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Parents' Guide to

Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil and Vile

By Barbara Shulgasser-Parker, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 16+

Serial killer fools almost everyone; language and violence.

Movie R 2019 110 minutes
Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil and Vile Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

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

Community Reviews

age 15+

Based on 7 parent reviews

age 14+

Fascinating and disturbing

Personally I’ve always been a true crime fan, and Ted Bundy’s whole story is very fascinating to me. Most people are very aware of his crimes so it’s very safe to assume this isn’t a Disney movie. It is practically a fictionalization of his ‘normal life’ while he was murdering and raping young woman across America. Though some critics believe they’re romanticizing him in this movie, I think it displayed how Bundy tricked so many people. He’s known as being one of the most notorious serial killers in the United States because of the way he killed his victims and the way he charmed so many people even while he was being charged with murder. I would recommend watching ‘Conversations With A Killer: The Ted Bundy Tapes’ before watching this movie because it shows the real story of his gruesome crimes while also showing his ‘confession’ tapes which really read into the type of person he was. It’s also very helpful if you didn’t know much about his crimes to watch that before this movie. All in all, I think it gives a great portrayal of how well Ted Bundy used his charm and charisma to play his victims, friends, and family. It contains only slight gore and violence with only a few sex scenes that aren’t even that explicit. Personally I think the age range for this all depends on how mature your kid is/you are. If you aren’t into true crime then I wouldn’t suggest watching it because it’s all based off of a very real and very gruesome man.

This title has:

Too much sex
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking
age 15+

Amazing Movie!!

Amazing movie with a chilling ending and great acting. There is actually not much violence shown except for at the end where a picture of a headless body is shown, a woman is hit on the head with a crowbar. There is a bit of nudity (bare bottoms are shown) and there is a sex scene, although no genitals are shown, and a scene where them about to have sex is heavily implied. There are a few f- bombs, but not much cursing overall. Ted Bundy's fiancee is shown smoking and drinking a lot from stress. In my opinion it could be rated pg-13 if not for the f bombs and the sex scene. And, of course, if it wasn't for the fact that it was based on a true story.

This title has:

Too much sex
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (7 ):
Kids say (15 ):

This is a solid biopic that calls into question what and who you can believe, precisely at a time in public life when knowing who to believe is difficult. Some facts of the Bundy case were left unspecified here, including his penchant for necrophilia and the decapitation of at least 12 of his victims. Director Joe Berlinger honed his skills in the documentary world making true-crime films, in one case helping free three wrongfully convicted innocents. Telling this story essentially from the point of view of Bundy's longtime girlfriend is a useful conceit as it underscores the duplicity of Bundy's seeming normality when he was with her, a persona that turned out to be the perfect place to hide his psychopathic inner self.

No murders or rapes are shown in Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil and Vile, just crime scene photos, some narrated with a few hair-curling descriptions. This nudges an audience to wonder how the Bundy that Liz knew, the one we get to know, could have treated Liz and her daughter so kindly for so many years while viciously murdering women around the country. It's the notion that evil can disguise itself so easily that shakes a viewer's faith in the idea of unconditional trust and that makes this as much a horror film as a biopic. What's also disturbing is the hero worship some women expressed for Bundy during his hearings and trials, raising questions about the role of the public in elevating such people to celebrity level.

Movie Details

  • On DVD or streaming: May 3, 2019
  • Cast: Zac Efron , Lily Collins , Angela Sarafyan
  • Director: Joe Berlinger
  • Inclusion Information: Female actors
  • Studio: Netflix
  • Genre: Drama
  • Run time: 110 minutes
  • MPAA rating: R
  • MPAA explanation: for disturbing/violent content, some sexuality, nudity and language
  • Last updated: February 18, 2023

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