From Hell



Gruesome, predictable Jack the Ripper retelling.
  • Review Date: August 22, 2005
  • Rated: R
  • Genre: Thriller
  • Release Year: 2001
  • Running Time: 121 minutes

What parents need to know

Positive messages

No real role models here.


extremely violent, with numerous scenes of women being murdered and butchered by Jack the Ripper. There are also some violent fights and a particularly hideous carriage accident.


Explicit sexuality.


Very strong language.

Not applicable
Drinking, drugs, & smoking

Drug and alcohol use.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this film is extremely violent, with numerous scenes of women being murdered and butchered by Jack the Ripper. It's NOT for kids. There are also some violent fights and a particularly hideous carriage accident. There are also scenes showing sexual behavior, drug and alcohol use, and very strong language.

What's the story?

The mystery of Jack the Ripper has intrigued people for over a century now. FROM HELL offers an interesting and plausible take on the story, leaving out none of the violence and horror of the Ripper's crimes. Johnny Depp is Inspector Abberline, assigned to solve a series of hideous murders of prostitutes in Victorian London. He has a troubled past, is an opium user, and has visions that help him to solve his crimes. Heather Graham is improbably lovely as one of a group of prostitutes who seem to be singled out by the killer. The story unfolds amid scandals involving the royal family, the latest "advances" is treating mental illness, and even an appearance by the Elephant Man.

Is it any good?


Depp gives a typically strong performance, though From Hell is often predictable and it sometimes feels as if the plot is simply a vehicle to get from one horrific murder scene to the next. There are also too many scenes where mistaken identity is the key to the scare -- for example, someone in a big black cloak sneaks into a room accompanied by ominous music, but it turns out not to be the Ripper but a police officer. This is repeated so often that after a while it simply doesn't work anymore.

The film is beautifully directed and shot, giving an uncomfortably real sense of life in the lowest strata of society, and the version of events presented in the film is intriguing, though not strictly historical. Viewers who aren't in a state of shock after viewing all the murders might want to do some reading about the actual Ripper case and the various solutions to it that have been posited over the years.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about the actual history of the Jack the Ripper story and how the film departs from known facts. The plausibility of the film's versions of events could be discussed, as well as its portrayal of life in Victorian England. This is an extremely violent film, however, and its gruesomeness may overwhelm any desire to discuss history.

Movie details

Theatrical release date:October 17, 2001
DVD release date:May 14, 2002
Cast:Heather Graham, Ian Holm, Johnny Depp
Directors:Albert Hughes, Allen Hughes
Studio:Twentieth Century Fox
Run time:121 minutes
MPAA rating:R
MPAA explanation:strong violence/gore, sexuality, language and drug content

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  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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Parent Written byPlague February 26, 2010

From Hell

Awesome Jack the Ripper film. Johnny Depp plays his role nicely.
Teen, 17 years old Written bydavyborn December 20, 2011

A ghoulish, sadistically violent masterpiece will entice some, horrify others

The Hughes Brothers 2001 comic book (which in turn is also based off of the infamous real life murders and escapades of the London murderer Jack the Ripper) adaptation From Hell is one of the most beautifully atmospheric and gloriously gruesome main stream films that I have ever seen. And, despite being a mainstream film and being distributed by 20th Century Fox, the film never really stoops to the level of mainstream films of it's kind, because in nearly every frame, we see the images of two master directors at the top of there game, giving us a strategically placed artistic balance between wonderful Victorian London production value and extremely gory murder scenes. But, as you have already stated previously, this movie is Rated R (Really? Whatever for?), but honestly, I actually think that a NC-17 Rating would have been a lot more appropriate, but whatever: The viewers is constantly bombarded with some of the most sadistically violent, gruesome and gory images of murder, mutilation, dismemberment and other forms of murder in nearly every scene. Also, there is frequent strong sexual content with one very graphic sex scene, explicit nudity and the main theme that most of the main characters in the movie are of course, prostitutes. Also, there is explicit depictions of drug use in the form of opium, which also leads to many disturbing drug induced hallucinations. Finally, there is infrequent use of very strong profanity, including f--k, c-nt, sh-t, h-ll, d-mn and more. So, if you have a strong stomach and a clear mind of mainstream artistic entertainment, than check out this fantastic, but unfortunately almost completely forgotten ten year old movie masterpiece.
What other families should know
Too much violence
Too much sex
Too much swearing
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking
Teen, 15 years old Written bymovie/gamefan September 12, 2012

FROM HELL good movie not for kids

Of course its not for kids this movie is got everthing that a jack the ripper movie has
What other families should know
Too much violence
Too much sex
Too much swearing
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking


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