Assassin's Creed

Movie review by
Jeffrey M. Anderson, Common Sense Media
Assassin's Creed Movie Poster Image
Confusing, boring, violent video game-based movie.
  • PG-13
  • 2016
  • 140 minutes

Parents say

age 14+
Based on 30 reviews

Kids say

age 13+
Based on 34 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

Raises the question (in a way) of how free will contributes to violence. If we could somehow control free will and conform, would that be the end of violence? Would people actually want that?

Positive Role Models & Representations

Characters are violent without consequences. A kid is shown being irresponsible and grows up to be a criminal. Both the heroes and the villains are pretty shallow. No one seems to be doing what they're doing for any urgent reason -- just because they're supposed to, according to the movie. The main female character isn't very empowered.


A boy finds his mother dead, in a puddle of blood. A man is sentenced to death and goes through capital punishment. Not much blood, but heavy fantasy battles, with lots of stabbing and slicing, bows and arrows, martial arts/parkour. Machinery jabbed into a man's neck. Arrow in shoulder. Minor wounds, bruises. A boy crashes his bike trying a dangerous stunt; he gets scratches. A man grabs a woman by the neck. People burn at the stake (seen from far away). Slightly scary, nightmarish drawings.


The main male character is shirtless for half the movie. Reference to a "pimp."


One use of "f--k." A boy uses the word "s--t."

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Reference to "drug addicts."

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Assassin's Creed is a fantasy action movie based on the popular video game series. As in the games, the main issue here is violence -- although the movie is far less brutally gory than the games. Still, there are several battles with knives, slicing, and stabbing, bows and arrows, and some dead bodies, including a mother, who's found by her son. The same boy performs a dangerous stunt on his bike and crashes. Capital punishment is depicted, and a man grabs a woman roughly by the neck. Language is infrequent but includes uses of "f--k" and "s--t." The main male character (Michael Fassbender) is shirtless for about half the movie, and there are references to a "pimp" and to "drug addicts." Fans of the game may enjoy the movie, but otherwise, it's a confusing, humorless, boring mess.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written byChizy I. January 7, 2017

Assassins creed

This is the most useless movie don't even want to start your year with this movie..very very inconsequential and time wasting..I even slept off i... Continue reading
Adult Written byZoya Hossain A. December 26, 2016
Teen, 13 years old Written byMovieTeen1000 December 26, 2016

Disappointing compared to the game

Based on a very famous game, Assassin's Creed was just a total waste of time to watch and a huge disappointment to all those hardcore fans out there. The g... Continue reading
Teen, 16 years old Written byilhc December 4, 2020

Great Concept, Missed Potential

Going into "Assassin's Creed", I had hopes that this would create a new model for how Hollywood approaches video game movies. After seeing this,... Continue reading

What's the story?

In ASSASSIN'S CREED, the Templar Order has for centuries been after the Apple of Eden, which is said to contain the secret for controlling humans' free will. Meanwhile, the Assassin's Creed is charged with protecting it. Scientist Sophia Rikkin (Marion Cotillard) locates prisoner Callum Lynch (Michael Fassbender), a descendent of the Creed, and plugs him into a machine that allows him to re-live his ancestor's battles and to discover the location of the Apple. Sophia's father, CEO Alan Rikkin (Jeremy Irons), secretly wishes to use the Apple to end all violence and rule the world. Can Callum realize his destiny and re-capture the Apple before it's too late?

Is it any good?

Despite a high-class cast, this fantasy-battle movie -- based on a video game series -- is disorienting, makes very little sense, and, worst of all, is a terrible, humorless bore. Director Justin Kurzel and stars Fassbender and Cotillard previously worked together on a faithful version of Macbeth. It's a puzzle as to how they went from highbrow (reciting classic verse) to the extremely lowbrow (Fassbinder fighting shirtless while Cotillard gapes at him from the sidelines) with the barely coherent Assassin's Creed.

Perhaps fans of the video game will understand, but in the movie, the concepts of the Apple of Eden and its hiding place make very little sense. The characters don't seem to have much reason to even be here. In the supporting cast, stellar actors like Irons, Brendan Gleeson, Charlotte Rampling, Michael Kenneth Williams, and Khalid Abdalla project great gravity and seriousness while becoming lost in a swamp of gray, sludgy, ugly cinematography and choppy editing.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about Assassin's Creed's violence. Does the fact that it's largely bloodless make it less intense? What's the impact of media violence on kids?

  • What's the difference between watching violence on a screen and experiencing it more directly via a video game? Does exposure to violent movies or video games make kids more aggressive?

  • How does the movie compare to the video game series? What's the appeal of movies based on video games?

  • Why do you think the main character is shirtless throughout so much the movie? Does that say anything about boys' body image?

  • Would it be worth swapping free will for an end to all violence? What do they have to do with each other?

Movie details

Our editors recommend

For kids who love adventure

Themes & Topics

Browse titles with similar subject matter.

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