The Mimic

Movie review by
Tara McNamara, Common Sense Media
The Mimic Movie Poster Image
Dark, unkind psychiatric comedy has drugs, smoking.
  • NR
  • 2021
  • 81 minutes

Parents say

age 18+
Based on 1 review

Kids say

age 15+
Based on 1 review

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.

A lot or a little?

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

Positive Messages

While it may increase awareness of the sociopaths that people could run into in their daily lives, the main character's confrontational examination of a neighbor's behavior is contemptible. Age and beauty are used as a measuring stick for a woman's appeal; personality disorders are weaponized as insults.

Positive Role Models

The story examines someone who may have a mental health condition. While it establishes that a sociopath is a person you'd typically want to avoid, it also suggests that a sociopath isn't necessarily evil. 

Violence

An intentional car crash has physical consequences, but the actual moment of impact isn't seen.

Sex

A flirtation turns into a comical sexual encounter; passionate kissing shown. Euphemisms are used to talk about sex.

Language

"Slut" is applied to a wide swath of women based on something nonsexual.

Consumerism

Older vintage vehicles.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

The main character smokes throughout the film. Discussions about lead characters doing lines of cocaine, positioned in a normalizing way. Several instances of wine on tables or being served. Condescending conversation connecting women's character with the kind of wine they drink. 

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that The Mimic is a dark comedy that looks at society's hyperawareness and reckless assignation of mental health disorders. In this case, a character known only as The Narrator (Thomas Sadoski) suspects that his new neighbor -- whom he calls The Kid (Jake Robinson) --  is a sociopath. He starts researching the disorder while also observing the neighbor. Based on true events, the film at times feels like a form of bullying; personality disorders are weaponized as insults, and women are judged on their age and looks. Characters talk about cocaine use a couple of times in a way that makes it seem like it's just something adults do. And while women have very small roles in the film, there's a fixation on wives that feels disrespectful. The Narrator and The Kid talk about having, keeping, losing, judging, and sleeping with women with little regard for their humanity. Kissing is shown, and it's also implied that one character cheats on his wife for a fairly absurd reason. There's lots of smoking and some drinking. Language is minimal but includes "slut."

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written bySaferPerson February 8, 2021

Inappropriate

This teaches kids a BAD lesson!!!
Teen, 13 years old Written byJinni November 16, 2021

Trash

Don’t waste your time watching this lol

What's the story?

Based on a true story, THE MIMIC begins as The Narrator (Thomas Sadoski) realizes that there's something off about his new neighbor, whom he calls The Kid (Jake Robinson). Believing that The Kid may be a sociopath -- and therefore might provide good material for his next screenplay -- The Narrator starts researching the personality disorder while spending more time with him. 

Is it any good?

This true story might be fascinating if it wasn't so mean-spirited. Some critics may assess the film on its witty repartee, but that's a distraction. Something much darker is afoot -- and it's something that teens are likely to be more sensitive to than adults. Thomas F. Mazziotti's film explores people's curiosity about others' adeptness (or lack thereof) at social interactions in a WebMD world. What if someone did get out a medical textbook and start measuring another person's behavioral traits -- like how long they hold eye contact -- to try to diagnose them? The problem, though, is that Mazziotti makes a point of saying that everything that happens here is real. In interviews and press materials, he said that The Kid is based on a real person in his neighborhood, that the famous actors in cameos are their real neighbors, and that the shooting location is their real community. That twists this "quirky comedy" into something grotesque. It's like a high-society form of bullying.

That bullying extends to Mazziotti's misogynistic views, which creep into the film. The Narrator surrounds himself with women, all of whom he makes snarky and condescending remarks about in one way or another. He judges women's value on age and beauty, including trying to figure out how The Kid could possibly have a wife so beautiful (he believes she’d be better off with The Narrator himself). The light does eventually get pointed on The Narrator: Is he a sociopath? But the film misses the opportunity to point out how easily many people label others behind their backs -- personality disorders are weaponized as insults. Also missing is anyone listed in the credits with a Dr. in front of their name or even an MFT behind it. Instead, the complete diagnostic text seems to be The Narrator’s interpretation of the 2005 nonfiction book The Sociopath Next Door, which is referenced several times. The film does end on a happy note with a positive yet cloudy epiphany. But the lack of resolution only muddles the very subject it attempted to shed light on.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about what it means to be a sociopath and how The Mimic tells viewers how to identify one. Do you think either of the characters meets the criteria? Do you think there's another explanation for what's going on with The Kid? 

  • Why do the words "based on a true story" pull us into a story and keep us engaged? What other comedies have you seen that also stated they had roots in real experiences? How accurate do you think most fact-based movies are?

  • How does The Narrator demonstrate curiosity and communication? Are those typically seen as worthy character strengths? Does The Narrator employ these traits for a positive purpose? 

  • Writer-director Thomas F. Mazziotti based this film on himself and a real person, then shot the movie in their real neighborhood, using their real neighbors as actors. He says The Kid still lives in his neighborhood. Do you think this is a kind thing to do? How would you feel if you were the person The Kid is based on?

Movie details

Our editors recommend

For kids who love offbeat friendships

Themes & Topics

Browse titles with similar subject matter.

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

Streaming options powered by JustWatch

About these links

Common Sense Media, a nonprofit organization, earns a small affiliate fee from Amazon or iTunes when you use our links to make a purchase. Thank you for your support.

Read more

Our ratings are based on child development best practices. We display the minimum age for which content is developmentally appropriate. The star rating reflects overall quality.

Learn how we rate