A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this movie.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Triple Frontier is an action movie set in South America. A top-tier team of "retired" Special Ops U.S. soldiers reunite in an attempt to kill an infamous Brazilian cartel leader and take back the many millions of dollars of drug money hidden in his jungle compound. As expected in a movie more than two hours long, things don't go as planned, and both their initial assault and their efforts to escape result in tragedy for many. Lives are lost. Blood flows. Bodies pile up. Fatal accidents occur. (Spoiler alert: A mule falls to its death from a high cliff.) All manner of weaponry is used: grenade and rocket launchers, machine guns, pistols, hand-to-hand combat. Men swear frequently. Such language as "f--k," "s--t," "damn," and "Jesus Christ" (as an exclamation) are part of the team's casual conversation. One lead character drinks a beer while driving in a car with his daughter. Another character refers to past issues with cocaine. The film is suspenseful and offers some complex notions of right and wrong, as well as of ethical behavior. Mature audiences only.
- Parents say
- Kids say
MY RECOMMENDED RATING: PG-13
What's the story?
Santiago "Pope" Garcia (Oscar Isaac) is assembling a close-knit, retired Special Ops team for what may be the last job they'll ever need to do in TRIPLE FRONTIER. Santiago has at last determined the jungle location of Lorea, the ruthless leader of a powerful, uber-wealthy drug cartel. He's certain that with the right planning and the team's exceptional skills, they can attack and kill Lorea, extricate the huge stockpile of illegally gained cash, and escape the Brazilian hideaway with few casualties. Tom "Redfly" Davis (Ben Affleck) is the key to making the operation work, and once Tom is on board, the others -- William "Ironhead" Miller (Charlie Hunnam), his brother Benny (Garrett Hedlund), and ace pilot Francisco "Catfish" Morales (Pedro Pascal) -- sign on. Though it initially appears that their task will be under official authority, that may not be the case, and the men must determine whether or not they are justified in taking such action. Once they've committed, it's game on.
Is it any good?
Director J.C. Chandor uses his finely tuned, artful style to create an action-packed film with intricate battle sequences and suspenseful "human vs. nature" moments performed by A-list actors. The physical settings are as breathtaking as they are treacherous. The mistakes, accidents, punishing terrain, and enemies accumulate and expand while the men stop the action to ponder shifting moral responsibility and determine just how far they're willing to go to succeed. In spite of that, mostly sketchy characters emerge. Still, audiences will cheer for them: The actors are more than sympathetic -- they're dashing heroes in these roles. Only Ben Affleck's character seems to be a lost soul who won't find redemption. Chandor, who consistently delivers solid, compelling work, has added an efficient thriller to his filmography. Triple Frontier is a satisfying diversion for grown-up action fans.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about the extensive violence in Triple Frontier. Violence raises the stakes for the "good guys" in films and is meant to be exciting and suspenseful. How much is too much? How do you respond to the intensity of the violence? Do you find yourself turning away? Why is it important for families to understand the impact of violence on kids?
Settings (locations) are sometimes described as "characters" in a movie. Is this true for Triple Frontier? Did the locations provide another obstacle or "enemy" of the heroes? How did the South American settings impact the story?
Think about the film's final resolution. Do you think the surviving team members' action was justified? Moral? What other options did they have? Do you think Triple Frontier is a cautionary tale? Why or why not?
- On DVD or streaming: March 13, 2019
- Cast: Ben Affleck, Oscar Isaac, Charlie Hunnam
- Director: J.C. Chandor
- Studio: Netflix
- Genre: Action/Adventure
- Topics: Adventures, Friendship, History
- Run time: 125 minutes
- MPAA rating: R
- MPAA explanation: violence and language throughout
- Last updated: September 19, 2019
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