Bless the Child

  • Review Date: July 7, 2003
  • Rated: R
  • Genre: Horror
  • Release Year: 2002
  • Running Time: 107 minutes

Common Sense Media says

No way if your kids get nightmares.
  • Review Date: July 7, 2003
  • Rated: R
  • Genre: Horror
  • Release Year: 2002
  • Running Time: 107 minutes

Age(i)

NOT FOR KIDS

Quality(i)

 

What parents need to know

Positive messages
Not applicable
Violence

Stabbings and gunfire seem tame in comparison to knitting needles being thrust into a good guy's eyes, and one character getting decapitated. The villain pours gasoline on and burns a homeless man. Creepy images abound: flying satanic creatures, swarming

Sex
Not applicable
Language

Harsh but infrequent.

Consumerism
Not applicable
Drinking, drugs, & smoking

The lead's sister is a junkie; the villain injects her with heroin. Another character's infected track marks are shown.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that grisly images and the portrayal of a drug addict make this inappropriate for many younger teens. Parents should know that creepy images abound: flying satanic creatures, swarming rats, child corpses scarred with symbols of evil, etc. A 6-year-old is repeatedly threatened, at one time she's dangled from a rooftop. Good and evil spirits often appear.

Parents say

Kids say

What's the story?

Given up by her unstable mother, Jenna is raised by Maggie (Kim Basinger). When Jenna turns 6, her birth parents steal her away from Maggie, who turns to detective Travis (Jimmy Smits) for help. Together, Maggie and Travis learn that other children born on the same day as Jenna have also been abducted, and the clues lead them to a group of Satan worshippers.

Is it any good?

QUALITY
 

If your teen is at all prone to nightmares and can't stomach moderate gore then this movie isn't for your family. And search elsewhere for your thrills if you're at all offended by any of the following: the Catholic church's struggle against actual forces of darkness; an unconvincing Kim Basinger as an overwrought mother-figure; a frightfully uninspired script; and a movie that shamelessly manipulates audience emotion by rolling out the issue of child abduction.

So who will get some enjoyment out of this one? Fans of Jimmy Smits' character from NYPD Blue. Smits plays the same character here--understated professionalism, low-key sense of caring, and humorless sex appeal. Also, B-movie horror buffs who will take their chills in any form and enjoy a few laughs at the movie's expense should get their money's worth.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about what they like in a spooky movie. What are some of your favorite scary movies, and why?

Movie details

Theatrical release date:August 13, 2002
DVD release date:August 13, 2002
Cast:Jimmy Smits, Kim Basinger, Rufus Sewell
Director:Chuck Russell
Studio:Paramount Pictures
Genre:Horror
Run time:107 minutes
MPAA rating:R
MPAA explanation:violence, drugs, sexuality, language

This review of Bless the Child was written by

About our rating system

  • ON: Content is age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • PAUSE: Know your child; some content may not be right for some kids.
  • OFF: Not age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • NOT FOR KIDS: Not appropriate for kids of any age.

Find out more

Quality

Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

Find out more

Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
  • 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.

Find out more

About our buy links

When you use our links to make a purchase, Common Sense Media earns a small affiliate fee from Amazon or iTunes. As a nonprofit organization, these funds help us continue providing independent, ad-free services for educators, families, and kids while the price you pay remains the same. Thank you for your support.
Read more

See more about how we rate and review.

What parents and kids say

See all user reviews

Share your thoughts with other parents and kids Write a user review

A safe community is important to us. Please observe our guidelines

Adult Written bywonder dove May 10, 2013
AGE
15
QUALITY
 

Unique & Underrated!

First of all, the CommonSense review has it wrong. Jenna is not the little girl, she is the little girl's biological mother (played by Angela Bettis). Cody is the little 6 year old girl. This is a very unique movie! Very underrated. I would rate it about 3.5 stars out of 5. It's a little on the intense side, there is a lot of good versus evil. The film also has religious themes too. There are rituals involved. The little girl (Cody) is a good girl who has special powers of her own. Her real mother is troubled and cannot take care of her any longer, so her sister (Kim Basinger) known as Mim takes Cody in and raises her as her own child. Later when Cody is mysteriously taken, she is raised by evil or satanists who eventually try to "convert" her into satanism because they are aware of her unique powers. It's up to Mim to figure out how to get her back undamaged. It's a tough subject so it's not recommended for the light hearted, nor is it appropriate for younger viewers. Violence is heavy with shootings and some torture, a homeless man is burned to death in front of a child, needles stuck into eyes, lots of evil activities throughout including some creatures, rituals and scary images. Language is not that bad, a couple of "f" words. No sexual content that I recall. There is an injection of drugs into a woman. I would say it's fine for 15+ ages because it is not soaked with bad langauge and sexual stuff like most R rated horrors.
What other families should know
Great messages
Too much violence
Teen, 17 years old Written byPrincessCharmed797 March 21, 2013
AGE
17
QUALITY
 

Bless the Child

this movie is really odd and freaky if you want to watch it with your child fine but the child better be too young to understand this movie 1 or younger would be fine or 17 +
What other families should know
Too much violence
Too much swearing
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking
Teen, 13 years old Written bycerealkiller189 February 2, 2012
AGE
13
QUALITY
 

Bless The Child-or die.

First off,this movie isn't for anyone under 13.I seen this when I was 8 or 9 and though I am an extremely hardcore viewer(the Exorcist didn't even make me flinch) I got freaked out a couple of times.Its very very scary and images of dead corpses and children suddenly appearing may freak people out.The little girl appears suddenly out of nowhere at 2 times probably and this is completely out of nowhere,very freaky.Suggest strong caution letting children see this.

Poll

Did our review help you make an informed decision about this product?

Common Sense Kids Action