DOA: Dead or Alive

  • Review Date: September 24, 2007
  • Rated: PG-13
  • Genre: Action/Adventure
  • Release Year: 2007
  • Running Time: 87 minutes

Common Sense Media says

Sexed-up game adaptation is heavy on bikinis.
  • Review Date: September 24, 2007
  • Rated: PG-13
  • Genre: Action/Adventure
  • Release Year: 2007
  • Running Time: 87 minutes





What parents need to know

Positive messages

Inane motives are the primary offense here, though the fact that just about everyone joins in the ongoing melee means there are no moral or intellectual alternatives.


Video-gamey violence includes kicks, karate chops, punches, body slams, flips, falls from great heights, sword fights, crotch grabs and crotch kicks, needle stabs/pricks, head-butts, bites, breaking bones (with crackly sound effects), eye gougings, martial arts weapons (stars, poles, etc.), and explosions. Pirates appear with guns but don't use them. Father and daughter fight it out in a river; two girls fighting throw each other around in the mud and rain. The island explodes at the end (in slow motion, of course).


Women wear bikinis and/or underwear, showing lots of cleavage; men appear in underwear, too. Christie first appears in the shower, then a towel as she battles intruders (she slips her panties on to distract them, eventually tossing her bra into the air, which then falls onto her naked form in slow motion, accompanied by brief profile shots of her breasts -- but they're suggestive rather than explicit). Max and Christie embrace in bed and make flirty talk (the movie then cuts to a presumably post-sex scene in bed); Zack "comes on" to Tina in hot tub; she flirts, then leaves with his clothes (he gets out naked, covering his genitals). Seeing two women in bed prompts a father to assume that they're lesbian lovers. Battle between two women takes place in rain and slow motion (wet T-shirt effect); Christie and Max kiss passionately; closing kiss inspires Tina to tell a couple to "get a room."


Several uses of "s--t," plus "ass," "hell," and "son of a b--" (it's cut off in mid-utterance).


One big promotion for the video game it's based on.

Drinking, drugs, & smoking

Characters drink what looks to be beer, champagne, and wine.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this movie (based on the same-named video game) is full of incessant, mostly mindless action (though not too much blood), much of which seems to be designed to showcase girls in bikinis and underwear. In fact, there's a fair amount of sex-related content for a movie aimed at kids -- including brief profile shots of a woman's breasts, characters embracing and flirting in bed, the assumption that two women are lesbians, and more. There's also some implied drinking, as well as several uses of words like "s--t," "ass," and "hell."

Parents say

Kids say

What's the story?

DOA: DEAD OR ALIVE follows a grueling competition on a heavily-guarded island overseen by the odious Donovan (Eric Roberts). Ninja princess Kasumi (Devon Aoki) overcomes a courtyard full of warriors in order to find out the truth about her martial arts-star brother, who vanished at the last DOA contest. Professional wrestler Tina (Jaime Pressly) knocks out a crew of pirates who arrogantly think they can take on a pretty girl sunning herself on her yacht. And assassin-thief Christie (Holly Valance) takes out a squad of thugs in suits, then almost gets away with the loot until she's thwarted by her boyfriend/rival Max (Matthew Marsden).

Is it any good?


Directed by respected martial arts choreographer Corey Yuen, DOA: DEAD OR ALIVE is a series of fight scenes strung together by a pretense of a plot. Video games aren't renowned for yielding complex movie characters, and in keeping with such low expectations the three primary girls in show lots of skin and little in the way of motive or deep thinking. The girls don't so much bond as admire one another's skills, which they all flaunt frequently. Only one non-girl opponent stands out, Zack (Brian J. White), who is outsmarted by Tina despite the deliriously low IQ levels of all participants.

The plot, such as it is, includes some rudimentary familial tensions: Tina fights with her father (also a pro wrestler); Kasumi believes her brother is not dead, as has been reported; and good girl (and competitor) Helena (Sarah Carter) suspects that her uncle Donovan is up to no good. Like, duh.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about video game-based movies. What's their appeal? What do they have in common? Why do you think filmmakers want to adapt video games? What sorts of plots or characters do they provide? Does this movie's story work better on the big screen or on a console? Why? What audience do you think it's trying to attract?

Movie details

Theatrical release date:June 15, 2007
DVD release date:September 11, 2007
Cast:Devon Aoki, Eric Roberts, Jaime Pressly
Director:Andrew Adamson
Run time:87 minutes
MPAA rating:PG-13
MPAA explanation:pervasive martial arts and action violence, some sexuality and nudity.

This review of DOA: Dead or Alive was written by

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  • ON: Content is age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • PAUSE: Know your child; some content may not be right for some kids.
  • OFF: Not age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • NOT FOR KIDS: Not appropriate for kids of any age.

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Teen, 14 years old Written byperson14 November 1, 2009
What other families should know
Too much violence
Too much sex
Too much swearing
Too much consumerism
Adult Written bybsteimle April 9, 2008
AGENot rated for age
Teen, 15 years old Written byyourboi01 April 9, 2008
AGENot rated for age


good movie. the matial arts and figting is also awesome. i think it is good for a rent then a buy


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