Daredevil

Movie review by
Nell Minow, Common Sense Media
Daredevil Movie Poster Image
Dark, violent superhero adventure has cursing, drugs.
  • PG-13
  • 2003
  • 96 minutes
Popular with kidsParents recommend

Parents say

age 12+
Based on 6 reviews

Kids say

age 12+
Based on 22 reviews

A lot or a little?

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

Positive Messages

Themes of vigilante justice and revenge when the justice system fails. 

Positive Role Models & Representations

When not using his extrasensory abilities to fight crime, lead character works for a small law firm that represents clients they know to be innocent, often free of charge. 

Violence

Frequent action movie violence. Superheroes battle supervillains with punches, kicks, martial arts, throwing stars, swords, canes, pool sticks. Thrown trident goes all the way through a hand. Guns and machine guns used. Boxing violence. A boy witnesses his father's murder in an alley. A woman witnesses her father getting killed by a spear-tipped cane thrown that hits his throat. Boy on a skateboard shown getting blinded when a nearby forklift crashes into and accidentally opens biohazardous waste barrels. During a rape trial, the accused man claims that the woman enjoyed it while the lawyers representing her look at photographs of the woman's battered and bruised face. Lead character pulls out a loose tooth in the shower, drops it by the drain as blood drips around it. 

Sex

Non-explicit sexual encounter. Brief nudity, female breast. 

Language

Occasional profanity. "F--k," "a--hole," "d--k"; "s--t" and its UK variation, "s--te." Verbal taunting from bullies. Woman on a plane talks about someone who is "semi-colored." 

Consumerism

Part of a popular comic book franchise. The reporter in the movie works for the New York Post

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

It's implied that the lead character's father has become an alcoholic before he tries to redeem himself. Beer and cocktail drinking in bars, at a formal ball. Lead character takes different painkillers after coming home from battling villains. Drunk man shown stumbling out of a strip club. Frequent reference to a client in a trial being high on marijuana at the time the crime was committed. 

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Daredevil is a 2003 movie in which Ben Affleck plays the Marvel Comics superhero. This movie is more somber and much more violent than Spider-Man, including many deaths. The action violence is frequent and unrelenting, including two protagonists who witness the murder of their parents. In a rape trial, the man accused claims that the woman enjoyed it while she breaks down crying as her lawyers look at photographs of her beaten and bruised after the incident. After returning from fighting villains, Daredevil is shown taking different kinds of prescription painkillers. There are sexual references and non-explicit sexual situations; brief nudity, a female breast. A man on trial talks of being high on marijuana at the time the incident in question occurred. Devout Catholics might have a problem with an extended fight scene taking place inside a cathedral. Cigarette and cigar smoking occurs. Occasional profanity includes "f--k," "a--hole," and "d--k," and "s--t" and its UK variation, "s--te." 

User Reviews

Parent of a 2 and 6 year old Written byjandrewworld July 12, 2010

Skip this one.

Matt Murdock and his adventures as Daredevil is must read for myself. But terrible casting, bad acting and a film that doesn't understand what the comic is... Continue reading
Adult Written bydoodlesalltheday April 9, 2008
Kid, 11 years old August 10, 2009
Kid, 9 years old May 16, 2009
I watch lots of super hero movies. Compared to most of them, this one was pretty violent. main thing i have to say: VIOLENT!!!

What's the story?

Matt Murdock (Ben Affleck) is a lawyer whose father, a boxer, was killed for refusing to take a dive in a fixed fight. Matt, blind from an accident that also left him with his other senses super-enhanced, vows to become a righter of wrongs and a force for justice. Crime boss Kingpin (Michael Clarke Duncan), who wants Daredevil out of his way, hires Irish assassin Bullseye (Colin Farrell) to do the job. Jennifer Garner plays Elektra, who is also on Kingpin's bad side.

Is it any good?

DAREDEVIL may be another Marvel comic superhero movie rated PG-13, but it's a much darker story than Spider-Man. Parents whose 8- and 9- or even 13-year-olds loved that movie should think carefully before agreeing to let them see this one. The fights are very good, but it's clear that's where most of the creative energy went in this movie. Affleck doesn't act very much, and if he did, most of it would be hidden by Murdock's sunglasses and Daredevil's mask.

Garner brings energy and freshness to her role, and Farrell is, as usual, the most watchable part of the movie. There are some fun in-jokes, including appearances from Marvel's Stan Lee and onetime Daredevil writer Kevin (Chasing Amy and Dogma) Smith. But the script is flat, mostly just space between fights. Sometimes loud noises incapacitate Daredevil, sometimes they don't. He's badly injured, and then he isn't. These are continuity errors that are evidence either of laziness or, more likely, some re-cutting after early screenings.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about why we don't take the law into our own hands. How do you become a killer without being one of the bad guys? Why, when most superheroes have fantasy special powers, is a character who is disabled so appealing?

  • How does this movie compare with other superhero titles?

  • What would be the challenges in adapting a comic book series to the silver screen? 

Movie details

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