A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
Nobody learns much of anything here. After his adventure -- and causing untold amounts of violence, wreckage, and death -- the character is offered a job (so there are no negative consequences).
Positive Role Models
The main character spends the entire film trying to rescue his family and doesn't seem to care how that comes about. He could actually be collaborating with terrorists, though the movie isn't clear on that point. He argues with people, wrecks cars and property, and, though he doesn't actually kill anyone himself, he's certainly around when people die. The rest of the characters aren't around enough to be role models.
Violence & Scariness
Many bullets are fired, but characters seem to die more often from car crashes than anything else. One main character dies, and people are kidnapped. Lots of fighting and beating people up, but not a great deal of blood. In one harrowing scene, a character tries to help a gunshot victim, first by digging around inside the wound to find the bullet, and then cauterizing the wound with a hot spoon -- though most of this gory stuff happens just off screen.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
No nudity or sex, but (spoiler alert) in a subplot it's revealed that the main character's father had an extramarital affair that resulted in another child; he kept this second family secret from his first family. Otherwise, the main character is seen shirtless in a couple of scenes, and another supporting character is seen in a bikini and kissing her boyfriend.
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Infrequent language includes one "f--k" and a few "s--t"s, as well as "bitch," "goddamn," "hell," and "oh my God." One character apparently says "f---ing," but the word is drowned out under the noise of a gunshot.
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Products & Purchases
Quick shots of a Coca-Cola can, a BlackBerry mobile device, and a MasterCard.
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
A family drinks wine at dinner. One character gulps down a glass after hearing some bad news. A minor character, a nightclub owner/manager, drinks lots of hard liquor every time he's on screen.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that The Cold Light of Day -- a kidnap/rescue thriller set in Madrid -- has lots of shooting and car crashes, and characters are beaten up quite frequently (and there are deaths), but there's not much blood. Language is sparse, but contains two uses of "s--t." Though there's no real nudity or sex, there's a subplot about an extramarital affair and its consequences. There are also a couple of shots of the main character shirtless and some supporting characters kissing. Characters drink in a background way, though in more than one instance, it looks as though they're trying to get drunk. To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
Written by Scott Wiper (The Condemned) and John Petro and directed by Mabrouk El Mechri (JCVD), The Cold Light of Day is a colossal mess -- and amazingly dumb. The plot makes absolutely no sense. It relies on a device that requires the bad guy letting the good guy go so that he can be followed, and then, later, the good guys do the same thing to another bad guy. And nobody actually ends up following anyone. There are a hundred similar points at which logic just fails.
Moreover, the filmmakers completely fail to provide either strong characters or good action. Poor Weaver and Willis turn in arguably the worst performances of their careers; Weaver is supposed to be an ambiguous character, but she seems evil and conniving from the start. Star Cavill has no screen presence anyway, so he fares even worse. The action sequences are completely inept, shaky, disjointed, and anticlimactic. And the ending is flat-out insulting.
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.