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Parents' Guide to

The Rhythm Section

By Sandie Angulo Chen, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 15+

Impressive cast can't save dark, violent thriller.

Movie R 2020 109 minutes
The Rhythm Section Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this movie.

Community Reviews

age 18+

Based on 1 parent review

age 18+

nope, not my taste

not recomended to family or any child about this movie. im very dispointed me and my dad watch this. :(

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (1 ):
Kids say (1 ):

Despite the talented cast and the author's own screenplay, this adaptation of Mark Burnell's spy thriller is sure to leave audiences thinking "the book was better." Lively's Stephanie -- looking rough, with the pallid skin, track marks, and bruises consistent with the violence of sex work and addiction -- is supposedly a brilliant former Oxford student who just missed the flight on which her parents and siblings died. Although the initial self-destruction makes some sense, Stephanie's transformation into a skilled sniper, assassin, and intelligence operative appears to happen unrealistically quickly (although apparently months have passed).

Lively and Law have decent chemistry as the enigmatic former-spy-turned-teacher and his tortured student, and an early chase sequence is promising, but most of The Rhythm Section is just passable and derivative. There's nothing particularly original about a post-9/11 Islamic terrorist plot (even in 2011, when the source book debuted, it had been done over and over again), and the plot takes a few overly convenient turns, including a trip to New York City to eliminate a smarmy mogul with a penchant for prostitutes (a well-cast Max Casella). Spy thrillers are all somewhat familiar -- car chases, honeypot seductions, weapons shown once only to turn up again -- but this one is a particularly predictable letdown that falls far short of the Bourne/Salander comparisons.

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