End of the Road parents guide

End of the Road Parent Guide

This road film is every bit as boring as a long drive in the desert.

Overall D

Netflix. While on a road trip to start a new life across the country, Brenda and her family witness a murder, which makes them the next targets.

Release date September 9, 2022

Violence D
Sexual Content A-
Profanity D
Substance Use D

Why is End of the Road rated R? The MPAA rated End of the Road R for some strong/bloody violence, drug use, sexual content, and language.

Run Time: 89 minutes

Parent Movie Review

Since the death of her husband, Brenda (Queen Latifah) has been struggling to keep her family afloat. In desperation, she’s sold the family home in California and is moving her kids, Kelly (Mychala Lee) and Cam (Shaun Dixon) out to live with her mother in Texas, with some help from her brother Reggie (Ludacris). They aren’t on the road long before trouble starts – hard to avoid as a black family traveling through the rural South. But things don’t get really bad until a man is murdered in the neighboring motel room. Although they give the police their statements and move on, the crime has a way of following Brenda’s unfortunate family. As it happens, the murder is connected to a powerful drug cartel whose members have their own reasons for wanting to catch up with Brenda. And she’s got a lot of driving left to go…

If you’re going to make a road trip action movie, the least you can do is go somewhere. The whole film is spent driving in dusty little circles through the desert, wallowing in an achingly familiar plot, and parading its clichéd characters around like a proud parent putting their toddler’s art on the fridge. And sometimes, even the set looks like a kindergarten art project: for some reason, director Millicent Shelton decided that night in the desert should have this bizarre purple light like The Color out of Space, and it’s incredibly distracting. Poor design aside, watching this is a hideously boring experience. I’d rather drive through the desert than watch it again.

I was hoping that, if nothing else, Queen Latifah might be worth watching. She’s certainly putting in an honest effort, and although she has enough screen presence to make just about anything work, she can’t help the film past its terrible script. Ludacris does about as well, but the rest of the cast is as entertaining as the dialogue they’re reading – dialogue that made me nostalgic for that part of prehistory before language had been developed.

As far as family audiences are concerned, End of the Road is a tough sell. There isn’t an incredibly high volume of profanity, compared to the rest of the genre, but there is a good deal of violence. A character’s head is blown into little pieces with a shotgun, a man has bleach thrown in his eyes, people are stabbed – hardly the kind of behaviour you’d describe as “exemplary”, or what you’d like to encourage on your own road trips. And you thought kicking the back of your seat and asking “are we there yet” were the worst of your problems – be glad your kids aren’t asking if they can steal drug money from a murder scene.

Directed by Millicent Shelton. Starring Queen Latifah, Beau Bridges, Ludacris. Running time: 89 minutes. Theatrical release September 9, 2022. Updated

End of the Road
Rating & Content Info

Why is End of the Road rated R? End of the Road is rated R by the MPAA for some strong/bloody violence, drug use, sexual content, and language.

Violence: Individuals are shot, stabbed, beaten, slapped, and involved in serious vehicle collisions. Individuals are seen sustaining broken noses and limbs. A character is bitten by a dog. A man has bleach thrown in his eyes.
Sexual Content: Teenage character are briefly seen kissing passionately.
Profanity: There are 14 sexual expletives, 11 scatological terms, and frequent uses of mild curses and terms of deity.
Alcohol / Drug Use: Adult characters are briefly seen drinking. Adults and teenagers are seen smoking cannabis.

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If you want to see what happens when capable directors handle the consequences of stealing drug money, go watch No Country for Old Men. Other action thrillers set down south include Hell or High Water, Sicario, Live by Night, and The Marksman.