Free Fire

Movie review by
Jeffrey M. Anderson, Common Sense Media
Free Fire Movie Poster Image
Extreme gun violence, 1970s outfits, not much else.
  • R
  • 2017
  • 90 minutes

Parents say

age 16+
Based on 4 reviews

Kids say

age 14+
Based on 5 reviews

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A lot or a little?

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

Positive Messages

Nothing here but rampant violence; the only consequences are getting shot.

Positive Role Models & Representations

The only characters are criminals and thugs who do nothing but shoot at each other. Only one female character.


Near-constant, over-the-top gun violence. Blood spurts, bloody wounds. Characters shot in head. Character on fire. Character sews up a wound. Fighting, beating with crowbar. Stabbing. Used hypo needle stuck in hand. Falling downstairs. Character's head run over by van. Verbal reference to violence against women.


Fairly strong innuendo.


Near-constant use of "f--k," plus "s--t," "a--hole," "c--t," "c---sucker," "t-ts," "bastard," "son of a bitch," "d--k," "goddamn," "balls," "slut," "idiot."

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Characters smoke. Character shown using heroin (tin foil and pipe). References to drugs ("smack").

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Free Fire is an ultra-violent, Quentin Tarantino-esque shoot-'em-up set in one location over the course of one night. After a long set-up, characters shoot guns at each other almost constantly, with tons of gory consequences. Expect blood spurts, bloody wounds, fighting, stabbing, hitting with a crowbar, a character's head being run over by a van, and a character stitching up her own wounds. A character is also set on fire, and there's a verbal reference to brutal violence against a woman. Language is also extremely strong, with countless uses of "f--k," plus "c---sucker," "c--t," "t-ts," "s--t," and much more. One character is shown smoking "smack" (i.e. heroin) using tinfoil, a pipe, and a lighter. Characters also smoke cigarettes regularly, and there's sexual innuendo.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written bySam M. August 19, 2017

What if Reservoir Dogs was a bad movie?

A hollow, joyless affair, reliant soley on a gimmick that has been done better in numerous other movies. None of the cahracters have any personality aside from... Continue reading
Adult Written byCastielFan August 14, 2017


I was supposed to see it in the cinema but I didn't have time to see it and my dad surprised me with the DVD love the Choice of Music and the ending is put... Continue reading
Teen, 14 years old Written byhenk123 March 7, 2019

fun action movie

great humor but the story is just not that great.
Teen, 16 years old Written byJMS12392952 August 13, 2017


Free Fire has some good moments. The shoot out scenes are good, and the script and acting is fine. Overall, very violent but still good.

What's the story?

In FREE FIRE, it's the 1970s, and several criminals assemble in a warehouse to complete a weapons sale. Vernon (Sharlto Copley) is the seller, Chris (Cillian Murphy) is the buyer, and supercool Ord (Armie Hammer) is negotiating. Justine (Brie Larson) is also on board, as are several hired thugs. Unfortunately, one of the thugs, Harry (Jack Reynor), recognizes another, Stevo (Sam Riley), from a bar fight the night before; Stevo mistreated Harry's cousin, and although Stevo got a beating out of it, Harry isn't quite through with his revenge. Eventually, shots are fired, and from there on out, it's more or less continuous shooting. Some unexpected snipers even show up. But no matter who started it, will anyone survive long enough to stop it?

Is it any good?

Obviously inspired by Quentin Tarantino's movies, as well as 1970s shoot-'em-ups, this action movie tries to be stripped down and clever, but it only succeeds at being laughably violent. Directed by Ben Wheatley (High-Rise), Free Fire is all 1970s outfits (big collars and lapels, facial hair, tight pants, and polyester), and loud gun sounds. Though the warehouse is an interesting setting (cribbed, clearly, from Reservoir Dogs), Wheatley fails to establish the spatial locations of the characters. When someone fires in one shot, and someone else screams in the next, we have no idea where they were aiming -- or where anyone else is.

Soon, everyone hits the floor, and everyone is a dust-and-blood-and-hair covered figure, crawling on the ground, barely distinguishable from one another. Occasionally it looks as if something clever will happen, such as when the characters discover a working phone in the office, but these things only result in more shooting. The dialogue tries to be witty, but the only thing that clicks is when a character occasionally gives up and simply laughs at the absurdity. Whereas the John Wick movies took violence to such an astoundingly high-pitched level that they became almost existential, Free Fire is far too aware of itself to make any such claims.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about Free Fire's violence. Does its over-the-top nature lessen its impact? Or does the sheer volume make it impossible to ignore? How do the consequences compare to those in movies with more realistic violence?

  • How does the movie depict drug use? Does it look cool or unappealing?

  • How is the movie's lone female character treated? Is she a stereotype? A sex object? Does she have a memorable personality?

  • How does the movie's time period affect the story?

Movie details

Our editors recommend

For kids who love action

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