Hellboy Movie Poster Image




Somewhat entertaining, but too scary for many.
Popular with kidsParents recommend
  • Rated: PG-13
  • Genre: Science Fiction
  • Release Year: 2004
  • Running Time: 121 minutes

What parents need to know


A lot of comic book-style action violence, characters killed. Some frightening images, a dark and at times macabre tone.




Brief language.


Part of a popular comic book franchise. Baby Ruth candy bars mentioned.

Drinking, drugs, & smoking

Cigar smoking.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this movie contains frightening images, a dark and at times macabre tone, and the sad death of a central character. There is a great deal of violence in the fight scenes, which are at times bloody, and characters must wrestle with the deadly consequences of their actions. A scary character is addicted to self-surgery, while one of the creatures summoned by the Nazis is a Hell-hound that will frighten younger audiences. Several characters (including one major character) die violent deaths. The inability of one of the characters to control her powers causes the off-screen death of innocents, which might frighten even the most mature of audiences.

What's the story?

Based on Mike Mignola's comic book series, HELLBOY centers on the titular anti-hero, who has the body of a Hell-spawned demon and the heart of a human. The film depicts how Hellboy made it to Earth as a child, then forwards to the present, in which the adult Hellboy is the supersized ward of Dr. Broom and the Bureau for Paranomal Research and Defense (BPRD). Cigar-munching, cat-loving Hellboy (Ron Perlman) has a huge stone hand and forearm that help him to pummel baddies. He is their most famous inmate, despite the fact that the U.S. government does its best to deny that Hellboy exists. When evil Russian villain Rasputin, his goons, and some rather nasty Hounds of Hell try to bring the Gods of Chaos to Earth, it's time to call in Hellboy & Co. Hellboy is endearingly human, with a penchant for wiseguy understatement and his love for his adopted family of misfits at the Bureau, especially doe-eyed and dangerous Liz Sherman (Selma Blair). They seem literally made for each other as the woman who has trouble controlling her pyrotechnics wouldn't want a boyfriend who wasn't fireproof.

Is it any good?


Director Guillermo Del Toro captures some of the visual color, tone, and beauty of the comic book. But he sometimes makes you feel like you are reading it over someone else's shoulder and that person takes too long to finish a page. Del Toro filled Blade 2 blazed with whirling swords, back-flipping vampires and frenetic action, at times rendering the fights an incomprehensible blur; he does not make that error again, but rather introduces a comparatively sleepy pace for Hellboy that seems to stretch its 132-minute length into a much longer movie, padded in parts by unnecessary and cliched scenes and overkill in the squiggly monsters in dripping cavernous cellars category.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about the father-son bond between Dr. Broom and Hellboy, why they fight and how this relationship impacts both of their characters. The movie touches on an issue that runs throughout the comic book series, that of Hellboy's commitment to defense of humans despite his demon form. What does being human mean for Hellboy? Where does he have the power of choice?

Movie details

Theatrical release date:April 2, 2004
DVD/Streaming release date:July 27, 2004
Cast:David Hyde Pierce, Ron Perlman, Selma Blair
Director:Guillermo Del Toro
Studio:Columbia Tristar
Genre:Science Fiction
Run time:121 minutes
MPAA rating:PG-13
MPAA explanation:sci-fi action violence and frightening images

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What parents and kids say

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Teen, 13 years old Written byJim Henderson February 18, 2010

good movie

Really cool Where are his horns!?!?!?!?
What other families should know
Too much violence
Kid, 10 years old December 26, 2009

good movie.

good, violent.
What other families should know
Too much violence
Too much sex
Too much swearing
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking
Parent of a 4, 6, 8, 11, and 13 year old Written bycrsunlimited October 20, 2010

Perfect for children who enjoy dressing up scary on Halloween.

When my daughter was 7 she always wanted to watch scary movies. After seeing this one I decided to let her watch it, and she loved it. It was her favorite movie until she was 9. Hellboy does smoke cigars, but it's not overly done to the point where your thinking it's an ad for kids to smoke. His main swear word is crap which isn't that high on my list of things not to say. Overall this movie is great for kids. There is some action in it, but absolutely no nudity, and the violence is at a mild comic book level. I think Hellboy makes a positive mole model as his story tells how he was made to do evil, yet chooses to be on the side of good. It's all about his choices and choosing the right ones. He also shows great friendship and love by willing to sacrifice himself to keep those he loves alive. I also like the positive message that even though Hellboy looks like a demon he doesn't let what others think about how he looks degrade his self esteem.
What other families should know
Great messages
Great role models


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