A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this movie.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that while The Angriest Man in Brooklyn is centered on a worthwhile message -- pay attention to what matters in life before it's too late -- it's ultimately an anxious, exhausting viewing experience. Much of that is thanks to the constant strong language; it's angry, frustrated swearing that includes "f--k," "s--t," and much more. A major character pops pills to deal with stress, and characters accuse her of being stoned. She also has fairly graphic sex with her boss; while no nudity is on display, the sounds and positioning make it very risque. There are also some car chases, death, and suicide attempts. But the movie could still spark discussions about what's really important and what you would do if you only had 90 minutes left.
- Parents say
- Kids say
What's the story?
Henry Altmann (Robin Williams) is really angry. A typical bad day in Brooklyn starts off when a cab crashes into his car, but things get much worse when he goes to the doctor. His regular physician is out, and a young substitute, Sharon Gill (Mila Kunis) -- who's been popping pills to deal with stress -- tells Henry that he has a brain aneurysm and has only 90 minutes to live. Henry tries to decide what to do with his final hour and a half and realizes what a mess he's made of his relationships with his brother (Peter Dinklage), his wife (Melissa Leo), and his son (Hamish Linklater). When all his plans to put things right fail, he heads toward the Brooklyn Bridge to jump. But Sharon is hot on his trail and hopes to set things right.
Is it any good?
Amazingly, THE ANGRIEST MAN IN BROOKLYN is the first film in 12 years by director Phil Alden Robinson, of Field of Dreams and Sneakers; sadly, his return lands with a crashing thud. The storyline is old and stale, and, rather than finding a fresh angle, it seems forced. The movie feels more like it's stalling for time rather than filling itself with humanity and redemption.
And the actors earn our pity rather than our sympathy. Williams does his very best in his role, but both his tantrums and his heartstrings are played off key. Despite having the second-biggest role, Kunis has only a few character traits to work with and generates no depth. In even smaller roles, the rest of the talented actors suffer the same fate. Bottom line? Robinson fails to find a balance between the dark comedy and the tragedy, and most of the time he settles on a tone that's uncomfortably anxious and frantic.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about The Angriest Man in Brooklyn's overall message. Did the main character make good choices in his 90 minutes? Can a movie like this have both a positive message and a negative role model?
In this movie, sex is treated as both something to help deal with stress and pain and as a loving connection with another person. How can it be both things? Parents, talk to your teens about your own values regarding sex and relationships.
Why does Sharon use pills? How do they help or hinder her?
What would you do if you only had 90 minutes left?
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