3 Days to Kill

Movie review by
Jeffrey M. Anderson, Common Sense Media
3 Days to Kill Movie Poster Image
Decent lightweight action film packed with shooting.
  • PG-13
  • 2014
  • 113 minutes

Parents say

age 16+
Based on 4 reviews

Kids say

age 14+
Based on 4 reviews

Did this review miss something on diversity?

Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive, diverse representations in books, TV shows, and movies. Want to help us help them? Suggest a diversity update

A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this movie.

Positive Messages

The value of spending time with family rather than working all the time is a central theme. Violence is stylized and life is taken without much consequence.


Positive Role Models & Representations

The main character is a good guy, and he loves his family, but he's a cold-hearted killer when his job requires it. He coolly dispatches several minions and lackeys throughout the course of the movie, with no consequences.



The movie features frequent, stylish violence with lots of shooting and killing. Blood is shown, but the movie is not overly gory. Characters are threatened and lightly tortured for information. In a brief suggestion of sexual assault, three teen boys surround a teen girl at a club; they are shown attempting to pull up her dress while she says "no." The main character suffers attacks and hallucinations (the images ripple back and forth), accompanied by nose-bleeds. A woman is decapitated in an elevator shaft (offscreen). There are car chases and explosions.



The main character and his ex-wife are shown kissing, and they wake up in bed together. He is seen ogling her body as she wears a sleek nightie. A teen girl passionately kisses her boyfriend. A woman's naked bottom is shown in a tattoo parlor. A dancer onstage appears to be naked, though she is mostly obscured by smoke, and nothing explicit is shown. A main character is shown wearing seductive clothing, and in one shot, she stands over the fallen hero wearing a leather skirt; there is some mild spoken innuendo about this incident.



Language is very infrequent, but does contain the occasional strong word, such as "f--k," "s--t," "damn," "hell," and "Jesus Christ."


Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Characters are shown sipping wine at home, or drinking casually in clubs. When the character gets his "attacks" and begins hallucinating, vodka is said to calm him down. He drinks roughly two-thirds of a bottle and, in a comical moment, is shown to be a bit tipsy.


What parents need to know

Parents need to know that 3 Days to Kill is another slick, lightweight action movie by writer and producer Luc Besson. Nothing is very realistic and nothing is meant to be taken too seriously, but the stylized violence includes lots of shooting and killing, with very little consequence. Some blood is shown, but the movie is not overly gory. There's also some comical torture to get information, and a brief suggestion of teen boys attempting to sexually assault a teen girl. Language is infrequent but does include uses of "f--k" and "s--t." Sex is suggested between an adult couple, and a teen girl passionately kisses her boyfriend. A naked female bottom is shown in a tattoo parlor. There is some casual background drinking and one instance of drinking to comic effect. Teens may be drawn to younger stars Amber Heard or Hailee Steinfeld.


User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written byAlex Temus August 4, 2018

Should be rated "R"!

Honestly shocked that this isn't rated R. Extended full frontal nudity of two women dancing and kissing. Seems pretty obvious that none of it is "obsc... Continue reading
Adult Written bymike62 May 25, 2014

Inaccurate review! Extended full-fruntal nude scene

The nude scene in the dance club is NOT "obscured by smoke" as the main review describes. It is extended, and just when you think it's over, anot... Continue reading
Kid, 8 years old May 23, 2015

Very violent Costner flick has some racy content, and blood, nudity, and lots of swearing.

My rating R: for strong bloody violence, racy content, nudity, and language.
Kid, 12 years old August 21, 2014


Really good storyline, just the two parts that was way inappropriate. The two girls dancing very suggestively, French people you know. But anyway the second sce... Continue reading

What's the story?

The CIA is on the trail of an international weapons dealer, called "The Wolf." Agent Vivi Delay (Amber Heard) is tasked to find him. Agent Ethan Renner (Kevin Costner) is also on the job, but lets a suspect get away when he passes out. It turns out he has brain cancer that has spread to his lungs. Moving to Paris to spend time with his teen daughter Zoey (Hailee Steinfeld), and perhaps to patch things up with his ex-wife (Connie Nielsen), he is contacted by Vivi; she thinks he can identify The Wolf, and if he helps, she can get him an experimental cancer treatment that could prolong his life. Unfortunately, his ex goes away for three days, leaving Ethan solely in charge of Zoey, who doesn't yet know the true nature of his job...


Is it any good?

Once again writer and producer Luc Besson has cranked out another second-tier, unpretentious action entertainment with a minimum of fuss. To be sure, 3 DAYS TO KILL is ridiculous in spots and downright preposterous in others, but it keeps up a brisk pace, throws in some exciting flourishes from time to time, and manages to cook up some genuinely sympathetic, interesting, and likeable characters.

Kevin Costner is a major factor. He is in great shape, but has developed the weathered look of a strong character actor. Amber Heard is also a great help; she's appealing to watch and portrays a bit of strength. Then there's former music video director McG, who thus far has not shown much talent in storytelling, but has at least shown a strong directorial hand at slick action sequences. That skill pays off here. Overall, 3 Days to Kill is an appealingly simple popcorn movie that doesn't take itself too seriously.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the movie's violence. What would be the real-life consequences of the violence that you see here?


  • What's appealing about a character that kills people for a living? Is he likeable? Is he a good role model?


  • What's appealing about the Vivi character? Is she a strong female character, or a stereotype?

  • How did you feel about the father-daughter relationship in the film? Is it realistic? What kinds of things did they talk about together? Did it inspire you to have a similar conversation in your home?



Movie details

Our editors recommend

For kids who love action

Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.

See how we rate

Streaming options powered by JustWatch

About these links

Common Sense Media, a nonprofit organization, earns a small affiliate fee from Amazon or iTunes when you use our links to make a purchase. Thank you for your support.

Read more

Our ratings are based on child development best practices. We display the minimum age for which content is developmentally appropriate. The star rating reflects overall quality.

Learn how we rate