Kingsman: The Secret Service

Movie review by
S. Jhoanna Robledo, Common Sense Media
Kingsman: The Secret Service Movie Poster Image
Brash, witty spy film is packed with over-the-top violence.
  • R
  • 2015
  • 129 minutes
Popular with kids

Parents say

age 16+
Based on 64 reviews

Kids say

age 14+
Based on 99 reviews

A lot or a little?

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

Positive Messages

"Manners maketh man" is an enduring message. Also, class and money aren't what define you -- your character does. Loyalty and hard work are rewarded.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Eggsy is coarse and prone to fights, but he's also protective of his mother and sister, has a deep well of kindness and loyalty, and wants to do right by others. Harry is positioned as Eggsy's role model, but not all of his actions are worthy of emulation.

Violence

An endless parade of so-over-the-top-that-it's-almost-cartoonish violence; it's stylized and clearly not realistic, but it's still shocking and brutal. Many gory injuries and deaths, especially during a scene of mass carnage inside a church. Scenes include hatchets to the head, a man sliced in half, gunshots at close range, crashes, stabbings, a man impaled on a pole, explosions, eye gougings, heads exploding, and much, much more. It's gruesome yet glamorized, and the sum total is unsettling.

Sex

A woman's naked backside is shown as part of a tasteless, sexist, sexually provocative joke. Allusions to sexual acts (including anal sex), some kissing/flirting.

Language

Frequent strong language includes "f--k," "s--t," "bitch," "damn," the "N" word, and a homophobic slur.

Consumerism

Mentions of luxury items/products, including a 1962 Dalmont and bespoke suits made on London's Savile Row. Also Adidas, Guinness, and a big, obvious plug for McDonald's.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Many scenes show people drinking beer and hard liquor at pubs and at home, sometimes leading to violence. Rohypnol is also mentioned.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Kingsman: The Secret Service is a bold, though at times indulgently violent, action thriller that turns the James Bond genre on its head. It's funny, cheeky, and stylish, but it's also extremely brutal, with exploding heads, gory stabbings, shootings, and utter murderous mayhem (a scene of mass carnage inside a church is especially wince-inducing/stomach-turning). While the violence is presented in a stylized, almost cartoonish way, the sum total of it is likely to disturb some viewers. There's also swearing (including "f--k," "s--t," and some racial/homophobic slurs), sexual innuendo, a gratuitously tasteless scene with a naked female bottom, and drinking. But there's also a smattering of advice about how to be an honorable person in a dishonorable time.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Parent Written byLadyRed February 28, 2015

Weird movie

Parents need to know that although it looks like a fun action flick, it's got a few red flags. The f-bomb is dropped every other sentence - no exaggeration... Continue reading
Parent Written bydhesslerjr February 19, 2015

Appalling violent and pointless

Remember pulp fiction? That wasn't for kids either. This is a james-bond version of that movie. Amazing casting couldn't save the gross use of wanton... Continue reading
Teen, 17 years old Written byFat Lenny February 13, 2015

Hilarious, action-packed spy movie is one of the most entertaining films in years - it's also very violent

I had high hopes for Kingsman: The Secret Service from the time I had first heard of it. The plot sounded promising, I was interested to see Colin Firth in an a... Continue reading
Kid, 12 years old March 28, 2015

Cheesy Violence

Brutal from stem to stern, Kingsman is a movie with an action-filled plot. The deaths of several side characters were unnecessary, and the mushroom-cloud-explod... Continue reading

What's the story?

On London's Savile Row sits the Kingsman, a store not just for the fashion-forward but also for James Bonds-ian types seeking truth and justice in a seriously discreet, British way. A Kingsman, after all, is a spy of the highest order, part of a powerful organization unaffiliated with any government. Their representatives are named after King Arthur's knights, with Galahad, aka Harry Hart (Colin Firth), as their anchor. In 1997, a fellow Kingsman saved Galahad's life and died on the job. Forever indebted to his savior, Harry reaches out to the man's widow and offers a promise of help -- one that her son, Eggsy (Taron Egerton), collects on 17 years later. Galahad thinks Eggsy has the skills to be come a Kinsgman, but first the rough-around-the-edges youth must prove his mettle, as a megalomaniac millionaire (Samuel L. Jackson) puts into action his psychopathic plan to cull the planet of people to save it.

Is it any good?

It's been a long while since a movie of this genre satisfied so much with wit and joy. For those who love film and all that is cinematic, KINGSMAN: THE SECRET SERVICE is delightful fun. Director Matthew Vaughn's love for spy films and for this production is so unmistakable that you can’t help but be swept up in it. Every character, every frame, and nearly every line of dialogue is delivered with glee. It's brash and bold and full of cheek.

And it's no copycat. Nearly every spy thriller cliche is turned on its head here and milked for maximum amusement. (A sequence unveiling all the secret weaponry is a pleasure.) The plot is somewhat original, or at least interesting, and the stars are great. That said, a few points off for saddling the villainous (and enjoyable) Jackson with a lisp -- it's a cheap shot -- and for the constant (albeit cartoonish) violence that enjoys itself a little too much. The mayhem is over the top, and Vaughn relies too much on the slo-mo. And there's a crass joke at a princess' expense that feels like nothing more than sexist junk. But look past these issues, and you'll have a grand old time at the movies.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the violence in Kingsman: The Secret Service. Does its over-the-top nature lessen its impact? Or does the sheer volume make it impossible to ignore? How do the consequences compare to those in movies with more realistic violence?

  • How does the film refresh the spy movie genre? What does it have in common with other spy movie? How does it differ?

  • Talk about why Harry truly wants to mentor Eggsy. And why is Eggsy willing to be mentored?

Movie details

For kids who love action and adventure

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