The World Is Yours
By Barbara Shulgasser-Parker,
Common Sense Media Reviewer
Common Sense Media Reviewers
Gloomy French drama has drugs, violence, some sex.
A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
Life teaches you nothing. You can't tell if a person is good.
Positive Role Models
Not cut out for a life of crime, Fares is calm, thoughtful, gullible, and finds violence abhorrent. A drug dealer is impatient, violent, stupid. Hardly anyone here is trustworthy and double-cross is a way of life.
Violence & Scariness
A girl describes abusive behavior by her father, who threatened to cut her tongue out if she asked a police officer for directions. Drug dealers are shot point-blank. A man is beaten by dealers. Dealers on a drug-smuggling boat shoot at pirates invading from another boat. A man beats a guard at a dog pound. He hits his dog. Fares half-heartedly kidnaps a drug dealer's daughter. His mom threatens to cut her finger off. Rival criminals violently fight for supremacy in the Paris drug business.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
A man and the woman he has a crush on kiss. She stops him and asks for money to have sex. We later learn he paid her. No sex is seen. Women pole-dance in scanty outfits, baring their behinds and breasts briefly. Women talk about working as prostitutes.
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"Motherf----r," "f--k," "s--t," "ass," "pr--k," and "bitch."
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Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Fares works for a drug dealer. He's assigned to exchange cash in Spain for a large shipment of drugs. Dealers and their minions are seen getting high on hash and alcohol.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that The World Is Yours is a 2018 French drama (with English subtitles) about a shy young drug dealer who isn't cut out for the criminal life that his larcenous, scheming, and thieving mother has always been preparing him for. Several characters are hookers. Pole dancers are shown with their behinds bared and nipples covered by pasties. Language includes "f--k," "motherf----r," "s--t," "pr--k," and "ass." A girl describes abusive behavior by her father, who threatened to cut her tongue out. Drug dealers are shot point-blank. A man is beaten by dealers. Dealers on a drug-smuggling boat shoot at pirates invading from another boat. A man beats a guard at a dog pound. He hits his dog. Fares half-heartedly kidnaps a drug dealer's daughter. His mom threatens to cut her finger off. Rival criminals violently fight for supremacy in the Paris drug business. Dealers are seen getting high on hash and alcohol.
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The World Is Yours
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What's the Story?
THE WORLD IS YOURS (in French with English subtitles) tells the story of Fares (Karim Leklou), son of Danny (Isabelle Adjani), a scheming con woman who has raised him to be a criminal despite the fact that he's far too sweet, kind, and decent for that life. Fares is trying to bail out by investing in a Mister Freeze ice pop franchise in North Africa that he hopes will rescue him from both the drug-dealing he's fallen into and his overbearing mother, who dominates and humiliates him at every opportunity. For the final shame, she refuses to give him money he's saved for his new legitimate investment. So, he takes on one last job for Poutine (Sofian Khammes), a stupid, violent, and perpetually high drug boss importing product from Spain. The deal goes bad when the supplier sees the remote possibility that since Fares (who goes by French name Francois) and Poutine's idiot thugs are Arabs, drug profits might eventually somehow get into the hands of terrorist organizations, trace back to the supplier, and put him in prison for life. He takes the money but doesn't deliver the product, forcing Fares to kidnap his daughter and concoct a scheme to get the drugs, give them to Poutine, and get paid for a happy, crime-free future.
Is It Any Good?
Although at times moving, this feels like a well-intentioned but often murky drama that will bore most teens old enough for the drug, violence, and (minor) sexual content. Unspoken social commentary focuses on a cast of characters who are largely second- and third-generation immigrants from African and Arabic countries who have become small-time hoods. But no matter their origins, director Romain Gavras wants to linger on a plot that presents stupid people struggling with their stupidity, with lots of Quentin Tarantino-style violence and harsh language.
Most affecting in The World Is Yours are the scenes between the adult Fares, still smarting from humiliations and neglect by his criminal and narcissistic mother, and the young daughter of a major drug dealer called The Scotsman. Like Fares, she has long been terrorized and taken for granted by her monstrous and overbearing parent. When the circumstances of a drug deal gone wrong throw them together, they bond, and the age difference melts away while they compare indignities visited by their cruel caretakers. These beautiful touches come far too late in the action to rescue the movie from the weight of its own uncertainties. Fares is clearly a nice guy born into the wrong family business, and it's difficult to imagine how he survived as a criminal up to the point the movie begins. Note that the title is taken from the extremely violent Brian de Palma gangster film Scarface, which in recent years has been admired by rap artists endorsing its depiction of marginalized youths striving to climb out of poverty into wealth.
Talk to Your Kids About ...
Families can talk about what it would be like for a nice person to be born into a family of criminals. What do you think of the way Fares deals with his criminal mom?
You might expect that even criminal parents would care deeply about their children. How does the behavior of Fares' mom question that presumption?
Like many in hip-hop culture, The World Is Yours director Romain Gavras seems to admire Scarface, the 1983 film about violent gangsters, many of them immigrants, rising up from poverty to wealth by criminal means. What parallels do you see to this film?
- In theaters: August 15, 2018
- On DVD or streaming: November 30, 2018
- Cast: Karim Leklou, Isabelle Adjani, Vincent Cassel, Sofian Khammes, Oulaya Amamara
- Director: Romain Gavras
- Studio: Netflix
- Genre: Drama
- Run time: 94 minutes
- MPAA rating: NR
- Last updated: February 18, 2023
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