A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
A breakdown of a friendship is the main theme. The detrimental effects that a limiting environment and a lack of prospects can have on its inhabitants.
Positive Role Models
Pádraic is a sincere, earnest man. He thrives on being nice, and caring for others -- and wishes that more value was put upon this trait. The breakdown of his friendship with Colm leads him to feeling very low. Colm is a pensive man who is also perhaps depressed. His ending of his friendship with Pádraic is sudden and arguably harsh. Dominic only sees women as objects of desire. Siobhan, who is arguably the most positive character, realizes there is a way out and moves to the city for a new life.
Set mainly in a pub in a small Irish town; majority of customers are White men. The one key female character, however, appears to be the only one with any sense. A priest takes offence when they are called "gay." Depression is explored.
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Violence & Scariness
A character cuts off their fingers; the gaping wound, dripping with blood, and discarded fingers are all shown. Characters are punched, including a police officer. A young character is seen with bruises after their parent beats them up. Suggestion that a child has been molested by their parent. A character's corpse is lifted out of the water after drowning. Full-blown arson attack. A donkey dies.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
A character is seen naked and asleep, but in the shadows so not much is seen. References later to masturbating, and a description of a penis. A character makes a romantic plea but is turned down.
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Characters say "feck," an Irish way of saying "f--k." Other words such as "shite," "bollocks," and "knob" are heard. Characters swear in the church, including the priest. A character is referred to as "ginger" and "fat," both intended as insults. Characters refer to others as being "dim."
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Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Characters spend much of their day in the pub, drinking. Toward the end of the evening they tend to be rather drunk. Many characters smoke, too, one using a pipe.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that The Banshees of Inisherin is a superb, dark Irish comedy-drama set in 1923, centered around a group of men who spend their days drinking and smoking in the local pub. It stars Colin Farrell as Pádraic and Brendan Gleeson as Colm, the latter abruptly deciding one day that he no longer wants to be friends with Pádraic. Depression amongst men is discussed, and the film has some dark, disturbing scenes. This includes a man cutting off his fingers. A corpse is seen being lifted out of some water, and a character commits arson in an attempted murder plot. One young man in the village is said to have been sexually abused by his father, the local police officer. That same man is also seen entirely naked. There are countless uses of the word "feck," along with "shite" and "bollocks." The characters drink consistently, and they smoke too. It's a majority White male cast, but it should be acknowledged that the one female character of note, Siobhan (Kerry Condon), is maybe the most sensible and positive person of the lot. To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
While hilarious at times, with real laugh-out-loud moments, the entire experience of this Irish comedy-drama is spiked by a dark undercurrent. The Banshees of Inisherin constantly surprises the viewer, leading us down some disturbing paths. All the while, a sadness exists, working in perfect harmony with the film's more surrealistic elements. The film reunites writer and director Martin McDonagh with his two leads from In Bruges, and the trio's talents once again shine. Both Farrell and Gleeson are in top form and comfortable in their surroundings.
Farrell in particular is so brilliant in the leading role, bringing such a sense of sincerity to the character that you want to befriend him. The film also shines tonally. To be this funny, and this dark, and not have either compromise the other is a true mark of a genius. With yet another hit of a film to add to his impressive collection, McDonagh is falling into that very category.
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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.