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A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
Acknowledgement of corruption in world governments, but mostly too convoluted to have much to say. Characters wreak all kinds of violence, killing and destroying without consequences. Some teamwork, but since none of the characters can be trusted, it doesn't really count.
Positive Role Models
None of the characters can be trusted, and they kill and destroy without consequence.
Violence & Scariness
Heavy, bloody violence. Lots of fighting, shooting, bloody wounds, and killing. Fighting with a machete. Eye-gouging. Fire and explosions. The main character punches a woman in the face. Mentions of rape. The main character has head trauma from too many concussions. Images from a bullfight. A man is gored by a bull.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
Sex scene with no sensitive body parts shown. Couples shown in bed together. Naked male bottoms shown in passing. Characters kiss. Mention of "condom distribution" in the Congo.
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Frequent strong language includes "f--k," "s--t," "bastard," "goddamn," "piss."
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Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
One character appears to be an alcoholic, frequently drunk and out of control. Characters also drink socially in bars, both beer and hard liquor. Cigarette smoking.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that The Gunman -- an action thriller starring Sean Penn -- has lots of bloody violence, with shooting, killing, and explosions. Characters often kill without consequence. Language includes more than one use of "f--k" and "s--t," as well as other words. There's one sex scene (though no sensitive body parts are shown) and a few other brief sexual situations (including naked male bottoms shown in passing). One minor character appears to have a drinking problem, and social drinking and smoking is shown. The movie has some buried messages about global economics and the exploitation of natural resources, but otherwise, it's a very serious and convoluted movie that most teens won't want to bother with. To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
While it's an admirable attempt by director Pierre Morel at a more grown-up type of entertainment, the movie winds up feeling rather leaden. Morel, best known for his lightweight, fast-paced action films for Luc Besson (District B13, Taken, and From Paris with Love), attempts THE GUNMAN on his own, adding a new kind of weight and seriousness. Penn may be one of the most dedicated and professional actors in the world, but even he can't bring a much-needed vulnerability or warmth to the project.
Not to mention that, though the tone puts more strain on the plot to be tight and relevant, it starts to feel confusing and ridiculous in spots. Morel's action directing is fast paced, but perhaps a bit clunky. His dedication to the actors, on the other hand, is strong, and the great cast members each get moments to shine; stage star Rylance in particular gives what could be a breakout performance. But even so, The Gunman overall isn't quite recommended.
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.