Lou Parent Guide
The highlight of the film is Allison Janney. The downside is the graphic violence and excess profanity.
Parent Movie Review
Living alone, except for her dog Jax, on a remote island in the Pacific Northwest, Lou (Allison Janney) spends her time hunting (or poaching, depending on the season), and keeping an eye on her tenants. In a trailer on a far corner of her land are Hannah (Jurnee Smollett) and her young daughter, Vee (Ridley Asha Bateman), who moved there to escape Phillip (Logan Marshall-Green), Hannah’s extremely abusive ex-husband. Phillip was killed years ago, and Hannah is moving on. Lou has her own plans for moving on, until a terrible rainstorm hits the island, knocking out their power, and Vee is abducted, seemingly by Phillip, who apparently faked his death. Hannah turns to Lou for help and learns that Lou is good for more than just off-season hunting. In fact, Lou seems to have a frightening amount of experience in tracking, fighting, and killing. And though she doesn’t let on to Hannah, Lou has her own reasons for going after Vee’s kidnapper.
Set in the late1980s, Lou feels a little like some of the thrillers from the time. Neither the effects or the fights are particularly ambitious, and the script bounces between being tolerable and sounding a little more wooden than a log cabin. But as a throwback, that just adds to the charm. And by constraining its reach to well within its grasp, the movie manages to look decent – helped in no small part by the natural scenic beauty of the shooting locations in British Columbia.
The other highlight of the film is Allison Janney, who is wonderfully gruff, terse, and sarcastic. Maybe I’m biased. I’d watch Allison Janney read the phonebook. Heck, I’d watch Allison Janney read the script for the next Fast and Furious movie, heaven help us all. She even seems to be taking a run at some of her own stunts, which is admirable. Her character is basically just Laurie Strode as played by Jamie Lee Curtis in the latest reboots of Halloween, but with Allison Janney’s toughness and a sprinkling of CIA for spice.
I’m not saying this is the cinematic event of the century. It’s a bit better than your average in-flight movie, but it’s not going to blow your socks off or spearhead a new movement in modern cinema. It’s just a bit of fun – at least, for adult genre fans. Family audiences are not going to have the time of their lives with the brutal violence, which includes characters getting shot, stabbed, beaten, having their eyes gouged out, and being scalded with boiling soup. If that leaves you and your teens undeterred, you might think twice about the two-dozen-plus f-bombs scattered throughout the runtime like a minefield of profanity. But adults, especially fans of older thrillers, might just have a good time – if you can chew through some of the 2x4s the writers put in as dialogue.
Directed by Anna Foerster. Starring Jurnee Smollett, Allison Janney, Logan Marshall-Green. Running time: 107 minutes. Theatrical release September 23, 2022. Updated September 22, 2022
Rating & Content Info
Why is Lou rated R? Lou is rated R by the MPAA for violence and language.
Violence: Characters are seen hunting and butchering deer for food. A character is seen preparing for an attempted suicide. Photographs of hanging corpses are visible. Dead bodies are seen. Characters are shot, bludgeoned, stabbed, and injured in accidents. One man’s eye is gouged out in a fight. There are references to domestic abuse, and scars from the abuse are seen. A person is seen fixing a dislocated shoulder after a fall.
Sexual Content: None.
Profanity: There are 29 sexual expletives, 32 scatological curses, frequent uses of terms of deity and occasional mild swear words.
Alcohol / Drug Use: An adult character is briefly seen drinking alcohol.
Page last updated September 22, 2022
Lou Parents' Guide
The film frequently references the CIA’s involvement in destabilizing other nations governments. Which examples does the film provide? Which other nations has the CIA been involved with destabilizing? To what end? How is this behaviour permitted legally and politically in the United States? What have some of the knock-on consequences been of these regime changes? How have they gone on to hurt the United States and its allies?
Related home video titles:
Jurnee Smollett recently starred in Spiderhead, another Netflix original, and appears in Birds of Prey. Fans of thrillers in remote forests might enjoy Those Who Wish Me Dead, First Blood, or Prey. Those looking for more retro kidnapping thrillers (with or without CIA involvement) might enjoy Double Jeopardy, Falling Down, or Along Came a Spider. Contemporary options includeTaken, Encounter, and Midnight Special.