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Kristin Smith

Movie Review

Nick Spitz is an overworked cop living in New York City, trying his hardest to pass a test and become a detective. His wife, Audrey, is an underappreciated hairdresser. And both are just coasting through their marriage.

Fifteen years before, at the start of their union, Nick promised Audrey a romantic, adventurous trip across the pond for their honeymoon. But he still hasn’t come through. And Nick really has no intention of actually taking Audrey anywhere. Until, that is, she confronts him about his unfulfilled promise. Pressured to step up to the plate, Nick finally whisks his wife away.

As they fly through European skies, Audrey wanders into first class. There, she meets a handsome stranger, Charles Cavendish—a stranger who soon invites Audrey and Nick to join him on a family cruise.

Excited and ready to live out a dream, Audrey and Nick agree. But once aboard, their fun, innocent excursion turns into whodunnit when Charles’ wicked billionaire uncle, Malcom Quince, is mysteriously murdered.

Now, there are a handful of suspects: the Americans, Nick and Audrey Spitz. Charles Cavendish, the embittered nephew. Actress Grace Ballard. Malcom’s failure of a son, Tobey. Family friends Maharajah and Colonel Ulenga. Nephew Juan Carlos, and Malcom’s beautiful young mistress, Suzi.

Nick and Audrey proclaim their innocence. After all, they’ve only recently met Charles and certainly have no motivation to murder a relative of their new benefactor. But they’ll have to convince everyone else that their arrival on the yacht was a mere coincidence, because it’s increasingly clear that they’re being framed for murder.

Positive Elements

Even though Nick Spitz is a bit despondent, he truly loves his wife, and seeks to protect Audrey from harm. Similarly, Nick’s best friend also loves his wife and buys her jewelry for an anniversary gift.

Nick and Audrey rekindle their marital romance (sort of) and learn to work together, realizing that they function best as a team. Nick learns to trust Audrey’s natural intuition and intelligence (she reads a lot of mystery novels), and Audrey learns to encourage and value her husband.

Spiritual Elements

A man says, “As God is my witness.”

Sexual Content

Suspects Maharajah and actress Grace Ballard kiss and make-out on a bed (we see him on top of her, kissing her neck). They intend to have sex. But it’s clear that he cannot perform sexually, so she leaves in search of a random man who can.

Nick and Audrey go into a bathroom stall together for privacy, but Nick assumes she wants to have sex. We hear him unbutton his pants, but his wife shoots him down.

A group of women talk about how their husbands are no longer romantic or emotionally involved in marriage. One woman talks about her husband’s male anatomy. They all mention that their husbands are only interested in sex and send “eggplant and donut” emojis.

Nick Spitz makes various crude references to a man’s genitals.

An elderly billionaire is known for stealing the wives and fiancés of his younger family members. Women wear cleavage-bearing tops. We hear jokes about sex, arousal, male genitalia, an attractive high school teacher, illegitimate children, homosexuality and prostitution.

Couples kiss, hold hands and flirt.

Violent Content

An elderly man is stabbed in the chest with a dagger; we hear bones cracking and see blood. A man is shot in the head, and blood pours from his temple. Other people are shot and killed as well. A woman is murdered by a blow dart. A man is hit by a bus and killed. Men and women are threatened at gun point. They also dodge bullets during a chase scene. A man’s beverage is poisoned. After he drinks it, we see him sitting in a chair, foaming at the mouth, dead. A man is punched in the face and knocked unconscious.

Nick’s best friend says that he would “cover up dead bodies” for him. A man jokingly threatens to “bust a cap” in his friend. A teen boy tells Nick that he will beat him up. Nick crassly jokes about a funeral and a dead relative. We hear that a mother tragically died giving birth. Audrey reads many murder mystery novels. A bodyguard reveals that the man he’s protecting lost his eye (he wears an eye patch) during a bombing. Similarly, we hear that a solider lost his legs at war.

Crude or Profane Language

God’s name is misused nearly 30 times, occasionally paired with “d–n,” and Jesus’ name is misused five times. We hear an incomplete “m—–f—,” The s-word is heard 15 times. “B–ch,” “b–tard,” “a–,” “son of a b–ch” and “h—” are each used a handful of times. We also hear “d–k” about 10 times.

A woman is called a “tramp,” and a man is referred to as a “cad,” a “swine” and an “idiot.” A father tells his demanding, rude children to “shut up.”

Drug and Alcohol Content

Nick jokingly tells a flight attendant that she needs a Xanax. Characters consume beer, hard liquor, champagne and wine. An inspector smokes cigarettes. A man says he wants to get “blind drunk” and makes a joke about his alcoholic mother.

Other Negative Elements

Nick Spitz, while he loves his wife Audrey, has become quite comfortable with skating by in his marriage. In some ways, Audrey has also become unhealthily complacent, too.

An elderly billionaire vindictively cuts his entire family out of his will, including his only son, with whom he is deeply disappointed. A man makes a joke about “social masochism.” Nick lies to Audrey about failing his test to become a detective and asks his friend to lie to her as well.

Conclusion

A murder-mystery novel is something you read on the beach to disconnect, a leisurely distraction. But what if you suddenly found yourself plopped into the middle of an Agatha Christie-wannabe scenario?

That’s the entire plot of Jennifer Aniston and Adam Sandler’s new Netflix original, Murder Mystery. With pretty much everything you might expect from a movie featuring Adam Sandler (minus some of the harsher vulgarities), this film is about as predictable as its title.

But that certainly hasn’t stopped stop people from watching. Murder Mystery reportedly racked up more than 30 million views within the first three days, a new record for the streaming service. Perhaps that’s proof that Sandler and Aniston are not past their prime after all.

Murder Mystery is an overdone, formulaic film that will (sort of) keep you searching for clues as its predictable plot unfolds. In some heartfelt ways, it reminds married viewers not to take their spouses for granted. But that’s about the only message of value in a Netflix movie that features a fair bit of PG-13 content as well.

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Kristin Smith

Kristin Smith joined the Plugged In team in 2017. Formerly a Spanish and English teacher, Kristin loves reading literature and eating authentic Mexican tacos. She and her husband, Eddy, love raising their children Judah and Selah. Kristin also has a deep affection for coffee, music, her dog (Cali) and cat (Aslan).