Parents' Guide to

Unthinkable

By Alistair Lawrence, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 16+

Terrorism thriller has violence, torture, language.

Movie R 2010 97 minutes
Unthinkable Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this movie.

Community Reviews

There aren't any parent reviews yet. Be the first to review this title.

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say: Not yet rated
Kids say: Not yet rated

This 2010 thriller is a bold but confused attempt to portray the messy, conflicted world of torturing terror suspects for information that will hopefully save lives. Right from the off, Unthinkable packs its talented cast into a claustrophobic space and quickly raises the tension. However, despite Michael Sheen hurling himself into the role of a radicalized "patriot" willing to take U.S. lives to prove his point, there are large sections of backstory and character building that are missing in action. Samuel L. Jackson's Henry Harold "H" Humphries is quickly found and sequestered to try and save the day. But even he can't elevate dialogue and a plot that makes H wildly unpredictable and arguably not very good at his job, despite multiple onlookers insisting otherwise, in the face of no real evidence.

Carrie-Anne Moss has a more grounded role in conflicted FBI Agent Helen Brody. Her horror at H's brutal interrogation methods mirror the audience's likely surprise and shock at what they're seeing. The power struggle between H and Helen isn't enough to make Unthinkable a compelling drama, though. The story moves in frustrating circles and arguments are repeated to the point where it fails to maintain its early momentum. Perhaps this mimics the real-life dilemma that presents itself when dealing with terror suspects and bomb threats. But there's none of the inventive storytelling or character development that's also needed to make this interesting. Before long the viewer is stranded on the sidelines along with the movie's underused supporting cast, watching the time tick down for all the wrong reasons.

Movie Details

Inclusion information powered by

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.

Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.

See how we rate