Considering the amount of carnage Matthews leaves behind on the road to his son’s redemption, one hopes the producers took liberties with the "true story" part. Once the action gets going it’s hard to stay too invested. The idea that this relatively naïve small business owner has the survival skills to outwit, outplay, and outlast major drug cartels and highly trained federal agents is a lot to swallow. But never mind, it’s still an action flick full of teachable moments with a strong father who is willing go out of his comfort zone to do what he thinks is best for his family. Sound familiar? Set the story in an earlier era, trade the big rig for a horse, and Snitch could be a classic Western.

CAUTIONS:

  • Drugs/Alcohol: The crime in question is drug trafficking, so drug sales and use are seen and discussed. One instance is smoking of marijuana grown legally (for medicinal purposes) but stolen and smoked illegally. There’s a certain amount of drinking (hard liquor) by adults. One character is forced to snort coke.
  • Language/Profanity: The f-word is mercifully absent and other profanity much less present than one might expect given the drug dealer/bad guy cadre of characters. The Lord’s name taken in vain a few times, sometimes coupled with d**n; punk-a**, pu**y pig, b**tch, and bulls**t
  • Sex/Nudity: Kissing by two couples, both married. Veiled reference to potential rape of male inmate, presumably by another male, though we don’t find out if it actually occurred. Man shown without a shirt (giving an excellent look at his many tattoos).
  • Violence: Beatings; wounded males shown post-beatings; people threatened with guns; shootings; people killed by gunshots; car chases; violent, flaming, flying-off-a-cliff style car crashes; bodies shown being buried in a mass grave. It doesn’t feel quite as vicious as all that sounds, probably because the shootings are relatively bloodless and the violence borders on cartoonish.
  • Spiritual Themes: A father puts himself at risk for his son in a substitutionary sacrifice. There are many teachable moments here, from being careful who your friends are to thinking before you act to having the courage to do the right thing. It could be an excellent conversation starter, especially for parents of teens.

Publication date: February 22, 2013