No Exit Parent Guide
Unrelenting tension keeps audiences on the edge of their seats, until the final act of the film collapses into messy violence.
Parent Movie Review
On her way to visit her mother, Darby (Havana Rose Liu) gets stranded at a rest stop during a blizzard with a few other trapped travelers. Looking for ways to pass the time, Darby discovers a kidnapped girl (Mila Harris) in the back of a van in the parking lot. Unsure of whose van it is, and not knowing who she can trust, Darby desperately tries to save the girl, and herself.
Building tension in film is an art, and one that often falls flat. No Exit builds suspense masterfully over the first hour or so of the runtime, allowing small reprieves for the audience to catch their breath, before diving right back in. That is an accomplishment, and one that deserves to be mentioned. I was on the edge of my seat the whole time, and there were twists that I did not see coming. Unfortunately, the last 20 minutes devolve into chaos, which takes the air out of the potential emotional beats at the end. The actors are all fantastic, and they carry the tension remarkably. Havana Rose Liu in particular shines as our protagonist, perfectly capturing the heroine’s fear and determination.
Stellar acting and a remarkable first two-thirds are not enough to save this movie for me, however. The high amounts of negative content, especially violence and language, make sense for the genre, but the violence becomes excessive towards the end, which is part of what ruins the tension. “Show; don’t tell”, people. That’s rule number one. I’d also point out some problematic elements to the story. One being that one of the kidnappers has an obvious mental disability, which plays into the false stereotype that mentally ill people are violent or more likely to commit crimes. Another thing that bothered me is bringing human trafficking into the story. Rich white girls being stolen in broad daylight from their parents’ home is not how human trafficking works at all, and playing into that misconception is dangerous and, frankly, irresponsible.
In short, I don’t recommend this movie. If you’re a huge fan of thrillers and have a strong stomach for graphic violence and language, maybe you’ll enjoy the ride, but the problematic story elements made me want to exit from my viewing.Directed by Damien Power. Starring Havana Rose Liu, Danny Ramirez, David Rysdahl. Running time: 95 minutes. Theatrical release February 25, 2022. Updated February 25, 2022
Watch the trailer for No Exit
Rating & Content Info
Why is No Exit rated R? No Exit is rated R by the MPAA for strong violence, language, and some drug content
Violence: Suicide is mentioned in some detail. A man chokes a woman violently. Multiple people are shot and killed with both a real gun and a staple gun. A man shoots a woman through the wrist with a staple gun. A woman sprays other characters with mace. A woman hits a man on the head with a hammer. A woman stabs a man through the neck with a screwdriver.
Sexual Content: Two adults kiss.
Profanity: There are over 25 sexual expletives, around 40 mild and moderate expletives, as well as about 10 uses of terms of deity.
Alcohol / Drug Use: Some scenes take place in a rehabilitation facility where drug addiction is discussed. There is a brief reference to smoking pot. A woman snorts an unidentified drug.
Page last updated February 25, 2022
No Exit Parents' Guide
How has Darby’s struggles with addiction affected her relationships with her family? What supports are available in your community for people abd families struggling with addiction?
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