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A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
Loyalty, patriotism, service, bravery, and honesty are all positive themes in the movie that is critical of political machinations.
Positive Role Models
The main character is driven to uncover the truth out of a sense of loyalty and patriotism.
Violence & Scariness
Intense and graphic violence, battle violence, characters in peril, several murders, lab animals mistreated.
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Some strong language.
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Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that The Manchurian Candidate is a thriller with intense and graphic violence, including many murders (gunshot, strangling, drowning) and injuries. Characters drink, smoke, and use drugs. There's some very strong language. A strength of the movie is its portrayal of strong, intelligent, loyal, and capable citizens. To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
This sleek and supple thriller features powerhouse performances, but never quite persuades us that it has anything to add to the Cold War classic starring Frank Sinatra and Angela Lansbury. Director Jonathan Demme ably creates a believably creepy atmosphere and there are some great visual effects, especially Shaw's hotel room, which includes an infinitely refractive illusion in a picture that hangs over the bed. Streep is mesmerizing.
But some of it gets overheated, especially a mad scientist who of course has an English accent and is scrupulously polite and a murder assignment that makes no sense as a matter of logistics. And the big reveal about the bad guys does not have the same punch of the original; it is not as successful at tapping into the fears of the moment.
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.