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Parents' Guide to


By Kat Halstead, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 16+

Stylish psychological drama has self-harm, strong language.

Movie R 2020 94 minutes
Swallow Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

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

Community Reviews

age 16+

Based on 1 parent review

age 16+

Layered story about patriarchy takes some twists and turns

All hail Haley Bennett! She takes the story of a stifled and increasingly desperate woman and condenses it into a tack, a jack, a marble, a screwdriver. The layered ways in which patriarchy enmeshes women into tight webs. Then the whole left turn with the whole rapist storyline...whoa. An emotional story that dares to delve in places that we choose to actively ignore. Kudos to the hug me I'm lonely guy!

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say: (1 ):
Kids say: Not yet rated

Swallow boasts a superb central performance from Bennett as Hunter. Despite showing little reaction or emotion behind her doll-like facade, each twitch of the mouth or movement of the eyeballs suggests feelings trapped within, and a sense of inevitability bubbling just below the surface. Hunter's experiences at home and with her husband, Richie, and in-laws Katherine (Elizabeth Marvel) and Michael (David Rasche) are filmed with a detached dreamlike quality that makes her small acts of rebellion -- though both psychologically and viscerally disturbing -- strangely welcome punctures to the domestic bubble.

The plot does build to a climax as the walls start closing in on Hunter and she must find her own version of freedom. But the ending seems somewhat tacked on, and the revelations and attempt to tie them into the ongoing psychology feel a little forced. Though the film seems to almost back away from the impact it initially promised, it is an interesting study of patriarchal control and the effects upon those who suffer under its weight, even within an environment of apparent privilege.

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