The Unforgivable Parent Guide
It's almost impossible to review this film because the story turns on a major plot twist.
Parent Movie Review
Having served her 20 year sentence, Ruth Slater walks out of prison to a harsh new reality. Her halfway house is violent and rundown; she’s having trouble finding work; and her parole officer treats her with ill-concealed disdain. But her biggest challenge is personal. When Ruth was incarcerated, Katie, the little sister she had raised since birth was put into care, effectively disappearing from Ruth’s life. Her top priority is to find out what happened to Katie but the adoption system is a black box and Ruth has no easy way of finding her beloved sister.
What Ruth doesn’t know is that someone else’s goals are about to impact her life. Two young men have spent twenty years living with the results of Ruth’s crime. Now that she’s out of prison, the brothers determine that it’s time for revenge…
It’s almost impossible to write a review of The Unforgivable because the story turns on a major plot twist and almost any discussion of the script will blow the ending. I can’t really describe the storyline, except to say that the plot twist is foreseeable (I had it down about halfway through) and the choices behind it are illogical. What I can comment on is the movie’s shifts in tone. It starts off looking like a social drama about integrating ex-convicts into society. Then it turns into a revenge tale. And then it skews sentimental. It’s an odd combination and doesn’t always work.
What does work in the film is Sandra Bullock’s performance. She delivers a raw, gut-wrenching performance that is totally believable. Ruth is tough, courageous, and solely dedicated to her little sister. She projects a world-weary pragmatism; a willingness to do what she must to make it through each day. This is clearly a star vehicle for Ms. Bullock, but the rest of the movie doesn’t live up to her performance, which will hurt her chances in awards season.
In addition to the film’s plot challenges, it also carries a fair bit of negative content. It’s not a surprise, given the milieu Ruth lives in, but there’s a fair bit of profanity, including 27 sexual expletives. There are also repeated flashbacks to a violent crime, and other crimes including a kidnapping, and a scene where a gun is pointed at two women.
Unforgivable has potential but is ultimately disappointing. It’s not terrible but it’s not as good as it could have been. Sadly, it’s not unforgettable; this is one of those movies that will gradually disappear from your memory, leaving little behind – except for an increased respect in Sandra Bullock’s acting skills.Directed by Nora Fingscheidt. Starring Sandra Bullock, Jon Bernthal, Vincent D'Onofrio. Running time: 112 minutes. Theatrical release November 24, 2021. Updated November 24, 2021
Watch the trailer for The Unforgivable
Rating & Content Info
Why is The Unforgivable rated R? The Unforgivable is rated R by the MPAA Rated R for language and violence
Violence: A car accident is briefly seen. People use knives to cut up fish. A person punches and throws someone for attempted theft. A man punches and kicks another man. A person throws equipment through drywall and wrecks a room. A woman pushes another one into a wall in an argument. There is mention of suicide and murder. A police officer is shot. His bloody body is seen. A person is kidnapped. A man points a gun at two women.
Sexual Content: A woman is seen from the shoulders up in a shower. A married woman is seen in bed with another man; her bare back is visible.
Profanity: The film contains over three dozen profanities, including at least 27 sexual expletives, nine scatological curses, three terms of deity, and two anatomical curse words. There are also several crude terms for women and a coarse term for male genitalia.
Alcohol / Drug Use: A man is seen smoking cigarettes. People drink alcohol at a party. A woman removes a tourniquet from her arm; drug use is implied but not seen.
Page last updated November 24, 2021
The Unforgivable Parents' Guide
What do you think about the choices Ruth made? What could she have done differently? What would have been the likely consequences? What would you have done in her situation?