I Am Wrath

Movie review by
Sandie Angulo Chen, Common Sense Media
I Am Wrath Movie Poster Image
Predictable, derivative revenge thriller is very violent.
  • R
  • 2016
  • 85 minutes

Parents say

age 16+
Based on 4 reviews

Kids say

age 7+
Based on 1 review

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A lot or a little?

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

Positive Messages

The only message is that violence begets violence, and vigilantism rarely ends well.

Positive Role Models & Representations

The only positive role model in the movie is the deceased-wife character, who was so ethical that she was unwilling to lie to make things easier for higher-ups. Villains are portrayed stereotypically as menacing people of color with big guns, tattoos, and seedy hangouts.


Incredibly high body count, beginning with the murder of Stanley's wife and continuing on to all those who stand in Stanley's way, including clueless passersby. Usually people are killed from gun wounds, but there are also kills from slit throats, stabbing, and neck-breaking. A child is taken hostage at gunpoint.


Half-naked strippers visible in a few scenes. A woman suggestively gives a man a massage.


Several uses of "f--k," "s--t," "a--hole," "hijo de puta" ("son of a bitch"), and more.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Adults drink at clubs and bars.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that I Am Wrath is a thriller about a former mercenary (John Travolta) who goes on a revenge-fueled bender after his wife is killed under suspicious circumstances. The movie is quite violent, with vigilante murders and shoot-outs. Most people die from gunshot wounds, but others are killed with knives or in an explosion. A few characters are badly injured but survive, and a child is taken hostage at gunpoint. Strong language includes "f--k," "s--t," "bitch," "a--hole," etc., and there are a few scenes of strippers dancing -- but the scenes are so dark that viewers will see more random shots of skin or silhouettes than nakedness. Villains are portrayed stereotypically, as menacing people of color with big guns, tattoos, and seedy hangouts. In fact, there's very little to redeem any of the characters, all of whom seem to operate outside the law, and the only take-aways are that violence begets violence, and vigilantism rarely ends well.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written byRuthlissjustess October 13, 2019


This movie is amazing. It's great to see what a grieving spouse will go through to get justice when the law fails to. I was very surprised by the fantastic... Continue reading
Adult Written byMakester October 6, 2019
Awesome film-
John Travolta is excellent- great fight scenes
Teen, 16 years old Written bygkm May 18, 2020

Classic revenge story

It’s a great classic revenge story plot line. There’s a good amount of violence with a little blood, girls are in lingerie or bikini, and language is used here... Continue reading

What's the story?

I AM WRATH is a revenge thriller starring John Travolta as Stanley, a Ohio family man who witnesses the brutal murder of his wife (Rebecca DeMornay) after a mugging turns fatal. But even after positively identifying the trigger man, the detectives set the killer loose, suspiciously claiming that Stanley is an unreliable witness. At this point, Stanley, angry and confused, is revealed to be a retired Black Ops assassin. He breaks open his wall and takes out a presumably long-buried stash of weapons. With a little bit of help from his former fellow mercenary, Dennis (Christopher Meloni), Stan finds out how to get to the men who killed his wife, and -- after executing a whole lot of people -- it becomes clear that the murder was much more than a random act of violence.

Is it any good?

This Taken copycat is nearly unwatchable, despite -- or perhaps because of -- Travolta's commitment to playing a vengeful husband who will kill anyone who knows anything about his wife's murder. There's a lot going on with the plot, which tries to be a political conspiracy thriller in addition to a grieving-husband-with-a-secret-past revenge story. On top of that, the bits with Meloni smack of odd-couple buddy comedy, even though none of these elements quite work.

But what makes the whole thing eye-rollingly awful is its utter predictability. The villains are nearly all so stereotypical (menacing people of color with big guns, tattoos, and seedy hangouts) that you have to wonder whether the filmmakers are purposely promoting a pro-gun, pro-vigilante (as long as said vigilante is white) agenda. If it weren't for Dennis/Meloni, there would be zero humor, and the little he brings falls flat, given the horrific circumstances. There's no real emotional connection to Stanley's love for his wife, save for a lame montage of them together. With so little invested in Stanley, it's hard to care about him, and audiences will wish the movie had been about Dennis instead.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about I Am Wrath's violence. Is it necessary to the story? Is it believable that one character could kill that many armed people? What's the impact of media violence on kids?

  • Discuss the theme of revenge and how it's used in the movie. Why do you think so many thrillers are about avenging a loved one's death? How does it usually work out?

  • Some have called the movie's depiction of the villains stereotypical; do you agree? If so, what are the stereotypes, and how do they affect the plot?

Movie details

Our editors recommend

For kids who love thrills

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