A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
No condition is permanent.
Positive Role Models
Every character is obsessed with money. A group of bus passengers all agree without a moment's hesitation to steal money from a suitcase that belongs to someone else. A woman heads a ring of kidnappers and rapists who sell babies.
The action takes place in Nigeria with mostly Nigerian actors.
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Violence & Scariness
After a bus driver refuses to give cheap tickets to a couple, the driver stalks, threatens, and yells at a van driver willing to take them for less. At the least provocation, characters are flung into states of agitation and physical violence reminiscent of The Three Stooges, hitting each other with hammers. Passengers hurl threats and epithets at each other, often grabbing each other, either threatening or actually doing physical harm. A man shoots someone in the leg with an arrow. Armed assailants rob a bus. Many are shot, killed. Knife to someone's throat. Someone tied to a tree, threatened with death. A seemingly pious woman is actually the ringleader of an enterprise that, among other crimes, kidnaps girls, impregnates them, forces them to give birth, sells the babies. Last half-hour pierced by constant screaming of women being raped or forced to give birth. A rapist's behind is shown as he attacks a woman. People savagely beaten by someone impervious to bullets. A young boy is put through a vaguely described painful ritual.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
A woman hawks herbs that help "weak erections." She promises, "when you pump a woman, one, two, everything spills" and "your wife, you will hit her hard tonight." A rapist's behind is shown. A nun-in-training says she's not a virgin. A woman has a suitcase full of rubber penises/dildos.
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"F--k," "s--t," "hell," "bastard," "penis," "pee," "urine," and "virgin."
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Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Adults drink alcohol.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Soólè is a story about a group of argumentative strangers traveling through Nigeria on a bus. When they learn the bus is carrying a suitcase full of money, they plot to steal it, while dodging armed thieves who are trying to take it. Violence includes shootings, deaths, knives, beatings, verbal and physical threats, and final scenes in an illegal "baby factory," where kidnapped women are impregnated by rape and forced to give birth to babies who are sold for profit. A man's bare behind is seen as he rapes a woman. Adults make crude references to sex, and a bagful of dildos is shown. Language includes "f--k," "s--t," "hell," "bastard," "penis," "pee," "urine," and "virgin." Adults drink alcohol. In Yoruba and English with English subtitles. To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
Soólè is a solid nominee for the worst movie of the year, any year. It would be wonderful to report that the badness is comic, but sadly it's just boring. A character cautions, "Let us not be collectively unfortunate," but those who stumble on this title will most certainly fall into that category. The clownish acting, the misjudged direction, and the senseless story are all part of a picture of overall incompetence. Even the mind-boggling absurdity of the plot fails to make this interesting. Nearly all communication among characters is delivered in loud voices and states of agitation bordering on bonkers. Whether prompted by the mere uttering of words from the Bible or by men shooting automatic weapons, the characters' responses are the same: panic, fury, spitting anger, jumping up and down, and yelling. This state of constant unnatural excitement makes it difficult to sort out important information from the unimportant and justifiably emotional moments from ones in which emotions seem to run high for no good reason. The first half-hour is just shy of unwatchable. The rest is worse. Just for fun, 30 minutes or so are shot almost entirely in red light.
With an annual output of nearly 2,500 films, Nigeria's Nollywood is the world's second-largest film industry, right behind India's Bollywood. Perhaps the films that don't make it out of the country are actually good. One would like to hope. As one character observes, "Even a bad clock is correct twice a day." Sorry, not this clock.
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.