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Movie review by
James Rocchi, Common Sense Media
Gamer Movie Poster Image
Ultra-violent sci-fi action film aims to shock and offend.
  • R
  • 2009
  • 95 minutes

Parents say

age 15+
Based on 17 reviews

Kids say

age 13+
Based on 16 reviews

A lot or a little?

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

Positive Messages

Even though the movie asks its audience to think about the nature of violent entertainment, it's presenting violence as entertainment. Several characters have moral awakenings, but the overall message is negative.

Positive Role Models & Representations

There's no one here you would want kids to emulate. Despite the fact that the main character is a decent man pushed to extreme actions in the pursuit of justice and revenge, most of the characters are poor role models.


Constant brutal violence, including shootings, stabbings, beatings, and more. Body parts and heads are obliterated by shells and explosions, with the camera lingering on the effects. Bloody wounds drip; other gore is visible. A knife is held to a child's throat.


Naked breasts and buttocks, crude situations, implied masturbation. Sexualized nicknames (for example, "Rick Rape") are used to identify online personas.


Constant strong language, including many uses of "f--k," "c--t," "s--t," "ass," "p---y," "c--k," "hell," "damn," "goddamn," :oh my God," and much more.


Some real-world brands mentioned or visible, including Mountain Dew.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Some smoking; characters also drink lots of alcohol.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that this mediocre action movie is full of frenetic violence, quick-cut nudity and sexual material, strong language (including lots of uses of "f--k"), and plenty of gore (shootings, stabbings, and more). There's also a general feeling that, just as in their prior Crank and Crank: High Voltage, the filmmakers seem to get great pleasure from trying to offend audiences with this kind of nonstop sexual material, nudity, and violence.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written bybeph September 16, 2009

very violent and reeking with nudity

this was a well done film. my husband and i really enjoyed it. but a world where technology is that incredible i would not like. nudity is always a turn off for... Continue reading
Parent of a 13 and 15 year old Written byuberdad September 11, 2009

just plain bad- waste of money;

both my 13 yr old and I were greatly disappointed and didn't like the movie. whole premise is violence and living through real life episodes of war gains r... Continue reading
Teen, 13 years old Written byHidden_light96 September 12, 2009

Although I'm 13 and I sorta liked this movie, this movie is totally for ADULTS ONLY.

The movie wasn't all that bad,but it wasn't good either. The movie just left me a headache from all that violence and all the camera shaking. Personal... Continue reading
Teen, 13 years old Written bybrymche December 29, 2011

Not For Un-mature Kids

The movie has a plot VERY similar to many other movies. There is a lot of violence, but it's an action movie. It looks very much like CoD or other FPS vide... Continue reading

What's the story?

In a near-future world, advances in technology have made it possible to link the central nervous system of one human with another -- so that one person can control the other's actions and acts remotely. A high-tech entrepreneur (Michael C. Hall) has built two lucrative programs from this technology -- one a Second Life-styled social game called Society, and the other a more dangerous, direct form of entertainment called Slayers, in which controlled death row inmates fight and battle -- and anyone who survives 30 "games" earns a pardon. Kable (Gerard Butler) is three games away from his pardon, and his operator, Simon (Logan Lerman), is eager for the glory that achievement will bring him. But as the game grows more deadly, a secret set of facts comes to light, and Kable and Simon both have to fight to survive.

Is it any good?

Glossy and gory, GAMER doesn't offer much to moviegoers aside from hyper-realistic violence and slam-bang slivers of sexual material. Kable's need to liberate himself from the system to save his family is an incredibly familiar plot arc, and the amoral cast of characters occasionally doing the right thing as the plot progresses doesn't do much to hold our interest. The villain is a fairly thin character as well -- his motives are muddled at best, and we're simply supposed to accept his actions without being given much reason as to why.

There's no denying that writer/directors Mark Neveldine and Brian Taylor have a flair for rapid-fire shooting and cutting; what's more in doubt is whether they can use that hyper-swift style to create anything like coherent storytelling. There are a few smart moments in Gamer (including an inventive way of refueling an abandoned car), but they're by and large adrift in a sea of gore, nudity, and under-written character moments. Gamer is all fizz and sugar, with no real substance or skill behind the wham-bam-thank-you-ma'am plot stolen in bits and pieces from other films.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about some of the tricky questions that often surround video gaming: Is the high-tech simulation of violence a way to blow off steam or a dangerously desensitizing process?

  • Why do so many people respond so strongly to the idea of living a second, different life through computer technology?

Movie details

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