A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
Amid the violence and vengeance, there's a message about working together: Two old enemies put aside their feelings for each other in order to fight a greater evil.
Positive Role Models
The main character is an honest police detective in a corrupt system, yet he's violent, unstable, and out for revenge. But he does ultimately learn forgiveness.
Violence & Scariness
Lots of police-type violence, with guns and shooting, explosions, some blood, and various dead bodies, plus fighting and punching. The main character is shot in the leg, which causes him great pain; from time to time he's forced to drain it of excess liquid with a hypodermic needle. A key character goes into cardiac arrest in a hospital. A character holds a gun to an old lady's head (she's unhurt).
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
The main character, a policeman, tries to kiss his female partner; she rebuffs him.
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Language is strong, with multiple uses of "f--k" in various permutations. Other words include "s--t," "balls," "prick," "ass," "Christ," and "Jesus" (both as exclamations).
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Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
The main character is seen smoking a cigarette in one scene.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that English crime thriller Welcome to the Punch (the title refers to a location where the final showdown takes place) has plenty of cops-and-robbers-style violence, with guns, shooting, fighting, punching, dead bodies, explosions, and some blood. The main character is shot in the knee during the opening scene, and the wound causes him great pain and trouble throughout the film. Language is strong, with multiple uses of "f--k," plus "s--t" and more. There's a minor, near-kiss scene, and the main character smokes one cigarette. In an interesting twist, the main character teams up with his enemy to fight a greater evil, eventually learning forgiveness. But there's still an awful lot of violence and vengeance here as well. To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
Writer/director Eran Creevy seems to have put a great deal of work into this mystery story, doling out clues at certain spots and piecing it all together at the climax. But what really registers in WELCOME TO THE PUNCH is the chase scenes and the high intensity with which it all plays out. Even a typical conversation, a simple exchange of information, occurs in places like a murder scene at night.
McAvoy never seems to let his character rest; he simply quivers and hungers for vengeance and retribution. Happily, the usually over-the-top Strong is refreshingly subtle here, and he ties together some interesting character relationships, especially between the two enemies. Indeed, the entire cast of British character actors is effective in this movie. Where it falls short is in its pacing. It's a bit too quick and jumbled, and it can make the movie seem fairly lightweight. But even for a lightweight entertainment, Welcome to the Punch still isn't bad.
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.