Mom and Dad

Movie review by
Jeffrey M. Anderson, Common Sense Media
Mom and Dad Movie Poster Image
Fast-paced, gory, intense horror movie is way over the top.
  • R
  • 2018
  • 83 minutes

Parents say

age 13+
Based on 6 reviews

Kids say

age 14+
Based on 7 reviews

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A lot or a little?

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

Positive Messages

No real messages here except to possibly urge teens and parents to talk with each other honestly, while they can.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Characters are flawed (and interesting), and they're all forced to do despicable things either to stay alive or due to some mysterious spell.


Tons of over-the-top, darkly humorous violence. Lots of blood/blood spatters. A child with a gun shoots a woman in the shoulder. A mother tries to strangle her newborn baby. A child is stabbed (offscreen) with keys. Teens are smothered with a plastic bag, stabbed with a football marker, sliced in the arm with a broken bottle, and strangled. Cops manhandle/punch women. Fighting, smashing against walls, floors. Gas explosion, flame. A coat hanger pierces a teen's face. A fall from a second-floor landing. Bandaging a bloody bullet wound. Smashing pool table with sledgehammer. Smacking with meat hammer. Biting. Stabbing with knife. Mace. Car crash. Mention of Vietnam War violence.


A topless woman straddles a young man who's driving a car. Strong sexual references and graphic sexual terms ("dildo," "anal beads," etc.). Suggestive poses in yoga class; teacher ogles his students.


Extremely strong language, including multiple uses of "f--k," "motherf----r," "s--t," "bulls--t," "p---y," "ass," "bitch," "bastard," "penis," "balls," "piss," "whore," "retarded," "on the rag," "oh my God," and "Jesus Christ" (as exclamations). Use of phrase "Charlie" to describe Vietnamese.


Sawzall mentioned and shown several times. Facebook mentioned.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

A teen girl smokes pot, buys a bag of pills, and talks about pouring a "drink." A minor character appears to be a habitual drinker; bottles of booze are shown. A main adult character drinks from a can of beer.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Mom and Dad is a darkly funny horror movie in which parents (Selma Blair and Nicolas Cage) suddenly start trying to kill their children, with no explanation. Frequent over-the-top violence includes lots of gory murder scenes. Teens are killed by adults in various ways: smothering, stabbing, strangling, etc. A child brandishes a gun and shoots his mother in the shoulder, and a new mom tries to squeeze the life from her newborn child. Various weapons are used, from a cordless saw to a meat hammer. There's also a gas explosion, a car crash, and lots more. Language is extreme, with constant uses of "f--k," "motherf----r," "s--t," and much more. A topless woman is shown, a yoga instructor ogles his students, and there are graphic sexual references. A teen buys a bag of pills and smokes pot; adult characters drink alcohol. The movie definitely isn't for every taste, but it's briskly paced and has plenty of crazy surprises.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Parent of a 5-year-old Written byMumof2girls November 24, 2018

Definitely not for kids at all

Even for a horror-black comedy the violence was waay over the top, and as an adult, if you are ok with that, then that’s fine, enjoy. There were parts I liked a... Continue reading
Adult Written byNicole H. March 15, 2018

Ugh! Save your $1.50. It's not worth it.

I usually love everything Nick Cage does. But this movie made me regret spending the $1.50 at Redbox, not to mention 90 minutes of my life that I can never ge... Continue reading
Teen, 14 years old Written byClorox bleach April 29, 2021

Mom and Dad

I didn't like this movie even though Ive seen this almost 3 years ago.
Teen, 13 years old Written byLeonvol January 25, 2021


This movie is really psychological And disturbing, and has a okay plot but not too great, But this is a violent movie but Also so so funny

What's the story?

In MOM AND DAD, for no reason that's ever explained, parents in a suburban community suddenly turn on their children and try to kill them. Teen Carly Ryan (Anne Winters) is already at a difficult stage and no longer communicates with her parents, Kendall (Selma Blair) and Brent (Nicolas Cage). She steals money from her mom's purse to buy drugs for a friend, and her dad hates her boyfriend, Damon (Robert T. Cunningham). When murderous parents show up at school, Carly and Damon head to her house to rescue her little brother, Josh (Zackary Arthur). Unfortunately, Damon is knocked cold, and Carly and Josh wind up trapped in the basement. Working together, their relentless parents keep coming up with more and more homicidal plans. But this strange day isn't over yet.

Is it any good?

Written and directed by Brian Taylor (Crank and Crank: High Voltage), this nimble, kinetic, ultra-dark horror-comedy rampages through its gleefully wicked story without overwhelming its characters. Mom and Dad offers up another banshee-like, over-the-top performance from Cage (with whom Taylor worked on Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance), but this time it's rooted in a kind of real pain and regret. The same goes for the always-great Blair, as a mom whose motherhood didn't turn out the way she'd hoped. The movie uses crafty flashbacks to earlier times to illustrate and deepen the relationships between the family members.

But in the end, this is a breakneck-paced, out-of-left-field horror movie, and it doesn't hold back in the slightest on its brutal concept. It's not for viewers who don't have a high tolerance for shocking gore. Some will definitely think it crosses the line from time to time -- as when a new mother starts to squeeze the life from her newborn baby -- but mostly it stays in the realm of dark humor. It cheerfully brings meat hammers, wire hangers, and a Sawzall (a cordless reciprocating saw) into its relentless game, but it also occasionally holds back, just a little, for effect. Many darkly funny little surprises keep the movie revved up right until its final moments.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about Mom and Dad's use of violence. Does the fact that it's over-the-top in a darkly comical way make it seem any less brutal? Why or why not? What's the impact of media violence on kids?

  • Does the movie make teen drug use seem appealing? Are there consequences? Why does that matter?

  • Is the movie scary? What makes it a horror movie? How does it compare to other horror movies you've seen?

  • Where do you think the idea for this movie came from? Do you think it might be based on any unspoken fears or fantasies? Or is it completely out of left field?

Movie details

  • In theaters: January 19, 2018
  • On DVD or streaming: February 20, 2018
  • Cast: Nicolas Cage, Selma Blair, Anne Winters
  • Director: Brian Taylor
  • Studio: Momentum Pictures
  • Genre: Horror
  • Run time: 83 minutes
  • MPAA rating: R
  • MPAA explanation: disturbing horror violence, language throughout, some sexual content/nudity and teen drug use
  • Last updated: September 20, 2019

Our editors recommend

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