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A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
"You want to play the game, you better know the rules." Police officers don't get paid enough to put themselves in harm's way. Horror films make money because people are fascinated by death and violence.
Positive Role Models
After a killer goes after Harry, then drops his weapon and starts to run, Harry shoots him dead, in the back. Harry will do almost anything to stop criminals. A reporter at first seems to care more about getting a story than about the truth but proves herself to be trustworthy and honest.
Violence & Scariness
The violence is so rampant and nonstop that it almost takes on a cartoon quality. Hired assassins attack a rising elevator carrying Harry and a woman, shooting hundreds of rounds from automatic weapons. Only the killers get killed. Harry smashes a lot of squad cars. Harry enters a Chinese restaurant being robbed by armed killers and manages to coolly shoot up the joint, bringing down all the criminals. A woman is taken and held at knifepoint. A man sets himself on fire to be noticed and broadcast on television. A child's remote-controlled car is used as a bomb to chase and blow up real cars; a driver is killed that way. A killer gets harpooned to a wall.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
Harry's attention wanders at the gym to an attractive woman working out nearby. Harry goes to bed with a female reporter, but no sex or body parts are seen.
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"F--k," "s--t," "bastard," "cock up," "hell," "butt," "bitch."
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Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
An addicted movie star and singer injects bad drugs into his arm and dies of an overdose. Adults drink beer and wine and smoke cigarettes.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that The Dead Pool, a 1988 installment in the Dirty Harry series starring Clint Eastwood, is a violent love song to cops who care more about stopping criminals than about playing by the rules. The gory spectacle includes bloody wounds, knifings, shootings, car chases, explosions, a man setting himself on fire, and a man injecting an opiate into his arm and then dying of an overdose. Adults smoke cigarettes and drink wine and beer. Expect to hear "f--k," "s--t," "bastard," "bitch," and "ass." Harry goes to bed with a female reporter, but no sex or body parts are seen. To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
The Dead Pool reliably follows the formula of the Dirty Harry police dramas, and some might find that repetition tedious. As always, Harry must fight his superiors on the force as well as the criminals threatening the public. The formula becomes more difficult to ignore as the franchise continues, but mostly solid performances and nonstop action here make the predictability more forgivable.
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.