Honest Thief Parent Guide
Unlike most of Liam Neeson's paint-by-numbers revenge thrillers, this one is less blood-splattered.
Parent Movie Review
A spree of small-town bank robberies over the past decade has given the unknown bank robber a nickname - “The In’N’Out Bandit” for his ability to slip in and out of banks without being detected. Former US Marine Tom Dolan (Liam Neeson), the man behind the thefts, has stolen around 9 million dollars – and he’s willing to give it all back. Tom has just met Annie Wilkins (Kate Walsh), and he wants to be honest with her. He’s decided to turn himself in to the FBI, along with the money, in exchange for a more lenient sentence and full visitation privileges. Unfortunately, FBI agents Nivens (Jai Courtney) and Hall (Anthony Ramos) have decided to frame him for murder, steal the money, and send him up to rot in jail. But Tom has other plans…
As much as I love him, it’s time we all agreed that Liam Neeson’s revenge movies are all basically the same. The conceit is usually different – this time he’s a bank robber, sometimes he’s an ex-special forces operative, sometimes he’s an air marshal – but at the end of the day, someone he loves is being threatened (or has already been killed), and now it’s time for some good old fashioned vigilante justice. Regardless of his background, Neeson’s character is always equipped with a remarkable skill set that allows him to out-think, out-shoot, and out-murder his adversary.
I don’t necessarily have an intrinsic problem with that. You can break a lot of movies down into a simplistic formula; that’s just how storytelling works. My issue is that the central premise of these movies is some bogus damsel-in-distress narrative. Female characters are either kidnapped or “fridged”, i.e. killed or brutalized and later discovered by our masculine hero as a motive for vengeance. Annie’s character doesn’t need to be developed or thought out, since the writers are only using her for cheap character motivation – although she does fare better than many of the other women in these kinds of films. I don’t appreciate this callous approach to writing women or treating them as disposable plot objects.
Honest Thief, does, however, differ in one respect from the majority of Neeson’s vengeance missions – it’s rated PG-13. That means you’re not going to get the same liberal splatterings of gore and profanity you might ordinarily find. There are only a few actual murders in this movie which is fairly remarkable for the genre. Although this still isn’t a movie for young children, teenagers shouldn’t have too much trouble with this predictable, if vaguely problematic, quest for vengeance.Directed by Mark Williams. Starring Liam Neeson, Kate Walsh, and Jai Courtney. Running time: 99 minutes. Theatrical release December 4, 2020. Updated February 26, 2021
Watch the trailer for Honest Thief
Rating & Content Info
Why is Honest Thief rated PG-13? Honest Thief is rated PG-13 by the MPAA for strong violence, crude references and brief strong language.
Violence: Several individuals are shot and killed with minimal blood shown. Two characters in a fistfight fall out of a window. An individual is hit and pushed around. A man is stabbed in the leg with a pair of scissors.
Sexual Content: None.
Profanity: There are half a dozen uses of scatological profanity, and infrequent use of mild profanities and terms of deity.
Alcohol / Drug Use: Adult characters are briefly shown drinking champagne.
Page last updated February 26, 2021
Honest Thief Parents' Guide
What is the difference between justice and revenge? Is there a difference? How do you stay on the right side of that line?
Tom’s thefts weren’t exactly altruistic, but they weren’t motivated by greed. Do you think that affects how we should view his crimes? What caused his sudden desire for honesty? Do you think it’s a lasting change?
News About "Honest Thief"
“Honest Thief” is currently only available in theaters, which our reviewers are not attending for medical reasons. We will publish a full review as soon as this movie is available on a streaming platform.