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A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
Young people make stupid mistakes but some of them can be lucky enough to overcome them.
Positive Role Models
Victor is a nice teenager who joins a Brooklyn gang and is enticed into heroin addiction by other members. Like many young people, he believes that trying it "just once" won't put him at risk for addiction, but in no time he's stealing to support his habit and nearly dies of an overdose. His supportive parents put him in several rehab institutions, but none work until he surrenders to Jesus. Victor gets a friend hooked on heroin. After he gets clean, he takes her from the dealer she lives with and brings her into rehab.
Violence & Scariness
Gangs go to war with guns and knives. One gang member shoots an opposing gang member dead. Gang members break into and rob stores. Gang life is depicted as both fun and menacing.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
Victor is attracted to the girlfriend of his rival gang's leader. They spend long moments looking at each other with desire.
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"Hell" and "ass."
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Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Many gang members smoke cigarettes, use heroin, and drink beer. One dies of an overdose. Victor both sells and uses heroin. The pain and illness of cold turkey withdrawal is shown.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Victor is an inspirational story about a youth from Puerto Rico who falls in with a Brooklyn gang in the early 1960s and becomes involved in crime, drugs, and violence. A murder is seen and drug addiction and its horrors are portrayed. Many gang members smoke cigarettes, use heroin, and drink beer. One dies of an overdose. Victor both sells and uses heroin. The pain and illness of cold turkey withdrawal is shown. Belief in a Christian God is presented as the cure to addiction. Expect to hear the word "hell." 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 movie overcomes early, clichéd moments depicting youthful bad judgment mostly owing to a winning performance by Patrick Davis in the title role. When movies are structured unimaginatively and adhere to conventions established by other unimaginative movies, direction and script give away all the dramatic tension from the start. You've seen the beleaguered mother, the dad who brought the family from somewhere for the better life and now has no job, the innocent little sibling who everyone wants to protect but who is clearly vulnerable and at risk. You've seen the man-child -- who thinks he's all grown up and knows everything –- act stupidly and tell his parents they don't know what they're talking about. And you've probably seen the troubled youth pull himself back from the edge with the help of good parents, a helpful preacher, and a newfound belief in God.
Yet by the end of Victor, solid performances and a heartfelt message deliver an emotionally true experience. And while this may not be everyone's cup of tea, if it moves a troubled kid to find his way to a decent life, then, hey, why complain?
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.