Man on Fire

Movie review by
Nell Minow, Common Sense Media
Man on Fire Movie Poster Image
Extremely violent; not for kids.
  • R
  • 2004
  • 146 minutes

Parents say

age 16+
Based on 13 reviews

Kids say

age 14+
Based on 19 reviews

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A lot or a little?

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


Extreme and graphic violence including torture. Children are in peril.


Sexual references and mild sexual situation.


Some very strong language.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Character abuses alcohol.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that this movie has extreme and graphic violence, including torture and attempted and actual suicide (portrayed as honorable). Children are in peril. A character has a drinking problem. Characters use strong language. The movie's strengths include strong inter-racial friendships and respect for spiritual values.

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User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written byRachel D April 9, 2008

Horrible waste of time!

Awful, violent, pointless, graphic, depressing... what else to say. VERY disappointing and a waste of time and money. Don't bother!
Adult Written byChloe E May 14, 2018

Completely demoralizing

This movie left me feeling completely defeated and emotionally disturbed. It was horrific and extremely barbaric and violent. The blood and torture will forever... Continue reading
Kid, 12 years old September 5, 2020

The best

It was an amazing movie yes there was lot of violence but any muture kid can handle it
Teen, 16 years old Written byAlyssa_12 August 23, 2020

Adventurous hyped thriller

Shows how a character develops empathy, violent to young veiwers but otherwise fine, once intense swearing scene from a mother when something sad and tragic hap... Continue reading

What's the story?

Denzel Washington plays Creasy, a burnt-out hired gun. Creasy takes on a new job as bodyguard for a Pita (Dakota Fanning), the daughter of a rich man. Although he insists he is not there to be her friend and does not want to talk to her, he is soon coaching her for the big swim meet and she is naming her bear after him. When Pita is kidnapped, Creasy vows to do whatever necessary to track her kidnappers down.

Is it any good?

Two of today's most talented and charismatic screen performers are lost in an over-big, over-loud, over-heated, over-long, over-everything mess of a story about revenge. The dialogue is clunky and pretentious. MAN ON FIRE is not willing to assume that viewers can figure anything out for themselves and pounds every point several times. A character says that Pita showed Creasy "it was all right to live again," and another responds, "And the kidnappers took that away." The violence is excessive, with too many bad guys and too many drawn-out scenes of torture, especially one elaborate set-up involving a bomb inserted into a man's body.

For a guy who is supposed to be a superstar of killing, Creasy seems rather careless about things like evidence and innocent bystanders. Even with all of the explosions and shootouts, the movie feels bloated and much too long at nearly two and a half hours. Director Tony Scott throws in a lot of tiresomely faddish tricked-up shots, using the subtitles as a part of the frame and putting a countdown to a time bomb in the corner of the screen. Reportedly, he shot three different endings for this movie. The other two have to be better than the one they decided to use, which takes a faltering script into the land of "I sat through all of this for that?"

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the issues of honor and redemption this movie raises, especially the portrayal of suicide as an honorable response to disgrace or as a heroic sacrifice. Why is it important that people in the movie keep talking about how they are professionals? And that the most important thing in life is family?

Movie details

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