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A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
A testament to the power of creativity -- not only for an escape, but also for spiritual nourishment. Also offers a way to approach the argument that "those who would sacrifice freedom for safety deserve neither freedom nor safety." The father kept his children safe from crime on the streets, but at what cost?
Positive Role Models
Toward the end of the movie, the boys bravely struggle against their social handicaps in an effort to explore and fit in.
Violence & Scariness
Play-acted moments from violent movies -- pretend shooting, killing, etc.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
Brief images of a mother and father during courtship, showing affection.
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Strong language, including "f--k" and "s--t," borrowed from movies by Quentin Tarantino and Martin Scorsese.
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Products & Purchases
Many famous movies are referenced, but it's not product placement.
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Implication that the father may be a heavy drinker.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that The Wolfpack is a documentary about siblings who were kept inside a New York City apartment for nearly their entire lives, watching movies as their primary window to the world and re-enacting them as a means of creative expression. There's some strong language, mainly in repeated dialogue from the films of Quentin Tarantino and Martin Scorsese. These play-acting moments also contain some implied violence (fake guns, fake fighting, etc.). It's implied that the siblings' father (the one responsible for the apartment lockdown) drinks, and there are some flashbacks to the parents' courtship. Despite the unusual situation it captures, ultimately, this is a positive, warm, human documentary, so teens -- especially movie buffs -- may be drawn to it. To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
The movie could have gone deeper, but to do so would have disrupted its tone, which is spot-on. Filmmaker Crystal Moselle -- who spotted the six Angulo brothers during one of their rare excursions and befriended them -- takes a surprisingly tender approach to the material, never casting blame or making comments. There are no outside interviews in THE WOLFPACK, no psychologists or social workers, and no narration. The father is interviewed sporadically, and we see that he drinks and that the boys fear him.
Instead, Moselle shows that the boys, though deprived of simple, basic things like friends and nature, are smart and likable, and they seem to trust her with their innermost feelings. She avoids darkness and gives the movie a sense of hope as the siblings begin to venture out on their own and eventually begin to look forward to their new lives as independent adults.
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.