Trespass Against Us

Movie review by
S. Jhoanna Robledo, Common Sense Media
Trespass Against Us Movie Poster Image
Uneven, violent drama about unlikable criminal family.
  • R
  • 2017
  • 100 minutes

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A lot or a little?

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

Positive Messages

It's hard, but sometimes you have to stand against the people around you (parents, relatives, friends) to break a bad pattern.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Chad is trying to get out from under the influence of his father, the head of a notorious crime family. Turning his back on his relatives and friends isn't an easy task, but he wants to make sure his own kids can escape his life choices. That said, the fathers in this film make iffy decisions at best. One never let his son go to school, and now that he's an adult, he can't read, and his only real career option is to follow his dad into a life of crime. His own kids aren't very good students either, and they may also end up in the family business.

Violence

High-speed car chases. In one unpleasant scene, a man wrestles a police dog. Police in full riot gear raid a man's home while he and his family are sleeping, pointing their weapons at the entire family. Characters argue and fight frequently, sometimes seemingly for entertainment.

Sex

A married couple flirts and kisses. Non-sexual graphic nudity: During a fight scene, one man is left naked, his privates in full view.

Language

Constant strong language, including "f--k," "s--t" "tw-t," "c--t," and more. Adults swear both at each other and at children.

Consumerism
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Several characters smoke cigarettes.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Trespass Against Us is a mature drama about a working-class criminal family in England. The patriarch made sure his adult son followed in his footsteps -- and now seems to expect his young grandson to follow suit. Language is constant and extremely strong (including "f--k," "c--t," and much more). There's also some fairly intense graphic violence -- fights, car chases, police raids -- not to mention several scenes of gangsters in action. While there isn't much in the way of sexual content, a fight scene does show a naked man's private parts. Characters also smoke.

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What's the story?

In TRESPASS AGAINST US, Chad Cutler (Michael Fassbender) is part of a well-known criminal family, but he wants to get away from the influence of his gangster dad, Colby (Brendan Gleeson), and take his own kids somewhere safe. They live in a ramshackle mobile-home park; Chad's wife wants to move to a real house, but he knows his father will object. Things get even more complicated after a big heist lands Chad on the most-wanted list, the kids get thrown out of school, and a landlord refuses to let them live in his house.

Is it any good?

This crime drama is an ultimately uninteresting story about a very unpleasant family. That's both surprising and disappointing, given the subject matter and cast. Yes, they're talented: As patriarch Colby, Gleeson is determined that his adult son remain part of his gang -- and it looks like he'd be happy to see his young grandson follow suit. Fassbender's Chad wants better for his wife and kids, but he doesn't seem to know how to make it happen, and watching the character struggle against his nature is tragic to see.

But we're given little reason to like anyone in Trespass Against Us, nor any reason to care what happens to them. In fact, given the atrocious parenting on display across multiple generations, some viewers might side with the cops and others who are trying to rein the Cutlers in, even though director Adam Smith clearly wants to make them the heroes of his film.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the violence in Trespass Against Us. How does it compare to what you've seen in other movies about crime/criminals? What impact did it have on you?

  • How does the movie's criminal family compare to the gangs we've seen in other movies, from mafia classics like The Godfather to the U.K. drama Legend? Do you think it's possible for someone to get out of this kind of life, especially if they were born into it?

  • How is Chad trying to make sure his kids have a better upbringing than he had? How successful is he? Do you consider him a good dad?

Movie details

For kids who love dramas

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