A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
Friendship is a key theme with trust and reliability being particularly important. But the potential negative side of unquestioning loyalty is also shown. The film also portrays how small incidents can lead to serious crime and consequences.
Positive Role Models
Characters are shown to behave in a hedonistic fashion, drinking, smoking, and stealing. There is a strong friendship between the leads, who prove themselves both trusting, reliable, and mostly kind, though they put themselves in dangerous situations, breaking the law for the sake of others.
Actors are almost exclusively White and European. A female character is frequently referred to as "bitch" and a gangster threatens to keep her as collateral during a robbery, leaning into the stereotype of women as secondary, expendable characters in crime movies. However, the female character here is the lead and mostly portrayed as brave, calm, clever, and in control. There is no diversity in terms of ability, with all characters able bodied while "retard" is used a slur. Homophobic language is also used between friends, who call a member of the group "f--got" and at one point say they don't want any of his "bisexual s--t."
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Violence & Scariness
Guns are handled and fired by main characters. Bloody bullet wounds are shown, with some being fatal. There is dangerous driving on a bike and in a car. A character sits perilously over the edge of a high rooftop. A bank robbery involves threatening behavior by a masked gang. Characters are frisked in a heavy-handed manner. A baby is kidnapped, but is unhurt. Jail is mentioned and gangsters demand payback for protection.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
Characters kiss on the lips and hug on a number of occasions, but there is no other sexual contact.
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Frequent language includes "f--k," "f---ing," "motherf----rs," "s--t," "ass" "a--hole," "piss," "bitch," "crap," p---y," "whore," and the British slang "wankers." Also the word "retard" is used. Use of the homophobic slur "f--got," while "bisexual" is used in a derogatory manner.
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Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Characters regularly drink alcohol, including beer and spirits. Cigarettes are smoked and some drug use includes marijuana and cocaine. Characters are seen to be intoxicated and are sick from drugs and alcohol, as well as having adverse reactions to drugs in the form of heart palpitations and panic attacks.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Victoria is a German crime drama with strong language -- including hate speech -- violent scenes, and drug taking. The movie is filmed in one long take and is in both English and German, with English subtitles for the German dialogue. When Victoria (Laia Costa), a young Spanish woman living in Berlin, meets a group of local men, she is pulled into committing a crime with them. This leads to various violent scenes where guns are fired, which fatally wound characters and bloody injuries are shown in detail. Strong language throughout includes variants of "f--k" and "s--t," and terms such as "f--got" and "retard" are also used. Main characters drink alcohol, smoke cigarettes, and take drugs -- including marijuana and cocaine. There are adult themes throughout, but friendship is also at the core of the film, and characters show love and loyalty toward each other, bringing great tenderness to counteract the gritty crime angle. Scenes with flashing lights may affect those living with photosensitive disorders. To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
Filmed in one shot, this low-budget German crime drama is an unexpected triumph. An intimate character study, yet with an addictive jittery pace and some genuinely thrilling sequences, it's no surprise Victoria swept the board at German festivals on its initial release. Since then it's reached out to mainstream audiences around the world via word-of-mouth. As with other one-take movies, such as the British film Boiling Point, the continuous take adds a sense of immediacy to the drama, pulling the viewer into the group's increasingly lawless shenanigans. Offering intimacy in its close-ups, a sense of danger as it peeks over rooftops, and an off-kilter feeling of freedom as characters run through the streets, the camerawork is of central importance to the impact of the film. The result is that we're with the characters every step of the way, getting pulled in deeper at every moment.
Running alongside the impressive cinematography is a phenomenal central performance from Costa in the titular role. But these levels are maintained by the entire main cast, whose mostly improvised dialogue and subtly shifting relationships create a realism to the film that never slips, even at the plot's most extreme moments. There's no black and white here, just believable characters who make questionable but understandable choices, knocking into motion a sequence of events that accelerates to the intense finale at a perfectly paced tempo belying its 138-minute runtime.
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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.