A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
Behind the complex, mind-bending story, there's a message about how power corrupts.
Positive Role Models
Shannon is admirable. As soon as she learns that her job is more illicit than she realized, she takes steps to correct things. She even risks her own employment and safety to help the other "good" characters, who are simply ordinary people trapped and victimized. Characters who've attained a measure of power seem to be willing to do awful things to others to further their positions.
Main characters are two women (one of whom has power) and a White man. A Black man has an important role as an antagonist.
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Violence & Scariness
Two men violently beat up another man. Violent dialogue. Talk of a woman being assaulted. Suspenseful escape attempt.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
Brief images of a woman in silhouette removing her top, followed by moaning sounds. One man talks another into sleeping with his wife. Sex is suggested but not shown. Strong sex-related talk.
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Strong, frequent language includes "f--k," "s--t," "a--hole," "goddamn," "ass," "damn," "idiot," "screwed," "stupid," "oh my God."
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Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Characters drink several glasses of liquor. A character takes medicine for depression. Social drinking.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Ultrasound is a mind-bending sci-fi "puzzle-box" thriller that begins with a man seeking shelter after his car breaks down, and then goes in an unexpected direction. Language is very strong, with frequent use of "f--k," "s--t," "a--hole," and more. There are brief images of a woman in silhouette removing her top, moaning sounds, suggested sex, and sex-related dialogue. Two men violently punch a third, and there are suspenseful chases and escapes, violent dialogue, and talk of a woman being assaulted. Two characters drink several glasses of liquor in one scene, and a character takes medicine for depression. To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
This tricky, unsettling puzzle-box sci-fi tale feels initially familiar, but it doles out its clues at all the right spots, in just the right proportions, until we're left brain-bent and gobsmacked. The feature directing debut of Rob Schroeder -- and the first produced screenplay by writer Conor Stechschulte -- Ultrasound may at first make viewers feel as if they're way ahead of the characters, which is one of its best tricks. But there are little planted clues to let us know that, indeed, things are not as straightforward as they look. Wool (Mr. Mercedes, UnREAL, Mass) is a great pivot point for the story; there's a strange, nervous quality about her performance that keeps things off-balance.
Early on, viewers see her character, Shannon, memorizing dialogue -- words we've heard Glen and Cyndi say to each other. Is she copying down what they said, or is she feeding words to them? Or something else? It turns out that even Shannon doesn't quite know everything that's going on, and the mastermind, Dr. Conners (Tunde Adebimpe), has a dark reason for all of it that packs a wallop. Ultrasound is jumpy and nervy, and it assumes that its audience is smart and demands that attention be paid. It also has no use for any tacked-on chase scenes or fights. Everything here is devoted to the puzzle, and it's very satisfying to see the pieces click together.
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.