Gamer

  • Review Date: September 4, 2009
  • Rated: R
  • Genre: Action/Adventure
  • Release Year: 2009

Common Sense Media says

Ultra-violent sci-fi action film aims to shock and offend.
  • Review Date: September 4, 2009
  • Rated: R
  • Genre: Action/Adventure
  • Release Year: 2009

Age(i)

NOT FOR KIDS

Quality(i)

 

What parents need to know

Positive messages

Even though the movie asks its audience to think about the nature of violent entertainment, it's presenting violence as entertainment. Several characters have moral awakenings, but the overall message is negative.

Positive role models

There's no one here you would want kids to emulate. Despite the fact that the main character is a decent man pushed to extreme actions in the pursuit of justice and revenge, most of the characters are poor role models.

Violence

Constant brutal violence, including shootings, stabbings, beatings, and more. Body parts and heads are obliterated by shells and explosions, with the camera lingering on the effects. Bloody wounds drip; other gore is visible. A knife is held to a child's throat.

Sex

Naked breasts and buttocks, crude situations, implied masturbation. Sexualized nicknames (for example, "Rick Rape") are used to identify online personas.

Language

Constant strong language, including many uses of "f--k," "c--t," "s--t," "ass," "p---y," "c--k," "hell," "damn," "goddamn," :oh my God," and much more.

Consumerism

Some real-world brands mentioned or visible, including Mountain Dew.

Drinking, drugs, & smoking

Some smoking; characters also drink lots of alcohol.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this mediocre action movie is full of frenetic violence, quick-cut nudity and sexual material, strong language (including lots of uses of "f--k"), and plenty of gore (shootings, stabbings, and more). There's also a general feeling that, just as in their prior Crank and Crank: High Voltage, the filmmakers seem to get great pleasure from trying to offend audiences with this kind of nonstop sexual material, nudity, and violence.

Parents say

Kids say

What's the story?

In a near-future world, advances in technology have made it possible to link the central nervous system of one human with another -- so that one person can control the other's actions and acts remotely. A high-tech entrepreneur (Michael C. Hall) has built two lucrative programs from this technology -- one a Second Life-styled social game called Society, and the other a more dangerous, direct form of entertainment called Slayers, in which controlled death row inmates fight and battle -- and anyone who survives 30 "games" earns a pardon. Kable (Gerard Butler) is three games away from his pardon, and his operator, Simon (Logan Lerman), is eager for the glory that achievement will bring him. But as the game grows more deadly, a secret set of facts comes to light, and Kable and  Simon both have to fight to survive.

Is it any good?

QUALITY
 

Glossy and gory, GAMER doesn't offer much to moviegoers aside from hyper-realistic violence and slam-bang slivers of sexual material; Kable's need to liberate himself from the system to save his family is an incredibly familiar plot arc, and the amoral cast of characters occasionally doing the right thing as the plot progresses doesn't do much to hold our interest. The villain is a fairly thin character as well -- his motives are muddled at best, and we're simply supposed to accept his actions without being given much reason as to why.

There's no denying that writer/directors Mark Neveldine and Brian Taylor have a flair for rapid-fire shooting and cutting; what's more in doubt is whether they can use that hyper-swift style to create anything like coherent storytelling. There are a few smart moments in Gamer (including an inventive way of refueling an abandoned car), but they're by and large adrift in a sea of gore, nudity, and under-written character moments. Gamer is all fizz and sugar, with no real substance or skill behind the wham-bam-thank-you-ma'am plot stolen in bits and pieces from other films.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about some of the tricky questions that often surround video gaming: Is the high-tech simulation of violence a way to blow off steam or a dangerously desensitizing process?

  • Why do so many people respond so strongly to the idea of living a second, different life through computer technology?

Movie details

Theatrical release date:September 4, 2009
DVD release date:January 19, 2010
Cast:Gerard Butler, Kyra Sedgwick, Michael C. Hall
Directors:Brian Taylor, Mark Neveldine
Studio:Lionsgate
Genre:Action/Adventure
Run time:95 minutes
MPAA rating:R
MPAA explanation:frenetic sequences of strong brutal violence throughout, sexual content, nudity and language

This review of Gamer 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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Quality

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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Teen, 13 years old Written byHidden_light96 September 12, 2009
AGE
17
QUALITY
 

Although I'm 13 and I sorta liked this movie, this movie is totally for ADULTS ONLY.

The movie wasn't all that bad,but it wasn't good either. The movie just left me a headache from all that violence and all the camera shaking. Personally,I liked the story plot. I give it a 3.5/5

The movie had nudity here and there. I wasn't expecting any of it, but I was wrong. You see women's bare breasts and buttocks in some scenes. And there is a nickname mentioned named "Rick Rape". Personally,I thought the violence were not that bad, but it too brutal for kids younger than my age to see (I'm 13).

What other families should know
Too much violence
Too much sex
Too much swearing
Adult Written bybeph September 16, 2009
AGE
10
QUALITY
 

very violent and reeking with nudity

this was a well done film. my husband and i really enjoyed it. but a world where technology is that incredible i would not like. nudity is always a turn off for me in a movie. obviously the internet is full of sex and sinful pleasure, but it is unnecessary to show it unexpectedly. WE GET IT! the graphics are done well and the script makes sense. death is abundant and bloody but essential to make the viewer feel like its real and understand how serious survival is to the main character.

What other families should know
Too much violence
Parent of a 13 and 15 year old Written byuberdad September 11, 2009
AGE
2
QUALITY
 

just plain bad- waste of money;

both my 13 yr old and I were greatly disappointed and didn't like the movie. whole premise is violence and living through real life episodes of war gains release from death row. the concept of the simulated world game running side/side with the simulated war game was confusing and gratuitously sexual - with lots of brief scenes of sexual circumstances uncalled for.

What other families should know
Too much violence
Too much sex

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