A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
Functioning as a cautionary tale, this film emphasizes the need for parents to provide clear sexual guidelines for their children. It stresses the importance of open communication with teens and the dangers of unsupervised Internet access. Underlying these messages is the film's frank portrayal of a highly sexualized culture that encourages teen sexual activity well before kids are ready and mature enough to make wise decisions.
Positive Role Models
The parents in this film are introduced as loving, intelligent, and mostly responsible. Their parenting skills are tested, and they find that they're unprepared for the crisis that they and their daughter must endure. Throughout the course of the film, they mature as parents and become vitally aware of the limitations of "trust" -- as well as its value. Many of the teen characters are depicted as sexually preoccupied and desperate for love and acceptance -- with grave results. Law enforcement, as well as mental health workers, are portrayed as effective, supportive, and thorough in their efforts to help.
Violence & Scariness
In a series of nightmarish fantasies, a father first imagines his daughter as the victim of a vicious rape and then visualizes himself taking revenge on the unidentified predator, beating him violently with his fists and threatening him with a gun to the head. The same father loses control and brutally attacks a man at a high school volleyball game.
Did you know you can flag iffy content? Adjust limits for Violence & Scariness in your kid's entertainment guide.Get started
Sex, Romance & Nudity
Sexuality is pervasive, both in dialogue and action. An adult-with-minor sex act, while not depicted as violent, is still rape, and the scene is both extended and disturbing. The community, including teens, is portrayed as highly sexual, with provocative advertising and room decor, overt seductive behavior, revealing clothing, explicit language, and some nudity (bare-breasted women). There are also graphically erotic text messages (read aloud) and telephone conversations. The only "positive" sexual scene shows loving foreplay between a fully clothed husband and wife.
Did you know you can flag iffy content? Adjust limits for Sex, Romance & Nudity in your kid's entertainment guide.Get started
Frequent, strong swearing, including many uses and forms of "f--k," "ass," "s--t," "whore," screwed," "blow job," "Jesus Christ" (as an exclamation), "bitch," and more. A police report that includes graphic language about rape and its aftermath is shown in close-up.
Did you know you can flag iffy content? Adjust limits for Language in your kid's entertainment guide.Get started
Products & Purchases
Apple computers, MacBook Pro, Mizuno, Discount Shoe Warehouse, Talbot's, and references to Family Watchdog and ASK websites.
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Drinking is shown in a number of social settings: wine at family dinners, at a business event, and with restaurant meals. Underage drinking takes place at an unchaperoned teen house party. A young teen attempts suicide with prescription drugs found in a family medicine chest.
Did you know you can flag iffy content? Adjust limits for Drinking, Drugs & Smoking in your kid's entertainment guide.Get started
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that this mature film about an online predator who targets unsuspecting teens is often disturbing to watch but could spark extremely important conversations between parents and teens about Internet safety. The predator's "grooming" and seduction of a 14-year-old girl are explicitly drawn, and the damage inflicted upon the girl and her family by the assault and its aftermath is intense and disturbing. Many scenes include sexual dialogue -- in conversation, in text message form, and on the phone -- and the community in which the story is set is portrayed as highly sexualized, essentially encouraging early sexual activity. There are violent fantasies in which the girl's father imagines a brutal attack on his daughter and projects his own revenge on the villain using fists and a gun. Language includes: "f--k," "s--t," "whore," "blow job," and more. Characters, including teens, drink in social situations, and there's a suicide attempt using prescription drugs. To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
Difficult subject matter is handled here with intelligence, restraint, and an effort to avoid trite resolutions and cliched characters. Director David Schwimmer, along with the writers and superb actors (particularly Liberato in a very challenging role), has created an unsettling, often creepy story that serves as a cautionary tale for parents.
The content is definitely on the mature side for teens, but those who do watch (along with their parents) are likely to come away with an important lesson about the importance of online safety. Parents can take that opportunity to emphasize the need for both privacy and skepticism when it comes to the Internet -- we have plenty of tips for talking about both.
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.