The Killer Parent Guide
Michael Fassbender's standout performance is the highlight of this bloody tale of a rogue assassin.
Parent Movie Review
An unnamed assassin (Michael Fassbender) does his job with precision, expertise, and a complete lack of emotion. He has turned murder into an art form, thinking of every detail, anticipating every outcome, and leaving no trace behind. But when a job goes wrong, he finds himself the target; not the hunter. Determinedly seeking vengeance, the experienced killer begins to work his way through those who have wronged him, while insisting it isn’t personal.
David Fincher is known for his meticulous attention to detail, beautiful cinematography, and moody atmospheres. He brings all of those elements into his latest project, but it would be a weak film without Fassbender in the lead role. This entire production hinges on Fassbender, as the vast majority of the movie is spent with him and his inner monologue. Fassbender delivers brilliantly, staying deadpan and uncaring, yet still fascinating to watch. He even subtly shifts his accent at different points of his mission to avoid detection, adding nuance to his performance.
The story is simple - assassin turns on his handlers - which is both a strength and weakness of this film. On the one hand the simplicity of the plot keeps the focus entirely on Fassbender’s performance, but the thin story fails to give him or anyone else solid motivation. His character seeks revenge because assassins came to his home and attacked a woman. Their relationship is never established, so the audience has no reason (beyond compassion) to care that she got hurt or understand why her attack motivates The Killer. It’s a very strange inclusion, considering she’s in two scenes with no explanation about their relationship. This is a classic, annoying example of “fridging”, i.e. creating a character (usually female) whose sole purpose in the plot is to die or be harmed, thereby motivating the revenge journey of another (usually male). The entire episode is completely irrelevant because our protagonist could just have easily been motivated by a personal assault, without making any difference to the rest of the film.
This is an assassin movie, so you can probably guess at the level of violence. People getting shot, blood splatters, and fist fights are par for the course, and profanity is tossed in with double-digit F-Bombs. Although beautifully shot and brilliantly thought out, the violent action sequences definitely fall into the Restricted range. Fassbender’s performance is honestly worth watching, as is the cinematography, but the flimsy story around it makes for a forgettable experience. Fans of the genre will enjoy this film, but other viewers won’t miss much by skipping it.
Directed by David Fincher. Starring Michael Fassbender, Tilda Swinton, Charles Parnell. Running time: 118 minutes. Theatrical release November 10, 2023. Updated November 11, 2023
Watch the trailer for The Killer
Rating & Content Info
Why is The Killer rated R? The Killer is rated R by the MPAA for strong violence, language and brief sexuality.
Violence: Characters die in bloody ways, often by gunshots to the head. A man is shot in the chest with a nail gun. There are scenes of fistfights. Blood and injury detail is shown throughout.
Sexual Content: There is some innuendo and sexual discussion. A woman is seen in lingerie. A man is seen taking a shower, no nudity.
Profanity: The script contains over 10 extreme expletives, three mild and moderate expletives, and around 10 uses of terms of deity.
Alcohol / Drug Use: Adults are seen smoking in the background.
Page last updated November 11, 2023
The Killer Parents' Guide
What are the tenets the Killer lives by? How do those affect his view of other people and his attitudes towards life?
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If you’re looking for teen-friendly movies in this genre, you can try the following:
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