Father and child sit together smiling while looking at a smart phone.

Want more recommendations for your family?

Sign up for our weekly newsletter for entertainment inspiration

Parents' Guide to

Eastern Promises

By S. Jhoanna Robledo, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 18+

Compelling but brutal mafia film for adults only.

Movie R 2007 100 minutes
Eastern Promises Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this movie.

Community Reviews

age 16+

Based on 6 parent reviews

age 16+

This title has:

Too much violence
Too much sex
Too much swearing
age 17+

Truly amazing film, but full of adult content (referencing: sex/rape, drugs, violence, language, etc.)

Though incredibly moving and well-done (And a must-see for film lovers), it is full of adult content, and even so, has some difficult topics shown. While not exactly shown, rape is indicated throughout, as well as drug use (heroin) through forced usage. All of that is part of, and due to, the sex-trafficking of the young girl (child) who’s death begins the story. Throughout the whole film, there’s violence of various types (not any gore, but mostly gun and knife violence, as well as physical fights and beatings) and a lot of bad language. It’s a story based around the Russian mafia in Europe and their involvement in various illegal prospects including the drug trade, sex trafficking and prostitution, and hit men/murders. There’s sex scenes between the lead characters and prostitutes, forced sex and submission of a child (14-yr old), violence throughout, and the mirroring storyline following behind a detective and her case where she attempts to uncover those responsible for various murders and other gang related involvements. Dead bodies are shown in addition to all the language, violence, and sex; as well as the drug use and rape that’s insinuated more than shown. Probably not appropriate for young teens (and definitely not children), as well as anyone triggered by drug usage, sexual assault, kidnapping, or anything else referenced or shown in the film. Still a great movie and groundbreaking performance from Viggo Mortensen

This title has:

Too much violence
Too much sex
Too much swearing
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (6 ):
Kids say (3 ):

Cronenberg keeps Nikolai mysterious, a task for which the enigmatic Mortensen is more than worthy. He's unflappable, no matter what the job -- be it dismantling a corpse or parading nearly naked in front of the mob's top bosses. Veteran actor Armin Mueller-Stah conjures pure evil in a masterfully controlled performance)

Graphic violence is expected (required!) in Cronenberg's movies (Scanners, The Fly). But the accomplished auteur steps it up here, layering gore upon gore and overwhelming his own artistry. Just one example: A horrific-but-compelling ballet in which Nikolai is ambushed by two knife-wielding Chechen thugs in a bathhouse -- naked except for his extensive tattoos, he's as vulnerable as you can get -- is sabotaged and upstaged by a close-up of an eye being stabbed. (Oh, and then there's the scene of a throat getting hacked to bits as the movie opens...)

Movie Details

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.

Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.

See how we rate