Parents' Guide to

Battle Royale

By Jeffrey M. Anderson, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 17+

Ultraviolent Japanese cult movie came before Hunger Games.

Movie NR 2000 122 minutes
Battle Royale Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this movie.

Community Reviews

age 16+

Based on 8 parent reviews

age 16+

Honestly not that gory, and quite entertaining!

I enjoyed this movie a lot! Everything is really fast paced so it’s difficult to get bored. None of the deaths were really disturbing as the effects used are pretty obvious and outdated, but to a younger audience they could definitely still be scary or shocking. One boy tries to coerce a female student into having sex with him but she firmly rejects him and he gets nowhere with it. Not that bad!
age 14+

I liked it

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (8 ):
Kids say (42 ):

Battle Royale was the final film by the Japanese exploitation master Kinji Fukasaku, who was 70 at the time, and he clearly put everything he had into it. Despite the 122-minute running time, it's exquisitely paced and balanced, varying periods of rest and hope with periods of shock and violence. The huge cast of teens -- including future Kill Bill star Chiaki Kuriyama -- is handled well. Characters unexpectedly reveal new sides of their personalities, i.e. sudden courage or cowardice.

Fukasaku plays the movie for bloody thrills while keeping the sinister message in the background. Viewers will likely find themselves thinking about the movie long afterward, as it grows richer. The final masterstroke is the casting of filmmaker/performer Takeshi Kitano (who acts under a stage name, "Beat" Takeshi), as the former teacher and current ringmaster. He brings a very dark, deadpan humor to his role, as well a quiet thoughtfulness, turning him into one of the great tragic movie villains.

Movie Details

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