3 Days to Kill



Decent lightweight action film packed with shooting.
  • Review Date: February 20, 2014
  • Rated: PG-13
  • Genre: Action/Adventure
  • Release Year: 2014
  • Running Time: 113 minutes

What parents need to know

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

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."


Not applicable
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.


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.


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.

Families can talk 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

Theatrical release date:February 21, 2014
DVD release date:May 20, 2014
Cast:Kevin Costner, Amber Heard, Hailee Steinfeld
Studio:Relativity Media
Run time:113 minutes
MPAA rating:PG-13
MPAA explanation:intense sequences of violence and action, some sensuality and language

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  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK 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 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, another nude dancer joins the first to perform some very sexual dance moves together. None of this is obscured in any way. We allowed our 14-year-old to see this in theatres, but absolutely would not have, had we known this scene was in it. Very disappointing.
What other families should know
Too much sex
Adult Written byTekman2014 March 1, 2014

3 days to kill

This movie I personally think has some content that is over the rating PG-13. It has vulgar language and is kind of strong in sex. The violence is mostly meant for PG-13, but some scenes seem intense and gory. This movie is meant for adults and some teens. But kids under the age of 16, this movie is not meant for you. If it only had little bit more of the listed in this movie I would think it would surely be rated R
What other families should know
Too much sex
Too much swearing
Teen, 16 years old Written byStevie111 February 21, 2014

Should have been rated R

2 or 3 completed and other unfinished f-bombs, and lots of other swearing, a woman's naked backside including an upper butt shot, and tons of shooting resulting in bloody bodies lying around. There's also a brutal scene where a woman's head is put in an elevator shaft and the elevator comes down on it. Also suggestive and sexual innuendo and dancing, and attempted rape at a rave. Quite mature for PG-13, but also quite good. This is hysterical
What other families should know
Too much violence
Too much sex
Too much swearing


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