Unlocked (2023) Parent Guide
This film will have you looking nervously at your phone for a long time afterwards.
Parent Movie Review
Na-mi (Woo-hee Chun) is always on her phone. Whether taking pictures with friends, using GPS, or checking Instagram, she’s never seen without it. Until one night, after a few drinks, she accidently leaves her phone on the bus. Luckily, a helpful stranger finds it and returns it, or so Na-mi thinks. Soon weird things start happening on her phone, like texts she never sent and posts she never made. While trying to uncover what’s happened to her digital life, Na-mi finds herself in more peril than she could have imagined.
Smartphones are so ubiquitous that it’s easy to forget how much of our personal information is stored on them. Unlocked is a story of what can happen when that information falls into the wrong hands. The story is not anti-smartphone: it’s a cautionary tale using a crime thriller as the vehicle.
Crime thrillers live and die by the performances and Chun Woo-hee and Yim Si-wan are more than up to the task. They both convey so much with only the smallest change in facial expression. Yim is able to switch between charming and creepy with subtle facial movements, making him a fantastic villain. The story itself is not terribly surprising, but it moves along at a decent pace, never lagging for too long. The tone is creepy and tense, very rarely letting up long enough for the audience to breathe.
Unlocked is not a perfect movie by any means. There were some unrealistic tropes that interrupted my viewing experience, such as characters making weird choices and police officers trying to do things alone without backup. However, that’s par the course for the genre, so these small annoyances are to be expected.
As expected in a crime thriller, the movie features a notable amount of violence and swearing. However, it is nowhere near what it could have been, staying well outside of an R rating. Mature older teens would probably be an appropriate audience for this film, which has the potential to lead to some important conversations around privacy and data. For adult fans of thrillers and crime, Unlocked is a well-made, superbly acted film that will keep you on the edge of your seat, if that’s a place you like to be.
Directed by Kim Tae-joon. Starring Im Si-wan, Chun Woo-hee, Kim Hee-won. Running time: 117 minutes. Theatrical release February 17, 2023. Updated February 17, 2023
Watch the trailer for Unlocked (2023)
Rating & Content Info
Why is Unlocked (2023) rated TV-MA? Unlocked (2023) is rated TV-MA by the MPAA for language, smoking, violence
Violence: A dead body is seen in some detail. Pictures of a killer’s victims are seen. Police officers threaten a character with a gun. A man is shot in the chest. A man beats another man; blood is seen.
Sexual Content: None.
Profanity: The script contains 14 mild and moderate expletives and two terms of deity.
Alcohol / Drug Use: Adults are seen drinking and smoking in multiple scenes.
Page last updated February 17, 2023
Unlocked (2023) Parents' Guide
How much of Na-mi’s life is on her phone? How much personal, social, and financial information is accessible from your phone? What security precautions do you take? Is there anything else you think you should do?