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Parents' Guide to

The Death of Dick Long

By Tara McNamara, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 17+

Pervy party-hardy dark comedy chock-full of mature material.

Movie R 2019 100 minutes
The Death of Dick Long Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this movie.

Community Reviews

age 16+

Based on 1 parent review

age 16+

Don't expect a goofy bro-comedy. This is so much more.

People were telling me this was one of the funniest movies of 2019. I honestly found it kind of depressing. The original concept and twist halfway through the movie was funny and it's impressive that they just rolled with it and made an ironically self-serious film about *spoilers*. However, once the concept was revealed, I continued to wonder how it would play out, but not because of the humor. There were very humorous elements that made the concept easier to digest and laugh about, but make no mistake, this is not a funny movie. It's a film about a broken man who lets his own insecurities and guilt get in the way of his relationships with his family, his friends, until it eventually leads to something hilariously tragic. It's a film about trust and what happens when you refuse to confront the problems you know are the root cause of everything wrong in your life and what it could lead to, how far it could go. The extreme hypothetical this film presents is much deeper than what is presented on the surface. The Death of Dick Long is a cautionary tale not for *spoilers*, but for the prevention of allowing yourself to be destroyed by yourself. That to me is why this movie works so well. The irony in its tone, its score, its suspenseful atmosphere and dark-red lighting, its wonderful direction, and its high-concept are just a cherry on top to make approaching the fearfulness of addiction and loneliness a little bit easier to tackle. I don't recommend going into this movie knowing anything, I encourage you to laugh at it's absurdity. But unlike most who review this film, I encourage you to think a little bit more about what it is truly saying about your own status within any relationship you hold in your life, and rely upon trust, honesty, and care to get you through whatever you are dealing with. Now the reason I am giving this 4 stars and not 5 is just some of the technical elements that don't necessarily work for me within the film. The script can tend to take itself a little too seriously in the first half of the film, despite understanding it is trying to keep its secret from us until necessary. A bit of the camera-work feels a little shoddy in certain places, giving this an unintentional mockumentary feel during certain crucial moments where the script shouldn't feel goofy, and is a strange contrast from the script's dynamic dryness. Despite an intentionally ironic melodrama following the big reveal, some of it definitely feels drawn out and takes away from the tension of the situation as well as the humor the situation brings with it. Those are the extent of my critiques though, this was a truly wonderful surprise in the most unexpected way possible; a surprising departure from a film that I knew and expected would have a different type of surprise. Thank you so much, have a nice day, I hope this movie means just as much to you as it did to me.

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Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say: (1 ):
Kids say: Not yet rated

Director Daniel Schienert is a provocateur; here, he humanizes a "redneck" punchline by playing out the consequences of small-town Southerners partying too hard one night. The Death of Dick Long is a murder mystery in which the audience plays along one step ahead of the cops, trying to figure out why Dick's buddies are trying so hard to keep the truth from coming out. When it lands, it's absolutely shocking -- like walking barefoot on a beach just as a dirty diaper washes up, and its contents smear across your feet. There aren't enough W's to express the EWWWWWWW you'll feel.

Schienert seems to enjoy making his viewers uncomfortable, jabbing them whenever possible; it's uncertain whether small-town rural America is in on the joke or the butt of it (screenwriter Billy Chew started his career in Alabama). Another scene feels like the director is ribbing parents whose children watch this film: After one character's wife finds out what happened, she calls him a "c--ksucker," not realizing that her 9-year-old was in earshot. The little girl then repeatedly asks her dad what it means, until he reluctantly feels he has to explain. Consider that your warning: If your kids or teens see this movie, you'll have some explaining to do, and no one will be the better for it.

Movie Details

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