Parents' Guide to

Them That Follow

By Jeffrey M. Anderson, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 15+

Unsatisfying, violent teen soap opera set in Appalachia.

Movie R 2019 98 minutes
Them That Follow Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

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

Community Reviews

age 16+

Based on 1 parent review

age 16+

Thought Provoking

Excellent Film to Help Understand What Religion Can and does Do to Ones Upbringing- 5 Stars

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say: (1 ):
Kids say: Not yet rated

Despite a promising setting and characters, this drama quickly disappoints as it turns into an ordinary story of romantic teen angst, avoiding any kind of cultural exploration or understanding. The feature-directing debut for the team of Britt Poulton and Dan Madison Savage, Them That Follow had a chance to get inside a community that many viewers might not be familiar with, but instead it keeps them at arm's distance. The characters' religion comes across more like ignorance and intolerance: Per the film, they regard the people of the outside word as "sheep" and claim that "God is on our side." Not to mention that Goggins is downright scary as the preacher.

And so the movie's focus becomes Mara and her troubles, which are recycled straight out of any old soap opera. Them That Follow tries to generate sympathy for Mara by showing how she's pushed around by the men in her life. It attempts to get viewers to root for her independence but also for some kind of romantic fulfillment. Ultimately, it's a one-sided, wishy-washy movie, shot in constant hand-held overcast grayness. Not even Kaitlyn Dever (so charming in Booksmart), who plays Mara's best friend and is on-screen for long segments, seems to actually do anything -- nor does comedian Jim Gaffigan, as one of the true believers in the flock.

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