Jonah Hex



Dumb, violent action Western totally misfires.
  • Review Date: June 16, 2010
  • Rated: PG-13
  • Genre: Western
  • Release Year: 2010
  • Running Time: 80 minutes

What parents need to know

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

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."

Not applicable
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.

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.

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. The movie, on the other hand, is both dumb and violent, with Hex acting out of nothing but revenge and 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.

Families can talk 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

Theatrical release date:June 18, 2010
DVD release date:October 12, 2010
Cast:John Malkovich, Josh Brolin, Megan Fox
Director:Jimmy Hayward
Studio:Warner Bros.
Run time:80 minutes
MPAA rating:PG-13
MPAA explanation:intense sequences of violence and action, disturbing images and sexual content

This review of Jonah Hex was written by

Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are conducted by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.


Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

Find out more

Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

Find out more

About our buy links

When you use our links to make a purchase, Common Sense Media earns a small affiliate fee from Amazon or iTunes. As a nonprofit organization, these funds help us continue providing independent, ad-free services for educators, families, and kids while the price you pay remains the same. Thank you for your support.
Read more

See more about how we rate and review.

About Our Rating System

The age displayed for each title is the minimum one for which it's developmentally appropriate. We recently updated all of our reviews to show only this age, rather than the multi-color "slider." Get more information about our ratings.

Great handpicked alternatives

What parents and kids say

See all user reviews

Share your thoughts with other parents and kids Write a user review

A safe community is important to us. Please observe our guidelines

Teen, 14 years old Written byGamemaster3513 June 21, 2010


This movie was a train wreck. The script was not done well and the plot was very unrealistic and stupid. While Josh Brolin gave a convincing role as the gunslinging Jonah Hex the other characters simply did not. The Villan seemed like he should be running a monpoly game not trying to kill Hex. This movie puts the comic book to shame. Through out the movie the main characters motives are revenge so he is not a good role model. His Co-Star Megan Fox is represented as a prostitute in the movie and it is talked about quite alot. Not to mention the movie is only 81 minutes long. Do NOT waste your money on this disaster.( can i rate it under a 1 star?)
What other families should know
Too much violence
Too much sex
Teen, 14 years old Written byBrookens2123 June 25, 2010
Worst. movie. EVER. There was no plot, and I can honestly say the highlight of the movie was when Jonah named his horse.
Parent Written byPlague June 23, 2010

Jonah Hex

This movie is high explosive but poorly scripted and very cliche.


Did our review help you make an informed decision about this product?

Star Wars Guide