Common Sense Note
Parents need to know that The Sweeney is an English crime drama about an elite police squad that's based on a 1970s UK TV series (so it doesn't have much of a built-in U.S. audience). There's tons of strong language, with "f--k" used almost constantly, as well as brutal violence (fighting, shooting/guns, blood, car chases, etc.). The main character is having an affair; consequently, there are several sex scenes and sexual innuendoes, though no actual nudity is shown. Characters drink, the main character regularly smokes cigarettes, and it's suggested that a child is about to smoke a cigarette (not shown). It's also worth noting that the characters speak with very strong, hard-edged English accents, which may be difficult for some Americans to follow.
The main male character has an affair with a married woman, and they have sex (no nudity shown) in several scenes. They also kiss, and the woman grabs the man's crotch while driving. The woman explains that her marriage is failing and that she'll eventually leave her husband, but she's still officially married.
The main characters beat up criminals with baseball bats and axe handles, as well as using guns. Characters are shot and killed and stabbed. Some blood is shown. During the many fight scenes, characters brutally punch, pummel, and strangle each another. Bad guys are violently questioned in custody. Car chases and crashes.
"F--k" is used almost constantly in this movie, in every context, and other language is very strong as well, including "s--t," "bollocks," "prick," "t-ts," "c--t," "ass," "bastard," and "hell." A character uses the middle finger gesture.
The movie's main theme is the conflict between unorthodox methods that get the job done and orthodox methods that may or may not actually hinder the job. It's an interesting idea, but the movie definitely has a preference for the unorthodox methods. This also allows characters to behave badly with few consequences.
Apple computers are shown in the squad's office.
Drugs / Tobacco /
A child is shown scrounging for a cigarette from the main character's jacket pockets. The main character tells him he's "too young to smoke" (viewers never actually see the child smoking). Characters celebrate with drinks in one scene, and the main character wakes up, presumably hung over, on the couch. The main character and other minor characters are frequently seen smoking cigarettes.