Army of Thieves parents guide

Army of Thieves Parent Guide

This doesn't feel like a prequel to "Army of the Dead". Rather, it feels like someone decided to link the films and grafted some details into a preexisting screenplay.

Overall D

Netflix: This prequel to "Army of the Dead" follows the early career of German safecracker Ludwig Dieter as he leads a group of criminals in a heist during the early days of the zombie apocalypse.

Release date October 29, 2021

Violence C+
Sexual Content A
Profanity D
Substance Use B

Why is Army of Thieves rated TV-MA? The MPAA rated Army of Thieves TV-MA

Run Time: 127 minutes

Parent Movie Review

Although he spends his days as a lowly bank teller, Sebastian (Matthias Schwieghofer) has an abiding passion for safecracking and lockpicking. Since he’s unwilling to venture into a life of crime, his unusual passion is relegated to a hobby. Until, that is, he meets Gwendoline (Nathalie Emmanuel), an internationally wanted jewel thief who plans to rob a series of safes. Constructed by master safe maker Hans Wagner, each safe is themed around a cycle of Richard Wagner’s Norse epic Der Ring des Nibelungen, and each has peculiar features designed to make them unbreakable. But with Sebastian’s skills and Gwendoline’s plans, unbreakable may be a relative term – or the pair could get picked up by Interpol and rot in prison.

When I first heard that this movie was being made, I was nearly inconsolable. Army of the Dead is one of the worst films I’ve had the misfortune to sit through as part of this job, and at nearly two and a half hours in length, is the just about the closest I’ve come to jumping out of the office window and laying down in the street. So the notion that some maniac would make a prequel to such a monstrous tribute to awful filmmaking was enough to set my hair on end. And now, having seen the film, all I can say is…ok?

Perhaps the kindest thing I can say about Army of Thieves is that it has only a tenuous connection to Army of the Dead. They don’t feel organically related; rather I get the sense that the studio already had a heist film 95% ready to go before some producer swooped in and informed them that it would now be a prequel and related details would need to be grafted on to the script. So there are a few references to the original, a handful of mentions of the undead, and a quick cameo from some of the other characters at the end. Otherwise, this film stands completely on its own.

Well, I say “stands”, but what I mean is “limps along like a flea-bitten coyote with its leg caught in a trap”. Apart from running on fuel composed primarily of clichés and tropes, the film is plagued with some truly terrible dialogue. It is also optimistically described as a romantic comedy, but seeing as the alleged romantic leads have slightly less chemistry than I did with the first film, and that there is not a single scene of comedy to be found, that strikes me as false advertising.

Apart from an extensive cascade of profanity, this film would be perfectly suitable for family viewing – but I wouldn’t recommend it. If you can tolerate the profanity in this, then there are so many better options. Personally, I’d recommend The Vault, which has many of the same plot points, but presented in a competent and interesting way. You know, unlike the boiled trash mélange presented here. Besides, I have a moral opposition to watching anything related to Army of the Dead: It feels downright unethical to support a film that awful.

Directed by Matthias Schweighofer. Starring Matthias Schweighofer, Nathalie Emmanuel, Ruby O Fee, . Running time: 127 minutes. Theatrical release October 29, 2021. Updated

Watch the trailer for Army of Thieves

Army of Thieves
Rating & Content Info

Why is Army of Thieves rated TV-MA? Army of Thieves is rated TV-MA by the MPAA

Violence: Several individuals are severely beaten. One character is non-fatally shot. One person is shown being devoured by zombies. Several individuals are hit with tranquilizer darts.
Sexual Content: None.
Profanity: There are 56 extreme profanities, 33 scatological curses, and frequent use of mild profanities and terms of deity.
Alcohol / Drug Use: Adults are infrequently seen drinking. Cigarettes are seen but no one is shown smoking.

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This film is a prequel to Army of the Dead, but it has more in common with heist films like The Vault, Ocean’s Eleven, The Italian Job, Logan Lucky, Gone in 60 Seconds, Hurricane Heist, The Old Man and the Gun, or Baby Driver.