Guns Akimbo

Movie review by
Jeffrey M. Anderson, Common Sense Media
Guns Akimbo Movie Poster Image
Radcliffe stars in hyper-violent, cynical action comedy.
  • R
  • 2020
  • 95 minutes

Parents say

age 16+
Based on 8 reviews

Kids say

age 14+
Based on 5 reviews

A lot or a little?

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

Positive Messages

Shows that there can be consequences for cyberbullying, that victims are actually flesh-and-blood humans (who can show up at your door unannounced). But movie also features relentless killing and bad behavior with no real fallout. Also seems to advocate concept of being "ready" for bad things to happen by having guns.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Main character goes from being a self-obsessed, social media-addicted jerk to a killing machine, and he's the most noble character in the story. So no role models here.

Violence

Extremely strong, almost constant comic book-style violence. A character has guns bolted to his hands. Lots of guns/shooting, with blood spurts and characters dying. Participants in an online reality show hunt each other to the death. Severed fingers. Broken bones. Character places gun barrel in mouth. Punching, kicking, fighting/martial arts. Character slammed up against wall. Strangling. Car chases. Foot chases. Explosions. Bloody video game shown. Mean, hateful online comments printed on-screen (e.g., "kill urself"). Tranquilizer dart.

Sex

A man's penis is briefly shown while he's urinating. Kissing. Sex-related talk.

Language

Extremely strong, constant language includes "f--k," "s--t," "bulls--t," "c--k," "p---y," "d--k," "bitch," "bastard," "ass," "pubes," "whore," "clit," "boner," "suck it," "retard," and "Jesus Christ" (as an exclamation). Middle-finger gestures.

Consumerism

Mention of Uber.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

A main character snorts cocaine in several scenes. Another drinks several beers, gets drunk. "Smoking crack" mentioned. Pot smoking.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Guns Akimbo is an action comedy starring Daniel Radcliffe as an internet troll who wakes up to find guns bolted to his hands so he can participate in an online killing game. It's extremely, explicitly violent, with relentless guns, shooting, spurting blood, and killing, as well as fighting and punching, chases, explosions, severed fingers, and more. There's also a strong cynicism and depictions of hate and bullying. Language is also extremely strong and constant; expect to hear "f--k," "s--t," "c--k," "p---y," and much more. A man's penis is briefly shown, and a couple kisses. One main character snorts cocaine; another drinks several beers and gets drunk. Crack is mentioned, and pot smoking is shown. Prior to its release, the movie's director, Jason Lei Howden, made controversial remarks on Twitter around the use of a racist term, which may spur some viewers to avoid the movie. But others may find cult classic-style entertainment value here.

Wondering if Guns Akimbo is OK for your kids?

Parents: Set preferences and get age-appropriate recommendations with Common Sense Media Plus. Join now

Continue reading Show less

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written byewq June 19, 2020

A teen movie with lots of comic violence

WHAT the heck were they thinking of making this movie. My kid's were freaked out! But my teens loved it. Guess I loss, no?
Adult Written byThorinoakinshei... July 3, 2020

Humor is over the top but as a bad thing

This is a good(!) movie! I really like this. The humor was a bit too raunchy with some mild sensual moments! I let my 13 year old son watch this! This should h... Continue reading
Teen, 16 years old Written byAction lover May 2, 2020

Nonstop violence, profanity

This movie is not for the squeamish, there is tons of bloody images including but not limited to fingers getting cut off, eyeballs bleeding, hands bolted to pis... Continue reading
Teen, 13 years old Written byFloor.gang620 June 26, 2020

It’s gonna be violent

It’s a action movie, it was hilarious and I absolutely love shooting movies. If you saw the trailer it’s exactly what you get from the movie. If you don’t like... Continue reading

What's the story?

In GUNS AKIMBO, Miles (Daniel Radcliffe) works for an unscrupulous video game company and spends all his free time on social media, trolling the trolls. One night he finds a brutal online game, Skizm, where the deadly Nix (Samara Weaving) battles challengers to the death. Miles' comments draw the attention of Skizm kingpin Riktor (Ned Dennehy). Then Riktor and his minions show up at Miles' apartment and knock him unconscious. When Miles wakes up, he has guns bolted to each of his hands. Worse, his ex-girlfriend, Nova (Natasha Liu Bordizzo), whom he still loves, has been kidnapped, and now Miles must play the game against Nix.

Is it any good?

This very busy, cynical, anxious dark comedy offers surface commentary about the evils of the internet, but eventually Radcliffe and Weaving manage to add some welcome humanity to the story. Unfortunately, Guns Akimbo is somewhat tainted by the controversial online behavior of its writer-director, Jason Lei Howden. But those who can separate the movie from these events may find something worthwhile. Its first section starts like a staccato attack, with a torrent of foul language, violence, noise, rage, and cynicism -- as well as frequent, ugly shots of death-obsessed viewers watching and cheering the online killings (which will definitely be a turn-off for some).

During this time, Miles comes across like a slothful, uncaring jerk, and Nix is a drugged-up, unrepentant killing machine. But after a while, the movie slows down a little and gives both characters a chance to come to life. And, amazingly, they both become likable, especially after they decide to team up against a greater foe. Guns Akimbo is shot and edited like a rollercoaster: It's quite sadistic and insanely violent and vulgar, and it won't be for every taste. But a small cult audience (say, viewers who liked things like Crank, Crank: High Voltage, and Hardcore Henry) may find Guns Akimbo similarly entertaining.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about Guns Akimbo's violence. How did it make you feel? Was it shocking or thrilling? What's shown and what's not shown? What's the impact of media violence on kids?

  • The movie portrays the internet as a place of cynicism, hate, voyeurism, and bullying. How does this reflect your experience of the internet? What are the good things about it?

  • The movie seems to suggest that it's good to have guns so you'll be ready in case something bad happens. Do you agree or disagree? Why?

  • Are drugs or alcohol glamorized here? Are there consequences? Why does that matter?

  • What happened in real life with director Jason Lei Howden and Twitter? How was cyberbullying involved?

Movie details

Our editors recommend

For kids who love action

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

Streaming options powered by JustWatch

About these links

Common Sense Media, a nonprofit organization, earns a small affiliate fee from Amazon or iTunes when you use our links to make a purchase. Thank you for your support.

Read more

Our ratings are based on child development best practices. We display the minimum age for which content is developmentally appropriate. The star rating reflects overall quality.

Learn how we rate