R.I.P.D.

  • Review Date: July 19, 2013
  • Rated: PG-13
  • Genre: Science Fiction
  • Release Year: 2013

Common Sense Media says

Lifeless, violent dud recycles many better sci-fi comedies.
  • Review Date: July 19, 2013
  • Rated: PG-13
  • Genre: Science Fiction
  • Release Year: 2013

Age(i)

2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17

Quality(i)

 

What parents need to know

Positive messages
Characters learn to work together, and the main character learns to let go of the past. But much of their attitude is reckless, destructive, and insubordinate. There's also a bit of revenge involved. There are a few minor jokes at the expense of women, an old Chinese man, and Indian food.
Positive role models
The main characters are generally good cops, and they seem to care about people, despite a layer of callousness, but they're also destructive and silly.
Violence
Overall, the violence is cartoonish and bloodless, with very fake-looking creatures/visual effects romping around the city, flipping cars and destroying buildings. But some of the monsters can be kind of scary (like a man with his mouth ripped wide open). In the prologue scenes, cops shoot lots of bullets at a warehouse full of bad guys, but no one is shown getting hit. The main theme of the movie deals with the main character dying, coming back as a kind of ghost cop, and mourning the loss of his beloved wife (he watches her cry at his funeral). The movie's plot involves the idea of a coming apocalypse.
Sex
A husband and wife kiss lovingly while lying in bed, and they appear to be gearing up for sex before the scene ends. There's some various sexual innuendo, such as a couple alluding to a past sexual encounter, and references to "whores" or "love bought by the hour." A man gets out of the shower and drops his towel, but nothing sensitive is shown.
 
Language
Language includes a cut-off use of "f--k," as well as a few uses of "s--t," plus "ass," "a--hole," "son of a bitch," "c--k up," "Jesus" (as an exclamation), and "suck it."
 
Consumerism
A character drinks a Fresca in one scene.
 
Drinking, drugs, & smoking
Not applicable

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that R.I.P.D. is a sci-fi comedy that's likely to remind many viewers of Men in Black. It revolves around characters who die and come back as "ghost cops," whose job is to catch dead people who are still walking the earth. Violence is frequent but generally bloodless and cartoonish, with plenty of fake-looking computer-generated effects/creatures (some of whom may still be pretty scary for little kids) and lots of flipping cars and smashed buildings. There are also some shooting scenes. Things get a bit more serious when the main character deals with saying goodbye to his beloved wife. Language includes a few uses of "s--t," as well as one or two uses of "bitch" and "ass," and there's some kissing/suggestion of sex, as well as jokes at the expense of groups like women and Chinese people.

Parents say

Kids say

What's the story?

Boston police detective Nick Walker (Ryan Reynolds) would like to give his wife, Julia (Stephanie Szostak), a better life. A stash of gold found at a crime scene might be his ticket, but he's having second thoughts. When his crooked partner, Hayes (Kevin Bacon), hears this, he shoots and kills Nick. In the afterlife, Nick unwittingly becomes a member of the Rest in Peace Department. Now paired with a new undead partner, Roy (Jeff Bridges), Nick goes back to Earth to help send "deadoes" to the afterlife where they belong. Unfortunately, there seems to be a weird connection with Hayes, the gold, and a terrifying plot to bring the apocalypse down to earth. Can Nick and Roy solve the case and stop the evil plan in time?

Is it any good?

QUALITY
 
With lots of similarities to the Men in Black movies, Ghost, Ghostbusters, Beetlejuice, Heaven Can Wait (and its remake Down to Earth), as well as many other movies, R.I.P.D. comes across as almost totally lifeless, as if it were on autopilot or generated by a computer that had been fed certain data and asked to spit out a movie. Even a great actor like Bridges merely reprises his Oscar-nominated cowboy performance from True Grit ... without all the clever dialogue or character depth. (At least he gets a few laughs.)
 
Director Robert Schwentke settles for sub-par special effects -- the monsters look rubbery and fake -- and haphazard plotting: Knowing what he knows, why would Hayes shoot and kill Nick? The comedy falls flat, the action is unexciting, and, even worse, the romantic angle is hopeless given that the hero is dead and his wife is still alive; it's too heavy an idea for such a "light" movie. R.I.P.D. is a waste of time; you've already seen it done before, and much better.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about R.I.P.D.'s cartoonish violence. Was it scary or exciting? Does any of it seem real?
  • Is the movie scary? How does it see the monsters in this movie? Are they funny, or sad?
  • Did you notice any stereotypes in the movie? How do you feel about the movie's portrayal of women, Chinese men, etc.?
  • Does the idea of a dead main character make the movie seem depressing? How does such a light movie handle such a dark idea?

Movie details

Theatrical release date:July 19, 2013
DVD release date:October 29, 2013
Cast:Jeff Bridges, Kevin Bacon, Ryan Reynolds
Director:Robert Schwentke
Studio:Universal Pictures
Genre:Science Fiction
Topics:Monsters, ghosts, and vampires
Run time:96 minutes
MPAA rating:PG-13
MPAA explanation:violence, sci-fi/fantasy action, some sensuality, and language including sex references

This review of R.I.P.D. 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 byMichaelisme July 22, 2013
AGE
8
QUALITY
 

Funny movie.

Funny at parts a little scary if 6-7.Few bad words.

What other families should know
Too much swearing
Teen, 13 years old Written byBroccoliLover84 July 19, 2013
AGE
11
QUALITY
 

Nothing too inappropriate.

Not too much violence, Not too disturbing, Not anything I'd worry about if I had kids.

What other families should know
Too much violence
Too much swearing
Teen, 14 years old Written byFILMCRITIC500 July 20, 2013
AGE
13
QUALITY
 

thrilling action comedy has cool guns and LOL moments

a laugh-out-loud action romp, this movie will entertain anyone. with awesome performances, great effects, and lots of action, younger kids will be intrigued. but some of the violence and sexual innuendo makes this epic sci-fi film a better fit for older kids. there is lots of violence, beginning with a police raid with explosions and shootings of people. while on duty in the R.I.P.D, Roy and Nick shoot many monsters, making them explode into dust. the monsters themselves cause havoc by destroying things and rampaging through the streets. one even fires off a Gatling gun and kills a few officers. when the Spear of Jericho is used, clouds come down and demolish buildings, with falling cars and crumbling debris. another house rots away and falls apart. there are some non-lethal beatings and chases. amid all the action is some mild sexual comments about various body parts and some implied nudity near the beginning. Roy's avatar is looked upon longingly by others. most of the profanity is said by Roy and Nick.

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

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