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A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
Good triumphs over evil.
Positive Role Models
Heroine must emerge as courageous, persevering, and resourceful to survive. Villain is a psychopath. Policeman is determined and brave. Ethnic diversity.
Violence & Scariness
Brutality, taut suspense. Woman is in jeopardy throughout (i.e., stalked, threatened, held captive). Multiple murders and fights (knife, tire iron, hand-to-hand battles, falls). Brief glimpses of dead bodies, some decomposition. Nightmarish flashbacks. A momentary threat of sexual coercion.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
Kissing. Brief flashbacks of a couple starting to make love.
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A few curses: "goddamn," "Jesus," "sonofabitch."
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Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Wine at dinner. Detective takes a pill in one scene.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Secret Obsession is an intense thriller in which a female protagonist is in dire jeopardy throughout. From the opening scenes, which show her running for her life from a shadowy assailant, to the final sequence, in which she must outwit and outrun a psychopathic killer while physically impaired, the young woman is in survival mode. Brutal killings occur in murky, disorienting shots; dead bodies are seen, bloody and/or decomposing. Other sequences involve chases, a woman held captive, a momentary sexual threat, people knocked unconscious, gunfire, and physical fights. A few curses are heard: "sonofabitch," "goddamn," "Jesus." There are romantic kisses and embraces; some are shown in flashback. People drink wine at dinner; a detective takes pills on one occasion. 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 more concern for logic and tight plotting, this well-performed and photographed thriller might have worked; but gaps in both, along with a hackneyed villain, weaken the story and its impact. Unanswered questions, and there are many, can't be glossed over so easily, even when the action is fierce and the victim is terrified. Characters and story points appear and disappear without explanation. Decades ago, "woman-in-jeopardy" movies like this one (without as much graphic violence) were mainstays of cable and network television programming. Some of them were very good and well-received. Netflix seems to be trying to pick up the slack, as they are with romcoms for young viewers. That may be a good thing, but Secret Obsession is a substandard entry in their expanding catalogue.
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.