Movie review by
Jeffrey M. Anderson, Common Sense Media
Colombiana Movie Poster Image
Popular with kids
Violent action movie is all about killing and revenge.
  • PG-13
  • 2011
  • 107 minutes

Parents say

age 14+
Based on 7 reviews

Kids say

age 15+
Based on 10 reviews

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A lot or a little?

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

Positive Messages

The movie's overall message is one of revenge, and the main character destroys everything in her life to carry it out. 

Positive Role Models & Representations

The main character's life has been shaped by violence and revenge. She kills in cold blood and rarely pays any consequences for those actions. All of her relationships suffer, and she loses almost everything important in her life. She sometimes weeps at these losses, but it's hard to imagine that she would have changed anything.


For the film's first half hour, there's incredible violence as experienced by a 9-year-old girl. Her parents are murdered in front of her. She stabs a man in the hand and leads several other men on a high-action chase. She climbs and jumps from high heights. The men shoot at her, but she escapes. As an adult, the main character devotes her life to revenge and killing. She shoots and kills several men. Viewers see dead bodies and blood. There are hand-to-hand fights, stabbings, and explosions. Men are devoured by both sharks and dogs (mostly off screen).


The main character and her boyfriend have sex, though nothing is shown. A bad guy goes to bed with four voluptuous, bikini-clad women, though there's no nudity. The main character appears in an array of sexy outfits, including a slightly see-through tank top in one scene, and underwear in another. She also takes a shower (nothing sensitive shown). Brief innuendo.


Language is strong but fairly infrequent. Words include one use of "f--k," plus "s--t," "bastard," "son of a bitch," "ass," and "oh my God."


A character has an iPhone that's prominently on display.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Adults -- mainly the bad guys -- drink cognac and champagne and smoke cigars in a background kind of way.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that although this action movie from producer/writer Luc Besson (The Transporter, Taken) is rated PG-13, it's very violent and intense, revolving around the brutal murder of a 9-year-old girl's family and her subsequent dedication to revenge. There are lots of killings, and the main character kills without any punishment (except for the fact that she has lost all of her loved ones). There's no nudity, but the main character (played by popular Avatar actress Zoe Saldana) wears an array of tight/revealing outfits -- including a see-through tank top -- and there's lots of sexual suggestion. Language is infrequent but includes "f--k" and more than one use of "s--t." Bad guys drink cognac and smoke cigars from time to time.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Parent of a 13-year-old Written byMontysMom December 25, 2011

Revenge is bittersweet

Should have an R rating, for violence alone! Just not a family friendly movie.
Adult Written byjoshua martinez September 20, 2011

15 and up.

this action movie Colombiana stars with Zoe Saldana is a awesome action movie but parents this movie Colombiana has a lot of intense violence some sexuality som... Continue reading
Teen, 15 years old Written byLoranikas303 March 26, 2021

This movie is so trash!

This movie will offends Colombians! A bad guy is with voluptuous ladies, a main character had sex but offscreen, a 9 year old girl is a murderer and some sweari... Continue reading
Teen, 15 years old Written byMovielover5689 September 9, 2012

Good Action Movie

Colombiana is a great movie , but it has some violence in it like: punching, shooting guns, and driving cars into people , it has 1 F-bomb and a couple mild obs... Continue reading

What's the story?

As a 9-year-old, Cataleya sees her mother and father killed by Colombian kingpins. She escapes to Chicago, where she's raised by her gangster uncle (Cliff Curtis). She grows up with a thirst for revenge and killing; she becomes a contract killer (played by Zoe Saldana) but carries out her own secret revenge on the side, leaving calling cards -- a drawing of an orchid -- in the hopes of reaching the big boss. Unfortunately, Special Agent Ross (Lennie James) is hot on her trail, and she has made the mistake of finding a part-time boyfriend in artist Danny Delanay (Michael Vartan). Can Cataleya complete her longtime goal before the trail of dead bodies becomes too much?

Is it any good?

Overall, the movie has enough clever chases, break-ins, and escapes -- not to mention a sweet, small tragic romance -- to make it worthwhile. But this isn't one of Besson's stronger efforts. It's by turns effective, silly, and sluggish, sometimes forgetting the usual slick, lightweight mood of Besson's best films. Colombiana has a great deal in common with Besson's films La Femme Nikita and The Professional, but it lacks the former's pathos and the latter's warmth. 

Though producer/writer Luc Besson has endorsed a stable of good action directors over the years, Olivier Megaton (Transporter 3) is one of the most bombastic; his action is a little less slick and a little harder than that of his colleagues. Here Besson and Megaton have focused on a female character shaped by violence as a young girl who grows into an adult life of irredeemable killing and revenge.


Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the movie's violence. How is the violence portrayed in the scenes with the 9-year-old girl, as opposed to the scenes with the grown-up character?

  • What message does the movie send about revenge? Does it make you feel better to "get back" at someone who has wronged you? Is violent vengeance ever justified?

  • Is the main character a heroine? What makes her interesting?

Movie details

Our editors recommend

For kids who love action and adventure

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