A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
The movie doesn't seem to be about much of anything other than violence, and, in the end, the survivors don't seem to have been affected one way or another by all of it.
Positive Role Models
The Norman/Blind Man character has been recast as the supposed hero here, but even though he's fighting difficult odds to try to save a child, his attacks are brutal, and he sustains some very painful damage. In the end, he confesses to being a killer and a rapist, and he makes the hard choice to not allow Phoenix to come back to him.
No real diversity here. Some of the villain's crew appear to be people of color, but they're not very important to the story. Phoenix is a fairly strong-willed and skilled young girl; for a time she's able to save herself from the invaders, but then she needs rescuing.
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Violence & Scariness
Child in almost constant peril; she falls down a flight of stairs, injuring her head. Many characters are killed in wildly gory ways. Gushing, spurting, spraying blood throughout. Character's mouth and nose glued shut; another character stabs him in the cheek so he can breathe, then the man slices open his mouth with broken glass. Burned, charred body. Woman bashed in head with hammer. Guns and shooting. Various blades and sharp objects: slashing and stabbing. Brutal fighting, punching, slamming, choking, hitting with hard, blunt objects, etc. Child stabs adult in foot with pitchfork; he slaps her, hard. Gouging eyes out. A character admits to having raped someone. A dog dies, fur matted with blood (character digs a bullet out of its corpse). Person attacked by dog. House on fire. Child holding gun. Explosion. An organ-trafficking ring is part of the plot (discussed on a TV news report). Villains treat animals poorly.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
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Many uses of "f--k," plus uses of "motherf----r," "bitch," "testicles."
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Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Cigarette smoking. Indirect references to villains being meth cooks/drug dealers (not directly spoken). Child given a knockout drug in a glass of juice. Secondary characters drink what could be beers out of cans.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Don't Breathe 2, the sequel to Don't Breathe, tries to recast the original movie's antagonist, the Blind Man/Norman (Stephen Lang), as the protector of a young girl. Violence is brutally intense, with gushing, spraying blood, many deaths and dead bodies, guns and shooting, stabbing and slicing, lots of fighting, bashing with hard objects, choking, etc. A child is in intense peril -- she's injured and nearly dies -- for almost the whole movie. There are also scenes of shocking gore and mistreatment of dogs. An organ-trafficking ring is part of the plot. Language includes several uses of "f--k," plus "motherf----r" and "bitch." Characters smoke cigarettes, there's some background drinking, and a meth business is indirectly discussed. (The term "cook" is used.) Characters kiss. The movie has some deft, clever sequences, but its downsides sink it. To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
This sequel, which turns the original movie's deadly Blind Man into the protagonist, has a few deft, intense sequences, but its ridiculous villains and twisted moral compass ultimately sink it. Directed by Rodo Sayagues, screenwriter of the original Don't Breathe and the Evil Dead remake, the wildly gory Don't Breathe 2 is at its best with the cat-and-mouse elements, such as Phoenix cleverly dodging the invaders, creating diversions, and scrambling into unlikely hiding places -- even hanging off of the edge of a staircase. Another sequence has Norman in an unfamiliar basement, gaining the advantage after a broken water pipe covers the floor in sloshing water. A third takes place dangerously close to the edge of an empty swimming pool.
But the villains are a huge downside. At first, they seem to be veterans of the war in Iraq, but they ultimately seem to be two-bit psychopaths or members of some half-baked street gang. Their real motivations are meant to be a surprise, but as each piece of the puzzle is revealed, it makes less and less sense. (Suffice it to say that showing up at Phoenix's house in the middle of the night with guns shouldn't have been their smartest plan.) Norman is likewise problematic: He's very tough, but he's haunted by his hideous misdeeds and is beaten so badly that his yelps of pain start to wear viewers down. He's a truly sad character, perhaps an ill fit for an "entertainment" thriller like Don't Breathe 2. A strange coda further indicates complete emotional detachment.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.