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Parents' Guide to

The Enforcer

By Tara McNamara, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 17+

Violent noir action has nudity, sex crime, smoking, cursing.

Movie R 2022 90 minutes
The Enforcer Movie Poster

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:
Parents say: Not yet rated
Kids say: Not yet rated

Violent crime dramas are a dime a dozen, but this Miami-set redemption tale has some heart. As Cuda, Banderas dresses like the James Bond of organized crime, a signal that he's too classy to work for the mob (not to mention a reminder that Banderas is too classy to be in this kind of film). But he turns in a performance as solid as he might for a Pedro Almodóvar film, and that achievement shines a light on his fellow actors, whose work might otherwise be overlooked. Kate Bosworth takes an unexpected approach as a mob boss who exudes power through her calm and femininity. Australian newcomer Mojean Arias is street fighter Stray, a young man who's trying to figure out his path in a world with few options, and it's easy to see that he's one to watch. (On the other hand, while rap fans may enjoy seeing 2 Chainz, he should probably keep his day job.)

First-time feature director Richard Hughes and established writer W. Peter Iliff (Point Break, Patriot Games, Varsity Blues) work well together. The Enforcer isn't a great film by any stretch of the imagination, but the filmmakers' choice to use noir elements and tailor them to a world-weary henchman instead of a detective is an exciting adjustment. Viewers' introduction to Stray is attention-getting: The camera follows him for a full minute as he walks through the streets of Miami, psyching himself up for a fight. It's easy to imagine this scene being discussed at length in panels and conferences for the rest of Hughes' life. But once the story pivots into the underbelly of the Miami crime scene, it goes from gritty to icky. The hope that the film might rise above the low-budget guns-and-glory schlock the title promises disappears like Cuda's hope that he'll be able to escape his life of crime. By the end, it's clear that this is meant for audiences who enjoy a juicy blood splatter and dames in dominatrix gear holding a smoking gun.

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