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A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
Keeping yourself and your family safe from dangerous forces takes courage. It's important to have open communication with your family, particularly a significant other, if trouble arises.
Positive Role Models
Zara tries to keep her family safe from her past as a sex trafficking victim by not telling them. While that actually creates bigger problems for her family, Zara redeems herself by having the courage to stand up to her former captor and save her stepdaughter. Diverse cast.
Violence & Scariness
Sex trafficking and torture. Mentions of domestic violence and rape. Violent, abusive threats against a character, including pointing a gun at them, other scenes with guns. Fighting, including in self-defense. Murder. Mention of a deadly car accident: Zara tells her husband that her dad died asleep at the wheel when looking for her after she was kidnapped.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
Suggestive touching and kissing. Mention of oral sex. Non-sexual partial nudity includes scenes of trafficking victims in their underwear.
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Language includes "f--k," "f--king," "a--hole," "ass," "whores," "bulls--t," "d--k," "s--t," "s--thouse," "bitch," "badass," "goddamn," and "damn." Exclamatory use of "Jesus Christ." Use of racial slur "ginzo" to describe Al Capone's Italian gang members. A phrase that could be considered ableist: "The lunatics are running the asylum."
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Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Scenes with drinking, particularly at beginning of film when two characters are shown doing shots as a song about doing shots plays in background. A character vapes and asks another character if they want to vape. A character describes being induced by "dope" -- slang for heroin or other opiates -- after escaping clutches of sex traffickers.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Take Back is a thriller about a woman (Gillian White) who must face down her former kidnapper (Mickey Rourke) to save her family. Violence is the biggest concern, with sex trafficking and torture, mentions of domestic violence and rape, gun threats, murder, and more. Language is also strong ("f--k," "s--t," etc). Characters drink, vape, and talk about drug use. Sexual content includes suggestive touching and kissing and mention of oral sex. On the upside, there are messages about the importance of courage and communication. To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
Director Christian Sesma's generic thriller has many of the same clichés as '00s-era films like Enough (2002), Trapped (2002), and The Glass House (2001). A woman with a seemingly normal life becomes the plaything of a sadistic man whom she must kill to free herself from his clutches. To complete the job, she must embrace a side of herself that somehow knows martial arts, hand-to-hand combat, and firearms. White is convincing as Zara, a one-woman powerhouse-turned-lawyer, but her fighting skill set is a little inexplicable. We understand that Brian teaches various boxing and martial arts skills, but it's implied that Zara got much of her combat know-how elsewhere. Unfortunately, the movie doesn't offer more detail than that.
Nor does it give us as much of Mickey Rourke as fans might want. But even though he has a minuscule amount of screen time as the villainous Patrick, he does enough to prove why he's an award-winning actor. He's charismatic and mysterious, showing that he has a whole backstory for his character even though viewers will never know all of his secrets. While it's clear that Patrick is a villain -- he runs a sex trafficking ring, after all -- Rourke's performance still makes you want to see a film about what led his character to such a horrible life. Michael Jai White is also fun as Brian, a tough dad with a heart of gold in the vein of Terry Crews. He increases his relatability by reacting believably to the unbelievable situations he finds himself in, which leads to some unintentional but understandable moments of humor. Overall, Take Back is a fun diversion if you're looking for a film to scratch an action thriller itch, especially if you're a sucker for action thriller films with female leads.
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.