Movie review by
S. Jhoanna Robledo, Common Sense Media
Blackhat Movie Poster Image
Intriguing but overlong thriller gets pretty violent.
  • R
  • 2015
  • 135 minutes

Parents say

age 16+
Based on 1 review

Kids say

age 16+
Based on 7 reviews

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A lot or a little?

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

Positive Messages

Evil doesn't win, and redemption is possible for those truly seeking it.

Positive Role Models & Representations

When called to serve a government that imprisoned him, Nicholas Hathaway (a convicted hacker) rises to the occasion, encouraged in part by a really good friend.


Some bone-crunching fights that include beatings, gunfire, explosions, etc. In one particularly extensive sequence, a man stabs another man in the head with a screwdriver, engages in fatal gunfire, and more. Also, his nemesis tries to shank him with a switchblade. Corpses are shown with blood seeping out of them.


A couple makes out and presumably has sex, but viewers don't see more than his bare chest and her bare back. Some passionate kissing.


Infrequent strong language includes "son of a bitch," "piss," "s--t," and a couple uses of "f--k."


Some products/brand names clearly visible, including iPhone, Android, Toshiba, Dell, and Dodge.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Social drinking and smoking.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Blackhat -- director Michael Mann's action thriller about a hacker (Chris Hemsworth) who goes after a ruthless criminal -- is filled with intrigue and deadly action sequences. Cars explode, sometimes with people inside (one scene is particularly wrenching), characters are stabbed (including a gruesome sequence involving a screwdriver to the head) and shot, and the camera lingers on bloody bodies. There's also some swearing, including "f--k," as well as social drinking, smoking, and making out, with sex implied (but only bare backs are shown).

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written bymaxyn January 22, 2015
Teen, 15 years old Written byAge critical reviews February 21, 2016
Teen, 15 years old Written byAge review kid November 29, 2015

Bittersweet Michael Mann flick has violence,language

My rating:R for strong violence and some language

What's the story?

A power plant explodes off of Hong Kong harbor, cause unknown. Soon after, a hacker infiltrates the New York Stock Exchange, causing a run-up in soy. Are these two events related? If so, how? The FBI wants to find out, and they're teaming up with Chinese operatives to get at the truth. But they're missing one weapon in their arsenal: Nicholas Hathaway (Chris Hemsworth), a former MIT student who ran afoul of the law in his 20s and may now be able to redeem himself by helping Agent Carol Barrett (Viola Davis) and her colleague find the true criminals.

Is it any good?

In some ways, BLACKHAT is fascinating, given the international espionage and cyberwarfare that it brings to life on screen. But while the plot and performances are compelling enough, the connections the movie draws are forced, the villain's central motivation strains credulity, and it simply goes on for far too long. Director Michael Mann is known for his stylish thrillers, and this is no exception, but a little more substance and less flash would have made Blackhat a true winner. As it stands, it's forgettable, as well as too violent for younger viewers.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about whether Nicholas is a hero or a villain, given his criminal past. Can you think of other movie characters who have checkered pasts but are intended to be sympathetic? What makes us like them?

  • How does the violence in Blackhat compare to what you've seen in other thrillers/action movies? Which scenes had the most impact on you? Why do you think that is?

  • What's the movie's take on cybercrimes? Do you think dealing with that subject makes the film particularly timely or relevant? Will it eventually make the movie seem dated? Does that matter?

  • Parents, talk to your teens about how to stay safe on the Internet.

Movie details

Our editors recommend

For kids who love thrills

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