The Keeper parents guide

The Keeper Parent Guide

The film keeps things shallow when it should dig deep.

Overall D

Theaters: Determined to raise awareness of veterans' mental health challenges, George gathers the name tags of 363 vets who have died by suicide, and heads off along the Appalachian Trail.

Release date May 24, 2024

Violence C
Sexual Content B
Profanity D
Substance Use B

Why is The Keeper rated R? The MPAA rated The Keeper R for some language

Run Time: 101 minutes

Parent Movie Review

After losing yet another friend to suicide, George (Angus Benfield) decides to do something about it. Gathering up the name tags from 363 other veterans lost to suicide, George sets out to hike the Appalachian Trail and carry the tags from Maine to Georgia to raise awareness. Along the Trail, George runs into many other veterans, each of whom is touched by his self-appointed mission and has their own story about their mental health struggles.

All those names and stories are a lot of weight to carry on a long trail – both mentally and physically. George is going to depend on the people he meets along the way to keep him going.

I should point out early on that the central issue of the film, veteran suicides, is a real and tragic problem. I just wish the movie had done it justice. Most of the movie consists of our protagonist strolling into a group of other hikers, explaining his mission, and then receiving their gratitude/anecdotes/sappy advice. Rinse and repeat for an hour and a half. There isn’t anything else going on here. That’s the whole movie. What bothers me is that at no point during these interminable conversations does anybody find the time to talk about why any of these veterans have the mental health conditions that lead to suicide. It’s just platitude after platitude about honor and respect and sacrifice. They’re good virtues, but in this story, it feels like they are masking deeper issues.

Once I realized that The Keeper was never going to dig deep, I upped the playback speed to 1.5x and frankly, it still felt slow. I mean, the characters were a bit jittery and delivered dialogue like a five-year-old halfway through a double espresso, but there wasn’t a noticeable decrease in quality. The movie continued to bravely have the same conversation half a dozen times. Lacking a more elegant description, this flick has a terminal case of “lead actor is the director” syndrome. It just feels like a bad creative writing project that somehow got mixed up with an actual screenplay.

Those of you who might want to show this production to your teens could be concerned about the occasional outbursts of profanity, or the frequent discussions of suicide, or even the brief conversation about sexual violence in the military. There’s also some frequent tobacco smoking, but I’m not sure that’s the movie’s biggest problem. Watchability is a much bigger concern. Even at 150% speed, this is a dull ride.

Directed by Angus Benfield and Kendall Bryant Jr.. Starring Angus Benfield, Nicholas Asad, Haley Babula. Running time: 101 minutes. Theatrical release May 24, 2024. Updated

Watch the trailer for The Keeper

The Keeper
Rating & Content Info

Why is The Keeper rated R? The Keeper is rated R by the MPAA for some language

Violence: There are frequent references to suicide, and a character is briefly seen pointing a gun at their own chest. A character has flashbacks to combat, and some artillery is fired.
Sexual Content: There is a reference to sexual assault.
Profanity: There are seven sexual expletives, 11 scatological curses, and occasional uses of mild profanities and terms of deity.
Alcohol / Drug Use: Adult characters are seen smoking cigarettes. There are references to alcohol.

Page last updated

Home Video

Related home video titles:

The challenges US vets face in civilian life are shown in multiple films including Thank You for Your Service, Born on the Fourth of July, Megan Leavey, Da 5 Bloods, Causeway, and Unbroken: Path to Redemption.