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A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
With perseverance, resourcefulness, and courage, good triumphs over evil. Addresses "celebrity" in its most heinous form.
Positive Role Models
Heroes are unassuming, professional, relentless pursuers whose efforts are rewarded.
Violence & Scariness
Gunplay, machine gun fire, bloody bodies strewn on highways. A prison escape results in the death of a guard. Climactic scene is a blood bath -- two villains under assault killed in a car.
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Occasional swearing includes "s--t," "goddamn," "ass," "hell," "son of a bitch." Insults: "gimp," "high-flying sissy." A man urinates off-camera.
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Products & Purchases
Coca-Cola. A number of gun manufacturers are mentioned.
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
One hero has issues with alcohol abuse, is seen drinking. Characters smoke cigarettes.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that The Highwaymen is the dramatic representation of the tracking and capture of Bonnie and Clyde, two infamous criminals who robbed and killed with abandon in the Central United States in 1934. Though the couple was romanticized in a classic 1967 film, Bonnie and Clyde, this new film serves to portray the meticulous, determined Frank Hamer and his partner, Maney Gault, two retired Texas Rangers who actually led the successful effort to end the violent crime spree. Other than a wild gun battle that occurs during a prison escape, the movie avoids the young couple's actual crimes, opting to show the aftermath of their sociopathic behavior (i.e., bodies left behind). The climactic sequence is a literal depiction of the actual event: when hundreds of bullets found their targets in a car on a country road. It's a very violent, bloody sequence. Moderate cursing is heard throughout, including "damn," "ass," "s--t," and "hell" as well as insults: "high-flying sissy," "gimp." One leading character, known to have a problem with alcohol, drinks in secret in multiple scenes. Characters smoke cigarettes. A notable element in the film, one that might inspire thoughtful discussion, is the celebrity status given the two killers ... perhaps a glimpse of infamous media stars in later years. Mature teens only. To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
Straightforward storytelling and solid performances by Costner and Harrelson make for a fine, though far less dynamic, partner to 1967's dazzling, classic Bonnie and Clyde. The Highwaymen is part police procedural, part myth-buster, and part buddy tale. The movie looks great; both cinematographer John Schwartzman and the production design team enhance director John Lee Hancock's vision of time and place; everything about the film feels authentic. Regrettably, in maintaining that accuracy, there's not a lot to surprise audiences. Hamer and Gault's machinations -- traversing Texas and venturing across its borders to focus on the villains' natural predilection for "going home" -- are smart but not always dramatic. And Hamer's stoicism doesn't allow for a spirited relationship with his partner. Still, it's an admirable movie that gives a very honest look at the flip side of a legendary historical event.
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.