Too Old to Die Young
By Martin Brown,
Common Sense Media Reviewer
Common Sense Media Reviewers
Indulgent, violent mystery series about a corrupt cop.
A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this TV show.
This neo-noir has the standard nihilistic outlook, and is more interested in stories of corruption and abuse than redemption and heroism.
Positive Role Models
A diverse cast, but many of the roles are stereotypes (Latinx gang members, an African American sexual predator, etc.)
Violence & Scariness
Lots of violence. A police officer is shot, another cop murders a helpless man, and a woman is tortured and killed.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
Sexual content, simulated sex, and female nudity. One of the main plot threads features an adult dating an underage girl.
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Frequent profanity: "f--k," "s--t," "bitch," etc.
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Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Characters drink and smoke socially, and there is explicit drug use (especially cocaine) early and often.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Too Old to Die Young is a crime drama written and directed by filmmaker Nicolas Winding Refn (Drive) in collaboration with comics writer Ed Brubaker. The show routinely fulfills most expected stereotypes of an adult crime series: extreme violence, drug use (including cocaine), sexual content and female nudity, profanity ("f--k," "s--t") and a generally dark outlook on the world. The show also demands a certain amount of commitment: early episodes are upwards of 90 minutes each and move at a pretty slow pace.
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Too Old to Die Young
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What's the Story?
Corrupt cop Martin Jones (Miles Teller) has ties to a local drug syndicate. When his partner is murdered on duty by a rival cartel, Martin gets pulled into an underground network that may involve a Mexican cartel, the Russian mafia, the Yakuza, and the LAPD.
Is It Any Good?
This overlong, super-slow series lacks the dramatic tension that its creator Refn is known for. The past two decades have seen series creators and showrunners -- roles that used to be anonymous -- become brand names, so it shouldn't be a surprise that television now seems to be entering its auteur phase. Networks and steaming services have grown comfortable with recruiting notable directors and giving them complete autonomy over their work. When that strategy pays off, you might end up with something as unique and beguiling as David Lynch's Twin Peaks: The Return. When it doesn't, you might end up with something like Too Old to Die Young, an indulgent and irrationally confident series that demands too many hours of investment while teasing a payoff that may not ever come. The series feels like it's made for hardcore fans only -- maybe even as a test of their devotion to their favorite auteur.
Talk to Your Kids About ...
Families can talk about police corruption. Why does Officer Jones behave the way that he does? How is he using his position to benefit himself? Is this an abuse of power? How often do you think this behavior happens in real life?
Who are you rooting for in this story? Why? Do characters behave how you expect them to or does anyone surprise you?
Why do you think the creators make some of the aesthetic choices they do? For example, why do you think the show moves at such a slow pace? Does this benefit the series? Why or why not?
- Premiere date: June 14, 2019
- Cast: Miles Teller, John Hawkes, Nell Tiger Free
- Network: Amazon Prime Video
- Genre: Drama
- TV rating: TV-MA
- Last updated: February 27, 2022
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.
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