A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
Part of the movie sheds light (very bluntly) on the sheer ugliness of racism.
Positive Role Models
Absolutely no role models here; characters are either sociopaths or one-dimensional.
Violence & Scariness
Many characters die. Big blood stains, bleeding wounds. Stabbing, punching, fighting, choking, car crashes, explosions, poisoning, hitting with fire poker. Gun shots. A child is in danger in several scenes, screaming and terrified. Character strangled. Bad guys knock out women and child with chloroformed handkerchiefs. A car is set on fire, a house vandalized. Character in a coma. Violent dialogue.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
A child catches adults in a sexual situation: A man is paddling a woman's behind, with both of their pants down (no sensitive body parts are shown). Couple portrayed as comfortable in bed together.
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Uses of "f--k," "s--t," "c--ksucker," "a--hole," the "N" word, "goddamn," "dammit."
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Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Social/background drinking among adults.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Suburbicon is a dark, violent comedy about -- more or less -- the evils that can spring up in an all-white community. Directed by George Clooney, who re-purposed a screenplay by Joel and Ethan Coen, the movie delivers a portrait of racism that is blunt and brutal. As are several of the weapons used: Many characters die, and there's stabbing, fighting, bashing with blunt objects, choking, a car crash, an explosion, and poisoning. A child is in danger in several scenes (he screams and cries), a character is strangled, and women and children are chloroformed. Blood stains are shown. A house is vandalized, and a car is set on fire. Language is strong, with uses of "f--k," "s--t," the "N" word," "a--hole," and more. A child stumbles upon a sexual situation: A man is paddling a woman's behind, and both have their pants down (no sensitive body parts are shown). There's some social and/or background drinking. To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
Resurrecting an old Coen brothers script, this would-be dark comedy is a depressing misfire, a baffling, awkward combination of nasty thrills and grim, ham-fisted social commentary. The only redeeming value in Suburbicon, which was directed by George Clooney, is its depiction of racism as vulgar and ugly; it's far blunter in this respect than more nuanced movies like Marshall or Selma. On the other hand, the fact that the African-American characters are the only good people in the movie (aside from white youth Nicky) is pretty obvious and not very useful.
As for the murder storyline, it's distasteful, focusing on sociopathic characters with no moral center. The adults' lack of love and protection for the young boy is shocking, almost sickening. There's simply no way to care about these characters or their outcome. The movie's two story threads tentatively, awkwardly meet up at the end, but with no payoff. Clooney has directed duds before (Leatherheads, The Monuments Men), but nothing this head-scratchingly bad. Perhaps that Coen brothers screenplay -- which was re-written by Clooney and Grant Heslov -- should have stayed abandoned.
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.