Parents' Guide to

The Take

By Jeffrey Anderson, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 17+

Interesting idea lost in lazy, violent storytelling.

Movie R 2016 92 minutes
The Take Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

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

Community Reviews

age 12+

Based on 1 parent review

age 12+
It is a very good movie with some positive messages but has some death and a bit of violence

Is It Any Good?

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

This thriller begins with a strong, relevant idea -- using a fake terrorist attack to mask another crime -- but the poor storytelling soon demotes it to a forgettable throwaway. The Take (a generic title chosen over the original title Bastille Day) effectively shows the rising tides of anger, the demonstrations, the news reports, and the social media storms that lead up to a full-scale uprising. It's scary, but not too unrealistic, to imagine that unscrupulous people could be using this brouhaha as a distraction to cover up some other crime.

But the screenplay by Andrew Baldwin and director James Watkins relies on far too many lazy cliches, such as the mismatched heroes, reluctantly teamed up and constantly bickering, or the sudden "surprise" betrayal, which is so clumsily telegraphed that it's no surprise. Plus, Watkins, who directed the effectively spooky The Woman in Black, chooses jerky camerawork and strobe-like editing, making the so-called thrills no longer thrilling. They're just annoying. On the plus side, Elba makes a commanding spy; this could be considered a good audition for a future James Bond movie.

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