The November Man

Movie review by
Jeffrey M. Anderson, Common Sense Media
The November Man Movie Poster Image
So-so spy thriller has bloody violence, sex, drinking.
  • R
  • 2014
  • 108 minutes

Parents say

age 16+
Based on 2 reviews

Kids say

age 14+
Based on 3 reviews

A lot or a little?

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

Positive Messages

The movie touches on a few interesting themes, although not with much depth. A trained assassin discusses the conundrum of being both a killer and a human being, and how the two roles can't co-exist. It also deals with world politics and "the ends justify the means" methods that may lead to world peace, but at a price. Is it worth the price? Otherwise, the movie mostly consists of chase scenes and shoot outs.

Positive Role Models & Representations

The characters are capable of switching from good to bad in a heartbeat, turning on friends and becoming enemies. They're killers who kill without consequence, and their motivation is often vengeful and self-serving.

Violence

During a shoot out, a child is shot in the chest, and blood is shown. Gory crime scene photos are shown. Many scenes of shooting, stabbing, chasing, punching, and explosions, with plenty of blood shown. Characters are shot in the head, with spurting blood. Women are treated roughly. A man holds a woman hostage and slices a major artery in her leg, resulting in a huge amount of blood. An assassin is bashed in the face with a shovel.

Sex

A scene takes place at a topless bar, with topless dancers on view. In a series of gory crime scene photos, one shot shows a woman in a bathtub, with her breasts on view. The younger main character is shown kissing a woman at a cafe. Later, he kisses another woman (his across-the-hall neighbor) and has sex with her (nothing graphic shown). Viewers see photos of the main character cuddling in bed with his wife. The main female character wears a tiny, tight, sexy outfit, with the intention of seducing (and deceiving) a bad guy.

Language

Though not constant, occasional strong language includes "f--k," "s--t," "a--hole," "t-ts," "motherf----r," "ass," "twat," "bitch," and "Christ." A middle finger gesture is shown.

Consumerism
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

The main character gulps down a few glasses of scotch after a harrowing escape. He's shown very drunk and angry in another scene, continuing to gulp scotch. A female character is seen snorting cocaine in a bar.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that The November Man is an action thriller based on one in a series of novels by Bill Granger. Strong violence includes shooting, stabbing, chases, explosions, and scenes of spurting blood; main characters are killers who do their job without consequence. Women are treated fairly roughly from time to time. Main male characters are shown having sex, kissing, or in bed with women, though nothing graphic is shown. Nudity is shown in a background way, in both a photograph and at a topless bar. Language includes multiples uses of "f--k," "s--t," and "t-ts." One of the main characters is shown drinking heavily and angrily drunk in one scene. A woman in a club is shown snorting cocaine.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written bydarthsitkur January 9, 2015

a much more gritty version of James Bond

I ended up liking this a lot better than the 007 series, it too was a breath of fresh air just like kingsman: the secret service
Adult Written bymichaelmcgcp. March 11, 2015

November Man

This movie is decent but not for everyone. Many of the action has excessive violence which i not necessary at all. Nothing really gross but when a character is... Continue reading
Teen, 13 years old Written byTeenageCritic100 January 7, 2015

Bloody spy movie might be too gory for some teens.

This movie was decent- not great and in my opinion, a bit disappointing, though it did have its good moments. It centers around a spy out of retirement who has... Continue reading
Teen, 15 years old Written byGtaplayer June 8, 2016

Very violent but good story

This isent really for kids it has a graphic sex scene lasting for 2 mins sexual references and heavy violence a kid is shot and a guy is strangled to death with... Continue reading

What's the story?

Years after a failed mission in which CIA agent Peter Devereaux (Pierce Brosnan) and rookie agent David Mason (Luke Bracey) parted ways, Devereaux's old boss, Hanley (Bill Smitrovich), calls him out of retirement. Devereaux is to help bring in a fellow agent, Natalia (Mediha Musliovic), who's posing as an aide to a powerful Russian politician, Fedorov (Lazar Ristovski). Devereaux picks her up just as she escapes, but his former student unexpectedly appears on the scene, and the mission ends in betrayal. Fortunately, Devereaux has obtained the name of someone who may know something about Fedorov, but the only key to her whereabouts lies with a social worker, Alice Fournier (Olga Kurylenko). From there, the stakes just grow higher.

Is it any good?

Based on a novel by Bill Granger, THE NOVEMBER MAN touches on some interesting themes -- such as the manipulation of global politics and the toll that killing takes on a man's soul. But it also has some fairly dumb coincidences. That, plus a batch of routine shoot outs and chases, eventually squashes the good stuff like road kill. The story takes place in a world of high-tech spying, where spies can find just about anywhere at any time, which should raise the stakes. But instead of responding in kind, characters rely on dumb luck and good timing to get out of scrapes.

The characters should also have been more interesting than they are. The teacher-student relationship between Brosnan and Bracey never comes to life or generates any chemistry or history, perhaps because Bracey doesn't have anywhere near the onscreen charisma that Brosnan has. Director Roger Donaldson has made decent thrillers before, but stuck with dud material like this, The November Man is one to forget.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about The November Man's violence. How does all the blood and killing impact you as a viewer? Does it serve to make a point, or does it feel gratuitous? Could the story be told with less violence?

  • When the bad guys' plan is finally revealed, does it appear to have good intentions? What does "the ends justify the means" mean? How does it apply here?

  • When does the main character drink, and how does it affect him?

  • Have you ever had a mentor-student relationship with anyone? How did it change over time? How does it compare to the one in the movie?

Movie details

For kids who love thrills

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