Cradle 2 the Grave

  • Review Date: August 11, 2003
  • Rated: PG-13
  • Genre: Action/Adventure
  • Release Year: 2003

Common Sense Media says

A mess. Don't try to make it make sense.
  • Review Date: August 11, 2003
  • Rated: PG-13
  • Genre: Action/Adventure
  • Release Year: 2003





What parents need to know


Intense peril and violence, child in peril Intense peril


Strip club, references to prostitution, crude references


Very strong language, many racial epithets

Not applicable
Drinking, drugs, & smoking

Drinking and smoking

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this movie is extremely violent, with a lot of intense peril, many character deaths, and graphic wounds. A little girl is in peril and bound and gagged. Characters use extremely bad language, including racial epithets, but the group of good guys is racially diverse. Characters drink and smoke. A character pretends to be gay in order to distract a gay security guard, and there are some mild stereotypes.

Parents say

Kids say

What's the story?

After stealing a cache of valuable black diamonds, Tony Fait (DMX) learns that his daughter has been kidnapped by a former lawman, Ling (Mark Dacascos), who demands those black diamonds as ransom. But Tony's fence (Tom Arnold) was robbed, and the diamonds are gone. In order to get them, and his daughter back, Tony ends up teaming up with Ling's former partner, Su (Jet Li).

Is it any good?


This slapdash mess of an explosion movie wastes the talents of its cast and can't even slow down to let us enjoy the fight scenes. I don't care if the plot doesn't make sense to me, but I like to have it make sense to the people who are in the movie. No such luck. DMX showed some charisma and promise in Exit Wounds, the last film by this director, but he does not have enough to do here in CRADLE 2 THE GRAVE. His character -- high-tech superstar thief who preys on bad guys by day/loving daddy who prays with his adorable and spunky daughter by night -- just does not work. The delicious Gabrielle Union (Deliver us from Eva) is wasted as kick-boxing arm candy who is even forced to do a strip tease to provide a distraction while her boyfriend is tossing the room next store. Jet Li looks like he'd rather be someplace else. Tom Arnold and Anthony Andersen provide some flashes of humor.

The plot is not just murky, which is forgiveable; it is manipulative, which is not. It is shameless to have the little girl kidnapped by the bad guys to make us see how truly evil they are and make us feel some commitment to the outcome. It is even more shameless to have the black diamonds turn out to be a power source for super-destructive weapons. But what is really unforgiveable here is the waste of the movie's primary asset, Jet Li's ability to fight, by filming the scenes so poorly that we don't really get a good look at what he can do.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about how a movie like this may be seen differently now, when the world seems poised on the brink of war, then it might have when the script was written.

Movie details

Theatrical release date:February 28, 2003
DVD release date:August 12, 2003
Cast:Anthony Anderson, DMX, Jet Li
Director:Andrzej Bartkowiak
Studio:Warner Bros.
Run time:100 minutes
MPAA rating:PG-13
MPAA explanation:violence, language and some sexual content

This review of Cradle 2 the Grave was written by

About our rating system

  • ON: Content is age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • PAUSE: Know your child; some content may not be right for some kids.
  • OFF: Not age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • NOT FOR KIDS: Not appropriate for kids of any age.

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Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging, great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging, good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging, good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging, okay learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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What parents and kids say

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Parent of a 14 year old Written byTheGman447 October 1, 2010

Great Movie, But Violent!!!

Pretty Violent, Bloody Gunshots and fights, and LOADS of swears throughout! 15 and Up! (P.S. The Song At The beginning has about 40 Swears!!!)

What other families should know
Too much violence
Too much swearing
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking
Adult Written by4Spice September 6, 2010

good movie

great fights watch it 16 and over mostly for violence and language and mild sex

What other families should know
Too much violence
Too much sex
Too much swearing
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking
Teen, 17 years old Written bydavyborn September 8, 2011

Dumb. Incredibly violent and not for anyone.

Even though I know that virtually everyone out there hated Jet Li's Romeo Must Die more then Jet Li's other and very similar in content in terms what he usually does movie, Cradle 2 the Grave. but I disagree. Romeo Must Die was ridiculous, unrealistic and silly, but at least it was entertaining, fun, some painfully unrealistic but still awesome none the less action scenes, and because of it's likable characters. Cradle 2 the Grave is ridiculous and unrealistic as well, but not in a good way. It is also even more violent, profane, sexed up and just plain not suitable for children. Even if they wanted to see this movie, they could still do some much better than this garbage.

What other families should know
Too much violence
Too much sex
Too much swearing


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