Stockholm parents guide

Stockholm Parent Guide

A comedic heist film with solid acting and a strangely abrupt ending.

Overall C

The unbelievable true story of bank robbery hostages who form a bond with their captors. This is the story behind the psychological condition we now call 'Stockholm Syndrome'.

Release date April 12, 2019

Violence B
Sexual Content B+
Profanity D
Substance Use C+

Why is Stockholm rated R? The MPAA rated Stockholm R for language and brief violence

Run Time: 92 minutes

Parent Movie Review

Lars Nystrom (Ethan Hawke) is a man with a plan - he’s going to rob a bank, free his best friend, Gunnar Sorensson (Mark Strong) from prison, and escape to France in one fell swoop. To that end, he bursts into the Kreditbanken in Stockholm, waving a submachine gun and taking several employees hostage. However, Nystrom soon finds it harder to negotiate with authorities than he thought, as they seem unwilling to believe that he would actually injure any of his hostages. More to the point, Nystrom himself finds himself reluctant to harm any of his hostages, particularly Bianca Lind (Noomi Rapace), who is likewise disinclined to try to escape or cooperate with the police.

Based on the true story of one of the strangest bank robberies ever committed, Stockholm nevertheless takes a few creative liberties. Apart from changing the names of all involved parties (with the exception of Prime Minister Olaf Palme), the film steers more towards comedy than historical drama. The movie is less interested in explaining Stockholm Syndrome or the dangers of bank robbery (which I would imagine are pretty apparent anyway) and much more interested in creating interesting (and often amusing) characters.

The film is well made, and simple enough that its star-studded cast has a chance to shine. Noomi Rapace and Ethan Hawk get the lion’s share of screen time and dialogue, but Mark Strong is easily one of my favorite parts of the movie. The writing also stands out and Stockholm manages to be quite funny in a dry, bemused sort of way. Where the film suffers is mostly its ending, which I found a little unsatisfying. Without giving anything away, it seems to end a little abruptly, as if there were originally five more minutes that wound up on the cutting room floor.

Obviously, with an R rating from the MPAA, this isn’t a film suitable for children. However, it seems to have received that rating primarily for profanity, so older teens might have a good time. Beyond the profanity, there is very little objectionable content. Although the plot centers around hostage-taking bank robbers, the film is clearly not encouraging a life of crime. For a modern comedy it contains remarkably little sexual content, and the violence is toned down. Stockholm may not be a fast-paced action thriller or a sober historical drama, but given the strangeness of the true story, it’s well suited to a comic heist film.

Directed by Robert Budreau. Starring Noomi Rapace, Mark Strong, and Ethan Hawke. Running time: 92 minutes. Theatrical release April 12, 2019. Updated

Watch the trailer for Stockholm

Rating & Content Info

Why is Stockholm rated R? Stockholm is rated R by the MPAA for language and brief violence

Violence: Guns are frequently pointed threateningly at individuals but are seldom fired. On two separate occasions, people are shot while wearing body armor, and are mostly unharmed. An individual is slapped across the face. One character is non-fatally shot through the cheek. People are deliberately exposed to tear gas.
Sexual Content: A man and woman engage in passionate kissing a bank vault.
Profanity: There are ten uses of the sexual expletive, and approximately another 20 moderate profanities.
Alcohol / Drug Use: Adult characters are shown drinking alcohol to relieve stress, but not to the point of visible intoxication. Characters are shown smoking cigarettes, as was common at the time.

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Stockholm Parents' Guide

The unusual behavior of the hostages in this bank robbery led to the identification of what is now known as Stockholm Syndrome. In this psychological condition, hostages and others who are abducted or abused begin to sympathize with or identify with their captors/abusers. Similar behaviors have also been identified in people trapped in abusive relationships. Why do you think this happens? Why do you think people stay with people who hurt them?


Loved this movie? Try these books…

Swedish author Catharina Ingelman-Sundberg has crated an unlikely heist story in her novel (now translated into English), The Little Old Lady Who Broke All the Rules. Senior citizen, Martha Andersson is sick and tired of living in her seniors’ home. So, she enlists four of her friends and they plot a bank robbery to fund a retirement somewhere warm and sunny.

In Catch Me If You Can, Frank Abagnale and Stan Redding tell the story of Frank’s youthful career as a forger.

Home Video

The most recent home video release of Stockholm movie is May 12, 2019. Here are some details…

Related home video titles:

The Old Man & the Gun stars Robert Redford in a comedic bank robbery film.

Catch Me If You Can takes a lighthearted look at the criminal career of youthful forger turned FBI adviser, Frank Abagnale.

Yet another glamorized heist thriller is Ocean’s Eleven, with George Clooney leading an all-star ensemble cast.