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The Number 23 Review

Movies.com Critics

1.0

Dave White Profile

… cuckoo-bananas … Read full review

For Families provided by Common Sense Media

Not for kids 17 and under

Absurd, dark, and a miscast Jim Carrey. Yuck.

What Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this isn't a Jim Carrey comedy. It's a thriller in which suicides are epidemic (three characters take their own lives -- or try to -- in often-bloody detail). The surreal, MTV-style filmmaking unfortunately makes at least one of the suicide victims look like a gauzy Victoria's Secret model who's ready for a turn on the fashion runway -- not a good message to send. There's also a subplot about a girl who likes to have kinky, abusive sex. Other violence includes murder (usually offscreen) and the threat of murder; there's also some language and drinking.

  • Families can talk about why Jim Carrey, known for slapstick comedy, would undertake a movie like this. What makes this movie a thriller? What's the difference between thrillers and horror movies? Families can also discuss the supportive message about the mentally ill that's hidden underneath the movie's gaudy, feverish visuals.

The good stuff
  • message true0

    Messages: Characters suddenly go from normal and sympathetic to shifty, paranoid, and potentially psychotic. There is, however an ultimate message about the redeeming power of family love and support and "doing the right thing."

What to watch for
  • violence false5

    Violence: Threatened knifings. Multiple suicides and suicide attempts via slit wrists, standing in front of a bus, hanging, jumping out the window, and a gunshot to the head (the last is usually off screen). One throat-slitting (presented in a surreal, fantasy way). The hero gets a bloody dog bite and later tries to kill the dog by running it over.

  • sex false3

    Sex: A few sensuality scenes, which are much obscured by abstract, music video-style gimmicky visuals, editing, and foliage. Some females are dressed in revealing bustiers. A takeoff on lurid detective-story clichés includes a girl who indulges in sex with kinky, violent, and murderous overtones. The (married) hero turns down an offer of sex from a co-worker, then worries about his wife's fidelity.

  • language false3

    Language: A few uses of "s--t" and "f--k," as well as "bitch" (in both canine and human contexts).

  • consumerism false0

    Consumerism: Not an issue

  • drugsalcoholtobacco false3

    Drinking, drugs and smoking: The hero drinks to steady his nerves.

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