A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this movie.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Unlocked is a generic thriller about a CIA agent (Noomi Rapace) who's trying to stop a terrorist attack. Violence is frequent and graphic, with guns and shooting, bloody wounds and blood puddles, dead bodies, grabbing and fighting, a knife attack, a taser gun, a grenade/explosion, and a fall from a high place. There's also a disturbing would-be terrorist attack in which a child is exposed to chemicals; he's shown lying in bed, covered in red marks and bleeding from the eyes. Mice and dogs are hurt offscreen. Language is strong, too, with several uses of "f--k," plus "s--t" and "a--hole," as well as brief, mild sex-related talk. A minor character smokes a cigarette in one scene.
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What's the story?
In UNLOCKED, former CIA agent Alice Racine (Noomi Rapace) -- haunted by her failure to prevent a terrorist attack in Paris -- now works in an office as a social worker. When intelligence points to a possible new attack, Alice is the only one who can help; so, despite her reluctance, her old superior (Michael Douglas) calls her back into action. While questioning a captured suspect, Alice discovers that the mission has been compromised. While escaping, she crosses paths with Jack Alcott (Orlando Bloom), a cat burglar who stays on to lend a hand. As Alice gets closer to discovering the source of the evil plot, she begins to realize that she can't trust anyone.
Is it any good?
Remarkable only because it casts a woman in a traditionally male role, this stagnant thriller is dull and convoluted, alternating between numbing exposition and stale, creaky action scenes. It's shocking that director Michael Apted made this; he's a 40-year veteran with memorable films like Coal Miner's Daughter, Gorky Park, and Thunderheart on his resume, as well as entries in the James Bond and Narnia franchises. With Unlocked, it seems like he's asleep ... or doesn't care at all. The movie's supposed "surprise twists" are lazily doled out, and the scenes appear to have been assembled in a kind of random order, based on genre formulas.
Veterans Toni Collette, Douglas, and John Malkovich chew the scenery with some enthusiasm -- especially Malkovich -- almost as if no one was directing them. A weirdly miscast Bloom has already drawn harsh criticism for his wobbly accent. But Rapace's role is the biggest shame; her character seems like it was written for a male and not changed much, or at all, for her. It's not unique in any way; she just runs and jumps and hits and shoots. This might have been the start of a new franchise, but instead it's a sad disappointment.
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For kids who love thrills
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