A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this movie.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that The Doorman is a 2020 movie in which an ex-Marine must rescue her nephew, niece, and brother-in-law from a gang of armed art thieves in a NYC high-rise apartment. Expect plenty of action-movie violence. A terrorist attack on a road in Romania results in multiple deaths (including of a little girl), and the lead character, who was one of the guards in the attack, struggles with PTSD in the aftermath. Characters use rocket launchers, assault rifles, guns, knives, blunt objects. Lead character makes a makeshift bomb with nails, killing one of the bad guys, resulting in blood splatter. Characters shot and killed at close range. Stabbing in throat. Electrocution. Teen boy smokes marijuana in his room, is high while seated with his family at Easter dinner. Some profanity, including "f--k."
What's the story?
In THE DOORMAN, Ali (Ruby Rose) is an ex-Marine haunted by a terrorist attack she experienced while working in the American embassy in Romania. Now living in New York City, Ali, through the help of her Uncle Pat, takes a job as a "doorman" in a swanky apartment building, working for Borz (Aksel Hennie), a classical music enthusiast. She soon discovers that her niece Lily and now-teen nephew Max live in the building, as well as her brother-in-law Jon, with whom she has been estranged since the untimely death of her sister/his wife. Because it's Easter, Jon invites Ali for dinner. Meanwhile, as most of the tenants are vacating the building for "repairs," Borz is not who he seems. After knocking out Uncle Pat, he secures the building for a gang of art thieves led by one Victor DuBois (Jean Reno), a world-weary Frenchman. DuBois knows that one of the tenants of the building, while a secret agent, absconded with valuable paintings from then-East Germany as the Cold War was drawing to an end. When they discover that the art is hidden in the walls of the apartment currently occupied by Jon and his kids, a hostage situation erupts, and Ali must find a way to stop Victor's armed and dangerous henchmen, stop DuBois and Borz, and rescue her family.
Is it any good?
In spite of its shortcomings, this is an above average action movie. There are some moments of surprise, solid action scenes, and assured direction. It's almost possible to forget how derivative The Doorman is to so many other action movies, to say nothing of all the overused action movie tropes. The imperfections of the story and corny dialogue are almost to be expected as a condition of being a part of the "action movie" genre.
You could probably watch The Doorman without the sound, and still have a perfect grasp of what's happening in the story. For some, doing this might make it a more enjoyable experience. No need to endure pretentious discussion of art and Dylan ("Thomas?" "No. Bob."), to say nothing of the groan-worthy dialogue of bad guys who, in the middle of a life-or-death struggle, ask the lead character if she's a Virgo and how he can't date Virgos. Still, it's not like anyone goes into an action movie with the expectation of the witty repartee found in a Robert Altman movie. It's a fun-enough Friday night turn-off-the-brain kind of movie after a long week, with the understanding that to expect anything more is only going to lead to disappointment.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about action movies like The Doorman. What's the appeal? Why are they so popular?
Unlike in most action movies, the lead character is a woman. Why do you think that it's still a rarity? Do you think we're starting to see more action movies with female leads, or is it the same as it has always been?
How did the movie address issues such as PTSD and the untimely loss of loved ones?
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Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.
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