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A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
Loyalty; education, even during imprisonment; believing in people even when they make mistakes.
Positive Role Models
The protagonist is portrayed as both manipulative and guilty but possibly innocent. Several supporting characters trust that she's innocent and risk their own safety and freedom to hide her but also are portrayed as being roped in by her manipulations. As a result, nearly every character is a mixture of well-intentioned and naive, or simply self-serving, to one degree or another.
Violence & Scariness
Someone shoots a man and a woman with a shotgun; they struggle, bleed profusely, and die. Several reenactments of the murders from different imagined perpetrators, the bloody crime scene, the bodies being disposed of. A woman nearly dies of an allergic reaction or poisoning.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
A man and woman kiss against a wall; her underwear drops to the floor. Numerous scenes of implied intercourse throughout; a woman in a bra straddles a man as they kiss; discussion of birth control and using a condom before a woman agrees to sex; the unzipping of a man's pants; a man meets a prostitute at a hotel, where they kiss and are shown in bed together; two women dance seductively together, half-dressed. Two women kiss, implying a secret lesbian relationship.
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"Dammit," "douche bag," "crap," "eat me," "bitch," "ass."
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Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Man snorts cocaine off coffee table; man and woman sell marijuana at a party; party attendants drink out of red cups; people drink beers at a house party; a man lights a joint; casual cigarette smoking; prison inmates drink a mixture of coffee, "dihexadryl" (antihistamine), and sugar; women smuggle antihistamine pills into prison and sell them to other inmates.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that She Made Them Do It is a Lifetime movie about the true story of Sarah Jo Pender, a woman convicted of double murder who escaped from prison, was caught and returned, and proclaims her innocence to this day. It features multiple graphic reenactments of the murders, drug dealing, numerous scenes of implied intercourse, and mature themes and ultimately implies that Pender is a sociopath who orchestrated everything. There also is some minor profanity ("bitch," "damn") and smoking and drinking. Teens may be interested, since Jenna Dewan is the star. To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
SHE MADE THEM DO IT tries to have it both ways, and it ends up a muddled mess. Pender is a gifted manipulator of others who excels at playing victim; no, she's an innocent who got mixed up with the wrong crowd and made some bad choices.
Though movies like this make no attempt to educate or inform, they may do worse by deliberately misleading our understanding of the crimes committed where the victims' own innocence is in question. In news reports of the case, Pender was a secretary, not a drug dealer as the film depicts; the letter used to convict her was never found with her fingerprints, which is omitted in the film, and the crime scene never returned any of Pender's DNA, another fact left out in the movie. What's left, then, is a tawdry, sexed-up dramatization of a vixen who alternates between innocent and deviant; graphic reenactments of the murders in question; some Cinemax-style implied intercourse; and the lingering sense that justice likely will never be served here, nor will we gain much insight into the criminal mind. Not appropriate for young kids and, at best, a study in the sensationalist true-crime biopic for teens.
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.