Jonah Hex

Movie review by
Jeffrey M. Anderson, Common Sense Media
Jonah Hex Movie Poster Image
Dumb, violent action Western totally misfires.
  • PG-13
  • 2010
  • 80 minutes

Parents say

age 12+
Based on 7 reviews

Kids say

age 13+
Based on 12 reviews

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A lot or a little?

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

Positive Messages

The hero's main motive is revenge. He kills lots of people -- they're implied to be "bad," and he doesn't seem to have any remorse. His one selfless act is to put down his gun to save Lilah's life.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Hex is the "hero" and Turnbull the "villain," but one character calls them both monsters. Acting out of revenge, Hex kills without hesitation. Although Lilah is a tough girl who can handle herself, she's also a stereotypical prostitute character and isn't satisfied until she "gets" her man.


Intense violence on all sides -- characters are shot, stabbed, slapped, chopped, and burned, and the body count may be in the dozens. Jonah Hex shoots all kinds of guns -- including Gatling guns and a special kind of crossbow gun with flaming arrows -- and he kills many people, onscreen and off. The villain obtains an explosive weapon that blows up entire towns, and his henchmen use everything from guns to knives to dynamite. In one scene, Hex watches, helpless, as his wife and son are burned alive. Lilah is slapped around but mostly stands up for herself.


Lilah is clearly a prostitute, and she wears skimpy lingerie throughout the film, but her job and the act of sex are never mentioned out loud. She sees several male clients, who are shown on their way in to see her or after they're done; all are fully dressed. Some innuendo. Lilah is seen in bed with Hex; she's clothed and he's shirtless. She touches his chest, and they kiss.


The dialogue is often hard to hear over the movie's mayhem, but an exclamation of "Jesus Christ," plus words like "bastard," "hell," and "ass."

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Hex is seen drinking in a bar, with no obvious effect. A Native American medicine man blows smoke to heal Hex's gunshot wounds.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Jonah Hex -- a disappointing action Western based on a comic book hero created in the early '70s -- is very violent. Hex acts mostly out of revenge (killing many without remorse), and the body count is high, though there's relatively little blood and gore. There are some spooky images connected to the movie's supernatural elements, plus many weapons and scenes of things burning and exploding. The female lead, a prostitute, is seen wearing skimpy lingerie throughout the movie (which may be enough to draw in some fans of actress Megan Fox...), and there's the suggestion of sex. Language is on the light side, and there's not much drinking.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written byskullphunk April 10, 2019

Not the comic

it's a huge departure from the comic and I'm ok with that. Was never really big on the western comics, especially from d.c. I watched this with a gra... Continue reading
Adult Written byDanny21 May 31, 2016
Teen, 17 years old Written byMJ33 January 13, 2021

Disappointing DC Movie

Jonah Hex is an attempt at a supernatural Western movie that was so poorly made I couldn't even finish it. Its unnecesairily violent, and main character se... Continue reading
Teen, 15 years old Written byThe age judge July 30, 2016

What's the story?

Once a soldier in the Civil War, Jonah Hex (Josh Brolin) finds his life turned around when a renegade general, Turnbull (John Malkovich), takes revenge and kills Hex's wife and son. Hex nearly dies, but comes back terribly scarred -- and with certain supernatural powers, a link between life and death. He becomes a bounty hunter and occasionally visits prostitute Lilah (Megan Fox). When Hex learns that Turnbull is still alive, he rides off to take his revenge -- and perhaps stop the dastardly general from completing and using a terrible new weapon powerful enough to destroy the entire country.

Is it any good?

The original Hex comics were moody and often thoughtful, with a touch of cynical humor -- and Jonah sometimes performed good deeds in spite of himself -- but the movie is dumb and violent. Hex acts out of nothing but revenge and is a one-dimensional villain determined to destroy the world for no good reason. Fox is added to the mix for extra box office appeal, but she has little to do, and her character borders on stereotypical.

Directed by Jimmy Hayward (who also did the wonderful Horton Hears a Who!), Jonah Hex is clumsy, choppy, and so poorly filmed that it's difficult to follow the action. The loud, heavy metal-esque music sometimes makes it difficult to hear the dialogue -- the dialogue that is audible is simplistic and annoying. The movie makes attempts to "update" the Western genre by adding modern fighting techniques and futuristic weapons, but these ideas just seem desperate. Ultimately, despite all the state-of-the-art weaponry, it's a total misfire.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the movie's violence. Is this kind of violence necessary to tell the story? How did it make you feel?

  • Is Lilah's character a stereotype? Why or why not? What does it say about her that she can take care of herself?

  • What distinguishes Hex from Turnbull? Both kill people; why is one a hero and one a villain?

Movie details

  • In theaters: June 18, 2010
  • On DVD or streaming: October 12, 2010
  • Cast: John Malkovich, Josh Brolin, Megan Fox
  • Director: Jimmy Hayward
  • Studio: Warner Bros.
  • Genre: Western
  • Run time: 80 minutes
  • MPAA rating: PG-13
  • MPAA explanation: intense sequences of violence and action, disturbing images and sexual content
  • Last updated: September 21, 2019

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