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A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
Brief message about Hellboy choosing for himself what kind of person he's going to be, rather than letting a prophecy dictate it for him, but this moment passes by quickly and doesn't really seem to be a focus.
Positive Role Models
Hellboy isn't a traditionally admirable hero; he wreaks a lot of havoc and is full of silly bad behavior, but he usually manages to do the right thing. Even though he seems to have been destined to be a demon, he chooses to be good.
Violence & Scariness
Extreme horror/fantasy gore. Gallons of blood; spattered, oozing. Characters killed; dead bodies. Torn-up body parts. Severed limbs and heads. Tongue torn out. Eyeballs plucked out/dangling. Stabbing, blades jabbing through skin. Lots of fighting, throwing, smashing, etc. Guns and shooting. Creepy creatures/monsters. Scary images include characters being twisted and broken and then crumbling to pieces. Characters are devoured by a plague. Children's bodies are briefly shown hanging from ceiling (a witch has been eating them). Brief reference to being "touched funny when you were a kid."
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
Topless woman briefly shown from side (nothing graphic seen). References to strip club and strippers. Reference to "perky breasts."
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Strong language includes multiple uses of "f--k" or "f---ing," plus "s--t," "a--hole," "son of a bitch," "bastard," "ass," "damn," "pr--k," "d--k," "crap," "goddamn," and "Jesus Christ" (as an exclamation). Use of British slang word "todger" (meaning "penis").
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Products & Purchases
Apple iPhone shown twice (recurring joke about how Hellboy accidentally smashes the touchscreen). References to Uber and Lego.
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Main character very drunk at bar. Orders an entire bottle to go. Drunk again at cemetery. Background smoking of both pipes and cigarettes.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Hellboy is a new take on Mike Mignola's popular superhero comic book series about a demonic antihero. Unlike the earlier, PG-13 adaptations that came out in 2004 and 2008, this version is rated R. And no wonder: It's extremely violent, with tons of computer-generated blood and gore. Characters are killed, and there are torn-up body parts, severed heads and limbs, and gouged tongues and eyeballs. There's also lots of fighting, with punching, throwing, and smashing, as well as slicing and stabbing with swords and arrows. Scenes include creepy monsters and other scary stuff, and children's bodies are briefly shown hanging from a ceiling. Language is also strong, with frequent use of "f--k," "s--t," and more. There's a quick, non-graphic glimpse of a topless woman, seen from the side, and a couple of spoken sexual references. Hellboy (David Harbour) sometimes gets very drunk, with no consequences. Background characters smoke. This movie is missing some of the magic that made the previous two work so well, but it's worth a look for mature fans. To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
This reboot, the third film based on Mike Mignola's terrific comics, is missing the magic of the first two; it's also extremely gory, but it has enough style and personality to make it worth a look. Directed by Neil Marshall, who made the excellent horror movie The Descent, this take on Hellboy feels a lot like a horror movie, too, with extremely liberal gore (most of it clearly computer-generated), several terrifying monsters, and plenty of senseless death. Of course, the original comics are also horror-based, but while their tone is somewhat wry and deadpan, Marshall's movie feels a little too busy.
Likewise, star Harbour (Stranger Things) has some big shoes to fill -- taking over from Ron Perlman, who played the big red demon in Hellboy (2004) and Hellboy II: The Golden Army -- and he doesn't quite make it. His performance is a bit too big, with lots of anguish and shock; the beloved character is usually portrayed, to wonderful deadpan comic effect, as mostly perturbed and grumpy. And while Jovovich makes a great Blood Queen, the character doesn't have much to do other than make threatening speeches. But McShane and Lane work well, and the characters themselves are already pretty likable. And Marshall manages a few fight scenes that are beautifully choreographed and thrilling. All in all, it's nice to have Hellboy back, even with diminished returns.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.