Movie review by
Barbara Shulgasser-Parker, Common Sense Media
Tramps Movie Poster Image
Romantic comedy involving a heist has cursing.
  • NR
  • 2016
  • 82 minutes

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this movie.

Positive Messages

Love pops up in the strangest places. Grab your opportunities when they arise. Start small and big things might happen.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Daniel's older brother Darren calls home from jail and it's clear being arrested is nothing new. Daniel refuses to replace his brother in a questionable quick-money scheme, but under his mother's pressure agrees. He and Ellie break into a home and steal cash, food, and clothing. A girl jumps a subway turnstile. Criminals are all trying to double-cross each other. A woman steals something valuable from her ex. A girl plans to double-cross a partner, then changes her mind.    


Danny and Ellie walk through an unlocked door into a stranger's home, take cash lying on the table, some clothes, and food.



A guy remembers the girl who touched his penis on a bet in high school. A girl reports the number of men she's slept with. A man offers a girl a place to sleep, adding that he has a queen-sized bed, implying he'd like to have sex with her. Sleeping in a cold shed, two people snuggle to stay warm and promise no sex will be involved.



"F--k," "s--t," "bitch,""greaseball," "screwed up," and "ass."  

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Adults smoke cigarettes.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Tramps is a Netflix Original about a girl escaping a difficult past and a boy trying to break free of a shady family. They get thrown together as minor figures in a heist and, when it goes wrong, find friendship and perhaps more. Language includes "f--k," "s--t," and "bitch," and adults smoke cigarettes and gamble. Sex is discussed, but a sexual relationship between the two protagonists isn't assured. A guy remembers the girl in high school who touched his penis on a bet. A fuzzy criminal enterprise is the movie's secondary story, but the softening of the two leads and the way they slowly open up to each other gives this an unexpected sweetness.   

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What's the story?

In TRAMPS, twenty-something Danny (Callum Turner) is the younger brother of Darren, a small-time Queens, New York, criminal. He lives with his Polish mom, who runs a gambling parlor at home. When Darren calls from jail, he orders Danny to take his place in a quick-money scheme scheduled that day. Danny says no but is pressed by his mother to stand in. TRAMPS follows the seeming disaster that results when the inexperienced and under-informed Danny messes up his small role in the drop-and-switch deal. His driver is a world-weary 20-year-old named Ellie (Grace Van Patten), on the run from a past life in Pittsburgh, and eager for the $1,500 she thinks will help her start anew. Danny panics but settles down when Ellie, seemingly far more comfortable with impending fiasco, takes the lead on a recovery plan that gets their bosses off their backs. Until the mission is accomplished, the threat of violent retribution by Jimmy (Louis Cancelmi), the caper's mobsterish "mastermind," hovers and spurs them on. Nevertheless, in the meantime, a friendship blooms. Danny is awkward and smitten and Ellie, a former waitress in a strip club, is wary of male attention, suggesting it hasn't worked out well for her in the past. Despite their sketchy backgrounds, in each other they find underlying decency, trust, and even some innocence as they bond. 

Is it any good?

Though although oddly titled, this is a well-made and thoughtful drama, directed by Adam Leon with a seemingly hands-off naturalism, allowing good actors to tell a human story. It would be difficult to predict from its opening moments in a seedy New York City apartment -- where a mother and son run a little homemade horse-race gambling parlor -- that Tramps is headed for a hopeful rebirth for two twenty-somethings escaping lousy childhoods. The patient viewer will earn a payoff of redemption and sweetness at the end. Sticklers may note that the central heist involves switching two briefcases but after the initial foul-up, the switch is never mentioned again, signaling that that irrelevant device existed only to provide the mistake that sets the action in motion. Grace Van Patten at 20 possesses an admirable focus and inner strength, and looks a bit like Shailene Woodley. English actor Callum Turner unerringly portrays gawkiness and speaks in a perfect American accent, never mind convincing snippets of Polish spoken to his character's family.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about why a mother might press her son to do something illegal. What can you tell about Danny's and his mother's lives based on early scenes of Tramps at their apartment?

  • Do you think it's possible for children to reject and overcome bad experiences in childhood to live better lives in adulthood? Why or why not?

  • When Ellie and Danny first meet, all they know about each other is that the other is a stranger who has agreed to participate in a shady operation. What happens that starts to break down their distrust for each other?


  • How does this movie compare to other heist tales?

Movie details

Our editors recommend

For kids who love rom-coms

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