Parents' Guide to

The Devil to Pay

By JK Sooja, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 16+

Bleak, dark drama has strong violence, blood, and gore.

Movie NR 2023 87 minutes
The Devil to Pay movie poster: a Black woman stands in the forest and shoots a shotgun

A Lot or a Little?

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

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Is It Any Good?

Our review:
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The performances are top notch in this dark and bleak drama. It's an entertaining watch, but there isn't much depth to The Devil to Pay, unfortunately. Even though it's easy to root for the main character, Lemon, and her adorable son, some viewers may take issue with the way the politics and cultures of Appalachian Mountain communities are so violently depicted. Thus, while the viewing is often riveting, there's an underlying sense of only a surface-level delving into life in the Appalachian Mountains. Because of this, some viewers might feel like the setting is at best used as a platform to educate people about the "brutality" of the Appalachian environment/community and at worst is merely a novelty used to warrant such a violent story and outcome.

The other issue is that pretty much the only solution to problems throughout the entire film is violence and extreme violence (killing). This reduces the complexity or depth that could have been mined, given the unique setting.

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