Want more recommendations for your family?
Sign up for our weekly newsletter for entertainment inspiration
A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
The movie has positive messages about faith, talent, and pursuing your passions. It encourages the use of your talents and conveys the importance of honoring your parents and supporting your spouse.
Positive Role Models
The twins' parents make tough but selfless decisions to give their sons the best lives possible. The Wades love their son and encourage him to follow his calling. Ryan has a loving and supportive wife and family. Jenny wants Ryan to pursue singing because it makes him happy.
Violence & Scariness
A police officer strikes and pushes a young man and threatens to arrest a bunch of others. A couple of characters die or are hospitalized, upsetting other characters.
Did you know you can flag iffy content? Adjust limits for Violence & Scariness in your kid's entertainment guide.Get started
Sex, Romance & Nudity
Married couples embrace and kiss a few times.
Did you know you can flag iffy content? Adjust limits for Sex, Romance & Nudity in your kid's entertainment guide.Get started
Racist language includes the white sheriff going into a "negro club" and calling it "dark and stinky"; also a couple of uses of "damn" and "hell."
Did you know you can flag iffy content? Adjust limits for Language in your kid's entertainment guide.Get started
Products & Purchases
City of Peace records, which is run by the filmmakers, is featured in the movie.
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Young adults smoke cigarettes in a couple of scenes (accurate for the movie's time period), and marijuana (called "hooty weed") is mentioned in an integrated music and dance club. Characters in clubs are also briefly shown drinking.
Did you know you can flag iffy content? Adjust limits for Drinking, Drugs & Smoking in your kid's entertainment guide.Get started
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that The Identical is a family drama about an Elvis-like superstar whose "double"/impersonator is actually his twin brother. The movie's star (an actual Elvis impersonator) and many of the movie's biographical details are obviously Elvis references, but the movie is more of a faith-based drama than a Presley-sanctioned biopic. There's little-to-no language ("damn" and "hell," sparingly), violence (although a sheriff does strike the protagonist), or sex, but the movie's themes might be too mature for very young viewers. There's also some smoking, though it's accurate for the movie's time period. Although no knowledge of Elvis Presley is required, those who do know something about his life (like that he was born with a stillborn twin or that he had Jewish ancestry) will appreciate the various nods to his legacy. The filmmaker belongs to the Messianic Jewish faith, so there are overt references to special bond between Christianity and Judaism, as well as pro-Israel messages. To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
Even seasoned actors can't save The Identical from seeming like the kind of watered-down family drama that would have been better suited as a Hallmark special than a feature film. As a concept, this story had a lot of promise, offering an alternative universe in which Elvis' identical twin survived (in real-life, the second Presley baby was stillborn) and grew up raised by other parents. Of course, the filmmakers couldn't use Elvis' name, but everything about Drexel "The Dream" Hemsley was created to remind viewers of Elvis, including the casting of Rayne, who's actually a Presley impersonator. But unfortunately the filmmakers took their fascinating idea and turned it into a bland, whitewashed story devoid of the charisma that made Presley such an amazing performer. Rayne might look and sound the part, but he's not a capable enough actor to carry this story.
Another of the movie's major problems is that it focuses solely on the adopted twin, when it would have been so much more compelling to show both boys growing up into similarly musical men -- one a star, the other frustrated. Luckily for viewers, Rayne is surrounded by capable veteran actors, like Liotta, who does a decent enough job as the earnest preacher; Judd as the mysteriously never-aging mother; and Seth Green as the comic-relief drummer who's known Ryan since he as kid.
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.