Kernel Rating (out of 5):
MPAA Rating: PG-13 Length: 84 minutes
Age Appropriate For: 15+. This kind of PG-13 movie is the worst, in that it isn’t overwhelmingly gory or sexually violent, but it has enough of both to be exploitative and infuriating. Some cursing; sexually themed language and the threat of rape (a man forces a woman to get into the shower with him and also forces her to undress); and a lot of man-on-woman violence, with characters murdered, strangled, tortured, stabbed, held hostage, and shot. Older teenagers could see it, but no one should.
Idris Elba and Taraji P. Henson do the best they can with ‘No Good Deed,’ but there isn’t much to work with. At least, not much that isn’t stupidly plotted or offensively presented.
By Roxana Hadadi
A criminal whose criminality is in question can be intriguing. Consider “The Lincoln Lawyer,” the first film in the Matthew McConaughey comeback tour, which toyed with flashbacks and imaginary sequences to present the possibility of guilt for its antagonist. There was doubt in play there, and that kept the audience guessing and on-edge. If only “No Good Deed” had used that formula—if only the film valued tension instead of exploitation.