Information for Parents
Common Sense Media says Pause for kids 17 & under
Crime drama is exciting, well-made, and shockingly violent.
What Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that this superbly made crime drama (which won the prestigious Best Director award at the Cannes Film Festival) starts off quietly but eventually contains shocking amounts of violence, including a woman's head getting blown apart by a shotgun blast and the main character stomping a man's head until it squashes like a pumpkin. Language is also very strong, with multiple uses of "f--k," "s--t," and "p---y." Several women are topless in one long scene, and the two main characters have a romantic relationship even though she's already married. The main character is a criminal without many redeeming qualities, but he's still fascinating.
- Families can talk about the impact of the movie's extreme violence. How does it compare to what you see in horror movies? Which is more upsetting? Why?
- Is the main character a "hero"? Are viewers meant to find him sympathetic even though he's a criminal? What makes "bad guy" characters compelling?
- What is the movie's attitude toward women? What are the female characters like? Are they three-dimensional?
- Is the little boy in this movie ever in true danger, or is the danger only suggested? What's the difference?
The good stuff
Positive messages: "The best laid plans of mice and men oft go awry" seems to the best way to describe the movie's message, such that it is, and it's not very hopeful. The main character upsets his stripped-down, carefully planned life and opens his heart just a bit but finds that it results in nothing but pain and violence.
Positive role models: The main character leads a life of crime, and his only good deed involves more crime. He also falls in love with a married woman, and all of his actions result in violence.
What to watch for
Violence: This movie starts off slowly and quietly, but soon there are astonishing amounts of bloody, gory, shocking violence. A woman's head is blown off with a shotgun. The main character beats up a man and stomps on his head until it squashes like a pumpkin. He slaps and threatens a woman. He also threatens a man with a claw hammer and a bullet. Also slicing and stabbing, shooting, murders, and characters beaten up and bloodied. A small boy isn't exactly shown to be in danger, but in one scene, he displays a bullet that some bad guys have given him as a warning.
Sexy stuff: Two or three topless women are on view for a long time during a nightclub scene. The main characters kiss, even though the woman is already married. Some minor flirting and/or innuendo.
Language: The main character doesn't swear, but other characters do frequently, using words like "f--k," "s--t," "p---y," "a--hole," "hell," and more. Characters also use the middle finger gesture and racial slurs like "chink" and "kike."
Consumerism: Some products appear or are mentioned as background. A Coca-Cola sign is shown more than once in a pizza parlor. A scene takes place at a Denny's restaurant, and the name of the character's car, a Chevy Impala, is mentioned several times over a police scanner.
Drinking, drugs and smoking: The main character doesn't drink or smoke, but supporting characters are occasionally seen smoking cigarettes or drinking socially. One key character mentions several types of drugs -- offering them to the main character -- but they're never shown.