Story

Sondra Pronsky (Scarlett Johansson) is an American journalism student on holiday in London with her friend Vivian (Romola Garai). On a trip to the theatre to see magician Sid Waterman (Woody Allen), Sondra has an unlikely encounter with recently deceased Joe Strombel (Ian McShane), a journalist famous for getting the latest ‘scoop’. 

Joe tells Sondra that Peter Lyman (Hugh Jackman), son of Lord Lyman, is in fact the ‘Tarot Card Killer’, a serial murderer who preys on prostitutes. The killer left a clue at his latest murder, which Lord Lyman’s secretary, now dead, passed on to Joe. Sondra, of course, finds this hard to believe. Nevertheless, with the help of Waterman, who poses as her father, she sets out to find the truth.

Sondra manages to set up a meeting with Peter Lyman, who is instantly attracted to her and dazzles her with his charm and good fortune. Sondra falls in love with Lyman and is very relieved when someone else is arrested for the murders. But not all is as it seems and Sondra finds herself in great danger.

Themes

Murder; life after death

Violence

  • Characters talk about women being murdered (nothing is actually shown).
  • Sid dies in a car crash (nothing actually shown).
  • Peter pushes Sondra into the lake to drown her.

Content that may disturb children

Under 8

  • There are scenes of the grim reaper standing with a group of ‘dead’ people who seem to be on a ship in the ocean with swirling mists.
  • Joe Strombel, who is dead, appears to Sondra on several occasions and fades away when he leaves.
  • Peter tries to kill Sondra. 

From 8-13

Some children in this age group might also be disturbed by scenes of the grim reaper and ‘dead’ people, although these are done in a comic fashion.

Over 13

Some children in this age group might need parental guidance because of themes and sexual references.

Sexual references

  • Sondra interviews an actor called Michael Tinsley, who plies her with alcohol. Vivian later asks her how the sex was, but Sondra can’t remember because she was too drunk. Vivian says she wouldn’t mind a roll in the hay with Michael Tinsley.
  • Sid says Sondra has a problem with promiscuity.
  • Sid asks Sondra if she gained anything from her weekend other than the chance of pregnancy.

Alcohol, drugs and other substances

Characters drink alcohol in several different settings.

Nudity and sexual activity

Sondra and Peter are shown kissing and sleeping together apparently naked, but they are covered by sheets.

Product placement

The branded products Walkers chips and Cobra beer are displayed in this movie.

Coarse language

This movie contains some mild coarse language.

Ideas to discuss with your children

Scoop is a black comedy about life and death, which shows that reality isn’t always what it appears to be. The main message from this movie is not to be deceived by appearances. You might like to discuss this with your child, as well as the real-life consequences of casual sex, as depicted in the movie. Perhaps you could also talk about your own beliefs about life after death.