The November Man

  • Review Date: August 27, 2014
  • Rated: R
  • Genre: Thriller
  • Release Year: 2014
  • Running Time: 108 minutes

Common Sense Media says

So-so spy thriller has bloody violence, sex, drinking.
  • Review Date: August 27, 2014
  • Rated: R
  • Genre: Thriller
  • Release Year: 2014
  • Running Time: 108 minutes

Age(i)

2
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17

Quality(i)

 

What parents need to know

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

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
Not applicable
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.

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.

Parents say

Kids say

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?

QUALITY
 

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.

Families can talk 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

Theatrical release date:August 27, 2014
DVD release date:November 25, 2014
Cast:Pierce Brosnan, Olga Kurylenko, Luke Bracey
Director:Roger Donaldson
Studio:Relativity Media
Genre:Thriller
Run time:108 minutes
MPAA rating:R
MPAA explanation:strong violence including a sexual assault, language, sexuality/nudity and brief drug use

This review of The November Man was written by

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  • ON: Content is age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • PAUSE: Know your child; some content may not be right for some kids.
  • OFF: Not age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • NOT FOR KIDS: Not appropriate for kids of any age.

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Quality

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What parents and kids say

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Adult Written bydarthsitkur January 9, 2015
AGE
15
QUALITY
 

a real treat for fans of the 007 series

if you love the 007 series, you'll love the November man, this is an awesome spy film with nonstop action and suspense that keeps you on the edge of your seat :-), this is a much more grown up version of James Bond
Teen, 13 years old Written byTeenageCritic100 January 7, 2015
AGE
14
QUALITY
 

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 to fight his former protege during a mission. There's a lot of Russian stuff and to be honest, I was confused during some parts, but I got the general gist of it. This movie is extremely bloody and has some pretty graphic violence scenes. Most of them just include blood spurting out of bullet wounds, but it could definitely frighten some teens. There is a sex scene that does show nudity- a woman's backside- but it's too dark to make much out, but you definitely know that they're having sex. Characters are shown in a strip club, and you can clearly see topless women parading around in the background. There is a quite a bit of language and drinking and a disturbing scene that suggests a much older man is raping a young girl - it's later confirmed. Another woman is held by gunpoint and is cut by a knife in a bloody scene. Only mature teens should see this, and parents beware- there will probably be a few moments where you should cover their eyes.
What other families should know
Too much violence
Too much sex
Too much swearing
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking
Adult Written bymichaelmcgcp. March 11, 2015
AGE
16
QUALITY
 

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 shot (which happens a fair amount of times) blood will shoot out of them like crazy and cover a lot of their clothing. If you are worried about violence then you should look up some of it on youtube because most of the killings are the same. There is also a discussion of rape which include a small visual that shows the man's chest (that is it). Also, there is one scene where two characters have sex and it is really uncomfortable for everyone. I regret seeing this movie not because I did not like it, but because it was a really mature movie for me and caught me off guard. There are topless women which is not that bad because they are shown from afar at a club but you can tell that they are topless. There are a lot of mature kids out there who may not be as overwhelmed by seeing the content because we are exposed to it EVERYWHERE. Most kids should be ok with the violence but think twice before allowing them to see it.
What other families should know
Too much violence
Too much sex

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