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Parents' Guide to

The Two Faces of January

By S. Jhoanna Robledo, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 15+

Stylish thriller set in '60s Greece has drinking, smoking.

Movie PG-13 2014 97 minutes
The Two Faces of January Poster Image

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

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For capturing the look and feel of Europe in the early 1960s, especially of the American expatriates who roamed the continent, THE TWO FACES OF JANUARY deserves kudos. Based on Patricia Highsmith's novel (she also wrote the book that inspired 1999's The Talented Mr. Ripley), the film makes an effort to get the details right, even if the entire story, despite a fiendish plot, seems strangely devoid of intimacy (with a love triangle, of sorts, at its center, that seems odd). It also lacks the kind of sophisticated ending befitting the rest of the story.

Nonetheless, what a journey for the trio. Mortensen is his dastardly best. When the film begins, we're tricked into thinking he's one kind of person, but he's far more interesting than he first appears. And loads of credit to the entire cast: Dunst is strong, and Isaac is a fine match for Mortensen. But back to that ending: The film really deserves something better.

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