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A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
Prizes relationships with friends, family, and loved ones over work or pursuit of personal pleasures.
Positive Role Models
A man learns to value the relationships in his life, making hard (and unusual) decisions about his life while thinking of others.
Violence & Scariness
During Western sequences, a hanged man is shown and guns are drawn.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
Kissing. Sex is implied. Partial naked breast. Brief naked photos/paintings.
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Uses of "f--k," "s--t," "bitch," "goddamn," and "Jesus Christ" (as an exclamation), plus a "gay" reference.
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Products & Purchases
Apple iPhones and computers are used.
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
The main character smokes pot on a regular basis, tries "shrooms" once, and drinks frequently (whisky, vodka, champagne, etc.). Two main characters take an Ecstasy-like drug. There are no real consequences.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that The Hero is a drama about an aging movie star (Sam Elliott) who's diagnosed with cancer and tries to get his life back together. It's such a warm, easygoing movie that, despite the dark material, it's a delight to watch. But it has quite a bit of drug use -- including pot, "shrooms," and an Ecstasy-like powder -- as well as frequent drinking, with little to no consequences. Language is also strong, with uses of "f--k," "s--t," "goddamn," and more. There's an implied sex scene between two main characters; kissing and a partial naked breast are shown, as are nude photos/pictures (briefly). When a character dreams about a Western movie, the scenes include mild violence (guns and the image of a hanged man). To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
Director Brett Haley manages to take an underused subject, i.e. a character over 70, and make a movie that's deeply soulful and sweetly easygoing. A movie like this could easily turn into a dire, hand-wringing affair, full of tears and anguish and button-pushing. But The Hero -- like Haley's own wonderful I'll See You in My Dreams -- is remarkably laid-back, happily open to looseness and exploration. It's warm, funny, and very much in tune with all of its characters, young and old, male and female.
The central May-December relationship could have been troubling, but the movie treats it just right, with a measure of shyness, a measure of questioning, and a measure of distance; each character feels around, rather than assuming a solution. Likewise, the father-daughter relationship seems to respect each character's point of view. No one's feelings are presented as hysterical or unreasonable. And, at the same time, nothing feels forced or overly dramatized; it's a breezy, effortless movie and a good choice for mature moviegoers of all ages.
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.