The Intervention

Movie review by
S. Jhoanna Robledo, Common Sense Media
The Intervention Movie Poster Image
Old friends reunite with an unusual goal in mature dramedy.
  • R
  • 2016
  • 90 minutes

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Kids say

age 13+
Based on 1 review

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The parents' guide to what's in this movie.

Positive Messages

Not even old friends and family members -- the people who theoretically know someone best -- can know what happens within another person's marriage. Also, even if you think what you're doing is for the best, no one has the right to go snooping into other people's most intimate affairs.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Annie and Jessie think they're doing the right thing -- and their only motivation is to help someone -- but in the end there's no getting around the fact that they're getting involved in something that's really not their business. Even when it's made very clear that their assistance isn't welcome, they insist on pursuing their agenda, causing anger and strife.


Heated, emotional arguments. A husband angrily throws a ball at his wife during a game, hitting her in the face.


Several scenes show couples (both opposite-sex and same-sex) in bed, kissing and embracing. In some cases, they seem like they're about to have sex or have just finished. One scene shows a woman in her underwear. Some frank sex talk. A wife tells a friend that she and her husband haven't had sex in several months.


Frequent use of words including "s--t," "f--k," "a--hole," etc.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Adults frequently drink wine, beer, and stronger things while hanging out with friends or during meals -- sometimes to excess. One character has a drinking problem, which is a key plot point. Several people also smoke cigarettes in many scenes, including two people in a relationship who are both trying to hide their smoking from their partner.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that The Intervention is an indie drama about four couples, all old friends, who reunite to confront a serious issue: one couple's struggling marriage. In the process, the entire group must confront painful, mature emotional topics related to friendship and relationships. Expect some suggestive moments and a few frank discussions about sex, as well as passionate kissing and implied sex. There's a lot of drinking -- including a few scenes in which people get pretty wasted -- and one character has a drinking problem. Characters also argue, swear frequently (mostly variations of "s--t and "f--k"), and smoke.

User Reviews

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Teen, 14 years old Written bySomeKindofLove November 3, 2017

Intervention turns for the worst

This movie is a great film and one of the best work of Clea Duvall. This movie does have alot of cussing and heavy drinking/smoking, but other than that there i... Continue reading

What's the story?

In THE INTERVENTION, four couples, all old pals, reunite for a long weekend -- but they're not just planning to reminisce. The group, spearheaded by Annie (Melanie Lynskey), has determined that their friend Ruby (Coby Smulders) is unhappy in her marriage, and they want to push her and her husband to split up. Ruby's sister, Jessie (Clea DuVall), is on board with the idea, and her girlfriend, Sarah (Natasha Lyonne), and Annie's long-suffering fiance, Matt (Jason Ritter) are willing to go along with the plan, too. Only Jack (Ben Schwartz) is opposed to the idea of getting involved in someone else's marriage. But once this emotional ball gets rolling it's impossible to stop, and it doesn't always go in the intended direction.

Is it any good?

On cast chemistry alone, this ensemble drama makes the grade; its players persuasively care about each other. But a fine ensemble can't make up for a script that, though at times charming, holds few surprises. The biggest, most "profound" moments are easily spotted from the first act. Though The Intervention makes some interesting points about marriage and modern-day relationships, it suffers from an over-long wind-up and a hasty climax, throwing the film off balance. It's worth a watch, but it may be underwhelming if examined closely. 

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the relationships featured in The Intervention. What do you think about the couples in this film? Do any of their relationships seem stronger than the others? Which ones are struggling? Who seems happiest?

  • How does The Intervention compare to other movies about old friends reuniting? Do you think it stands out from the likes of The Big Chill and Peter's Friends?

  • Talk to your kids about how the movie addresses addiction. Does it seem realistic? Are there different types and varying degrees of addiction?

Movie details

Our editors recommend

For kids who love dramas

Themes & Topics

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