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A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
Trust no one. The past catches up with everyone. Surprise is for the unprepared.
Positive Role Models
Conspirators double-cross each other. Wronged people hold long grudges.
Violence & Scariness
A man is shot with a semi-automatic weapon at close range. Two others are shot from close range. A man is shot in the head from behind. Someone is hit on the head with an iron. Stories are told of a meth lab explosion that killed someone. During a bank robbery, a cop is threatened by armed men, handcuffed to a desk, and shot.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
A woman gets in a shower and enticingly lets a man see her naked. She is seen onscreen in her underwear. A married middle-aged man is seen in bed with a naked 19-year-old boy. Only his bare behind is seen. Blackmailers with a sex tape press the older man to help them commit a crime. A plastic, life-sized female doll is found in someone's bed.
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"F--k," "s--t," "ass," "hell," "bastard," "bitchin'," and "shut up."
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Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Two characters were making meth in their lab when it exploded. One sustained a brain injury. The other's young son was killed in the blast. Adults drink alcohol.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Shimmer Lake, a Fargo-esque crime comedy-drama, contains lots of violence and profanity. Betrayal among criminals and an inept heist by clueless thieves results in bloody and remorseless shootings. A married man is blackmailed for his homosexuality. A meth lab accident results in injuries and death. A little girl, imitating an adult, calls someone a "fat f--king bastard." 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 movie takes viewers along on an engaging ride but it feels as if writer-director Oren Uziel strains under pressure to make the film funnier and cleverer than it actually is. There's no real need nor any exceptional payoff that makes telling the story backwards anything more than an unprofitable gimmick. The humor isn't really black and twisted enough to rival the Cohn brothers' Fargo, Shimmer Lake's knowing or unknowing inspiration, and the storytelling isn't complex enough to match the time reversal that explains it all at the end of Spike Lee's Inside Man. But Uziel, a co-writer of 22 Jump Street, and writer of Mortal Kombat: Rebirth and Freaks of Nature, is definitely a filmmaker to watch.
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.