Windfall parents guide

Windfall Parent Guide

This taut thriller introduces themes of class disparity and capitalist ethics - and lots of swearing.

Overall C+

Netflix. A tech billionaire and his wife arrive at their vacation home to find a man robbing it. Shocked by their sudden arrival, the thief holds them both hostage while he decides his next move.

Release date March 18, 2022

Violence C-
Sexual Content A
Profanity D
Substance Use B

Why is Windfall rated R? The MPAA rated Windfall R for language throughout and some violence.

Run Time: 92 minutes

Parent Movie Review

Robbing houses is a risky job. Security systems, dogs, and above all, the residents pose a serious threat to any would-be burglar. But one thief (Jason Segel) thinks he’s found a safe mark. He’s staked out the underused vacation property of a tech billionaire and decides it’s a good target. It doesn’t have any cameras, and no one’s there most of the time. But while he’s rifling through the jewelry drawer, the CEO (Jesse Plemons) and his wife (Lily Collins) arrive for an unscheduled weekend together. What started as an opportunistic theft is now a hostage situation: the burglar can’t let the owners leave until he’s got a way out. And without any trust between the hostages and the now-kidnapper, the situation is dangerously untenable. But this can all end well…provided the robber can get what he wants.

I had some reservations about Jason Segel in this role, but he’s actually one of my favorite parts of the film. I’ve only seen him in comedies, but his imposing physical stature lends itself well to playing an intimidating character. He keeps up well with Jesse Plemons, who I’ve loved in just about everything I’ve seen him in, and Lily Collins. They do an excellent job of portraying this bizarre social dynamic – people with directly contrary interests all forced to spend time in close proximity. The veneer of civility is quickly stripped away, but the interests they do share maintain a strange balance in their relationship.

As the “R” rating might have suggested to you, this isn’t going to be a great piece of family entertainment. The primary concern here is profanity, with 80 f-bombs dropped in 92 minutes. There are also a few scenes of bloody violence, but those are not nearly as graphic as they could have been, all things considered. This is a thriller, after all, not a slasher.

Younger audiences are also unlikely to appreciate the film’s deeper discussion on the ethics of modern capitalism in general and tech billionaires in specific. Plemons’ character is every inch the fragile, egotistical jerk so many of the ultra-wealthy either present themselves to be or are caricatured as, and his deteriorating situation only serves to amplify those traits. As things go on, the film increasingly invites comparison between him and Segel’s would-be burglar, and the attitude each has toward the other. It’s certainly an interesting watch, all emphasized with a Hitchcockian instrumental score – always a welcome addition, for me.

Directed by Charlie McDowell. Starring Jesse Plemons, Lily Collins, Jason Segel. Running time: 92 minutes. Theatrical release March 18, 2022. Updated

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Rating & Content Info

Why is Windfall rated R? Windfall is rated R by the MPAA for language throughout and some violence.

Violence: A character trips and cuts their throat on broken glass. An individual is bludgeoned to death with a statue. A person is shot.
Sexual Content: There is a brief non-explicit reference to adultery.
Profanity: There are 80 uses of sexual expletives, 12 uses of scatological terms, and infrequent use of mild cursing and terms of deity.
Alcohol / Drug Use: Adult characters are briefly seen drinking beer.

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Windfall Parents' Guide

What do the thief and the tech billionaire learn about themselves and each other during their encounter? What do you think the director is trying to say with this film?

Home Video

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Another recent attempt at Hitchcock’s style is Kimi. Then, of course, there are original Hitchcock films like Dial M for Murder, Psycho, North by Northwest, Rear Window, and Rope. Other thrillers in vacation properties include The Shining, The Lodge, The Rental, Held, and Happily. If you’re looking for more movies about home invasions, try The Intruder, Intrusion, Parasite, Us, and Cape Fear. If you prefer hostage takings on screen, your options include 7500, Misery, Money Monster, Captain Phillips, The Taking of Pelham 123, Prisoners, or 10 Cloverfield Lane.