In Darkness

Movie review by
Jeffrey M. Anderson, Common Sense Media
In Darkness Movie Poster Image
Interesting premise, but violent thriller disappoints.
  • NR
  • 2018
  • 101 minutes

Parents say

age 14+
Based on 2 reviews

Kids say

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A lot or a little?

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

Positive Messages

The story is ultimately about revenge and lying; no positive takeaways here.

Positive Role Models & Representations

While the main character is a strong, resilient, independent woman who perseveres despite physical limitations, it turns out that not everything is at it seems. She's not particularly honest about her disability, and her motives are mainly selfish and involve revenge.


A woman falls to her death; her broken body and a bloodstain are shown. A blind woman is threatened by a group of thugs; fighting. A woman is grabbed from the street, chained up, and briefly tortured; she has a bloody nose. Guns and shooting. Knives and stabbing. Fighting and kicking. Man impaled on a fence. Stabbing with broken glass. Car crash. Man hit by car. Blind woman slips and falls, cutting her hand; blood shown. A woman is strangled in a movie. Autopsy sequence, with more blood. Bloody handprints. Mentions of rape.


Sex scene, with naked breasts. Topless woman in the shower. Woman dressed revealingly, with lots of cleavage.


Two uses of "f--k." A use of "bitch."

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Social drinking, drinks at a party. Mention of taking lithium for bipolar disorder.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that In Darkness is a thriller co-written by and starring Natalie Dormer (Game of Thrones, The Hunger Games). It's very violent, with gruesome deaths and blood. The main character, who's blind, is threatened, captured, chained up, and tortured. Viewers will see guns and shooting, stabbing, fighting, and an autopsy scene; there are also verbal references to rape and other iffy stuff. There's a fairly graphic sex scene, and the main character is topless in two scenes. Another female character dresses in a way that shows lots of cleavage. Language is pretty infrequent, with just a couple of uses of "f--k" and one "bitch." There's some social drinking and a mention of lithium use. Though the movie starts strong and Dormer is good, the story leaves a lot to be desired.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written byBlah blahlah July 12, 2018


I think it's great
Adult Written byp a. May 26, 2018

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What's the story?

IN DARKNESS introduces viewers to Sofia (Natalie Dormer), a blind pianist in London who's working on the score of a horror movie. She returns home from work and runs into her upstairs neighbor, Veronique (Emily Ratajkowski). Later, Sofia hears a struggle and then Veronique plunging out the window onto the pavement below. Meanwhile, Sofia has already agreed to play at a party for Veronique's father, Zoran Radic (Jan Bijvoet), a Serbian businessman accused of war crimes. There she encounters the sinister Radic and the prickly, intense Alex (Joely Richardson), as well as Marc (Ed Skrein), who was Veronique's lover. She learns that these three are after a USB drive, which Veronique has hidden somewhere in their apartment building. As danger closes in around her, Sofia begins to reveal her own dark secrets.

Is it any good?

This thriller starts well and has worthy elements -- especially a strong female character, co-created by Dormer herself -- but the plot eventually becomes needlessly stretched-out and convoluted. The setup of In Darkness is deliciously Hitchcockian, playing up the sounds around Sofia and crisscrossing what she sees with what the audience can see. Perhaps if it had remained a minimalist story, staying in the apartment -- like the Audrey Hepburn thriller Wait Until Dark -- it might have gone somewhere interesting.

But the more the story gets into espionage and USB drives and passwords and secret pasts, the more it trips itself up. Each new twist comes at the expense of what came before it, and it becomes clear that all this trouble could have been avoided if characters had merely acted earlier. Director/co-writer Anthony Byrne starts strong, with a bustling, daunting vision of a busy, glass-and-steel London, but he eventually gets lost in showdowns and tense car rides. Skrein is chronically uninteresting, and Dormer is cool, but only Richardson looks like she's having any fun.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about In Darkness's use of violence. How intense/graphic is it? Does Sofia's blindness make her seem more vulnerable? What's the impact of media violence on kids?

  • How is sex portrayed here? Is it necessary to the story or gratuitous? What's the difference?

  • Is Sofia a role model? What are her strengths? Her drawbacks?

  • How is blindness portrayed in the movie? Is it seen as a drawback? What are the positive qualities?

  • How did you feel about the main character's deception? Is she less appealing for lying or more appealing for being clever? What's the difference?

Movie details

Our editors recommend

For kids who love thrills

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