There’s also a disturbing tone throughout the film:  a bunch of dark, lost people trying to manage their way through life’s issues.  Angry bartenders, deformed alcoholics, obese drug abusers, half-retarded child molesters, etc.—the darkest, shadiest elements of society are being rubbed in our faces.  The movie does become extremely interesting, but not until the third act.  Prior to that, it’s a “Don’t I see enough of this on the eleven o'clock news every night?” kind of feeling.

Overall, Gone Baby Gone might be recommended for older adults (with strong stomachs for raunch) who want an interesting case study in values clarification, but no child should be taken to see it.  As a matter of fact, there’s one extremely disturbing, but brief, shot of a dead child (who’s been molested), lying in the bathtub of his kidnapper/molester.  Need we say more?

The filmmakers are to be commended for raising serious questions for thought about values, and they do point to the protagonist’s relatively strong faith as the basis for his moral absolutes.  But, again, getting there is a rough road to travel.

CAUTIONS:

  • Drugs/Alcohol:  Alcohol and drugs portrayed excessively.
  • Language:  Excessive, with well over 75 obscenities and profanities
  • Sex:  Couple is living together outside marriage, but nothing shown; allusion to child having been sexually molested, with no sex shown, but dead child seen in tub.
  • Violence:  Bar fights, slapping, hitting, screaming, allusion to violence toward children.
  • Worldview:  Relativistic.  Right and wrong are not so clear; it’s all about the situation.