A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
The story concerns the murders of unfaithful or otherwise wayward men; the female characters support one another.
Violence & Scariness
Violent death is a recurrent theme: At the film's start, widows tend their husbands' gravestones and discuss one man's death by burning in a fire; a girl murders the man she thinks is her father (off screen, but bloody body and floor are explicit); Raimunda spends the rest of the film trying to dispose of the body; her mother appears as a ghost; a friend dies of cancer; repeated discussions of incest/rape.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
Frequent shots of voluptuous women (especially Cruz) in tight skirts, showing cleavage; a neighbor is a prostitute; Paco looks at his daughter's crotch when she sits in a chair in their living room; several references to incest; shot of daughter from Pedro's peeping point of view shows the side of her bare breast; girl hears a man moaning as he masturbates (one arm movement visible, but mostly off screen).
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One use of "f--k," plus some other language ("s--t," "ass," "hall," "p--sy"), all in subtitles.
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Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Agustina grows and smokes marijuana (it alleviates her pain from cancer); she rolls a joint on screen and offers pot to her guests); various characters drink beer, wine, and other drinks in social settings; a couple of background characters smoke cigarettes.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that this mature, subtitled Spanish film -- which deals with heavy topics like funerals, incest, and murder -- isn't likely to appeal to most kids. Though these issues are framed by wry comedy, they remain complex. There are repeated references to men's abusiveness, and one lascivious father figure's drunken advances lead a teenage girl to stab him to death (this all happens off screen, but she's plainly traumatized as she tearfully describes it). The result is a very bloody kitchen, which is shown from many camera angles. Efforts to hide the body are comedic but also underline the physical and emotional difficulty of the task. A mother returns as a "ghost," leading to discussions of past acts of violence (including a house being burned down). Language includes one "f--k." To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
A lush, loving celebration of women's survival, Pedro Almodóvar's VOLVER, as its title suggests, is full of returns, of emotions and bodies, energies and dilemmas -- all of them women's. The most bracing, strange, and provocative aspect of Almodóvar's movie (aside from Cruz's much-remarked-upon magnificence) is its celebration of women's self-understanding.
Yes, men are brutal and slow, and yes, women tolerate them, even love them. But in the end, men are unimportant in the women's patient, purposeful, and proud survival.
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.