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A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
If anyone had learned any lessons in the movie, there might have been some kind of message to take away, but it's really "just a bunch of stuff that happened." No one succeeds, no one fails. In final scene, there appears to be some remorse, but it's too little, too late.
Positive Role Models
Characters set out to do something quasi-illegal and don't really seem to benefit or learn from their actions. Aside from being smart and perhaps assertive, they aren't particularly admirable.
Violence & Scariness
Spoken story about being hit in face with pipe and knocked unconscious. A character is diagnosed with stomach cancer. Hospital scenes, etc. Urinating blood. Shouting and arguing. Characters arrested. Chainsaw wielded in semi-dangerous way.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
Character goes to a massage parlor and asks for a legitimate massage (unspoken reference to an erotic massage).
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Frequent, strong language, with many uses of "f--k" and "s--t," plus "motherf----r," "bulls--t," "pendejo," "hell," and "stupid."
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Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Cigarette smoking. Social drinking. Beers with lunch, drinks at dinner, etc.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that The Hummingbird Project is a (fictional) story about an attempt to beat the stock market by installing a faster, more than 1,000-mile-long fiber optic cable. Language is the biggest issue, with fairly frequent use of both "f--k" and "s--t." A character is diagnosed with stomach cancer; some scenes take place in a hospital, and one shows the character urinating blood. There's a spoken description of an injury, several scenes of shouting and arguing, a character getting arrested, and a character wielding a chainsaw. Someone goes to a massage parlor and asks for a "legitimate" massage, as opposed to an "erotic" one. Cigarette smoking is shown, as well as social drinking (beer at lunch, drinks at dinner, etc.). Unfortunately, the film feels like a letdown, but it's appropriate for mature teens and adults. To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
Though it certainly looks and sounds like fun, this comedy goes through a great many plot mechanics while hardly scratching the surface of its characters -- and without ever coming to a point. Written and directed by Kim Nguyen (of the Best Foreign Language Oscar nominee War Witch), The Hummingbird Project initially feels like it's going to have the energetic cleverness and complexity of something like The Social Network or The Big Short. It feels like it ought to be "based on a true story," but it's actually not.
Despite Vincent's obvious similarities to Eisenberg's superb portrayal of Mark Zuckerberg, The Hummingbird Project fails to discover what makes its main character tick, other than a brief story about his childhood. (A cancer-related subplot feels tacked-on.) Anton, meanwhile, is a broadly characterized "socially awkward genius" type, and Ms. Torres is just an angry, barking villainess. The strangest thing of all is that in the end, the characters neither win nor lose. This is a story with no real ending and no purpose; it doesn't leave viewers with much of an impression. The ending that Nguyen does choose, which involves an Amish farm, might have meant something if the movie had been pared down and zoomed in on that particular episode. But as it stands, it feels like a hollow gesture.
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.