Bullet to the Head

Movie review by
Jeffrey M. Anderson, Common Sense Media
Bullet to the Head Movie Poster Image
Over-the-top violence, nudity, drugs in dark Stallone movie.
  • R
  • 2013
  • 91 minutes

Parents say

age 17+
Based on 4 reviews

Kids say

age 16+
Based on 2 reviews

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A lot or a little?

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

Positive Messages

The characters use violence as a response for nearly every situation, and when they try to use their heads, things tend to not work out. Hence, they learn that violence (or threats) is usually the "better" solution to any problem.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Though the cop character slowly learns that the underworld way of doing things is more effective than following the rules, at least he and a double-crossed hit man learn to work together, more or less. There are a few culturally-charged jokes: The hit man throws any number of Asian stereotype jokes at the Korean cop.


The over-the-top, wall-to-wall violence in Bullet to the Head is of the extra-noisy, extra-bloody type, with almost constant fighting, chasing, shooting, stabbing, and explosions. True to the title, characters are shot in the head. In the big showdown, characters fight with axes. There's a brief but bloody autopsy scene. Nearly everyone gets shot or beat up, and many, many minor and supporting characters die. A woman is kidnapped and treated roughly.


A prostitute is shown taking a shower; one breast and her naked bottom are shown. At a fancy, crowded party, several masked women walk around topless. The female lead is shown just out of a shower, her bottom on display and very briefly topless before covering up with a towel. There's also some quick, spoken innuendo in one or two scenes.


Language isn't constant but includes several uses of "f--k," plus "s--t," "prick," "ass," "piss," "a--hole," "son of a bitch," "crap," "damn," "goddamn," and "bitch."


Google is mentioned in one scene, and Band-Aids and Blow Pops are mentioned in another. The main character drinks a specific brand of whisky, Bulleit Bourbon, which he asks for by name several times and shows in one or two scenes.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

A minor character is shown drinking and snorting cocaine in a hotel room. Most other characters are shown drinking in bars at some point -- mostly beer and/or a certain brand of bourbon/whisky.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Bullet to the Head is the first teaming of legendary action director Walter Hill and legendary action star Sylvester Stallone. The result is extremely violent in an over-the-top way, with wall-to-wall, extra-noisy, extra-bloody shooting, fighting, stabbing, and explosions. There's also nudity (mostly topless women) in a few scenes, and language is strong, with several uses of "f--k" and "s--t." Characters drink in bars, and a minor character snorts cocaine in one scene. Though the movie isn't realistic, it's still very intense overall and isn't recommended for anyone but the most mature teens and up.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Parent of a 18+-year-old Written byKING I. December 31, 2017
Adult Written bydarthsitkur January 7, 2014

this movie is 1,000 times better than parker

this movie is what parker should've looked like, just nonstop balls to the wall action, bullet to the head is a badass guy's flick
Teen, 13 years old Written byXx that one bro Xx October 1, 2016

Violent but who cares?

This movie is over all awsomt and yes there's naked babes they have pants on though? LOL any way lots it blood cocain and drug use some swearing but over a... Continue reading
Teen, 15 years old Written byAliphulupus February 4, 2013

Violent but awesome

This movie is very good but has tons of blood/gore, nudity and some drinking and drugs. You see shirtless women and some scenes they arnt even wearing pants.
Lo... Continue reading

What's the story?

Jimmy Bobo (Sylvester Stallone) and his partner, Louis (Jon Seda), are hit men working in New Orleans. After the pair pulls off their latest job -- killing a crooked ex-cop -- Louis is stabbed to death in a bar. New-in-town police detective Taylor Kwon (Sung Kang) believes there's a connection between the two bodies. He tracks Jimmy down and offers to work with him to find the men responsible for killing Louis. Unfortunately, the corruption goes up high, involving a deadly killer (Jason Momoa), a slick lawyer (Christian Slater), and an evil developer (Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje). Things get even more personal when the bad guys kidnap Jimmy's pretty tattoo-artist daughter (Sarah Shahi). Can Jimmy and Taylor survive the inevitable, violent showdown?

Is it any good?

BULLET TO THE HEAD's strength is certainly not in the writing. Nothing in this story feels fresh, and it falls back on clumsy exposition, questionable morals, bad cross-cultural jokes, and general sloppiness. Director Walter Hill (The Warriors) is an old-school legend, a maker of rough-and-tumble, tough-guy action movies and genre pictures, usually involving cops, criminals, boxers, soldiers, and cowboys. In his first teaming with Stallone, the tone of the filmmaking comes to match that of the main character: jaded, grim, and ruthless.

Conversely, the movie's pleasures (for mature action aficionados, anyway) are purely visual: The violence is outrageous, extra noisy, and extra bloody. Wild parties are filled with crazy costumes, topless women, and heavy drinking, and characters come with tattoos and walking sticks. Fights take place in empty warehouses, bathhouses, and bars. Through it all, Hill knows exactly how to pace the movie for maximum visceral punch. It's a throwback to old-fashioned pulp filmmaking, and it works.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about Bullet to the Head's violence. Does the fact that it's clearly over the top affect its impact? How would the movie have been different with less violence?

  • What's appealing about a hit man as a main character? How can we like or identify with someone who breaks the law and solves his problems with violence?

  • What stereotypes come up in the movie between the two main characters? How do the characters deal with them?

Movie details

Our editors recommend

For kids who love action

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