A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
Aside from some obvious gardening-related metaphors and symbolism (plants, like families, need strong roots, etc.), no positive messages in violent action movie.
Positive Role Models
Typical stock characters.
Violence & Scariness
Action movie violence throughout, sometimes graphic. A pregnant woman is shot and killed by home invaders. Characters shot and killed; some blood. Martial arts fighting, including death by neck breaking. During a fight scene, man forces another man's hand into the blades of a lawnmower -- graphic, blood. Booby-trapped nail gun hits man in leg. Characters pistol-whipped, stabbed in skulls, shears in the chest, killed by getting stabbed with a spade. Fighting with kicks and punches.
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Strong language throughout. "F--k" often used. Also: "bulls--t," "s--t," "c--k," "pr--k," "bastards," "piss," "wanker."
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Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Wine drinking at dinner. Cigarette smoking.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that The Gardener is a 2021 action movie in which the gardener of a mansion in the English countryside must protect a family from vicious home invaders. Expect violence throughout, sometimes graphic. Home invaders shoot and kill a pregnant woman. Characters are shot and killed. During a fight scene, a man forces another man's hand into the blades of a running lawnmower -- the result is graphic, bloody. Character stabbed and killed with a spade. Shears used to stab a man's chest. A boobytrapped nail gun fires and hits someone in the leg. Pistol-whipping. Neck breaking. Strong language throughout, including "f--k." Cigarette smoking. Wine drinking. Cliched representations of different ethnicities in movie centered on White family in Willoughby, England -- fussy French maid, cold Russian villain, etc. The lead character is a foreigner from central Europe with an implied tragic and violent past. 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 is a ludicrous action movie that is, at times, unintentionally hilarious. The Gardener is basically a paint-by-numbers action movie in which the action hero (yes, a gardener with a mysterious military past) spends most of the movie's second act taking out an international conglomerate of home invaders who are going after the English manor where he tends to the flowers and shrubs and bushes. It's not spoiling anything to reveal that various garden implements are used to fatal, bloody, and graphic effect. And there are even some gardening metaphors connecting roots and families, although not nearly enough is made of all the possible one-liners that could've been employed throughout during the action sequences -- "you reap what you sow," etcetera.
Unintentionally funny dialogue, fight scenes that test the limits of the audience's gullibility, highly questionable accents -- these elements would make The Gardener entertaining in a so-bad-it's-good way if the story itself wasn't so formulaic. Still, you can't help but laugh when one of the lead villains, upon learning that there's one person they didn't account for while plotting their invasion and robbery of the manor, exclaims in a voice of terror and awe, "It's the gardener!" as if he's talking about an unkillable monster rather than an aging Charles Bronson doppelganger. It's hard to imagine anyone having high expectations before sitting down to watch a movie like this, and it almost goes without saying that expectations set at a low bar is the key to deriving any entertainment value from this ridiculous action movie.
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.