Blade

Movie review by
Danny Brogan, Common Sense Media
Blade Movie Poster Image
Parents recommendPopular with kids
Superhero vampire film has extreme violence, gore, language.
  • R
  • 1998
  • 120 minutes

Parents say

age 16+
Based on 12 reviews

Kids say

age 14+
Based on 25 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

Few if any positive messages. Characters -- even "good ones" -- are motivated by revenge, and a need to feed their thirst for blood. For others, it's a desire for power. Result is extreme violence.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Blade -- along with sidekick, Whistler -- is determined to rid the world of vampires, largely to revenge death of his mother. He shows little emotion, other than a degree of kindness toward Whistler and Karen. Both Blade and Whistler trade in stolen goods to fund their weaponry. Although initially reluctant, Karen begins helping Blade, using violence when necessary. Deacon Frost and fellow vampires are immoral, motivated by power. They wish to eradicate humans. Positive representation of diversity, with characters of different races in prominent and supporting roles.

Violence

Graphic, gory, relentless, with a high body count. Characters are tortured, decapitated, thrown from buildings. Limbs broken and severed. Necks bitten; blood is drunk from gaping wounds. Vampire characters killed -- usually with silver bullet, knife, or sword -- turn into body of dust before disappearing. Guns, knives, swords, also much hand-to-hand fighting: kicking, punching, throwing. Deaths, bloody injuries. Vampire pinned against the wall with stakes, set on fire. Burnt corpse on hospital gurney. Character's face stamped on repeatedly; they later shoot themselves dead as a result of the injuries (only a gunshot is heard). A vampire that resembles a flatulent blob is tortured with UV light, to burn their skin. A vampire graphically melts when forced to see sunlight. Characters injected with a concoction, swell up before exploding. Characters hit by a train; one has their face held against a moving carriage -- scarred face later shown. Electrocutions and explosions. A woman gives birth while bleeding from the neck. Blood pours from ceiling during scene in a club. A child is thrown in front of a bus, but is saved in time. Vampires and flying skeletons provide a horror element.

Sex

Character grabs someone's genitals in a suggestive manner. A club scene depicts revelers in their bras. Oral sex is briefly seen being performed on someone in a public place. Characters kiss, often after biting someone's neck -- licking the blood of each other's faces and tongues. When the vampires bite characters' necks and drink their blood, it often resembles a sexual encounter. Characters are seen bare-chested at various points, though in a nonsexual context.

Language

"Motherf----r," "f--king," "s--ty," "bitch," "son of a bitch," "balls," "ass," "a--hole," and "whore" are used constantly. "Jesus Christ," "oh my God," and "damn" are used as exclamations.

Consumerism
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Characters are often seen smoking cigarettes and on occasion cigars. Some drinking of alcohol is depicted, but never to excess. A type of serum is regularly injected into the necks of characters, causing a violent reaction.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Blade is an extremely violent action film, based on the Marvel comic book superhero, that contains horror and fantasy elements. Blade (Wesley Snipes) is a human-vampire hybrid, who despite sharing some traits with vampires is determined to rid the world of them. The violence is nonstop and extremely bloody, with a huge number of deaths. Characters have their limbs, heads, and torsos severed. They are also shot at, stabbed -- sometimes in the face -- and beaten to a pulp, and have their heads explode. Much of the resulting injuries are seen in gory close-ups. There are a number of torture scenes, which include characters being burned to death. Various scenes involve the vampire characters biting their victim's necks and drinking their blood. This group of rebellious vampires is led by Deacon Frost (Stephen Dorff), whose motivation is gaining ultimate power and destroying all humans. In addition to the bloody violence, there is strong language throughout, including "motherf----r," "f--k," and "bitch." Oral sex is briefly seen being performed on someone in a club. Released in 1998, Blade is often cited as the film that kick-started Marvel's success in movies. It also deserves praise for its positive representation of diversity, with Blade being one of the first Black superheroes to be given their own movie franchise: Snipes starred as Blade in two additional movies. However, with its graphic action and gory injuries and deaths, this is one superhero film not intended for kids.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written byCoolypso28 March 31, 2021
Adult Written byfahimforid December 18, 2020
Teen, 13 years old Written byrosegold_cookies June 2, 2021

Expert review is a bit exaggerated

Great messages: there is definitely some good messages! There is great friendships and all the characters are really determined

Great role models: ok so I’ll a... Continue reading
Teen, 13 years old Written byWillR501 March 30, 2021

An amazing movie!

Though this movie is rated 18+, I don’t think it entirely deserves that high of an age rating. After watching this with my dad a few nights ago, I can say that... Continue reading

What's the story?

BLADE finds a group of rebellious vampires, led by Deacon Frost (Stephen Dorff), who are determined to rid the world of humans. Standing in their way is vampire hunter Blade (Wesley Snipes), a man who shares all their strengths but none of their weaknesses. However, when Frost discovers the key to awakening the blood god La Magra, even Blade may have met his match.

Is it any good?

It may reside in the Marvel superhero franchise, but this violent 1998 vampire hunter movie is most definitely not for kids. However, if you're looking for nonstop action, a kick-ass antihero, and a plot that doesn't require you to think too hard, then look no further. Blade -- the first of a trinity of films -- provided the perfect vehicle for martial arts enthusiast Snipes to showcase his talents. The close combat fights between Blade and all who cross him are the movie's standout scenes, while Dorff brings a certain coolness to the movie's villain, the power-hungry, rebellious Deacon Frost.

Some of the dialogue is a tad clunky, although it continues to get quoted even today -- "Some motherf----rs are always trying to ice skate uphill," being one example. And the plot has enough holes to drive several stakes through. However, make no mistake about the impact Blade made on the Marvel Cinematic Universe. This was the movie that confirmed that there was an audience desperate to see their comic book heroes on the big screen. As for Blade himself, well, he lives to fight another day, with Marvel Studios confirming a reboot starring Oscar winner Mahershala Ali in the lead role.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the extreme violence in Blade. What impact does it have? What consequences does it have in the movie's world? How do you think that would change in real life?

  • Discuss the strong language used in the movie. Does it seem necessary or excessive? What does it contribute to the movie?

  • What separates Blade from the vampires? How does Blade compare to other superheroes? Would you describe him as being good or more as an antihero?

  • Why is it important for superheroes to be diverse? Why is it important to see superheroes like Blade and Black Panther on-screen?

  • How does this movie compare to other vampire movies?

Movie details

Our editors recommend

For kids who love vampires

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