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A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
Honesty is the best policy in this film about a married couple that is hiding big secrets from each other. Their relationship is much improved once they both end their charades and tell each other the truth.
Positive Role Models
The main characters are a husband and wife who both have much to hide from each other; she is involved in a flirtatious near-affair and ends up pretending to be a secret agent, while he actually is a real spy who has convinced his family that he's a dull computer salesman.
Violence & Scariness
Lots of action, including explosions, car chases, shootouts, fistfights and even a nuclear explosion. Though there's little blood or gore, the hand-to-hand sequences can be intense -- the muscular hero dispatches several villains by snapping their necks.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
A bored housewife, pretending to be a secret agent who is pretending to be a hooker, performs a sexy striptease in her underwear. Some characters discuss gender relations in highly sexist terms.
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Lots of swearing. Everything from "f--k," "s--t" and "a--hole" to "d--k," "bitch" and "p---y."
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Products & Purchases
A few references to well-known musicians. Car logos are often visible, including a classic Corvette that plays an important role in the plot.
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Some social drinking and smoking. A pack of cigarettes plays a key role in the story. One character is captured by terrorists and given a truth serum.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that this entertaining thriller combines an action blockbuster (that means lots of big explosions) and a screwball comedy about a married couple who are both hiding big secrets. The wife is contemplating an affair and ends up being pressured to pretend she's a secret agent, while the husband is the real deal, a suave superspy who has convinced his family that he's actually a boring computer salesman. Not only does it deliver plenty of excitement, it also has some astute things to say about honesty and ennui in marriage. The wife performs a risqué striptease in her underwear, and there's a good deal of swearing. Also expect plenty of violence, including gunfights, car chases, some graphic hand-to-hand combat, and even a nuclear explosion. To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
TRUE LIES effectively combines a thriller with a domestic comedy, and that's a tough feat to pull off. The conspiracy plot, about Arab extremists and stolen nuclear warheads, is not especially complex, but it provides a jumping-off point for several exciting chase scenes, shootouts, and major explosions. The more interesting story follows the Taskers, as Harry and Helen learn to share their secrets with each other. Tom Arnold is also entertaining as Harry's partner, a bitter divorcee with a profane mouth. Schwarzenegger is best-known for his action chops, and rightly so, but he's underappreciated for his comic skills, and this film lets him show off both skills. And Curtis more than holds her own as a mousy clerk who learns to roar -- and wield automatic weapons. Director James Cameron creates a thrilling story about love, marriage, and honesty, wrapped inside a thrill-a-minute action film. That said, parents may appreciate the messages more than their teens.
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.