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A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
No notable positive messages amid the rampant cheating, lying, stealing, and killing.
Positive Role Models
Though Charlie is portrayed as relatively rational compared to his associates, all characters cheat, lie, steal, and kill. Male characters are depicted as miserable and not-so-smart, and women as selfish, conniving, and mean-spirited.
Violence & Scariness
Stabbing, shooting, fighting -- all as " comedy." Lots of arguments/yelling. Acts of violence involve handguns, shotguns, knives, and cars. Charlie's positioned twice -- as conventional, self-aware hero and dim anti-hero, both sustained by the oddly convincing, refreshingly subtle, and relentlessly appealing Cusack.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
Sexual slang (references to acts and genitalia); strippers pole dancing; seductions as means to other ends.
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Constant use of "f--k" and more; crude language used in anger, frustration, and drunkenness.
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Products & Purchases
References to Subway, liquor brands, car brands (Lincoln, Mercedes).
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Several characters drink, most often to the point of drunkenness (including while driving); cigarette smoking.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that this movie isn't for kids. A holiday comedy of the Bad Santa type, it shows repeated arguments among friends and family members. One man argues with his wife, a young boy yells at his father, and another man shoots his wife (off screen). Two best friends eventually bond over their mutual hatred of the woman they have both married, one after the other. Characters lie, cheat, fight, and steal. They get drunk (one from a flask while driving), smoke cigarettes, and hang out in strip clubs. Acts of violence involve handguns, shotguns, knives, and cars. To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
For all Charlie's running around -- in driving rain and icy road conditions, to boot -- the film never picks up speed. If Charlie appears energetic, if not exactly inspired, it's only because he's in constant, circular motion. Surrounded by antic dunderheads and furious bunglers, he responds as if mystified, though he understands and can manipulate such behavior. Charlie's positioned twice -- as conventional, self-aware hero and dim anti-hero, both sustained by the oddly convincing, refreshingly subtle, and relentlessly appealing Cusack.
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.
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Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.See how we rate