A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
A character eventually faces the consequences for a horrible act, but not by his own choice. Otherwise, the movie warns us not to trust our neighbors, which isn't a very hopeful message.
Positive Role Models
No role models here. Even the "hero" is guilty of drunk driving, causing a terrible accident, covering it up, and lying. When he faces the consequences, it's not by his own choice.
The story is driven by two White men. The most positive character is a woman, Vanessa, who's in a supporting role. She's kidnapped and attacked, but she also demonstrates more strength, courage, and understanding than the men.
Did we miss something on diversity? Suggest an update.
Violence & Scariness
A car runs into a cyclist and kills her; her body slams into the windshield and she's shown dead in the street. Some blood. Man hits woman with boat oar. Strangling woman. Woman held hostage. Dead body wrapped in plastic. Punching. Cutting finger on fishhook. A body plunges into water, tied to an anchor, dragged to the bottom. Kayak capsizing. Gutting fish.
Did you know you can flag iffy content? Adjust limits for Violence & Scariness in your kid's entertainment guide.Get started
Sex, Romance & Nudity
Couple kissing, shown in bed together. Flirting. Women dancing sensually in club. Brief sex-related dialogue.
Did you know you can flag iffy content? Adjust limits for Sex, Romance & Nudity in your kid's entertainment guide.Get started
Uses of "f--k," "motherf----r," "s--t," "goddamn," "son of a bitch," "bastard," "pr--k," "oh my God," "hell," "damn."
Did you know you can flag iffy content? Adjust limits for Language in your kid's entertainment guide.Get started
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Drinks in bar; driving while drunk. Drinking alone at home. Social drinking. Cigarette smoking.
Did you know you can flag iffy content? Adjust limits for Drinking, Drugs & Smoking in your kid's entertainment guide.Get started
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that The Good Neighbor is a thriller about a man (Luke Kleintank) whose new friend (Jonathan Rhys Meyers) helps him cover up a terrible accident, but the "friend" turns out to be a psychopath. Violence includes drunk driving, with a person crashing into the car's windshield (and then shown as a bloody corpse in the street). A woman is kidnapped, hit with an oar, and strangled. Characters are killed, and bodies and some blood are shown. A character is dragged to the bottom of a lake by an anchor. Strong language includes uses of "f--k," "motherf----r," "s--t," "goddamn," and more. Two people kiss and are seen in bed together. There's some flirting, and women dance sensually at a club. Characters smoke and drink, socially and privately, and sometimes to excess. 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 cookie-cutter thriller takes the old "psycho neighbor" genre popular in the 1990s and, rather than riffing on it, slavishly copies it in a way that's devoid of suspense or energy. The Good Neighbor follows the lead of films like Fatal Attraction and The Hand That Rocks the Cradle -- two of the most successful movies in this thriller subgenre -- but with a male psychopath, rather than a female one. (Though Meyers is no match for Robert De Niro in Cape Fear.) The men's friendship is just the beginning of this movie's trouble. It doesn't flow, and it never feels organic. It feels like the two men are reading dialogue at each other. Plus David never seems to be working and somehow has plenty of time for drinks and fishing.
Robert's sudden switch from buddy to stalker also makes little emotional sense. It's too abrupt. The same goes for David's connection with Janine in the bar. Their supposedly flirty conversation ("I like your bracelet") is so dull that it's head-scratching how he manages to come away with her number. And so it goes with nearly every interaction in the movie. The main problem with The Good Neighbor is that the characters and their emotional interactions don't drive the plot. Rather, everything happens in service of the plot; the characters are enslaved by it. They can't move. Even the beautiful Latvian locations aren't used for much more than window dressing. In the end, there's little "good" about this 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.