A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this movie.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that The Ticket is a drama about a blind man who regains his sight and then squanders his gift by seeking money and pretty things. Current "it" actor Dan Stevens (Downton Abbey, Beauty and the Beast, Legion) stars, but the movie is extremely simpleminded and preachy. Things never get too racy, but there is a bit of iffy content, including a little language ("a--hole" and "oh my God"), a brief fight scene with punching, arguing, and a few scenes of intimacy between the main character and several women (he's married but leaves his wife). Expect to see kissing, cuddling, and heavy breathing; some scenes imply nudity, but nothing graphic is shown.
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What's the story?
In THE TICKET, James (Dan Stevens) has been blind since childhood, but he appreciates his life. He's married to Samantha (Malin Akerman) and has a son, Jonah (Skylar Gaertner). He has a job he likes and works with his best friend, Bob (Oliver Platt). Then, suddenly, James wakes up, his sight restored. He quickly realizes that his wife -- who likes dancing at the community center -- is frumpy, and that he could use some new clothes. He starts advancing at work and finds himself attracted to pretty co-worker Jessica (Kerry Bishe). In short, James becomes something of a Master of the Universe, luring in new customers to his firm. But he also discovers that his wife has been keeping secrets about their son and that his friendship with Bob has begun crumbling. Then, just as life is at its most complex, James starts losing his sight again.
Is it any good?
While nicely filmed and decorated with soft visuals and tones, this otherwise heavy-handed, unappealing message drama tries to get its blunt point across in an awkward, obvious way. The Ticket feels like a religious comic tract, warning readers away from the dangers of sin with threats of hellfire and damnation. James squanders his gift of sight with superficiality, chasing money and beautiful girls, then forgets his family and friends and pays a price.
Even with effects like blurry images to indicate blindness, the ghastly way that James discovers that his wife has decorated their home, and the almost constantly whispered dialogue, the movie is extremely simpleminded and hamfisted. Stevens can't make James anywhere even close to appealing (he's a big jerk), and director Ido Fluk fails to elevate the other characters above anything but symbols, flat representations of his harangue against superficiality. Only reliable character actor Platt gets in a few good, satisfying moments, mainly at James' expense.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about The Ticket's depiction of sex and relationships. As soon as James can see, he leaves his wife for a prettier woman. What does that say about him?
What is the movie's message? In a perfect world, how should James have behaved when he regained his sight?
How does this compare to other "message movies"? What are some good ways to get messages across to people/viewers?
What audience do you think this movie is intended to appeal to? How can you tell?
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Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.
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