Inside Men

 
Meditative heist drama isn't likely to interest kids.

What parents need to know

Positive messages

Ethical "lessons" are murky, morality is relative, and the take-away is complicated: while some characters face consequences for their actions, others don't.

Positive role models

The three main characters are morally changeable, acting ethically in some situations and unethically in others. They have their own personal reasons for plotting to steal millions from their employer, but no one's motive is entirely excusable.

Violence

Some violent scenes are sudden and rather graphic, particularly those involving guns and shooting, with visible blood that borders on gory. That said, violence isn't constant.

Sex

Brief scenes of kissing and implied sex.

Language

Unbleeped language includes "bulls--t," "piss," and "wanker."

Consumerism
Not applicable
Drinking, drugs, & smoking

Social drinking, sometimes to the point of excess. Some characters smoke cigarettes and, in one case, smoke marijuana.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that Inside Men follows its three main characters through some murky ethical territory, charting their joint decision to steal millions from their employer. You'll hear unbleeped swearing (including "bulls--t") and see some sudden moments of violence (including shootings and beatings) with visible blood, along with a little kissing and implied sex. Some characters drink alcohol and smoke cigarettes, and, in one brief scene, smoke marijuana.

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What's the story?

When counting house manager John Coniston (Steven Mackintosh) catches two of his employees (Warren Brown and Ashley Walters) in cahoots to steal some 50,000 British pounds from the company, he extends them a surprising invitation: to help him steal some 100 million besides. But to pull it off, these INSIDE MEN must make their carefully coordinated heist look like an armed robbery committed by outsiders.

Is it any good?

QUALITY
 

Told over the course of four one-hour episodes, Inside Men might be too plodding for some tastes, but it's a boon for viewers who appreciate an artfully crafted narrative. In fact, the real pull is a well-penned script that reveals critical plot points and character traits in a manner that keeps you interested -- and is also inherently interesting. The whole heist thing's been done before; it's just never been done quite like this.

There are three main characters to contend with. But at the center of it all is John Coniston, a seemingly upright citizen ruled by a complex moral compass that leads him to make some surprising choices. Good role models in Inside Men might be hard to come by, but there's good fodder here for discussion with older kids about right and wrong.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about the series' overall message, particularly its take on "right" and "wrong." Although all three characters make an immoral choice, do some seem more moral than others? Does anyone turn out to be a positive role model?

  • Does the screenplay's non-linear structure tell a better story than if it were completely chronological? What are the benefits to telling the story the way the writer did?

  • How might the series be different if it had been made for American television?

TV details

Cast:Ashley Walters, Steven Mackintosh, Warren Brown
Network:BBC America
Genre:Drama
TV rating:TV-14

This review of Inside Men was written by

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Quality

Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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