Parents' Guide to

The Apology

By Jeffrey M. Anderson, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 15+

Very dark material in Christmas-set, two-character thriller.

Movie NR 2022 93 minutes
The Apology Movie Poster: In the center, half of Darlene's (Anna Gunn) face, tinted red, is seen; below her, against a black background, is an image of a house in a snowy woods with a strange figure standing in front of it

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This drama/thriller, ironically adorned from top to bottom with cheerful holiday decorations, is a tough watch. But it does an admirable job of tapping into deep-seated emotions. The feature debut of director Alison Star Locke, The Apology takes on the daunting job of attempting to unpack feelings that have been gestating over a 20-year period. Gunn's Darlene has spent that time looking for her missing child, trying to keep a glimmer of hope alive. We learn about some of her coping methods, but when the truth comes out, Gunn succeeds wildly at conveying what Darlene must really be suffering and feeling.

Roache also has a difficult job, playing a man who's ultimately weak, prone to blaming others for his problems, and very needy. Yet he still imbues Jack with a sense of humanity; he's three-dimensional. The Apology goes into some very dark places, descending into violence and vengeance, which may betray the serious nature of the material. But, on the other hand, the passions are so powerful that only a sledgehammer ending could do them justice. Thank goodness for Garofalo, in her supporting role, bringing some lightness to the proceedings.

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