A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
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 & Scariness
An intentional car crash has physical consequences, but the actual moment of impact isn't seen.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
A flirtation turns into a comical sexual encounter; passionate kissing shown. Euphemisms are used to talk about sex.
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"Slut" is applied to a wide swath of women based on something nonsexual.
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Products & Purchases
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.
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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." 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 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.
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