Parents' Guide to

The Dry

By Jeffrey Anderson, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 15+

Slow but solid Aussie crime drama has blood, language.

Movie R 2021 117 minutes
The Dry Poster Image

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Kids say (1):

Perhaps hampered by the task of adapting Jane Harper's source novel, this languid crime drama isn't as taut or dynamic as it might have been, but it's still a well-acted, vivid piece of storytelling. Directed by Robert Connolly, The Dry relies heavily on character history to help thicken its story, but the frequent flashbacks to earlier days -- with younger actors playing some of the characters -- can be confusing; it takes a while to establish who's supposed to be who. Once in the present, however, the movie is allowed to wander into interesting gray areas.

As Falk, Bana doesn't get to show much emotion -- his character has to be on guard -- but he manages a neatly nuanced performance as a man carrying pain and guilt and operating out of obligation and a vain hope at redemption. Especially interesting is the relationship between Falk and Raco, which evolves as each man learns more about the other. The same occurs with Gretchen; what might have been a tacked-on romance turns into more character substance. Not much is done with the movie's drought theme, other than a shot of Falk being perturbed at not being able to take a shower, but the murder mystery and the movie's conclusion are better than average, making The Dry a quenching experience.

Movie Details

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