Information for Parents
Common Sense Media says Iffy for 15+
Effective (if violent) thriller offers mini history lesson.
What Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that The Numbers Station is a thriller in which one of the main characters is a trained killer who shoots and kills many people. But he also saves the other main character, performing emergency medical procedures on her (blood is shown). There are also some explosions, including a huge one during the film's climax. Language is fairly strong, with about a dozen uses of "f--k" and a few uses of "s--t." The two main characters have a subtle romantic tension, but there's no kissing, innuendo, or sex. A major character and a minor one both claim to have drinking problems, and both are seen drinking. On the plus side, teens may learn a little something about the "numbers stations" that were used to transmit coded information during WWII, and in the years since.
- Families can talk about The Numbers Station's violence. Was it necessary for the main character to shoot and kill so many people? What makes him sympathetic to audiences?
- What did you learn about "numbers stations" from this movie? Could there have been more information in it that would have helped the story?
- How does the movie approach drinking?
The good stuff
Positive messages: The cynical main character eventually learns to give up on his beliefs and training in order to open himself up to another person. Also, audiences can learn a little about "numbers stations" and the way they broadcasted coded transmissions during WWII (and, apparently still do).
Positive role models: Both of the main characters are serving their country, but they either perform deeds that they don't understand (like sending secret codes), or distasteful and illegal ones (like murder). Ultimately, they decide that their humanity is more important than their job.
What to watch for
Violence: The main character is a trained killer, and he shoots and kills several men over the course of the film. Bad guys shoot back at him and blow up a car. In a fantasy sequence, the main character envisions killing the heroine of the movie. In real life, he fixes her wounds, pulls a hunk of shrapnel from her leg, and stitches her leg up. Blood is shown. There's a huge explosion at the climax.
Sexy stuff: Some minor romantic tension between the two main characters; by the end, it appears that they're going to be a couple, but there's no kissing, innuendo, or sex of any kind. In an early scene, a man touches a woman's back, indicating that they're a couple.
Language: Language is fairly infrequent but includes about a dozen uses of "f--k" and a couple of uses of "s--t." "Bastard," "ass," "Jesus Christ" (as an exclamation) and "oh my God" are also used.
Consumerism: Not an issue
Drinking, drugs and smoking: The main character claims that he "was a drunk" but that he gave up drinking. Nonetheless, he's seen drinking alone in a hotel room early in the film. A minor character also claims that he hasn't had a drink in three years but drinks a shot of scotch.