Parents' Guide to

Term Life

By Jeffrey Anderson, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 17+

Bungled scenes, miscast actors in failed thriller.

Movie R 2016 93 minutes
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This labored, failed thriller feels like a collection of odd puzzle pieces that don't fit but have been nonetheless forced together. Even the great cast members seem squeezed into the wrong roles. Vaughn, sporting a distractingly bad haircut, is denied a sense of humor. He and Steinfeld can't generate any kind of father-daughter bond, and even a reunion between Swingers' buddies Vaughn and Jon Favreau passes by cluelessly.

Paxton, meanwhile, is stuck in a role that requires him to scowl all the time and is far below his level of intelligence. Characters appear and disappear in a strangely random fashion, very little makes sense, and the action is confusing. If TERM LIFE was supposed to provide thrills -- or at least some interesting ideas and warm fuzzies -- it instead mostly generates confusion, frustration, and a strong, fermented sense of an opportunity wasted. Former child actor Peter Billingsley (A Christmas Story) -- a protege of Favreau's -- directed.

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