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A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
Though they're somewhat ambiguous, the movie does show consequences for problematic actions. Some deliberately cruel racial stereotyping.
Positive Role Models
No clear role models here; the complex characters are a mix of bad people doing bad things, good people doing bad things, and troubled people trying to do good things.
Violence & Scariness
Extremely strong, realistic violence, loaded with tension and stress. Bloody severed heads. Guns and shooting, with bloody, gory bullet wounds. Many characters die. Taser guns. Fighting and punching and other bloody wounds. Bag full of bloody teeth. Plastic bag over a man's head. Crashing cars. Exploding cars and buildings. Images from a violent video game.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
Topless women in a bar. Naked bottoms. Male character sleeps naked; outline of his bottom visible. A woman is objectified: The camera shows her tight dress over her curves, and she's shown removing her top (bra underneath) and in a bikini. Men pat/grab women's bottoms. Some innuendo.
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Extremely strong, constant language includes "f--k," "motherf----r," "s--t," "bulls--t," "a--hole," "c---sucker," "bitch," "goddamn," "stupid," "piss," "son of a bitch," "d--k," and "badass."
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Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
At least two characters may be drug users and/or addicts (pot and harder drugs). Characters are shown snorting and/or smoking unnamed substances (heroin? cocaine?). Minor characters may be drug dealers. Regular smoking. Drinking in bars, with brief, heavy drunkenness.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Triple 9 is an Atlanta-set crime thriller about crooked cops, robbers, gangsters, and a (very) few honest cops. Violence is extremely tense, strong, and realistic, with guns and shooting, punching and fighting, blood and gore, and dead bodies, as well as explosions and crashes, severed heads, and a bag of bloody teeth. Language is also constant, with uses of "f--k," "motherf----r," "s--t," and much more. Topless women are shown, and both male and female naked bottoms. Characters smoke frequently and drink heavily; some characters are shown very drunk. Characters are also shown snorting and/or smoking unnamed hard drugs, and minor characters may be drug dealers. Though the movie is complex and filled with many shades of gray, it generally has a moral center: "Bad" characters eventually pay for their crimes, and "good" characters get to live to see another day. To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
Establishing himself as a director of tough genre films, John Hillcoat offers this multi-faceted, devilishly complex crime thriller without wasting any time on needless background. Ragged and colorful, TRIPLE 9 -- the title comes from the police code for "officer down" -- doesn't offer any expository background for its characters. What's there is observed and inferred through behavior and interaction; the characters come alive organically.
Hillcoat (The Proposition, The Road, Lawless) does a remarkable job of juggling all the characters; even those with smaller roles have vivid personalities. But the complex plot can sometimes fall prey to the movie's melting-pot quality. It's easy to lose track of things. Likewise, the action sequences, while appropriately raw, have a reckless quality that might be disorienting. But this is a strong piece of work, rugged, sturdy, and entertaining in the best way.
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.