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A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
The movie is mainly about seeking revenge and using violence to solve problems.
Positive Role Models
While Jackie Chan is often a decent role model in other movies, here he plays a character who's rather sullen and not above causing great amounts of damage in order to get revenge against his daughter's killers.
Violence & Scariness
Lots of bombs/explosions: cars, buses, etc. Injured and dead bodies, with gory wounds. Glass shards in face. Guns and shooting. Fighting, punching, kicking, choking. Brief images of men beating a woman. Attacking with knives. Bloody cuts, gunshot wounds. Cauterizing bloody wound with hot knife. Nails through foot. Arrow in leg. Flashbacks, brief images of women in jeopardy.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
Two main married characters are cheating with other lovers. Couple shown lying in bed, kissing. A second couple kisses, breathing hard; the man removes his shirt, and they tumble into bed but are interrupted. A third couple collapses into bed, post-sex, sweaty and panting. He's shirtless, she wears only his button-up shirt. Some brief sex talk.
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Several uses of "f--k," plus uses of "s--t," "c--t," "bastard," "rotten slag," and "Jesus Christ" (as an exclamation). Infrequent use of racial slurs (e.g., "Chinaman").
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Products & Purchases
Apple iPhone frequently shown, including the logo and the white packaging. An HP computer is shown, with logo.
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Characters drink somewhat frequently, sipping whisky/scotch, always in a social or casual context. Characters sometimes swig huge gulps straight from the bottle.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that The Foreigner is an action thriller starring Jackie Chan and Pierce Brosnan. It's very violent, with lots of bombs and explosions, plus dead bodies and gory, wounded body parts. There's also fighting, shooting, stabbing, choking, and so on, as well as a bloody wound being cauterized with a hot knife. Women are briefly shown in jeopardy and being beaten. Two characters are having extramarital affairs, and sex is implied in several scenes. There's kissing, heavy breathing, and some sex talk. Language is strong, with several uses of "f--k" and various other words. Characters frequently drink scotch and whisky, mainly sipping and mainly in social situations, although some swig from the bottle. To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
This thriller casts Chan in a bracing, dynamic role but then wastes that potential as the story sidelines him, focusing instead on other characters in rooms explaining the plot to each other. The Foreigner could have been another Die Hard or The Fugitive, with Chan at its center as the guy who gets things done. But the way it plays now, it feels more like he's been reluctantly tacked on and could easily have been removed. This is not to disparage Brosnan, who gets a great deal more to do, and is extremely appealing, as always.
Rather, the blame rests on the filmmakers, who don't seem to trust that Chan can carry a movie in a visual, nonverbal way. Moreover, the heavy dialogue that does drive the movie can be numbingly expository and repetitive. Director Martin Campbell stages his scenes in a static way, with characters mainly sitting in rooms or barking into their cell phones. It's too bad; there's a good story here, and both Chan and Brosnan are very good when the movie allows them to be. The Foreigner could have been a great entertainment, rather than a forgettable one.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.