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Parents' Guide to


By Jeffrey Anderson, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 16+

"Superpowered monster child" plot gives way to blood, gore.

Movie R 2019 91 minutes
Brightburn Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this movie.

Community Reviews

age 16+

Based on 17 parent reviews

age 18+

Extreme levels of shocking gore, should be rated NC-17

I knew this wouldn't be for kids when I watched it, but even watching it as an adult, this film really angered me with its casual use of extremely disturbing, gory violence. It's in the Top 3 most gory, disgusting, disturbingly violent movies I've ever seen. It was marketed as an interesting take on the superman tale: childless farmers find a baby in the woods, and raise him, only to discover he has superpowers. In this version, the child gets bullied and instead of learning to stand up for the little guy, it's possible he's going to use his powers for evil, maybe even become a super-villain, or at least, be lost and confused for a while before figuring things out. That's not how it goes. He immediately gives in to the temptation to use his superpowers to get revenge and get what he wants by hurting other people, and does it again, and again, and again. SPOILERS ahead.... One image that sticks with you after the film is of the main character murdering a family member. There's a jarring, disturbing special effect where they show, up close and slow-mo (freeze frame style) that the victim's jaw and or neck has been broken. Moments later he tries to beg for mercy and his jaw falls off. Is that enough to keep you from watching this piece of trash? If not, read on... He also murders his own father, up close and graphically, mercilessly. Ever wondered what it would be like if superman's heat vision was used at point-blank range on a human face? This movie shows that. He also has a girl in class he likes (the Lana Lang type character) but uses his powers just to sneak into her room, murder her mother at work, etc. He is a monster. Later he terrorizes, bloodies up, then murders his own mother. There are numerous additional, extremely gory and terrifying murders along the way. This movie was made with the intent of harming its audience. Stay far, far away. Would not recommend to anyone. Wish this movie and this kind of movie did not exist.

This title has:

Too much violence
Too much sex
2 people found this helpful.
age 17+

Over rated

The movie made no sense. There's no real plot to the movie. No explanation of why he was doing what he was doing. Just an over rated movie. Would not recommend spending money or time on this movie
1 person found this helpful.

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (17 ):
Kids say (24 ):

This attempt at a fresh take on superhero movies falters just after its setup, never really exploring its potentially interesting theme. Instead, it just becomes a gory Omen knockoff with superpowers. Produced by James Gunn (Guardians of the Galaxy and GOTG Vol. 2) and written by his cousin Mark Gunn and brother Brian Gunn, Brightburn does start with a terrific concept. What if, say, Superman's adoptive parents in Smallville failed to instill in him a sense of right and wrong, of generosity and kindness, of empathy? The answer is that he could easily have become a little monster, simply destroying everything. And that's about it.

The curious thing is that the parents, played by Banks and Denman, don't seem to be terrible people, and they more or less earn our sympathy -- for a time, anyway. As for Brandon, after he takes his first life, he becomes impossible to root for. Indeed, it's unclear exactly what we're supposed to root for. Brightburn quickly becomes a basic slasher movie, but without the simplicity of one; it's a tragedy demoted to a gorefest. At least The Omen -- and, even better, Joe Dante's "It's a Good Life" episode of Twilight Zone: The Movie -- dug a little deeper into the "evil child" theme. Brightburn instead stays on the surface, content to prioritize blood and guts over characters and ideas.

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