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Movie review by
Nell Minow, Common Sense Media
Collateral Movie Poster Image
Powerful but violent thriller -- not for kids.
  • R
  • 2004
  • 100 minutes
Parents recommend

Parents say

age 14+
Based on 8 reviews

Kids say

age 16+
Based on 7 reviews

A lot or a little?

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


Extreme and graphic peril and violence, many characters killed.


Very strong language.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Drinking, drug references.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that this movie is extremely violent, with constant tension and peril and many graphic shoot-outs. Many people are killed. Characters use very strong language, drink and smoke, and there are references to drugs and drug dealing.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written byAddicted2Films September 22, 2018


I have read many of the other reviews of parents which you will have also read... In short they completely misunderstood the whole movie. This is not an attempt... Continue reading
Adult Written byDarkAgentE February 21, 2018

One of the best action thrillers of all time.

This is the 1st and only movie that I've seen of Michael Mann's, and it impressed me so much, that I'm going to watch the rest of his movies. Let... Continue reading
Teen, 14 years old Written byExiled Universe August 11, 2019

A very mild action movie, very decent!

Well first off i was supposed to watch this movie a long time from now because its so far down on my list but i recently saw the fever club shootout scene on Yo... Continue reading
Teen, 13 years old Written byHighfive August 2, 2019
The best movie ever!

What's the story?

In COLLATERAL, Max (Jamie Foxx) is a cab driver who begins his shift by wiping off the dashboard and putting his favorite picture on the visor. He takes his job seriously. Vince (Tom Cruise) offers Max $600 to stay with him all night, through five stops. Max turns him down at first; it's against the rules. But then he says yes. He takes the fare to his first stop. Vince goes inside while Max waits for him. And then a dead body hits the roof of his cab. Vince is a hit man, and the five stops are people he has been hired to kill. Can Max save any of them? Can he save himself?

Is it any good?

As cool as a jazz riff from a tenor sax, this stylish and powerful thriller has it all. It boasts consistently absorbing characters, twisty dialogue and an even twistier story, and action that engages the heart as it thumps a little faster. Director Mann uses a silvery blue palette and spare, reflective, glass-filled settings to keep the mood as cool as moonlight. Both Jada Pinkett Smith and Mark Ruffalo are endlessly watchable, giving their characters subtlety and context to make us care far out of proportion to their time onscreen.

Foxx is turning into a performer of great presence and depth and he makes a convincing leading man. Cruise is a little out of his range but that works oddly well for Vince, giving him a little frisson of uncertainty underneath the Terminator-like singlemindedness of the character. And Cruise has moments of brilliance. He even runs in character, completely focused but so in each moment that he does not try to pace himself. He puts everything he has into each step forward.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about Vince's ability to compartmentalize. He says he did not kill one of the victims, "the bullet and the fall killed him." Notice the way that Vince is always to the left of Max except in one scene. Which scene is that and why? What were Max's options? What is the meaning of the title? Who or what serves as collateral?

Movie details

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