Parents' Guide to

Hunter Killer

By Jeffrey Anderson, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 15+

Violence, language in passable military/submarine thriller.

Movie R 2018 121 minutes
Hunter Killer Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this movie.

Community Reviews

age 13+

Based on 7 parent reviews

age 13+

Solid Thriller With Good Themes

Not sure at all why some people don't like this movie as a taut thriller with good themes.

This title has:

Great messages
Great role models
age 15+

One of the best modern war thrillers available

scenes without too much violence and fiction, very good characters, good plot as if emerged from the Kursk tragedy, its a good movie for grownups and adults

This title has:

Great messages
Great role models

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (7):
Kids say (4):

This military thriller starts stiffly, and not everyone seems fully committed, but as the pieces come together, it becomes a passably tense entertainment for fans of huge explosions. Based on a novel by George Wallace and Don Keith and directed by Donovan Marsh, Hunter Killer kicks off with thick, clunky military dialogue and many cookie-cutter scenes, especially the ones that establish Butler as a rebellious outsider (he never went to Annapolis, he's first seen hunting with a bow and arrow, etc.). Actors like Common and Gary Oldman appear uncomfortable at best, and it looks for a while as if Butler forced everyone at gunpoint to help make this movie.

But, surprisingly, Hunter Killer eventually turns into a multi-character piece, with many moving parts; Butler is, happily, not the center of everything. The story allows Marsh to logically cut back and forth to several locations, and the breaks effectively boost the storytelling style; it builds suspense. Best of all, the movie becomes less focused on specific military-type relationships and concentrates instead on simpler, more universal bonds of loyalty and teamwork. Characters seem to behave in the best interests of their comrades, rather than at the service of the plot. The wonderful Linda Cardellini has virtually the only female role, looking tense inside a situation room, and she seems to relish the opportunity. Yet Hunter Killer is also overrun with gunfire and explosions. It's hardly a classic, but it should satisfy a reasonable number of sub thriller fans.

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