- Davie included -- are such thinly drawn stereotypes that it's impossible to invest in them or their story.
Lacking the spark and wit of its biggest influence, Schemers would've benefited from taking an interest in more than just its central character, whose selfishness and rash behavior are conveniently and repeatedly forgiven by those around him to move the plot forward. The cast do their best with the material they've got to work with. But the script's plodding dialogue means there's little opportunity for any real chemistry to develop between them. In short, this is a music industry biopic with more than a few bum notes.
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.