Parents' Guide to

Sicilian Ghost Story

By Barbara Shulgasser-Parker, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 16+

Fact-based tale about Mafia kidnapping; violence, language.

Movie NR 2018 122 minutes
Sicilian Ghost Story Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this movie.

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Is It Any Good?

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Kids say (1):

Based on a true story, this dark drama may appeal to teens, but it doesn't quite deliver. The able filmmakers Fabio Grassadonia and Antonio Piazza certainly strive to pose young love as the compelling backdrop to this story of Sicilian Mafia revenge, kidnapping, murder, and general brutality, but affectation and forced artsiness leave Sicilian Ghost Story murky, over-long, and confusing through most of its two-hour-plus running time. The use of fairy-tale techniques -- dream sequences, wishful thinking, barely lighted scenes, and a seemingly deliberate failure to establish place and time -- often render this so hard to follow that even intense interest in the fates of lead characters diminish and disappear into the studied nothingness of long silent shots of dark sky or rocks in a grotto. Characters with determination head toward specific destinations and we have no idea why, nor what has led them to take a particular plan of action. A more straightforward telling would have been spellbinding, especially in light of good performances by attractive young actors Jedlikowska and Fernandez in the lead roles.

Italian audiences familiar with the real-life tale that inspired this film may be more forgiving in their foreknowledge of the story's setting and outcome, but those who come on this material fresh may be confused if not disappointed.

Movie Details

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