Movie review by
Jeffrey M. Anderson, Common Sense Media
Inferno Movie Poster Image
Violence, nightmarish imagery in dull Dan Brown thriller.
  • PG-13
  • 2016
  • 121 minutes

Parents say

age 16+
Based on 5 reviews

Kids say

age 13+
Based on 6 reviews

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A lot or a little?

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

Positive Messages

Lots of conspiracies/cover-ups/etc. Brings up the real-life issue of overpopulation but doesn't address the specifics of what will happen or offer potential solutions (other than the deadly one the heroes try to stop). But the issue could be worth discussing with older teens. Langdon encourages a character to invent things.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Langdon is resourceful and very intelligent; his determination to uncover the truth never flags. But other characters are much iffier, whether because they lie and betray others or because they purposely harm themselves. Sienna is smart and capable but also complex.


Violent, disturbing imagery. Nightmarish visions of hell on Earth with twisted, disfigured, diseased people; burning; rivers of blood; etc. Bloody wounds. An IV is yanked out of a hospital patient's hand. Guns and shooting. Fighting. Stabbing with knives. Hypodermic needle jabbing. Fire extinguisher in face, spraying chemicals in face. Falls from great heights, bodies hitting the ground, hard. Characters die. Explosions.


Fairly short scene of kissing and intimacy.


A use of "f--k." Also "s--t" and "damn." Use of slang term "gone t-ts up." Use of "in God's name." Many uses of "hell," but not as a swear word.


Google mentioned; Gmail shown.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Inferno is the third movie about novelist Dan Brown's globe-trotting character Professor Robert Langdon (Tom Hanks), the hero of The Da Vinci Code and Angels & Demons. It includes nightmarish imagery of a hell on Earth, with twisted, disfigured, diseased people, as well as burning, rivers of blood, and more. There's also fighting, guns and shooting, stabbing, bloody wounds, explosions and falls from heights. Characters betray each other, harm themselves, and die, and the problem of overpopulation is discussed in a scary way. Language isn't frequent but includes a use of "f--k," plus "s--t" and "damn." A couple kisses intimately, but things don't get more graphic than that. Like the previous two Langdon movies, this one is dull and lifeless but will probably be a huge hit.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written byThorinoakinshei... July 3, 2020
Adult Written byPiper O. September 28, 2017

Thought Provoking

Society is becoming increasingly divisive. This film (and the original novel by Dan Brown) allows children to understand there are often two sides to each argu... Continue reading
Kid, 12 years old July 27, 2020


Amazing cannot miss this thriller
Teen, 13 years old Written bykhsu306 March 5, 2017

Really complicated but quite interesting, yet kind of graphic

This movie is one of those movies where you have to think a lot to really understand the plot (I had to watch it at least 2 times to really get it). Big thrill... Continue reading

What's the story?

In INFERNO, which follows the events of The Da Vinci Code and Angels & Demons, billionaire Bertrand Zobrist (Ben Foster) speaks about overpopulation and warns of disaster. Then he throws himself from a bell tower and dies. Later, professor Robert Langdon (Tom Hanks) wakes up in a hospital in Florence with no memory of how he got there. A cop bursts into the building, shooting at him; Langdon's doctor, Sienna Brooks (Felicity Jones), helps him escape. He discovers a clue in his jacket, a Faraday pointer that projects an image of Botticelli's Map of Hell. Langdon discovers inconsistencies in it, which turn into clues. Before long, he's on an around-the-world chase, looking for more clues in other artworks -- including Dante's death mask -- with the goal of finding and stopping Zobrist's ultimate plan: wiping out half the world's population with a deadly virus.

Is it any good?

As in the previous movies based on Dan Brown's books, it seems like smart stuff is happening here, but it's really all lifeless and empty, despite the scenic locales. INFERNO starts promisingly. Screenwriter David Koepp, who co-wrote Angels & Demons with Akiva Goldsman but has solo credit here, relies less on explaining every little thing in the kind of stagnant, inert scenes that plagued The Da Vinci Code and Angels. But before long, it's apparent that director Ron Howard and the rest of his cast and crew can do nothing to disguise their apathy and boredom.

Hanks is likable as always, and character actor Irrfan Khan manages some starch in his scenes. But characters rarely connect on an emotional level, and they all simply seem to be working to get through their dialogue. By the time the movie stumbles toward its suspenseless conclusion, Howard and cinematographer Salvatore Totino have devolved into a shaky-cam mess, peppered with dozens of little flashbacks that are all stirred into confusing mush. We can only hope that Howard made Inferno with the promise that, next time, he can make a film he cares about.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about Inferno's violence. What's the difference between the scenes with fights, shoot-outs, and chases and those with scary depictions of hell on Earth? Do all types of media violence have the same impact?

  • What's the appeal of the Robert Langdon character? How has he changed or evolved over the course of the three movies? How do the movies compare with the novels they're based on?

  • Is Dr. Sienna Brooks a strong female character? What are her strengths? What does she do that's less admirable?

  • The movie addresses the real-life issue of overpopulation. Is this something you were worried about before? Are you now? How could you find out more?

Movie details

Our editors recommend

For kids who love thrills

Themes & Topics

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