All the Old Knives parents guide

All the Old Knives Parent Guide

For adult viewers who can tolerate the negative content, this is a deftly written film with a tense storyline and superb acting.

Overall C

Amazon: A CIA agent is tasked with finding out if a colleague and past lover has betrayed the agency, leading to a hijacking and the deaths of the passengers.

Release date April 7, 2022

Violence C
Sexual Content D
Profanity D
Substance Use B

Why is All the Old Knives rated R? The MPAA rated All the Old Knives R for sexuality/nudity, violence and language

Run Time: 101 minutes

Parent Movie Review

Eight years ago, a plane in Vienna was hijacked and every passenger on board was killed, despite the best efforts of American intelligence agents. Now, Henry Pelham (Chris Pine) has been tasked with reopening the case to determine if a mole in the agency could have been behind the devastating failure. His investigation leads him his former lover and fellow agent, Celia (Thandiwe Newton), who seems to know more than she’s let on.

As far as spy movies go, this is probably as realistic as you could get. What I mean by that is that the spies work primarily through intelligence gathering, cultivating relationships with informants, and having meetings in soulless boardrooms. This is not Mission Impossible. There are no high-speed chases through the streets of Mombasa (why is it always Mombasa?) or hyper-realistic masks, or Tom Cruise hanging off the side of an airplane. I suppose that one could argue that this film becomes boring because of that fact, but I personally found that the realism allowed for deeper character exploration and a fantastically written story.

A story focused this intently on character lives and dies by the performances, and luckily Pine and Newton are more than up to the task. Along with the supporting cast, who are wonderful as well, the two leads carry what could have been a tedious slog into an emotional and captivating exploration of motivation, love, and the value of human life. The entire movie takes place at one dinner table for crying out loud, and yet I was glued to the screen, waiting to see what would happen next. The writers deftly move between past and present, keeping the audience guessing until the end. Although the tension is not as intense as say, a more typical thriller, the slow and steady build is expertly done and creates a fantastic catharsis when the credits roll.

As you may have guessed from the plot summary, this is not a movie for children. Although nowhere near as violent as other entries in the genre, the subject matter itself could be upsetting to sensitive viewers. Along with that, there is also a detailed and explicit sex scene with some nudity and a fair number of f-bombs, which will deter many viewers. If negative content isn’t a concern for you, and you enjoy a slower, character-based film, All the Old Knives is an expertly made, written, and acted production with enough twists and turns to keep you guessing.

Directed by Janus Metz. Starring Chris Pine, Thandiwe Newton, Laurence Fishburne, Jonathan Pryce. Running time: 101 minutes. Theatrical release April 7, 2022. Updated

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All the Old Knives
Rating & Content Info

Why is All the Old Knives rated R? All the Old Knives is rated R by the MPAA for sexuality/nudity, violence and language

Violence: The plot revolves around an airplane hijacking which ends in the deaths of 120 people, including children. The aftermath of a suicide is shown. A dead body is seen surrounded by a pool of blood. A man is shot off camera.
Sexual Content: An adult couple have sex and breasts and buttocks are visible.
Profanity: There are 15 sexual expletives along with four mild expletives and seven terms of deity.
Alcohol / Drug Use: Adults drink wine over dinner. Some adult characters are seen smoking.

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All the Old Knives Parents' Guide

What motivates Henry to do what he does? What is the cost of his choices? Do you think he made the right choice, or what you have done something different?

Home Video

Related home video titles:

If you like slow moving spy flicks, you can try Breach, a true story about the exposure of a mole within the FBI. Bridge of Spies is a Cold War era film with plenty of tension and real world consequences. Also set during the Cold War, The Courier stars Benedict Cumberbatch who is doing his best to help his country while staying out of danger. Female spies are unexpected and during World War II they count on the element of surprise in A Call to Spy.

For spy movies with lots of action, we recommend The Bourne Identity (and its sequels), The Mission Impossible franchise also provides frenetic action (and even less plausible plots). And, of course, there’s always James Bond, who you can watch in his extensive filmography, including Tomorrow Never Dies, No Time to Die, Dr, No, Die Another Day, Goldfinger, Casino Royale, Skyfall, Quantum of Solace, and Spectre.