Parents' Guide to

Sideshow

By Tom Cassidy, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 15+

Dark comedy thriller has strong language, violence.

Movie NR 2021 94 minutes
Sideshow movie poster

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Like a well-performed magic trick, this off-kilter comedy thriller is a spectacle that, if you go with it, pays off in many satisfying ways. The action in Sideshow takes place at close quarters, with most of the movie in the house of the hilariously grumpy mind reader, Stuart Pendrick. The close feel and small cast helps bind the movie's world and allows the twists and turns to unfold in its vacuum. The core cast throw themselves into their roles and each balances their great one-liners with an emotional weight that gives each a reason for their actions. The unforgivable things Pendrick says are always funny rather than off-color thanks to Dennis' delivery of a confident script. Similarly, the constant misunderstandings of Dom are hilarious rather than eye-rolling thanks to Clarke's fully-rounded portrayal of a troubled young man.

The humor is rude but sometimes has a gleeful silliness that almost veers into classic spoof territory of the likes of Airplane! and Top Secret! By the time all the threads of the movie come together at the twist-filled climax, there's almost a celebratory feel that this small movie succeeds in being ridiculous, thrilling, great fun, and tremendously satisfying.

Movie Details

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