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Parents' Guide to

Sin City

By Nell Minow, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 18+

Extremely violent movie with tons of sex, disturbing scenes.

Movie R 2005 126 minutes
Sin City Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

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

Community Reviews

age 16+

Based on 23 parent reviews

age 18+

Well-Made, But Extremely Violent!

This movie is, without a doubt, extremely violent. The first half is much more gory than the second half, though. It is true that the characters are unspeakably evil, and therefore, it is NOT for kids. If anyone were to see this movie, it would be for adults only! I think this movie would deserve the NC-17 rating if the violence, gore, and carnage had been taken any farther. However, even with all the violence, the only positive message is a man doing everything in his power to keep a young girl safe, even if it involved taking his own life. Also, I loved the all-star cast, and the acting was excellent. Also, I was astonished at how high the motion picture quality was and with the movie being mostly black-and-white, I was impressed by what the filmmakers chose to put in color. There is a lot of smoking, and with the language, there are no f-words, but other swear words are not frequently used. But again, with all of the carnage and sexual content, this is for adults only.
age 18+

A Bleak Graphic Novel Come to Life

Sin City is among my favorite films, at least in my top ten of all time. In an age where action films are becoming boring and predictable, it stands out for its uniqueness and willingness to be over the top. And over the top it is. The violence, sex and gore are extreme and thoroughly satisfying if you're into that kind of thing. The narrative style is artistic and well crafted with its use of character's voice over narration being unique among action films. The characters are another plus with each of the three principles being well drawn and well acted characters with believable and interesting motivations and backstories. Performances from Bruce Willis, Micky Rourke, and Clive Owen are memorable and highly impressive, while the whole ensemble cast delivers on the complex and well drawn characters of the graphic novels. Well acted and well made, Sin City is a far more artistic piece of film making than the typical action film. For those over 18 who can handle fairly extreme violence and gore, I highly recommend.

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (23 ):
Kids say (21 ):

Robert Rodriguez and codirector Frank Miller (the writer/artist of the Sin City graphic novels) create a faithful, shot-for-shot rendition of each stunning panel. Hard, resolute voice-overs accompany stark, inky images. There are brief flashes and flutters of color -- red for brake-lights, a heart-shaped bed, a lightning-streaked sky, a sleek getaway car, and blood. There's also yellow for the golden curls of a dead prostitute and the jaundiced skin of a cowardly villain, whose toxic perversions have turned him the color of bile. This is a masterpiece of technique, bravura filmmaking with sure and complete mastery of tone, setting, and mood. A lesser cast would be lost, even invisible, but Rourke, Willis, and especially Owen are every bit as arresting as the images around them. Most of the female characters are more props than characters, but Rosario Dawson and Jessica Alba make strong impressions.

The film is overwhelming at times, intentionally keeping viewers off-kilter by combining grand heroics, stunning beauty, hideous grotesquerie, outrageous butchery, toughness and innocence, tragedy and comedy. This is a movie where a man's hand is sliced off, and then he slips on it like a banana peel. It exists precisely on the edge between exploitation and artistic statement, ultimately saving itself from toppling over with the sincerity of its tone, the beauty of its images, and the honor of its heroes.

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