The Devil Has a Name

Movie review by Jeffrey Anderson, Common Sense Media
The Devil Has a Name Poster Image

Common Sense says

age 15+

Awkward, mature drama about environmental pollution.

R 2020 97 minutes

Parents say

age 17+

Based on 1 review

Kids say

age 14+

Based on 1 review

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Community Reviews

age 17+

The Devil Has A Name - Net Present Value

Since seeing Edward James Olmos in ‘Stand and Deliver’ way back I was impressed, so looked forward to seeing him in a movie which he co-produced/directed, and performed. To add to the interest it was claimed to be based on an actual event – the contamination of farmland by an Oil giant. Played straight this would have had promise but it seems green activist politics got involved and dragged it down a somewhat over-baked, foolish path. Yes, giant multinationals have been guilty of irresponsible short-cuts, often brought about through greed and they must be held to account ensuring more ecological responsibility. The writer added another downer by including a vicious gangster whose repugnant over-the-top actions are the equivalent of a hideously brutal Gestapo Mafioso type - this pushes the story way out of reasonable acceptability and degrades much of the initial interest being offered. I’m not sure Kate Bosworth was fully convincing as she should have been playing the slimy Oil company representative and the company’s headman was made to look like a caricature. If this was intended as black comedy it did not work whatsoever. As the downtrodden farmer, David Strathairn was good as always, as was Olmos as his co-worker – production values were overall OK but even though the moral situations were well-intended, the overly forced agenda-pushing script weakens any worthwhile message. Pity, as we need movies that bring important messages to the screen but in a more honest manner, this is no ‘Dark Waters’. Parental Note; Heavy vulgar dialogue, violence, and grotty sexual situation. Foxtel Aust ran this American R certificate as an M, when will they get it right?

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