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Slow Burn Review Critics


Dave White Profile

… the film's agenda is: titillation. Read full review

Other Critics provided by

Critics scores range from 0 to 100, with higher scores indicating more favorable reviews.

  • 2.0

    out of 100

    Generally unfavorable reviews
    based on a weighted average of all
    critic review scores.

  • 40

    out of 100

    Variety Eddie Cockrell

    What begins as a moderately interesting set of interconnected mysteries involving race and identity soon grows eye-rollingly laborious, not to mention increasingly derivative of Christopher McQuarrie's "Usual Suspects" script.

    Read Full Review

  • 40

    out of 100

    The Hollywood Reporter Frank Scheck

    The sort of cheesy thriller that would prove mildly diverting on late-night cable, Slow Burn at least features a terrific cast to enliven its familiar elements.

    Read Full Review

  • 58

    out of 100

    Entertainment Weekly Scott Brown

    A strange, sprained, but sprightly fusion of "The Usual Suspects" and the "Tragic Mulatto," Slow Burn wants badly to turn its standard neo-noir into a nuanced racial chiaroscuro.

    Read Full Review

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For Families provided by Common Sense Media

Iffy for 16+

Sluggish thriller mixes flashbacks and deception.

What Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that although LL Cool J has a small part in this movie, it's not targeted at fans of his children's books or romantic comedies. Slow moving and visually stylized, the film features frequent blood and violence (mostly with guns, plus a couple of explosions), as well as frank discussions of sex (several scenes show nude body parts). The movie's weighty, complex theme of racial "passing" connects to other forms of double crossing and corruption. Discussion of drugs in relation to investigations; profanity includes multiple uses of "f--k," "s--t," "ass," and more.

  • Families can talk about the idea of racial "passing." What perspective does this movie take on the topic? How does it tie in with the movie's general theme of deception? How do multiple versions of events, remembered differently by different characters, elaborate on the subject of race identity? How have previous movies and TV shows dealt with the issue of "passing"?

The good stuff
  • message true0

    Messages: Everyone (cops, lawyers, and criminals) lies; several characters have secret identities; much discussion of racial "passing" (the term "wigger" is used in that context).

What to watch for
  • violence false5

    Violence: Early shot of dead body with bloody gunshot wound in head; blood on murder suspect's face; flashback to a rape scene shows a man grabbing a woman and her screaming; discussion of a rape exam; many characters carry and shoot guns; cops shoot at fleeing suspects (later viewers learn they're dead); cops bust through a door; fighting and pushing between individual men; riot scene shows burning buildings and people rushing around; gas explosion takes out a city block.

  • sex false3

    Sex: Several passionate kissing scenes (without nudity); woman appears in shower (behind blurry glass door); several sex scenes shot in soft-filter close-up (a couple of scenes are set in beds, while one takes place on a desk; in one scene, breasts are momentarily visible); glimpse of tattoo on woman's bottom before her lover kisses it; brief cleavage; a couple of shots of a man's bare bottom.

  • language false5

    Language: Language includes the usual cop-movie fare: several uses of "f--k" (once in French), as well as "ass," "hell," and "s--t," "damn," and "son of a bitch." The "N" word is used by African-American characters.

  • consumerism false0

    Consumerism: References to Vanity Fair magazine, Oprah, Tiger Woods, Regis Philbin, Michael Jordan, Die Hard, Sotheby's, Tupac.

  • drugsalcoholtobacco false3

    Drinking, drugs and smoking: Drinking at parties; cigars and cigarettes smoked; repeated references to drugs in context of investigations, including "feeling high," "rock," "crackheads," and "busted for drugs."