A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
The movie is relentlessly downbeat, and the ultimate message is that human life is cheap. Even further, we may deserve our sorry fate.
Positive Role Models
The characters are either victims or cold-blooded killers with nothing much to live for.
Violence & Scariness
A very high body count, considering how few characters actually appear on screen. Many of them are executed on screen, and quite a few more off screen, all with guns. One of them is an innocent woman, shot by mistake. The on-screen killings are frequently accompanied by spurting or pooling blood. There's a car crash and some brief fighting. A character hurls a rock at a barking dog. The main character is shown to have nasty-looking scars. Another character has a stomach wound that must be cleaned and treated.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
One ambiguous scene appears to take place in a kind of brothel where customers can sleep with young boys. A woman offers such a service to the main character, though he ignores her. A shirtless boy is shown sitting in a dark room, where several figures can be seen lying in beds and on mattresses. There's a rude comment about two brothers coming "from the same woman's hole." A character tells a story about finding his wife cheating with another man, with some crude references. Keri Hilson's song "Pretty Girl Rock" is heard, with lyrics like "looking at my derriere."
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Language is very strong but not frequent. "F--k," is used the most frequently, as well as "c--t," "goddamn," and "piss."
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that The Rover is a post-apocalyptic crime movie from Australia. It's very downbeat and violent, with a high body count for a movie with relatively few characters. Nearly everyone is shot, with lots of blood spatters and pools of blood. There's also a car crash and some brief fighting. The movie has some strong and/or disturbing sexual suggestion and innuendo, including a visit to a place that allows customers to sleep with young boys. This movie isn't for younger viewers, although it could be a word-of-mouth hit among adventurous older teens looking for the next "cool" movie. 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 is a spare, bleak story that relies on ambiguity and mystery. Made through the Australian film collective Blue Tongue Films, THE ROVER is the second feature film by director David Michod, whose Oscar-nominated Animal Kingdom was a great, complex, dense gangster film. This movie is almost the polar opposite. It's bound to remind viewers of The Mad Max/Road Warrior movies with its silences and baking-hot open spaces. When characters do speak, the language sounds lyrical and sometimes profound.
The dystopian setting is slightly problematic, since it tends to raise stray questions when audiences should be focusing on what's happening in any given moment. And the movie never settles on why Rey would willingly go along with Eric, although the mesmerizing presentation is enough to smooth over any plot hiccups. A spooky musical score by Antony Partos completes the package.
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.