Preteen girl looking at a cell phone with her parents

Personalized picks at your fingertips

Get the mobile app on iOS and Android

Parents' Guide to

In a Valley of Violence

By Jeffrey M. Anderson, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 16+

Small-scale revenge Western is entertaining but violent.

Movie R 2016 104 minutes
In a Valley of Violence Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

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

Community Reviews

age 16+

Based on 1 parent review

age 16+

Good Western!!

I love a good Western and I enjoyed this movie! It had a GREAT storyline with rich characters! I liked the fact that Paul was an animal lover; his adorable relationship with Addie and his advice to the preacher about his mule. It was difficult to see what happened to Addie, but I enjoyed that Paul sought justice for her death. I HATE bullies and enjoy any story that show someone standing up to them! I also liked that the filmmaker decided not to show gruesome detail in the violent parts!

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (1 ):
Kids say (1 ):

West -- a superior horror director -- adapts his skills to the Western genre and comes up with a simple revenge-based film, baked in his singular style, with plenty of amusing, amazing touches. With its big, red opening-credits sequence and Jeff Grace's thumping, thundering score, In a Valley of Violence is clearly inspired by Sergio Leone, but it ultimately feels more like a tense, economic B movie than it does a sprawling epic. As he did in his great horror films The House of the Devil and The Innkeepers, West favors a slow-burn technique, spending time watching the characters talking or simply being before moving ahead.

This allows for many unexpected moments of humor -- as well as surprising moments of violence. (A war-related flashback/nightmare reveals West's horror roots.) It also allows for a rounded performance by Hawke, who's perfect as a stoic loner, and a fun one by Travolta as a wise, cautious lawman. And although women rarely figure much into the Western genre, Farmiga is delightfully chattery and headstrong. The movie's plot recalls many other films (especially, almost note-for-note, John Wick), but West makes this movie all his own. It's a worthy addition to a classic genre.

Movie Details

  • In theaters: October 21, 2016
  • On DVD or streaming: December 27, 2016
  • Cast: Ethan Hawke , John Travolta , Taissa Farmiga
  • Director: Ti West
  • Inclusion Information: Female actors
  • Studio: Focus World
  • Genre: Western
  • Run time: 104 minutes
  • MPAA rating: R
  • MPAA explanation: violence and language
  • Last updated: February 18, 2023

Inclusion information powered by

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.

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